Well, all my bellyaching over the DC Taxi Commission's zone system yielded great results. The big bad zone system is finally dead! Meters for all! Huzzah!
Of course, it was kind of assumed that when we made the switch that the meter pricing wouldn't be so god damned expensive.
DC is going to have the most expensive taxis in the country. Fucking awesome. A four dollar drop rate, five dollars in rush hour!, is too much. That's in addition to the costs of waiting around in traffic and being charged $1.50 a mile.
As expected, meters will be cheaper on short rides and more expensive on longer trips. No surprise there. But, according to the Post, the shorter trips are only a little less expensive while long trips can get pricey in a hurry. Is that worth the transparency and reliability that meters provide? Maybe. Here's my solution:
A good way to make some of the money back is to ask your cabbie if they went on strike on Halloween. If they answer in the affirmative, I feel pretty comfortable not tipping them. Throwing a hissy fit and refusing to pick up people on one of the busiest drinking nights of the year was incredibly irresponsible. I'm a former union man and I respect a good strike, but this does not apply. This has "bad strike" written all over it.
Meters are going to be more expensive. Cabbies weren't striking for more money. They weren't striking for more autonomy since the prices were already set by the DC taxi Commission. They were striking to maintain the ability to rip commuters off. And for that I offer them a big hearty "fuck you." The three dollars I could have tipped them will buy me a delicious Schlitz at DC9 or a Yuengling at Red Derby. The owners of these fine establishments (srsly, Red Derby is fantastic) deserve the money more than someone willing to put public safety at risk just to keep a hopelessly corrupt system.
So, yeah, the meters are going to suck hard. It's worth it to me.