Yesterday was, apparently, the first day of the weekly taxi cab strike. Next week drivers will strike on Tuesday. The next week on Wednesday. In five weeks they could be putting my precious weekends at risk. Until then, it's no skin off of my back.
All of this to protest the glorious end of a broken system. I am delighted every time I get into a cab and realize that, in only a few short months, I won't have to crane my neck to understand the city's antiquated zone system. That Mayor Fenty lowered the minimum fare from a ridiculous $4 to a much more reasonable $3 was icing on the cake.
The strike was organized by a new organization called the Coalition of Cab Drivers, Companies and Associations of Washington, D.C. I'm going to call it the CCDCAWDC. The CCDCAWDC's chairman, Nathan Price suggested that getting rid of the zone system is either ill-conceived or "conceived very well to destroy the industry." Because nothing makes more sense than to destroy a city's taxi industry on purpose. Asshole.
I mean Price does make a solid point. There is obviously a lot of precedent of a city switching from zones to meters and having that city's taxi industry destroyed. Oh, wait. There isn't. because no one uses fucking zones because they are a stupid and antiquated way to charge people money.
And there's this line from the Post's coverage of the strike: "Striking drivers, however, are convinced that the switch will wreck their livelihoods."
Yeah, because the zone system is dependent on tricking people into paying more than they should. It's about knowing where the zone boundaries are and crossing them to pick up some extra dollars. Anyone striking to protect that doesn't deserve our business.
I've written this before, but this new strike gives me a reason to reiterate this: Do not tip any driver who strikes to protect the broken zone system. They are more interested in ripping us off then they are getting us from Point A to Point B.
Get in a cab, ask your driver if they were striking, plan on striking, or even supported the strike. Then dole out your tip money accordingly. If we can make it costlier for them to support zones than to support meters, then we can finally end this nonsense.