Transportation by Cab

I'm pretty torn when it comes to taxi cabs. Personally, I hate riding in them, and avoid them whenever I can. On the other hand, I appreciate that I live in a city where they're plentiful and easily available in the event that I need a cab to get somewhere quickly.

(from vpickering on Flickr)

Even in DC, I've heard plenty of cab horror stories. There are cab drivers who, despite the law, refuse to let someone in their cab before determining where they're going. There are drivers who won't make a run to a quiet part of town on a weekend night, and would rather do short runs between popular neighborhoods. I've heard of cab drivers who only pick up groups of people, while leaving leaving single riders stranded. The list goes on...

The cab business isn't glamorous, and drivers are responding to simple economic incentives. It's more profitable to make runs in popular parts of town, it's more profitable to drive groups of people, etc. Local government can draft laws to prevent them from maximizing their revenue, but if the incentives are strong enough, drives will ignore them anyway.

My personal incentive - to travel somewhere for as little money as possible, clashes strongly with the incentive of cab drivers. So I'm really not surprised that my experience riding in taxis has been less than amazing.


    Did you hear about the San Diego cab driver who recently allowed his car to drift into a line of people waiting to get into a club? Many injured including a woman who's leg was sliced off.