I take back every good thing I ever said about you, Mayor Fenty. When you paraded down 17th Street at this week's High Heel Race (not in drag, unfortunately) and someone shouted "Mayor Fenty kicks ass!", I cheered with the rest of the crowd. This morning, I learned your plan to switch taxis in the District to meters meant that the signs atop our taxis would illuminate when vacant and shut off when carrying a passenger, as is the case in the rest of the civilized world. Huzzah, I thought, another triumph for the D.C. Don of Tightness.
The next piece of taxi-related news to appear today was the $4 minimum fare price, as compared to $2.50 in New York and under $3 in every other city I know of.
This is unacceptible. Fare prices are going to rise across the board now, angering riders, yet the independent contractors that dominate the Washington taxi market remain displeased because meters will bring in larger operators to crowd them out. In other words, nobody is happy. Way to go, Fenty. You have squandered your legacy: affordable rides home for drunk 20-somethings, to say nothing of the thousands of impoverished Washingtonians who lack an alternative means of transportation. Way untight.
UPDATE: I just discovered that existing fees will still hold, including the loathesome extra passenger surcharge ($1.50 per person). I could go on for thousands of words about the insanity of this new policy if I wasn't rendered completely speechless.