The Washington Regional Alcohol Program is covering taxi fares up to $30 as part of its annual holiday SoberRide campaign, which starts Friday and ends Jan. 1. The free cabs will run from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. every day during that period.
“Last December, nearly 1,500 (1,456) Greater Washington residents did the right thing and availed themselves of this lifesaving service rather than possibly driving home impaired,” WRAP president Kurt Gregory Erickson said in a statement. “For SoberRide’s hours of operation during just last New Year’s Eve, alone, such ridership (580) translated into the removal of a would-be drunk driver from our shared roadways every 49-seconds.”
To get a complimentary ride, call 800-200-8294.
Image via Washington Regional Alcohol Program
(Updated at 10:08 a.m.) A man on a bike was struck by a taxi this morning in front of the DoubleTree hotel located at 1515 Rhode Island Avenue NW.
Park View resident Patrick Hills, 31, told Borderstan he was riding along Rhode Island Avenue when the taxi driver glanced his bike.
“I ended up clipping the corner of his car,” said Hills. “I didn’t hit it straight on and tumble over … I glanced off his car and spilled over.”
“I landed on my elbow. My head didn’t hit the pavement, which was awesome,” said Hills. “I have some road rash. I think my rear tire needs to be adjusted back.”
D.C. Fire and EMS officials responded to the scene around 8:47 a.m., but Hills was not transported to the hospital.
A taxi cab driver on the scene said he was the one who hit the pedestrian, but would not give his name or say what occurred.
Following the accident, both men gave statements to a police officer and shook hands.
“So much for getting to work early,” added Hills.
By Michelle Lancaster. You can follow her and let her know your news on Twitter @MichLancaster. Email her at michellel[AT]borderstan.com.
If you’ve lived in DC for more than two years, you have seen, and probably kvetched about, the great cab debate of the city.
Are there too many? Why don’t they take credit cards? They are so rude! No one picks me up from Adams Morgan; no one takes me home to Capitol Hill and on and on.
If you are somehow able get past these (valid) complaints, the fare and meter system become the next obvious flashpoint. That is, until you are assaulted by a cab driver. Then, as WJLA reports, things escalate beyond small talk and become part of a serious investigation.
Several riders allege assault, ranging from sexual to violent physical assault; all incidents reported are being investigated. Drivers retort they are more often the victim of drunk and/or belligerent passengers and receive no protection or recourse for such behavior.
DC is discussing changing its laws to more easily hold hearings or revoke licenses for cab drivers. For such egregious behavior, that’s appropriate. I hope that all – drivers and passengers – that are attacked or brutalized get their justice. But with no cameras and nothing but competing eyewitness testimony, how should DCTC determine what is justice and to whom it is owed?
The DC Taxicab Commission is out on the streets in vehicles — my cab the other day was stopped to instruct the driver to turn on the lights at dusk. Is this part of their jurisdiction and if so, are there enough vehicles out to prevent such violence?
Changing cabs to accept credits cards is easier than a full-scale shift in taxicab culture and etiquette, and that’s been a long, slow slog. So Borderstan readers, where does cab safety rate on the priority list for DC? Should cameras be added to all cabs or is that a privacy issue? How do we provide safe, efficient and speedy cab service — and how do we protect our drivers from violence and theft?
Bye Bye Blue Boxes
We heard a while back that the Post Office at 14th and T Streets NW is bidding us adieu. In the same vein, if you’ve wondering why it’s not always easy, it’s because the blue mailboxes have also been slowly disappearing all over town, as DCist reports. It’s apparently been quite subtle — 194 boxes have already been removed and we haven’t really noticed (which obviously justifies the course of action). No, they’re not going away all together, but you may have to work a little harder to find one.
Medallion System for D.C. Taxicabs?
And speaking of going away, are taxis the next to thing to decrease in numbers? WTOP brings us the story about the D.C. Council’s consideration of requiring all taxis to have a special medallion that would allow them to operate in the District. Not only would it limit the number of cabs that we have, but it could also bring in $200 to $400 million to the government. Stay tuned for more info about this one.