In DC after 11pm it is nearly impossible to hail a cab from the side of a street. Especially when there are a lot of other people on the sidewalk trying to hail a cab as well. It could be compared to the olympic games it is such a difficult goal to accomplish.
It was a chilling October night and my friends and I decided to go to club “LOVE” since they were having the after party for Howard’s homecoming. We brainstormed ways we could get there without paying $20 for valet parking, until finally I suggested we take a cab. At the time the idea was brilliant but we soon found out it was the biggest mistake of the night.
It was around 2:30AM when we all decided that our feet could not be elevated six inches above ground any longer and we were ready to leave. We called several taxi numbers and none of them answered, so we decided to just wave down a cab on the street. Many cabs drove by, but were either full, off duty, or simply just would not stop.
There were many people in the streets competing for a taxi, and willing to pay almost anything to get home warm and safe. There are approximately 25 clubs in the DC metro area, why isn’t there better transportation in place for the late night party goers of the district? When asked cab driver Ibrahim Ahmendeep who drives cabs in the DC area stated that stated “most of the clubs close around 3, that is when we are going home to our families,” “We get off when we want.”
On another occasion, a friend and I tried to hail a cab after leaving Ben’s Chili Bowl close the U Street Cardozo metro station. It took us 45 minutes to hail a cab. Between other people walking up the street in front of us to catch a cab as well, empty cabs would come and speed by to avoid picking up customers.
Last year there were approximately 500 robberies in the NE region of the district itself the area is “just too dangerous at night” he said. Maybe the clubs are put in these areas so that people are willing to spend the extra $20 to park in front of the club. The Bureau of Labor Statistics stated that “Taxi drivers and chauffeurs may work any schedule, including full-time, part-time, night, evening, weekend, and on a seasonal basis.” This suggest that there is really no authority giving taxi drivers regulations on how available they should be to potential customers of the late night party scene.
When asked Yusef, our cab driver from U Street stated, “Most cab drivers don’t want to go too far so late at night, because it’s close to when they are getting off.” Which raises the question, what is their purpose if they are not around, or willing when their services are needed the most? There are a couple of things one should figure out before going out in the district. Where is this bar, or club located, and will there be a way of transportation to get back. It is safe to assume one can’t rely on public transportation, how bad is $20 for parking when you compare it to being out in the cold at 3am. Briana Nelson says “I would pay the extra $20 for parking any night, rather than wait in the cold for a cab when I am ready to go home”
Filed under: Local News