Archive for the ‘Taxicabs’ Category

Uber’s Flying Taxis

January 9, 2020

Uber's Flying Taxis

“Uber has unveiled plans for a flying taxi at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. The ride-sharing company on Tuesday showed off a full-size mock-up of the electric plane concept vehicle created with South Korean carmaker Hyundai, as it seeks to fly above traffic rather than add to it.”

— “Uber reveals plans for flying taxi to bypass road traffic congestion,” Joanna Partridge, The Guardian


“Uber, Hyundai Team Up On Flying Cars. Will Landing Portals Be Standard For Office Buildings By 2040?” Dees Stribling, Bisnow


Short link:

Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht,

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

NASA Prepares for Flying Taxis

December 6, 2017

NASA Prepares for Flying Taxis

Uber is joining NASA in developing software to manage air taxi control software. The ride sharing firm is working to develop a fleet of battery-powered flying cabs and hopes to test them in several cities in the next two years, with full implementation in time for the 2028 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles.

What could possibly go wrong?


Sticker Shock — for DC Cab Drivers

June 2, 2008

Sticker Shock -- for DC Cab Drivers

Police patrols are penalizing procrastinating passenger haulers in Washington, DC. After a month-long grace period, District taxicabs without distance/time meters are subject to $1,000 fines. June 1 marked the official end of the zone system for DC hacks. While we will miss the dramatic debates with cab drivers over zone fares, it is a relief that the 21st century sees DC joining other world cities in using this 20th century technique. (more…)


May 8, 2008


The Climate Change Steering Committee of the Metropolitan Washington Council of Governments (MCOG) recommends fines for vehicles that keep their engines running without moving for more than five minutes, according to the Examiner. The panel recommends exceptions for fire, police, ambulances, and vehicles stuck in traffic jams.

The MCOG panel recommends enforcement of such regulations, which is admirable, since the District of Columbia already has such regulations but doesn’t seem to enforce them.


Mayor to Taxicabs: April Fool!

November 1, 2007

April Fool! 

D.C. Taxicabs must install meters by April 1, according to the Washington Post.

D.C. Mayor Fenty and the Chairman of the Taxi Commission made the announcement but the news hasn’t made its way to the award-winning DC Government website yet. This follows on the heels of the hollow Halloween Taxi Strike.

You can expect cab drivers to take their opposition to their elected representatives – Virginia and Maryland congressmen. 80 percent of D.C. cab drivers do not live in the District.

Image by Mike Licht, who walks over to 2nd St SE to avoid an extra zone charge.

Trick-or-Treat Taxis

November 1, 2007

Trick-or-Treat Taxicabs 

Results of The Big Halloween Taxi Strike were as questionable as a tourist’s zoned cab fare. At Union Station, where the organized feeder system requires lots of down time for cab drivers, early morning taxis were rare, but the volume is said to have picked up by 2PM.

Large hotels had arranged alternative transport for the lucrative airport runs, so drivers didn’t bother with hotel cab stands.

Striking D.C. cabbies have no idea how many cabs were working – few live in the District.

The fact that no one knows how many cabs were actually on the street says a lot about the state of taxicab transportation in the District of Columbia.

Meters can’t come soon enough.


Image by Mike Licht, plus a rush-hour surcharge, plus a bag charge – hey, can I pick up this other image? It’s going to a blog nearby.

October 31st? What else you got?

October 31, 2007

October 31st? What else you got?

Forget Halloween and Samhain.

Celebrate the birthdays of:

John Keats (1795), Chiang Kai-shek (1887), Ethel Waters (1896), Dale Evans (1912), Illinois Jacquet (1922), King Norodom Sihanouk (1922), Dan Rather (1931), Alui Farka Touré (1939), Richard “Kinky” Friedman (1944), Adam “Beastie Boy” Horovitz (1966), Robert “Vanilla Ice” Van Winkle (1968).

Famous October 31st Pranks:

1517 – Martin Luther posts 95 Theses on door of Wittenberg church

1961 – Joseph Stalin’s body removed from Lenin’s Tomb in Moscow

2005 – George W. Bush nominates Samuel Alito to Supreme Court

2007 – District of Columbia Taxicab Strike rumor


Taxi Meters? Yes. Now the Hard Part.

October 18, 2007

Taxi! Taxi!

Mayor Adrian Fenty has finally brought 21st century Washington, DC firmly into the 20th century by mandating use of meters in the city’s taxicabs.

The District of Columbia first planned this move in the 1930s but Congress imposed a quaint zone sytem so members and staffers could have cheap rides to the office from their segregated neighborhoods. Housing patterns changed but Congress still tacked a taxi zone rider to every annual DC funding bill until now.

DC will soon have taxi meters like every other major city in the world. Now comes the hard part.

Ladies and Gentlemen, please regard Exhibits A and B (above). In every other city on Earth, Exhibit A (rooftop taxi light ON) means the cab is empty, available for hire; Exhibit B (rooftop taxi light OFF) means the cab is occupied or off-duty, unavailable for hire.

In the District of Columbia, A means “cab occupied;” B means “cab available.”

I imagine this unique rule or custom was developed by our city’s sportsmen, eager for greater challenges in hailing cabs on dark night-time streets. Other possible explanations violate city regulations and common courtesy and I simply refuse to consider them.

It is time for this peculiar practice to change. Please urge our elected and appointed officials to bring Washington’s taxi light rules into congruence with those of other cities and simple logic. Do not let them complicate things with any “Off Duty,” “Out to Lunch” or “Talking to My Homeboys on My Cell Phone” lights.

“On” for “available;” “Off for “occupied.” Simple.

Cab Fare

October 16, 2007

Two-and-half zones plus rush-hour charge, carry the 9, except in Leap Years . . .

The primary reason D.C. taxicab drivers and owners oppose meters remains unspoken. It is something common to small business everywhere in the United States. I write about it with some trepidation, concerned I will never be able to get a cab in this town again.

The reason many cabbies oppose meters is simple. They do not seek to confuse and fleece riders with the complicated zone system of fares. It is this: the taxicab business is a cash business. It is difficult to hide profits from IRS and the District Treasurer if a meter records every transaction.