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Morning Notes

by ARLnow.com — December 8, 2010 at 8:23 am 878 13 Comments

Read My Lips, No New Taxis — County staff is taking a hard line on taxi cabs, recommending that the board reject a request to add 75 taxis to Arlington’s current licensed fleet of 765 cabs. More from the Sun Gazette.

Long Bridge Park Construction Continues — Despite the budgetary challenges, the county board has reaffirmed its commitment to complete all phases of the Long Bridge Park project near Crystal City. More from TBD.

Arlington Free Clinic Holds Lottery — To become a patient at the Arlington Free Clinic requires a bit of luck. The clinic will serve no more than 1,600 patients, so once a month it holds a “lottery day” to decide who gets to receive clinic services. More from MyFoxDC.

Snowmageddon: The Book – If someone you know is going through blizzard withdrawal, the fine folks over at the Capital Weather Gang have the perfect holiday gift for you. They’ve come up with a 120-page book, filled with photos and nerdy weather stuff from everybody’s favorite freak succession of snow storms. More from CWG.

  • SoArlRes

    We certainly have enough taxis around here already, but if any are added, I’d like to see them be Red Top cabs.

    • Constitution Follower

      Either you’re a shill for Red Top or you just don’t believe in the US Constitution.

      In a free country (the US) where the gov’t obeys the Constitution, the consumer decides how many taxis are “enough”, not the gov’t and not their shills at Red Top cab co.

  • Waiting on a Cab

    This is idiotic. Anyone who has tried to get a cab in the evening (especially on the weeknd) can probably quote from heart the hold message from any of the taxi dispatch phone lines. Waits on the weekend are an hour+ if you can even get through. If it rains, you’re pretty much SOL. Why reject the entry to market of two companies with 100% hybrid vehicles, which the County is usually in favor of? I’m guessing the county gets license fees for each taxi which would be appreciated by the tax payers who are now on the hook for another massive budget gap.

    If they must reject the application for new taxis based on input from the monopoly currently running things, why not require that they upgrade their fleet with new hybrids, if they don’t want to, pull their licenses and let the new green taxi companies in.

    • Sarah

      +1

      • Josh

        +2

    • Lou

      I honestly do not understand the taxi business, but here are a few things I do know. The man who runs Red Top and Yellow is a great businessman and has become very influential in the County as far as being an advocate for his business. From drivers, what I hear is that over the past few years with the poor economy, many drivers are out in their cabs less, because it costs them too much in gas money/maintenance to even make the effort to work. Now what I don’t understand about the business is how those operators stay employed or make money.

      So while you can look at the numbers of licenses out there, there is another dynamic at work that keeps those cabs off the streets. If ridership goes down, fewer cabs work and those licenses just sit dormant, so to speak.

      So, it is hard to get a cab lately, but instead of a bunch of drivers competing to serve customers, many are happy to sit home. That is frustrating.

    • Fred Hailacablately

      every time I get into a cab I like to chat them up (unless I’ve had a bad trip in which case just shut up dude!). From what I hear the taxi business is very low margin for the drivers. The money is made by the companies, and Red Top/Yellow Cab is the worst of the lot. Their vehicles are poorly maintained, and service is incredibly slow; and none of that’s the drivers fault. The companies “lease” cars to them, without regard to the safety or suitability for service of the vehicle.

      I say shift to a Hack License type environment, only issuing Licenses to individual drivers. Let them create coop’s to administer their “call centers” and empower the underdog in this equation.

      And for my money the only cab company I ever use in Arlington is Enviro-Cab.

  • Jenga

    If only they said “no new taxes” as well.

  • mehoo

    Re: the snow.

    It’s just snow. Get over it.

  • Fred Hailacablately

    Oh, and what’s the scoop on the pics of the bike cops? No story or tagline? And what about a side story on the Arlington copper who drives the Segeway?

    • http://www.arlnow.com ARLnow.com

      No story, just a photo

      • G::NativeArlingtonian

        We need more of what is seen in this picture. A lot more officers outside cars and on bikes in all areas of the county. Especially the metro corridor and south of 50.

      • not an auxiliary

        Just a suggestion here, but maybe ArlNow could chat a few of these guys up. Does anyone ever wonder why someone would volunteer 40 hours a month to put on a uniform 99% identical to “real” Police Officers, complete with shiny badge but no gun? Does anyone wonder why they might be more likely to be found on Arlington’s Bike Trails than other law enforcement? Some interesting back stories and motivations here. Not what you’d think.

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