Washington constantly has opportunities to demonstrate whether it is a world-class or rinky-dink city. The May 5 front-page article “After midnight, taxi rules fly out the window,” on the mayhem at Union Station late at night, is evidence of the latter. People arriving by train after midnight find a Wild Wild West scene, with cab drivers breaking the law by choosing which passengers they will take. Before we spend much time discussing whether the District’s restaurants, hotels and museums are on par with those in other major cities and world capitals, let’s scrape together enough resources to ensure legal taxi service — at all hours — at our train station.
Jim Lovelace, Oakton
As chairman of the District’s taxi commission, Ron Linton has a responsibility to see that taxi regulations are upheld and that visitors and residents of the capital of the free world are treated with respect when securing a cab at Union Station after midnight. The District will never get the respect it so eagerly demands until circumstances such as those at Union Station change. Regulations need to be posted clearly for all to read; a paid employee or volunteer in law enforcement should be present to make sure travelers are safely put in cabs and sent to their destinations.
One of the most beautiful experiences in our city is seeing the lighted Capitol dome as one leaves Union Station at night to join the cab line. The lasting impression that new arrivals should take away is of that beautiful dome, not of long lines, angry passengers and drivers breaking rules.
Deborah Davis Nichols, Arlington
On occasion, rather than arrive on Amtrak very late at Union Station after Metro closes, I’ve gotten off at Amtrak’s BWI Airport rail station, taken the shuttle to the airport terminal, taken another shuttle to the rental cars and rented a car for the drive home to Gaithersburg. The next morning I turn in the car at my local rental agency. This is not much more expensive, and it is faster and certainly less stressful than catching a late-night taxi from Union Station.
Robert McDonough, Gaithersburg