The wistful article by the woman marooned at Moten Elementary School {Close to Home, Oct. 14} because she could not get a cab to pick her up should remind us that we have failed for decades to deal effectively and honestly with the taxi situation in the District of Columbia. I first came to Washington right after World War II and could not believe the taxi business here. It seemed unfair to both drivers and the public.

It's time to act in the interest of drivers trying to make a living and the traveling public seeking safe, efficient and economical transportation.

Let's abolish the zone system, which set up a bias in service, and switch to meters. However, let's start with a gift from the District of a meter for each licensed cab driver. After all we are changing the rules in the middle of the game, and we should not penalize the drivers. In return each driver would agree to get adequate insurance, see to it that the cab is in good condition and perhaps pass a simple test to demonstrate knowledge of District streets and addresses.

This would give us a new start.

JOHN H. F. HOVING Washington