[UPDATED] In what Griper Greg Leonard dubbed the “shameful actions of DC taxi drivers,” he and his wife Sue issued a gripe about having to wait more than a half hour at a cab stand outside of Nationals Park Friday night.
“We were shocked at the way DC taxi drivers conduct themselves after the game,” he said.
In town from New Hampshire, they left the Orioles vs. Nationals game in southeast early to catch a cab back to their hotel.
Not one taxi came to the taxi stand where many people were waiting patiently in line, including families with young children, he said. The cabs were picking customers up “everywhere else across the street or down the road from the taxi stand.”
“It was like the Wild West trying to get a taxi after the game,” he said. “Very disappointed with the way taxis conduct themselves in our Capital!”
Greg and Sue wanted to know what the point was of having a cab stand if it’s “completely ignored” by taxi drivers, so we called over to the District of Columbia Taxicab Commission to find out.
Interim Chair Dena Reed was unavailable, but we expected as much considering her busy Wednesday morning in which reporters were cuffed and removed from a meeting. So Inspector James Conrad answered our questions.
It turns out that the taxi stand there is not an official one placed there by the District government, according to Conrad. And even if it was, cab drivers don’t have to come there and wait he said.
“They can come there and wait, but they’re owned and operated independently,” he said. “We can’t tell them where to go.”
He said he doesn’t know if there are any plans to place an official stand there.
We’re not sure where the taxi stand was or if there is more than one, but we chatted with John Lisle, a spokesman for the District Department of Transportation, who said that there is a taxi stand at M and Half Street for people to drop off and pick up passengers.
“It’s my understanding that it was set up there because taxi cabs were dropping people off right on Half Street where pedestrians are walking,” he said. “It’s not on the Nationals’ property. It’s on a city street and it’s signed that way. We signed them and designated that area for taxi cabs.”