In his May 5 front-page article “After midnight, taxi rules fly out the window,” The Post’s Robert Samuels documented the well-known, much-dreaded chaos that occurs at the Union Station taxi queue past midnight.
Four days later, a colleague and I returned from New Jersey on a train arriving at Union Station after 1:30 a.m. Some earlier haggling with New Jersey cab drivers had reminded us that, as usual, we would have to deal with the same sort of lawless mess when we stepped off the train in the District. We cringed at the thought, knowing we were likely to be ripped off and verbally assaulted by the time we were done.
But something had changed at Union Station. This time, there was a police officer manning the queue. People stood politely in line. Cabs waited their turn. Drivers did not haggle, yell or refuse passengers.
We told the officer that we were going to Alexandria, and he informed us that any taxi would take us wherever we wanted to go. The process was working smoothly. One driver who seemed not to understand that things had changed parked as to block the traffic, but he quickly moved on when it became apparent that he was in danger of getting a ticket from the police officer.
Before we knew it, we were in a cab. The driver did not refuse payment by credit card. The meter was running, and at the end of the ride we got a receipt. We were even wished a good night.
My colleague and I were elated and impressed. Bravo to Robert Samuels and The Post for the front-page article. Bravo to the city for taking action to solve a long-standing problem. I now look forward to coming home and stepping off the train. I hope it stays that way.
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