Bolaris: End taxicab nightmares now!

john bolaris
Metro columnist John Bolaris

Word to taxi and limousine companies in the city. Do something about the condition and proper supervision of the so-called taxis in the city of Philadelphia. It’s an embarrassment!

For most of the past two decades, I have lived in town. And my main mode of transportation was and still is those whacked out taxis. I’m sure those of you reading this have your very own taxicab nightmares, not to mention any tourists who are greeted to a unique Philadelphia taxicab experience.

I’m sure those tourists who are visiting our city for the first time are in for a rude awakening. Imagine a tourist arriving for the first time in the middle of a sweltering summer day taking a cab ride, eyes bugging out, sweating profusely, begging for air conditioning, weird smells emanating throughout the cab, checking arm pits for faulty deodorant (Nope, not me), dehydrating, screaming to the hack, but he can’t hear you because he is plugged into his smart phone yapping away. Welcome to the city of taxicab nightmares.

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been in a cab and the driver has absolutely zero clue to where the heck he is going. So a normal $5 cab ride will triple to 15 bucks. And I know the city. Imagine a visitor.

During one recent cab ride, I asked the driver to turn on the air. You ask again and the cabbie yells that it’s on. He points to a tube sticking out from under the driver’s seat. As I put my hand down, I feel a trickle of air seeping out. So instead of a stifling 105 degrees, it has cooled to about 100. Thank God for AC.

Forget about using your credit card for a ride. Nine out of 10 times they say “Sorry, doesn’t work.” Now they need to drive you to the nearest ATM, meter running, and bingo, you’re ripped off again.

I’ve witnessed screaming matches, smoking, doors that don’t open, windows jammed, pedestrians in the cross hairs of some reckless driving.

Now, not all the cab drivers fall into this category. And when you find a good one, you want to take him or her home to meet your family, or at least give a good tip. Hey, I know it’s not an easy job, and you’re grossly underpaid, and I’m sure you have your own customer nightmares, and I’m not blaming you personally.

Most of the blame goes to the companies who run the taxi and limo services. Your taxes hard at work. Clean up the mess.

If you have had taxi cab nightmares, send them to letters@metro.us.


News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
News

OMG! Exercise can make skin (and butt) look…

A moderate exercise regime can turn back time and actually reverse the skin's aging process, according to new research. The study showed that a minimum…

News

Mets mascot Mr. Met target of Bill Clinton…

Mets mascot Mr. Met has told how he ended up in the crosshairs of a Secret Service sniper rifle. The man behind the Mr. Met…

International

Jews in eastern Ukraine ordered to register, Kerry…

Secretary of State John Kerry condemned reports that Jews in eastern Ukraine had been ordered to register with the authorities "or suffer the consequences."

National

Chelsea Clinton pregnant with first child

Chelsea Clinton is pregnant with her first child.

Television

'Scandal' recap: Season 3, Episode 18, 'The Price…

Sally is Jesus, Olivia caused global warming, and Mellie's still drunk. Let's recap the Scandal finale. A church full of Washington insiders is about to…

Movies

Review: 'Transcendence' is not stupid but sometimes lacks…

The cyberthriller "Transcendence" explores artificial intelligence, nanotechnology and other ethical quandaries, but has too much ambition, if anything.

Television

Dick Wolf to bring fictionalized world of 'Law…

A&E has ordered a pilot called "D.O.A." from "Law and Order" mastermind Dick Wolf that will focus on real detectives reexamining cold cases. A trio…

Television

Shane West talks WGN America's 'Salem'

The actor on history lessons, a new network and showing his butt.

NHL

Rangers draw first blood against Flyers in Game…

Brad Richards and Derek Stepan scored power-play goals 47 seconds apart to lead the Rangers to a 4-1 win.

NBA

Carmelo Anthony agonizing over Knicks future as season…

There’s still the cloud hanging over the franchise’s head as to the pending free-agent status of All-Star forward Carmelo Anthony.

NFL

Jets host players with eye toward NFL Draft

The Jets hosted a number of NFL Draft hopefuls for workouts on Thursday, with an eye toward some under-the-radar players.

NFL

Chris Johnson: I wanted to go to 'a…

Now that Chris Johnson is a Jet, the team has to figure out if one of the most explosive players in the NFL over the last half decade has anything…

Style

Light-up nail art syncs with phone

This Japanese technology syncs light-up nail art with your phone.

Wellbeing

Why is dance cardio taking off in NYC?

Instructors at some of the city's hottest classes explain why.

Travel

Earth Day travel in the Florida Keys

See why this eco-friendly destination deserves your attention.

Tech

Sorry, Facebook — FarmVille goes mobile with 'Country…

Zynga has released a version of the hit "FarmVille" tailored for smartphones and tablets in the hope of reaping a bumper crop of players.