Years ago I made the rookie, post-collegiate mistake of taking a cab in Prague. Burning a hole in my pocket were 700 or so Czech crowns, the then equivalent of five bucks. I only had a mile or so to go, but the cabbie started driving all over the place, eventually taking me far up into the hills. As the meter clicked past 670 crowns, I showed him I only had 700. He stopped the cab, got out and chucked my backpack ten feet down the slope. As luck would have it, I had $50 US on me. Suddenly he started speaking English, "No problem, no problem," and even retrieved my grimy, mud-caked backpack. When we got to where I was going (he made a beeline), he plucked $40 American dollars and a 100 crown note from my hand. He even smiled. And if you've ever taken a cab in DC, you know that not only will they bilk you for more, but you will never, no matter what get a smile. Until now.
Soon, the obscure, impenetrable zone system will be as much a part of our nation's capitol as Alberto Gonzales, Karl Rove, John Ashcroft, Ari Fleischer, Tom Delay,
Larry Craig Donald Rumsfeld, Scott McClellan, Collin Powell, Andy Card, Tony Snow and Scooter Libby. That is to say gone. DC Mayor Adrian Fenty is planning on signing something that will force area cabs to adopt meters, just like everybody else. Will anyone lament the demise of 10-block, $27 rides? Besides Mr. T? [bizjournals.com]