Hacking it

October 05, 1990

There's an old joke around town that if you need a taxicab in a rush and all three are busy at the same time, you're in trouble.

It isn't quite that bad, but anyone who has ever attempted to get a cab in a hurry in Baltimore knows that it's a chancy thing, and often as not you can get where you're going as quickly by walking as waiting for a cab. Yesterday's Evening Sun story about the woes of Baltimore cab drivers underscores the problems of this woebegone business. In a nutshell, gas prices are going through the roof but fares are staying at the same rate they have been for the past six years. The drivers/owners have to absorb the loss. In the meantime, hardly a week passes that we don't read of another robbery resulting in injury or death to a cab driver. Little wonder it's hard to get a cab in Baltimore.

The Maryland Public Service Commission needs to have a look at cab rates -- as our neighboring city of Washington has already done -- in order to compensate for the explosion of gas prices. But someone needs to undertake a study to see what might be done to improve the overall cab situation in Baltimore. Perhaps a look at Washington, where cabs are usually available at a whistle, would be a good place to start.

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