Striking on Halloween : Blog Of The Nation DC switches to fare system for cabs, and taxi drivers may strike on Halloween.
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Striking on Halloween

The old way of doing things in DC. Source: Daquella manera hide caption

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Source: Daquella manera

Tomorrow's Halloween, but it sort of feels like an afterthought to me. For the past two weekends I've attended spooky bashes, and I have to say, the costumes have been great (I was a pretty standard cowgirl, so present company excluded). One friend came as the Washington Monument (Winston thought it was a perfect kitty house), and another was the ubiquitous gyro girl whose vacant smile and '80s style greet you from the window of every Greek restaurant I've ever been to. That said, tomorrow's the proper big day, and in DC the holiday takes on two forms... there's the traditional trick-or-treating and jack-o-lanterns from about 6pm till 9pm, and after that, things get decidedly more adult as college kids and young professionals pack the bars in costume and carry on till the wee hours (I mean, I think that's what they do). In years past, DC cabbies have offered free rides on Halloween and similarly saucy holidays in an effort to keep drunks out of the drivers' seat. This year? Nope, not only no free rides, but they may even strike. There's a pretty contentious taxi system in DC known as the zone system, whereby your fare is calculated based on how many zones you pass through, not how long you're in the car. If you've been here, you know, it's incomprehensible to even the most veteran Washingtonians. New Mayor Adrian Fenty has decided it's time to switch to meters, and cabbies are not happy. That's fine — while I'll be happy to have a fare I can watch climb, as opposed to one that's a complete mystery — strikes are a time-honored way to express displeasure, and the drivers have a right to demonstrate. But on Halloween? Sounds like a recipe for disaster.