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Massachusetts Liberal

Observations on politics, the media and life in Massachusetts and beyond from the left side of the road.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Highway robbery

Kudos to the Globe's Noah Bierman for pointing out the obvious -- it costs a ridiculous amount of money to even sit down in a cab to leave Logan Airport.

But I can't agree with the outraged cabbie who insists:
"It's disgraceful," said Carl Cahoon, a driver for Independent Taxi for 20 years. "That's a Christmas gift from the governor, a Christmas gift from the Commonwealth to help pay for the Big Dig."
It's equally a gift from the Mayor and his Hackney Division for creating base fares that are astronomical (ever take a cab ride in New York?) and have never come with the promised improvement in service and courtesy (at least in my experience).

And no, the Green and/or Silver Lines are not an answer. Not if you have luggage that needs to be squeezed into the vehicle along with you and dozens of other commuters. My rare ventures on the Silver Line around the World Trade Center and the Moakley Courthouse tell me the Green Line at rush hour is positively spacious compared to the sardine cans that masquerade as buses.

Left unexplained in the recitation of charges is the recently increased $2.25 taxi pool fee. What exactly does that pay for?

I won't dispute that many cabbies have to bust endless hours to scrimp together a living wage while dealing with traffic and the threat of violence. But if I recall the last several basic fare hikes were tied to higher gasoline prices. If we are talking Christmas gifts, let's think cab owners too.

And why does it cost less to get around Manhattan than the Back Bay?

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Why is it that Boston cabs have protective barriers that take up much of the leg room in the back seat? Other cities have figured out how to do this while leaving passengers with room for their feet. I have stopped using them at Logan -- paying lots more for another car service -- for this reason.

January 03, 2008 7:07 AM  

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