August 18, 2008
The news media and DC City Council members have "reported" or "addressed" Mayor Fentys' decision of October 17,2007 to install meters in DC taxicabs without providing an objective review of the facts of this issue.
Before assigning any merit to the results of any upcoming poll among DC residents or taxicab drivers in concern of the use of the zone system or the meter in DC taxicabs let us first ask how many DC residents or DC taxicab drivers have ever reliably been informed that:
1) DC initially had used meters and that Congress had forced the use of the zone system regardless of the initial and still standing government and court decisions that denied," any use of the zone system to take the place of meters in DC taxicabs." (DC Public Utilities Commission order no. 956 11/6/31)
2) A call to Mrs. Doris Wilson of the DC Public Service Commission will provide a free copy of DC Public Utilities Commission order no. 956 issued on 11/6/31. (202-626-5150 office, 626-5150 voicemail)
3) The initial denial by the DC Public Utilities Commission to use the zone system to replace meters in DC taxicabs was completely upheld by Judge Adkins ruling that, "the zone system is only a means to exploit the labor of the driver?" (PUR 1932C pg.17,19)
4) Judge Adkins upheld the DC Public Utilities Commission having found the zone system to be inequitably computing DC taxicab fares as well as it being found that the proposed zone system was found to have caused "discriminative service"? (Who do you think was catching cabs in DC in 1932?)
5) Every major city in this country uses a meter as an equitable means to compute local taxicab fares as well as serve as a reliable means to record the income and compute the annual tax revenue that is due from DC taxicab companies and drivers.
For 76 years the unique DC taxicab zone system fare structure has continously cheated countless tourists who don't have the slightest idea of the correct fare and even more importantly has continued to insult the predominantly African American residents of DC with inequitable zone boundaries such as Alabama Ave SE, Atlantic St. SE, Wheeler Rd, SE, 19th St NE,42nd ST. NE, South Dakota Ave. NE and so many other examples in the residential areas of NE and SE Washington.
Through my years of address to the Congressional corruption of DC Taxicab Industry I have been successful in appealing to Herman Washington and Kojo Nambi of WHUR radio and Gloria Minott of WPFW to appear on their various radio talk shows. The DC Editor of the Afro-American newspaper respected the direction of my research by publishing an article, "Activist Calls It UnFair" on 08/31/91 and my Letter to the Editor on September 8, 2007 that was entitled, "The Congressional Corruption of the DC Taxicab Industry. A well informed community of DC residents and taxicab drivers will be required to ever effectively address and end the Congressional corruption of the DC taxicab industry.
After the September 2007 DC Taxicab Commission hearing I was able to meet and refer Mr. Bruce Johnson of WTOP news to my research into the corrupt origin of the DC taxicab zone system.
Mr. Bruce Johnson informed me that his professional duties were to report on the concerns of the DC community. He insisted that my research was merely my expressing the opinion of one DC resident.
My review today of the contents found in google.com under the topic,"The DC Taxicab Zone System Fare Structure", allowed me to see on page 6 a referral to "Bruce Johnson's Blog" having been submitted in October 2007. Your review of such an effort to "report" on the regulation of the DC taxicab industry will allow you to see that not the slightest effort was made by Mr. Bruce Johnson to responsibly research and refer to the Congressional corruption of the DC taxicab industry.
The question is not, "Why has Bruce Johnson of WTOP refused to ever responsibly research and report on the corrupt origin of the DC taxicab fare structure?"
The real question is , "Why have tens of thousands of national and local "reporters" of the newspapers, magazines, radio and television news media and national and local politicians failed for 76 years to have ever objectively researched and reported on the Congressional corruption of the DC Taxicab Industry?"
The DC taxicab zone system for more than 70 years has not provided tourists a responsibly regulated taxicab service. By the time many tourists came to realize that they had been cheated by a DC taxicab driver they were on their way back home and it was impossible for them to reliably file and process a complaint.
There has yet to be one DC Delegate, Mayor or City Council member (other than John Wilson in 1975) to ever use any of their well paid time and staff to responsibly research and address the legal facts of the Congressional corruption of the DC taxicab industry. The sudden announcement on October 17, 2007 by Mayor Fenty of his intentions to install meters in DC taxicabs should have stimulated a careful, factual review of this issue.
Supporters of the zone system are in need to learn that game time with irresponsibly regulating the DC Taxicab Industry is finally over!
Besides being the only community in this entire country not actively represented in Congress and has control over its own tax revenue, the District of Columbia is also the only major city in this entire world not using some modern version of a meter to equitably compute taxicab fares and used as a reliable means to record and tax the income of the local Taxicab Industry.
My approach to provide educational skills for children requires that they first know their A,B,C's and basic phonic skills before I begin to develop their ability to read. I will not expect any GED candidate to master computing percentages until they have already expressed a skill in adding,subtracting, multiplying and dividing whole numbers, fractions and decimals.
The DC community will remain unable to know how to develop a functioning meter system taxicab fare structure until they are finally informed of the basic Congressional means of totally disallowing a responsible mean to regulate the DC taxicab industry.
The news media has made sure we all knew about Monica Lewinsky. The farce of the news media is proven by the fact that for more than 75 years it is far from common knowledge on exactly how Congress totally screwed up the DC Taxicab Industry.
The Truth can be hidden but it cannot be changed! (firstname.lastname@example.org)
The Congressional Corruption of the DC Taxicab Industry
Bell and City Cab Company were the major taxicab companies in 1931 and to serve corporate purpose they had tried, without authority, to start to use their zone system to replace the use of meters in DC taxicabs. The automobile was still a new invention in 1931.The weekly rental fee for many DC Taxicab Companies had since 1928 been an agreed percentage of the weekly earnings of the drivers as indicated by the meter.
The Depression in 1931 motivated many DC taxicab drivers and passengers to start to give Bell and City Cab Company a big headache by making quick oral contracts and not at all engaging the meter. Hack Inspectors were writing loads of tickets to cab drivers as they were observed to pick up a passenger but would fail to engage the meter. Bell and City Cab Company began to lose a lot of money every week. Many cab drivers would argue over their rental fee due to many reporting back at the end of the week with the meter showing little income and Bell and City Cab Companies insisting that they had to have made more through the course of the entire week.
Without any authority Bell and City Cab Companies chose to solve this new problem by suddenly removing the meters in their cabs and started using an unapproved "Zone Map" to calculate taxicab fares while charging the drivers a flat rental fee each week. Due to some cabs having a meter and many others using various versions of a Zone Map the DC Public Utilities Commission(PUC) responded to the public's confusion by holding extensive public hearings from September- October of 1931.
On November 6, 1931 the PUC dealt the first strike against the use of the DC taxicab zone system when it issued order no. 956 and listed 20 reasons to,"deny any version of the zone system to replace the use of meters in DC taxicabs." (A request of the DC Public Service Commission will provide a free copy of PUC Order No. 956)
Among the 20 reasons given in 1931 to deny the use of the zone system, it is fascinating to know that in the overtly racist society of 1931, the zone system was initially denied due to it being found, "That under the zone fare system operators have frequently refused to render service where long hauls were involved - that the zone fare system unduly favors certain riders and unduly discriminates against others."
It is essential that I emphasize that in 1931 this country was segregated with "colored restrooms", segregated housing and schooling and was decades away from beginning to initiate the social progress against the overt expression of racism that America has made since 1960.
The DC Public Utilities Commission in 1931 protected white people from "discriminative taxicab service" and the exploitation of taxicab drivers when it issued Order No. 956 and denied the use of any version of a "zone system to take the place of meters".
The 9th reason listed of DC Public Utilities Commission order no. 956 indicated, "proper accounting records cannot be secured under the zone fare system." It is very important to make a special referral to the 19th reason listed on PUC order no. 956 having specifically stated that, "taximeters can be secured and installed without undue expense."
How can there be any validity to supporters of the zone system claiming the "high cost of the meter" in 2008 if that same argument against the use of meters was denied by the DC government and the courts when the Depression was beginning in 1931?
Judge Adkins upheld the DC Public Utilities Commission rejection of the zone system to replace meters in DC taxicabs in 1931 because the zone system was a means to exploit the labor of the 1931 DC taxicab driver. (1932 PUR, vol.C pgs. 17,19)
The DC taxicab zone system received its third strike when the U.S. Court of Appeals affirmed
Judge Adkins' decision. (1932) F2d 1005
This last decision by the U.S Court of Appeals however shows the power of Congress. The appeals court upheld Judge Adkins' decision,but a very puzzling sentence was included in their decision. The U.S. Court of Appeals denied any enforcement of the order to eliminate the use of the zone system until after Congressional legislation on the matter had been completed. I trust that it will be very hard to find another Court decision that delayed the enforcement of a law until after Congress considered legislation on the matter.
Congress cannot overrule a Court decision yet, after Bell and City Cab Company promised Congress to benefit from the design of a huge Zone One, Congress began to reach into their legislative pockets in 1934 and for the past 76 years have pulled out several legislative tricks that have resulted in the continued use of the Zone System.
In 1971, Mr. John Earl Rudder played a key role in organizing a union of DC taxicab drivers.
The members of the Brotherhood of DC Taxicab Drivers knew that the entire issue of the corrupt zone system had been due to tricky, Congressional legislative restrictions. It is very important to point out that Congress in 1971 had yet to allow the residents of the District of Columbia an opportunity to elect a Mayor and the members of a DC City Council to address any of the needs of the Washington DC community.
The members of the Brotherhood of DC Taxicab Drivers resolved to begin to stage a strike starting in late November 2001 during the evening hours against the Capitol Hill area . The objective of the strike was to discomfort Congress and stimulate Senator Inouye, the Chair of the Senate Appropriations Committee, to begin a rare series of Congressional hearings on the DC Taxicab Zone System in concern of the unique DC taxicab zone system fare structure. The strike was effective and ended in respect to the Senate suddenly scheduling hearings on the issue in early December 1971.
Mr. John Earl Rudder,Chair of The Brotherhood of DC Taxicab Drivers, testified before Sen. Inouye and stated, "The case for meters is so apparent that it begs the question of sanity to think otherwise." ("Ban on Taxi Meters in Force since '32 Will be Challenged" Washington Post 12/07/71). Despite a very revealing title this article by the Washington Post is a classic example of the shallow manner in which professional "reporters" have, for more than 70 years, failed to responsibly research and report on the corrupt origin of the unique DC taxicab zone system.
The results of the 1971 Senate hearings ended with revealing reports from the Senate DC Appropriations Committee that supported further study on the Zone System vs. Meter issue.
A Professor from the School of Business of the University of Maryland was awarded a contract by Congress in 1971 to "study" the use of the zone System vs. meters in DC taxicabs. The University of Maryland study turned out to be nothing more than a quick and very shallow popularity survey from a very small group of respondents.
The design of the 1972 University of Maryland study on the DC taxicab zone system and all others since then have all strangely failed to responsibly research and refer in any manner to the government and still standing court decisions against the use of the zone system nor have these many "studies" referred to just a few of the many tricks that Congress used since 1934 forcing the computation of DC taxicab fares by the use of a very unique Zone System.
The first Congressional legislative trick on this issue was "reported" only by the 11/13/71 Washington Post editorial, "The Taxicab Rider". This editorial made reference to a legislative provision that was authored by Rep. Cannon in 1934 and that had conveniently become a legislative "rider" attached to every annual, insulting DC Appropriations Act between 1934 -1987. This legislative provision ignored the merit of the initial and still standing government and Court decisions and simply stated, "The DC government no longer has the authority to consider or enforce any rules or regulations made in regards to installing meters in DC taxicabs."
The DC government in 1934 was therefore forced to adopt a uniform taxicab zone map because they had to respect the restrictive legislation from Congress even though DC had laws against the use of the "any version of the zone system to replace meters".
The Second Congressional trick occurred in 1987 when Congress removed the "Taxicab Rider" from the DC Appropriations Act yet suddenly created a very expensive, unskilled DC Taxicab Commission. Since 1987 the annual budget of the DC Taxicab Commission has cost hundreds of millions of tax dollars to operate yet has never submitted one report on the tax revenue that the DC Taxicab Commission collected from DC taxicab companies and drivers while "regulating" the DC Taxicab Industry!
The third Congressional legislative trick on this issue occurred in 1996. The DC City Council passed legislation in 1996 that was signed by Mayor Barry and ordered for DC Taxicabs to be installed with meters by 1998. ( The Washington Post 09/07/96 "New Cab Fares - but Old Problems")
Congress played their third legislative game when they simply refused to appropriate the necessary funds that would have allowed the DC Council legislation to put into effect its orders to install meters into DC taxicabs by 1998!
The last Congressional trick in concern of the "regulation" of the DC taxicab industry was Congress in 2006 passing legislation that allowed the next DC mayor by October 17, 2007 to have the authority to install meters in DC taxicabs.
Senator Carl Levin (D -Michigan) as well the members of the House and Senate DC Appropriations Committee's had opportunity to confess that Congress had irresponsibly limited the entire DC government for 75 years from even considering this issue. Rather then responsibly trying to employ themselves at openly addressing and correcting just one wrong that Congress has expressed to the DC community for more than 75 years, Sen. Levin and his colleagues, with the aid of the news media, suddenly and very quietly allowed Mayor Fenty to finally have the authority to install meters in DC taxicabs.
Mayor Fenty waited until the last date that Congress had allowed him the authority and on October 17, 2007 suddenly announced, without making referral to the initial and still standing governmental and court decisions that had denied the zone system, his decision to install meters in DC taxicabs.
DC City Council members Graham, Schwartz, Brown, Catania and Marion Barry and all other supporters of the zone system have continued to fail to express any familiarity with the corrupt origin of the zone system. Zone system supporters have insisted that the meter vs. the zone system controversy should be resolved only by the recorded preference among DC residents and taxicab residents.
How valid is any alleged "preference" of the respondents to any "study" on an issue when the respondents have a very low level of common knowledge about the basic facts of the issue?
The initial government and court decisions that denied the zone system 75 years ago haven't ever been overruled. They were merely hidden from public awareness.
DC taxicab zone system supporters ignore the popularity and great need of the DC subway and bus service. The supporters for the zone system fare structure are only good for coming up with very creative "New Findings" in their effort to keep the zone system in operation.
The quality of any effort on the part of Congress, mayors, DC city council members as well as the DC Taxicab Commission to "study" and address the DC taxicab zone system can be easily calculated by seeing just how well any further "studies" on the DC taxicab zone system refer to the initial and still standing government and Court decisions that 76 years ago denied, "any version of the zone system to replace the use of meters in DC taxicabs."