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Thought Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) vs. cabbie Abraham Habteab was over? Of course not! No one lets the man get you down, especially cab drivers who want their $8 cab fare paid back. And no one wants to be thrown under the bus by a stingy congressman.
Last week, Habteab picked up Nadler at Union Station. He took him to his hotel in Southwest D.C., but an argument erupted between the two when they reached their destination. Nadler insisted the driver keep the meter running while he ran inside to drop off his things. Habtreab said he had to restart the meter. Nadler ended up ditching the driver when he didn’t get his way.
When Habteab went to the press with his story, Nadler came back at him with documentation supposedly proving he was in the right. Nadler paraded himself as an advocate for rider rights, standing up against for all things wrong in the horrid world of D.C. transportation.
Well now Habteab and D.C. cab drivers are back and kicking. Conclusion: Don’t piss off a cabbie.
Justice for DC Taxis issued their own statement supporting Habtreab’s account of the situation:
“The regulations clearly say that a stop must be en route to the final destination. To the best of our knowledge, en route means on the way or in the same general direction. This trip was just the opposite. The Congressman asked the driver to double back.” said Nathan Price, spokesperson for the D.C. Professional Taxicab Drivers Association.
Habteab still says Nadler never told him the full itinerary of the trip until they arrived at the hotel. The second leg of the trip involved a destination in the opposite direction and Habteab insisted on restarting the meter. Nadler was so ticked off he left the cab without paying and jumping into another for his trip back to the Capitol.
Justice for DC Taxis does have a point. In the D.C. Taxi Commission’s FAQ, it states that the multiple stops is only applicable in “one direction” and the final destination must be stated at the start of the trip. Nadler and Habteab seem to disagree on what was said at Union Station.
A good suggestion for any cool-headed individual: Pay the damn fare, get a receipt and file a complaint. Then your name isn’t splashed in the news as a ride-and-ditch participant.