D.C. cabbies don’t have a great reputation when it comes friendliness, courteous driving, or car maintenance. Hailing a cab sometimes means riding in a beat-up, dirty car driven by a rude person on a circuitous, fare-maximizing route. Customers have taken notice, and have flocked to upstarts Uber and Lyft as soon as they were given a chance for exit.
Drivers don’t like competition from car services with better booking options, newer cars, nicer drives, and better regulations, and they want our local politicians to know. So the cabbies did what they thought would best serve their interests: massively disrupt downtown traffic for hours as part of a “strike.”
A similar cabbie strike in London–just two weeks ago–completely backfired, and increased Uber membership in the city by 850%.
Why would cabbies expect to fare better here in the states?
They probably didn’t. D.C. cabbies and cab companies aren’t trying to win over customers at this point. Instead of improving their business model to better compete with the new ride-sharing services, they want politicians to use regulations so that you can’t choose something better than a D.C cab.