I had a trip where I also thought may be I would be considered a mule, in that case a spy mule or some other dangerously illegal activity. Got a ping from Rosslyn. I arrive to the pick up point and there is a guy standing on the sidewalk. He does not get in, and instead hands me a laptop with a sticky note on it with just a first name like "John" and an address. He asks me if I can deliver the laptop to that address in DC. I said yes and drove across the State line. "John" was also standing on the sidewalk, ready to receive the laptop at the destination address.I have done 750+ in 14 months and that was the first time I've been utilized as a courier delivery service. The food did smell delicious, I have no idea what was in the other bag. I guess I should inspect in the future to make sure I'm not a drug mule by accident...
I hit the street at about the same time that you posted this, to-day. I ran eight trips in the taxi in just under three hours. Considering the time of year that this is, that ain't bad. There were three Uber Taxi trips, one from my company and four street hails. Sunday late afternoon and early evening is not a bad time to work the taxi. There is not much competition and people do want to get places.
One thing that you do is open the passenger application and try to head where the competition ain't. I do this for Uber Taxi all the time. Further, if I see that Tesfaye is turning left and Abdullah is making a U-turn, either I turn right or go straight. This may prove more difficult for UberX, as Uber has been onboarding legions of UberX drivers, lately, but, it might be worth trying. Uber is onboarding Uber Taxi drivers here, as well, but they are being touchy about the age of the cab.
There are large numbers of cabs due for replacement at the end of this year as part of the phase-out of older models. Still, these guys are trying to hold onto their older vehicles for as long as possible. Most of them will wait until the last minute. They are in for one nasty surprise. It now takes four to six weeks from the time that you hand in your vehicle to the shop for the equipment change to the time that you are back to work. You can not find a rental cab anywhere in the City. My cab was up for replacement at the end of this year, but I had it done in June. There will be some major boosts in customers for both cabs and UberX, as there are going to be a large number of cab drivers who will find themselves out of work for a while.
Do you have a sense of how many, or what proportion, of current DC taxicabs are pre-2007 and therefore will be really phased out this coming Dec 31st ? How many of them do you think may be granted the 3 year-extension ?I would guess that there might be a shortage in January. These drivers who must replace cars are going to try to squeeze out the money from the period between Thanksgiving and Christmas. The week between Christmas and New Year's is always the slowest. I would guess that the drivers would start looking to replace the vehicles right after Christmas. The first two weeks in January tend to be slower, but, with a lack of competition, those who are out here should do better than usual.
Funny, I wonder if this might be part of what is motivating Uber not to accept any new Uber Taxi drivers whose car is older than 2009. Anything older than 2007 must go at the end of this year. At the end of 2016, the 2008 and 2009 must go. After that, it is seven years and the service life limitations, which are extremely oppressive (thanks, Commissioners affiliated with the Hotel, Restaurant and Tourism businesses).