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Taxis are easy to hail in commercial districts, less so in residential ones. If you don't see one after a few minutes, walk to a busier street; if you call, make sure to have an address—not just an intersection—and be prepared to wait, especially at night. D.C. cabs are independent operators and the various companies' cars all have a different look, some better than others! If you're traveling to or from Maryland or Virginia, your best bet is to call a Maryland or Virginia cab, which are generally more reliable. But they're not allowed to take you from point to point in the District or pick you up there if you hail them, so don't be offended if one passes you by.
After 70 years of a zone system, taxis in the District now work on time and distance meters. The base rate for the first 1/6 mi is $3. Each additional 1/6 mi and each minute stopped or traveling at less than 10 mph is 25¢. There is a $2 surcharge per piece of large luggage in the trunk and a 50¢ per bag handling charge, a $2 surcharge for radio dispatch and $1.50 for each additional person. During D.C.-declared snow emergencies, there is an additional 25% surcharge. The maximum fare for trips starting and ending in the District is $19 plus applicable surcharges. Maryland taxis charge $4 for the first 1/4 mi and $.50 for each successive 1/4 mi, plus $1 surcharge for each additional passenger. Virginia cabs charge $2.75 for the first 1/5 mi, $.40 for each thereafter, plus $1 surcharge for each additional passenger. Other surcharges are similar to those of D.C. cabs.
Barwood. (Maryland) 301/984-1900.
Red Top. (Virginia) 703/522-3333.
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