Oakland Tribune Outtakes

Notes from Oakland, Berkeley and in between

Oakland taxi blues

By awoodall
Tuesday, November 4th, 2008 at 10:39 am in Night Owl, Oakland nightlife, Redevelopment Agency.

OK. Raise your hand if you’ve ever tried to get a taxi at night in the rain. I am afraid to even try after yesterday. We waited about 20 minutes for a taxi in the rain during DAYLIGHT. The driver who picked us up on Lakeshore Avenue where we were stranded assured me that few want to work at night (they’re scared, he said). So I am assuming night owls in Oakland need patience and good luck — unless they’re downtown. Taxis are plentiful there, at 13th and Broadway. There were at least six when we approached at noon, looking for a cab TO Lakeshore Avenue.  The only one visible when we were ready to make the RETURN trip was a parked cab and another with an old lady in the back seat that we mistook for our own (luckily I was able to look up a taxi company online on my cell phone. Otherwise, how would anyone know what tel# to call?). We came running out of Peet’s in the pouring rain like two desperate taxi rats and the old woman kind of recoiled as we reached for the door handle. She must have thought we were going to hijack the cab. We had heard from the first driver, an Afghan man in Pashtun attire, that business is bad. Well, maybe it would get better if there were more f’in taxis. Hopefully things will improve with the round of taxi-related proposals that went before the council Oct. 21 — including the requirement that companies of 10 or more cars sumbit a plan for 24/7 coverage of the city. I won’t go on too much since it’s Election Day and I’m going to devote more space on Oakland’s taxi service for an upcoming Night Owl column. But who has ever tried to get a taxi at night esp. in West or East Oakland? 
(Speaking of East Oakland, did anyone notice that the city council met with members of the Redev Agency and AC Transit Oct. 21 in closed session to discuss turning 6 acres of land at 66th Ave and San Leandro into a supermarket? Which supermarket?)

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3 Responses to “Oakland taxi blues”

  1. Taco Trucks & Taxis « Living in the O Says:

    […] But aside from at the few taxi stands (13th at Broadway and a few BART stations), you cannot depend on getting a taxi in Oakland, which makes it really difficult to plan a night out. Angela Woodall found this out earlier this week: […]

  2. Oakland transit totally screwed, as usual « FutureOakland Says:

    […] jitneys and limousines, leaving us dependant on a taxi duopoly. With the paucity of taxi service inspiring a public outcry, city staff has reformed the taxi ordinance and will propose issuing new permits. […]

  3. Angela Woodall Says:

    oops. forgot to add the link to Friday’s Night Owl column in the Trib, which was of course about Oakland’s taxis and the reformed ordinances as mentioned on above. http://www.insidebayarea.com/ci_10978735. This week’s column will be gastronomy related — my new favorite spot — but next week we’ll get back to more O-town business.

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