Josh Goodman is a former staff writer for GOVERNING..E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
I arrived in New York City yesterday and, like everyone else who shows up in the Big Apple, needed a cab.
So I hop in and this conversation ensued:
"Brooklyn Bridge Marriott, 333 Adams St."
"Brooklyn Bridge?" the driver asked.
"The Marriott Hotel, 333 Adams St."
"?" he responded (not in so many words).
"It's in Brooklyn."
"I'm a new cab driver," he explained.
I sympathized with this man's plight because, even though I'm a lifelong resident of Arlington County, Virginia, I'd have to study up on the streets in my hometown to be a serviceable cab driver. And that's in the smallest county in the country.
Of course, to be a cab driver in Arlington, I'd also have to know all of Washington, D.C., which, even with a decent grid, seems like it would take a lifetime to learn.
All of this makes me wonder what role governments play in making sure cabbies can get you where you want to go. Cities regulate taxis heavily, but do they get involved in driver training?
Happy ending: I made it to my hotel.
Written and compiled by staff writers and editors, GOVERNING View is an on-the-ground, and sometimes behind-the-scenes, look at the topics we're covering in print and online. From notes on what's up in statehouses, county courthouses and city halls, to encounters with people, places and things, GOVERNING View is a window into the side of state and local government you don't always see.