The Chicagoist will be launching later but in the meantime please enjoy our archives.

Why You Gotta Go Screw With Telemundo?

By Jocelyn Geboy in News on Feb 27, 2007 6:10PM

Despite what some people think, we've lived here long enough to know when a cabbie is starting to give us the runaround. And now we just nip it in the bud. We call out the Lower Wacker route before they start to pull some other crap. We tell them to take Ashland instead of going all the way east to Lake Shore Drive. But there's one thing we have never been really strong on — making cab drivers let us use our credit/debit card. We know it's the law; it says it right on the laminated rules and regulations thing that we can stare at the whole freakin' ride if we care to. But ever since the time we called for a cab to go to the airport and specifically asked about a credit card and then got to the airport and the guy wouldn't take it (we still wonder what he would have done if we just stayed the course and said we had no money), we really haven't been interested in screwing with the whole thing.

2007_02taxi.jpgAnd, Connie Magaña, a reporter for Telemundo Chicago, had a similar, but much worse, experience last week. Here's the alleged story: She took a cab from the NBC tower (454 N. Columbus Dr.) to the Cook County Jail (2700 S. California Ave.) to cover a story, and when she got there, she gave the cab driver a corporate Yellow Card as payment. (We didn't even know these existed!)

Much like our credit card experience, the cab driver (allegedly) was not happy with this method of payment and Magaña said, "He threw it back at me and demanded cash." Apparently she didn't have any (or wasn't standing for that crap), and then Magaña alleges the cab driver tried to grab her purse from her shoulder through the window, "knocking her against the glass divider between the driver's and passenger's seats."

After being arrested, 50-year-old Tawiah Mansfield was charged with robbery and attempted battery, right there, at Cook County Jail. How conveeeennnient. And then, he was released on his own recognizance. Magaña was treated at Saint Anthony Hospital for minor injuries. Yellow Cab President Dan DeLeo said that Mansfield was an independent contractor (not a company employee) and his contract was terminated.

We don't really get the difference between company employees and independent contractors. The employees are the ones with the yellow cabs and return them to the fleet every night? And the independent contractors pony up for their own medallions and go home with their cabs?

If you ever run into a problem with a cabbie, you can use this form to file a complaint online.

"Taxi" via Ravenwood