Regular readers of this site will know our current taxi marital status: Divorced from Old City, and convinced that almost all other taxi suitors are actively trying to kill us. And we mean it when we say, in the hushed and ominous tones that only a recent divorcee can, that it’s rough out there. So rough, in fact, that we paid little attention when Freedom Taxi made waves in the fall with the news that they, of new fleet and no bad smells yet, would be rolling out Philadelphia’s first-ever hybrid taxis. For those of you that take cabs and/or talk with cab drivers, you already know that this in and of itself is news enough; the only “green” things on the minds of most cab drivers are tips.
That was the press-friendly, feel-good line on Freedom Taxi, but now that they’re on the street, there’s even better news: Freedom Taxi is actually worth a damn as taxi companies go. If you call them, they come. Their drivers are friendly and do not seem to be parenting or working another job by bluetooth as they drive you. They know where they’re going, and if they don’t, they figure it out without damaged ego or language barrier. And then there’s the cabs: They have leg room! You can watch Kelly Ripa on the little TV in back! And if you touch another part of the screen, you can get ESPN headlines! OK, your smartphone can do all of that better, but still: We’ve felt so shat-upon by so many Philly cab companies over the years that we cannot help but be easily impressed.
Hopefully, Freedom Taxi will keep it up and not get too big for its britches like Old City or get squeezed out of the cut-throat Philly taxi game altogether like the late, great Avant Garde (sigh). Also, the cabs are painted in late-1970s Phillies colors — baby blue and maroon. Suck on that, you incompetent 333-3333 jerks.