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December 20th, 2006 Night Cabbie | Night Cabbie
 

I'm in the transit lane in front of the Rose Quarter, to pick up someone from the MAX.

     
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I'm in the transit lane in front of the Rose Quarter, to pick up someone from the MAX. A cop sits about 50 feet in front of me. No passenger arrives, so I drive off, waving at the cop as I go by.

So I'm rather startled to see his lights start flashing, and I stop about halfway up the block. And the bastard gives me a ticket for using a bus lane. "But officer, the cabs are allowed to use the bus lanes after 7 and on the weekends."

He disagrees. "No, that's only the bus mall downtown."

"With all due respect," I say, "I've been doing this for years and have never heard that. I've sat and chatted with cops in this lane."

He doesn't care. "That's their business. I'm writing you a ticket for failure to obey a traffic device." Fuck. I have never had a ticket before.

Once at court, the first 20 people are all dismissed for various reasons. Naturally, I'm the first one on the docket who will actually be tried. The cop tells his version of the story. I am asked for mine.

"Well, your honor, he omitted one pertinent fact from his account, which is that I was driving a taxicab at the time." The judge frowns at the cop. But no actual law about cabs being allowed in the bus lanes can be found (turns out it's more of a "gentlemen's agreement"), so with some reluctance the judge convicts me, while discharging any penalty. Sigh. At least I didn't have to pay the $400.

 
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