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View Full Version : CaBi is a confusing name



ColumbiaHeights
01-30-2013, 08:52 PM
I moved to DC recently. One observation I have about Capital Bikeshare is the abbreviation "CaBi." Many cities use the term cabby to refer to taxis. With DC being so transient, it seems silly that an easily confused name should be used. I even read a post on Bike Arlington that gave directions with reference to a cabi station as a landmark. I actually thought the post meant a taxi stand! In writing it's confusing enough, but it's even more confusing when speaking to someone. Is there any hope that the name will fade away? Why not just call it Bikeshare? It has the same number of syllables. More keystrokes, but you lose the capital letter in the middle of the word. Anyone agree?

KLizotte
01-30-2013, 09:35 PM
Hmm, when writing I use "CaBi" but when speaking with people I say "bikeshare" especially if they are non-bikey people. I've never heard anyone here refer to a cab/taxi as a "cabby" or "cabbi" - must be a NY thing.

jrenaut
01-30-2013, 09:37 PM
Hmm, when writing I use "CaBi" but when speaking with people I say "bikeshare" especially if they are non-bikey people. I've never heard anyone refer to a cab/taxi as a "cabby" or "cabbi" - must be NY thing.
Yeah, this.

americancyclo
01-30-2013, 10:12 PM
must be a NY thing.
Um, no.
I didn't see any indication the OP was from NY. Never heard that in SF either.

In my experience, a "cabbie" is the driver of a cab. Never heard anyone say, "catch a cabbie" or "split a cabbie"
I think that even though DC is a transient place, those that do come here often speak in a jargon and CaBi may become one of those terms.

KLizotte
01-30-2013, 10:46 PM
Um, no.
I didn't see any indication the OP was from NY. Never heard that in SF either.

In my experience, a "cabbie" is the driver of a cab. Never heard anyone say, "catch a cabbie" or "split a cabbie"
I think that even though DC is a transient place, those that do come here often speak in a jargon and CaBi may become one of those terms.

I stand corrected. I have no idea why I thought the OP referred to being from NYC. I can only blame low sugar since I was *dying* of starvation while waiting for dinner to finish cooking. It was late!

mstone
01-31-2013, 04:14 AM
Never heard anyone say, "catch a cabbie" or "split a cabbie"

That comes after "cabbie cheated him and punched him in the face"

ColumbiaHeights
01-31-2013, 04:58 AM
Type "cabbie" into Google Images and you get a bunch of photos of yellow taxis. I'm from New Jersey. In the NYC area "cabbie" tends to refer to the driver more so than the actual taxi. "Cab" is commonly used to refer to a taxi. When apartment searching in DC I spoke to a guy renting out his apartment. He mentioned something about "cabbie" as one way of getting around in DC. Over the course of the conversation he mentioned that he had a bikeshare membership. I still don't know if the "cabbie" he was referring to was bikeshare or taxis. I think he was from NC.

americancyclo
01-31-2013, 06:50 AM
He mentioned something about "cabbie" as one way of getting around in DC. ... I still don't know if the "cabbie" he was referring to was bikeshare or taxis. I think he was from NC.

My guess is that he was referring to CaBi. They are a lot easier to find in DC than an actual taxi.

P.S. Welcome to the forum!

mstone
01-31-2013, 06:57 AM
I don't think you can get away with saying "cabbie" to refer to the actual vehicle unless you're a four-year-old girl. Cf. "horsey" or "doggie".

PotomacCyclist
01-31-2013, 07:07 AM
i don't think this is a major problem. When I speak about Capital Bikeshare (which is fairly often), I always start out by calling it Capital Bikeshare. After a couple references, I will point out that CaBi is a common abbreviation. Then I start alternating between saying CaBi and bikeshare and Capital Bikeshare. I would never just tell someone to go to the CaBi station, because I know that doesn't make any sense. The same way that I don't refer to other items by abbreviations that are likely to cause confusion.

I would suggest that people say Capital Bikeshare or bikeshare station when speaking to people who probably aren't familiar with the system. But in other cases (when I know people understand the abbreviation), I mix in the CaBi abbreviation.

Tim Kelley
01-31-2013, 07:56 AM
Some background on this, Cabi is not used frequently in official outreach from the program. Check the website, you won't find it often. It's more marketing slang that popped up organically when the system launched back in 2009.


And I know some people who pronounce it "Cab-buy" like the "buy" sound in Bikeshare.