Taxi Speak

As with any profession, we have our own vocabulary to increase efficiency. Most of our words are developed from the history of our community. The following is a glossary of "Taxi Speak":


Time Calls
A "time call" is taxi speak for an appointment. Union Cab will dispatch a cab to your pick-up location at the time that you say you will be ready. Time Calls should be called in at least one-hour in advance in order to give us a fair shot at meeting your request. In general, we attempt to be at the pick-up location within 5 minutes of the requested time; however, this time may be delayed by special events, general demand, staffing shortages, weather conditions and road conditions. If you have an appointment, please allow enough time for normal travel and unexpected delays. Union Cab staff can help you pick an appropriate time, but it should not be considered a guarantee since the office staff doesn’t always know what conditions will be when the call is due (this is especially true if setting up the ride several hours or days in advance). Time Calls generally get dispatched prior to demand calls, but in a time of high volume other priorities may exist. Union Cab provides time calls as a courtesy and only charges standard metered rates.
Will Calls
A “will call” order is a pre-authorized demand service ride. It is generally used for account rides involving a third-party payment. The party paying for the ride authorizes payment and the order is held until the passenger calls in to activate it. Once activated, the order becomes either a demand service or time call service order.
Peak Period
Whenenver the volume of people traveling to or from the airport greatly exceeds the normal capacity of the area taxi companies, the City of Madison declares a "Peak Period" which allows the metered taxi's to provide zone service to and from the airport at a reduced fare to the passenger. Passengers always have the right to their own cab; however, most people agree to share the ride with other travelers.
No Load
The failure of a passenger to take a cab they ordered resulting in lost income for the driver and a delay in service for other passengers. It is frowned upon by the company. In Milwaukee and Chicago, this is also referred to as a 'hogan', in honor of Charles B. Hogan, the first Operations Manager of Chicago Yellow Cab.
The failure of a passenger to offer a gratuity to the driver for their excellent service.


The Air
Dane County Regional Airport.
The Ave
East and West Washington Avenue.
Bad Bus
The Badger Bus Station at Bedford and the Ave.
Winnebago St. (from the end of Williamson to E. Washington)
The Belt
Beltline Hwy.
Bone Zone
Speedway Rd which runs between two cemeteries on the west side of Madison.
Crystal Corners
The intersection of Willy and Baldwin.
East Gorham St.
Emerald City
The Wisconsin World Trade Center at Deming and John Q. Hammonds in Middleton.
Five Points
The intersection of W. Washington, S. Park St. and Vilas.
Full House Corners
The intersection of Hwys 51 and 151 (Get it?)
Glass Bank
US Bank on the Capitol Square.
The Hill
The area surrounding 1700 S. Park St.
Ho Chi Minh Trail
Basset St. Commemorates an attempt by the city council to rename the street in the early '70's
Ho Chi Corners
The intersection of Mifflin St. and Basset. Former home of the Mifflin St. Grocery cooperative and the heart of the anti Vietnam war protests. The kids who live there continue to have a party on the first Saturday of May.
Observatory Drive by the dormitories.
Otis and the Causeway
Bridge between Monona Bay and Lake Monona where Otis Redding's plane crashed.
The Reg'
Dane County Regional Airport.
Schenk's Corners
The intersection of Winnebago and Atwood Avenue. Named after the former Schenk General Store, now known as Schenk Huegel Co.
Sirloin Strip
The top of the hill on W. Badger Rd between Rusk St. and Park St.
Spaghetti Corners
The corner of Park St. and Regent St. The heart of the old Greenbush neighborhood, which was a thriving community of Italian Americans until city destroyed it in the early 60's.
Union Corners
Union St. and the Ave. Home to the Malt House (formerly Union House) tavern. Madison's oldest tavern and the last stop for Union soldiers before they left to fight the South in the Civil War.
West Side Depot
The old train depot at Washington and Regent.
Wilson Boulevard
The segment of east Wilson St. between Blair and Butler Streets.
Williamson St.


Many of Madison neighborhoods are named by the similarity of street names: Here is a sample:

The Counties
West side neighborhood where all of the streets are name after Wisconsin Counties. Its boundaries are (roughly) Segoe, Mineral Point, Whitney Way and University Avenue.
The Flowers
The Mobile Home park off of W. Badger Rd. near the Sirloin Strip.
The Gems
East side neighborhood off of Milwaukee where the streets are named after precious stones.
The Generals
Located off of N Sherman Ave, these streets bear the names of US generals and formerly a notorious intersection of "Pleasure and Hooker".
The Parks
A West side neighborhood of of Yellowstone where the streets are named after national parks.
The Poets
North side neighborhood off of Sherman and Northport.
The Presidents
Stadium area neighborhood. From North to South, the streets go in order (Monroe, Jefferson, Adams).
The Shipyards
Located next to The Parks, these streets tend to have nautical terms.
The Songbirds (or The Birds)
Located off of Packers Ave across from The Poets. It is the Oak Park Trailer Court.
The States
Off N. Sherman Ave north of the Poets, streets bear the names of the states of the US.