Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Emergency Rule Adopted on December 21, 2012

Effective on December 21, 2012, No Taxicab shall be placed into service until  July 1, 2013.

Exemption to this new rule is that the owner of the vehicle must sign a written agreement that the vehicle shall be repainted to a uniform color scheme as may be adapted by the Taxicab Commission in the future at owner's expense.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Proposed DC Taxicab colors

Toyota Camry
Ford Transit

Ford C-Mac

All these four choices here are monstrous, we are expected to only select one of the four and we will end up having the worst taxicab color in the Nation. I feel sorry for taxicab owners for painting their taxis with these ugly, but expensive colors and have to pay for it (one estimate has up to $1500). Painting multiple color tones takes at least three days ( tape the car to paint one color tone, wait to dry, remove the cover, retape again and then paint second color tone and continue doing the same to paint the third color tone). Just imagine doing this procedure one car at a time for all 6500 cabs to be painted and if every driver not work for three days while his/her car getting painted, we will have about half a million hours of unproductive drivers.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Replacing older Taxicabs Extended for 6 months

On Wednesday, November 14, 2012, The DC Taxicabs Commission voted to extended the removal date of the older vehicles for 6 more months. Vehicles that are 1997 and older must be replaced on or before June 30, 2013.

Smart Taxi Meters Indefinitely delayed

DC Contract Appeals Board has ordered the city to cancel the Verifone contract and accept new bids, this action will definitely take months. Therefore, DC taxicab drivers should be happy that they don't have to install smart meter with GPS tracking system by Verifone.

Drivers should also be thankful to former Mayor and now DC Council-member, Marion Barry who initially stopped the contract by filing a disapproval resolution that delayed the Installation of Smart Meters by Verifone for 45 days. This delay gave more time to the Board's administrative Judge to review the complains filed by both Creative Mobile Technology and Taxi Magic who lost their bid of $35 million contract to Verifone.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Consideration to postpone removal of older vehicles

DC Taxicab Commission is considering to postpone the removal of the older taxicabs from service till June 2013, instead of January 1, 2013. This issue will be discussed and probably will be proposed by the DC Taxicab Commission's next regular meeting on November 14, 2012.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Emergency rate started 12:00 pm Today

During this emergency fare period, a flat fee of additional fifteen dollars ($15) shall be added to the metered fare.   

This emergency fare takes effect at 12 noon October 29, 2012 and automatically expires after twenty four (24) hours unless cancelled sooner. Depending upon the conditions the emergency fare may be extended for an additional fixed period. Also Taxicab drivers should inform the passengers upon entering the vehicle that the emergency fare is in effect.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Suspension of new tags partially lifted

DC Taxicab Commission announced today that only existing taxicab and limousine companies with at least 20 vehicles in their fleet will be able to register new vehicle and get new tags starting on October 15, 2012. 

Individual owners will not be able to register new vehicles, they can only replace old vehicles and transfer tags, provided they have valid registrations, tags and current inspections.

Friday, September 21, 2012

Proposed: DC Taxi Drivers are forced to install GPS

DC Taxi drivers/owners may be forced to install and pay for a GPS tracking system in their taximeter so that DC Taxicab Commission can track their trips.

The Commission assumes that every driver/owner gets 200 trips a month and with this assumption drivers/owners must pay $100 monthly. But, if drivers/owners install in their taximeter a computer chip that will allow for wireless transmission as to allow the Commission to read the meter data and authorize the commission to withdraw from drivers/owners accounts $0.50 per trip for every month. 

Drivers/owners must provide checking/saving account with initial deposit of $200 and a minimum balance of $100 or credit card account for every vehicle.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Further Delay on Smart Taxi Meters Installation by a Judge

On August 31, 2012, a DC Contract Appeals Board's administrative Judge has ordered to delay the installation of Smart Taxi meters till October, 2012. This order should immediately stop Verifone for installing more Smart meters in DC Taxicabs till this Judge resolves the complains filed by both Creative Mobile Technology and Taxi Magic who lost their bid of $35 million contract to Verifone.

Thursday, August 16, 2012

More Delays on Smart Taxi Meters Installation in DC Taxicabs

Former Mayor and now DC Council-member, Marion Barry filed a disapproval resolution on Wednesday, August 15, 2012 that would delay the Installation of  Smart Meters by Verifone for 45 days during an extended review period. 

"D.C. law allows legislators to file disapproval resolutions to object to contracts and effectively delay them for weeks. If the full council doesn't reject the contract during a 45-day review period after a Council-member files a disapproval resolution the contract moves forward".

Thursday, July 26, 2012

DC taxicabs; No More New Tags

DC Taxicab Commission announced today, July 26, 2012 that Registration of new vehicles is suspended till further notice. Drivers and companies can only replace vehicles provided they have a current registration.

Later, the DC Taxicab Commission added some language that few people may be able to register  vehicles and get new tags: Here are exceptions to the original language:
 Provided that the vehicle was purchased between July 15, 2012 and July 26, 2012, and provide Proof of vehicle inspection before July 26, 2012.

D.C. taxicab upgrades delayed, Good and Bad

Both Creative Mobile Technology and Taxi Magic who lost their bid to VeriFone are protesting the Reward of $35 million contract. They both filed a complaint to the DC Contract Appeals Board, this will delay the Verifone to start installing smart meters with GPS tracking system, credit card swipe and among other things in all DC taxicabs.

This delay which could last for weeks or even months is good for drivers as well as customers. Almost all drivers and most of the customers don't like the idea of being tracked and watched by uncle Ran or uncle Sam when they are in DC Taxicabs and minding their businesses. It is also bad for drivers, if they do not keep up with the new technology of accepting credit cards and dispatching and having clean cars with good customer services they will definitely lose their business to Uber, Car2Go, Bikeshare, Zipcar, Redtop and many more. Therefore, the sooner the drivers upgrade their services the better for them to stay in business.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Final approval to Taxicab Modernization

On Tuesday, July 10, 2012, The DC City Council gave a final approval, a bill B19-630 sponsored by Councilmember Mary Cheh, that would require before the end of this year major changes to the city's taxicabs.The new requirements would include credit card readers, GPS tracking sysem, panic buttons, uniform color scheme and uniforn Dome lights that identify when taxicabs are occupied, on-call,off duty or available for passenger pick-ups.
According to Council member Cheh, The Mayor has confirmed that the cost of installing the new equipments and recalibrating meters will not come from the taxicab drivers, the only expense to the drivers will be to purchase a uniform cruising light which has been estimated at between $150 to $200.
The DC Council has scheduled a public hearing on this new taxicab system on September 24, 2012 to follow-up on the improvement and review how this new system is working. This means the commission will have a very tied schedule to meet this dead line.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

$1 Fuel Surcharge Expiring

The DC Taxicab Commission has decided not to extend the one dollar gasoline surcharge beyond June 20. It will expire midnight Wednesday, June 20, 2012. This fuel surcharge was first imposed on march 3, 2011 when the average regular unleaded gasoline was $3.45 and now the current average regular unleaded gasoline in DC is $3.66, about 21 cents higher than when they first imposed the Surcharge.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Second Taxicab Modernization cleared at the City Council

On Tuesday, June 5, 2012, The DC City Council gave a preliminary approval, a bill B19-0630 sponsored by Councilmember Mary Cheh, that would require major changes to the city's taxicabs.The new requirements would include credit card readers, GPS navigation, panic buttons and uniforn Dome lights that identify when taxicabs are occupied, on-call,off duty or available for passenger pick-ups.

* This is not a final vote, but the majority of the council (9 to 4 ) agreed to go ahead with the bill to its final voting in the very near future.

Saturday, June 2, 2012

First Taxicab Modernization Program begins January 1, 2013

This new regulation covers four major rules:
1. Effective immediately (June 1, 2012), No Salvage vehicles be put into service as a taxicabs in the District of Columbia. Salvage vehicles already in service will continue through the 5-year schedule for removal of older vehicles from service.  

2. Effective January 1, 2013,  5-year schedule removal of older taxicabs from service:


Disposal Year**
Age Policy***
Model Year

15 years and older
1997 and older

12 - 14 years
2000 - 1998

10 - 11 years
2002 - 2001

8 - 9 years
2004 - 2003

7 years or older
2005 - below

** Vehicles must go out of service on Jan 1st of the year listed.
*** Mileage is not a factor in this removal schedule.

3. Effective January 1, 2013,  No Vehicle that is more than 5 years old or with more than 300,000 miles will be allowed to be registered as a taxicab in the District of Columbia.

4. Effective January 1, 2018, any taxicab more 7 years old or with more than 400,000 miles will have to be taken out of service.

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Taxicab Modernization, coming soon ?

The DC City Council passed yesterday the 2013 DC budget that allows to impose a 50-cent surcharge to help fund the D.C. Taxicab Commission and an ambitious modernization of the city's taxicab fleet.

Here is the proposal modernization of the city's taxicab fleet and it's summary from the Council.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Very Smart Taxicab Meter

The new DC taxicab rates will be effective from April 21, 2012 and there is no need to wait that date to calibrate for the new fare. There is such an smart meter called Pulsar 2030R that does the trick, it is small and highly sophisticated and it can be preprogrammed before the effective day, so the new rates will automatically show on the meter display at 12:01 am, April 21, 2012. 
Now as far as I know, USA Cab company already started this service of pregramming this meter to reduce the crowd and long line of drivers for calibration on April 21, 2012.   

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

New fare effective soon

   New fare will be effective on April 21, 2012. Every driver should start to calibrate their Taximeter to the new fare from April 21, 2012 till the end of May, 2012.
You can still use old rate till the end of May, but once you calibrate your meter to the new fare, then there is no more extra passenger surcharge unless you have a VAN. 

$1 Fuel surcharge per trip will still be charged to the passengers with the new rate or the old rate until it expires on June 20, 2012. 

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

updated proposed Age of Taxicab

This Proposal is not yet final,  if agreed by the DC Taxicab commissioners tomorrow then it will go back to the DC Register for 15 days public comments.

 * No Vehicle can be registered as a Taxicab that is more than 5 model years old or accumulated more than 300,000 miles and no vehicle may remain in service that is more than 7 model years older or accumulated  more than 400,00 miles.

following is the schedule of removing older taxicabs already in service. Disposal date was changed to January 1st of the listed disposal year instead of December 31st. With this change,  drivers yet again will loose ONE year of preparing and saving to replace and dispose their supposedly older taxicabs. They are already facing the lost of almost all extra surcharges, including but not limited to the extra passenger surcharge, fuel surcharge and personal service surcharge.

Disposal Year**                            Model Year
 2013                                              1997 and older
 2014                                              2000 - 1998
 2015                                              2002 - 2001
 2016                                              2004 - 2003
 2017                                              2005 - below

** Vehicles must go out of service on January 1st of the year listed

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Finally, Taxi Fare Increase is here

According to the latest information, DC Taxicab Commission Chairman Ron Linton said that district cabs are  going to start charging $2.16 per mile instead of the current $1.50 as soon as April 21, 2012 and also eliminating the $1.50 for each extra passenger surcharge and introducing $1.00 for each extra passenger surcharge up to $3.00 for Van taxicabs (maximum 3 extra passenger can be charged and the rest will ride for free). 

Monday, March 26, 2012

New Rules for shared riding at Nationals Park

 The following link is an information about shared riding at Nationals, where to drop-off Passenger/s and where to pick them up. 
If you drop-off or pick-up passengers other than the designated area you will get $100 ticket and of course, Hack Inspectors will be there to enforce this new Regulation, 

Friday, March 23, 2012

50-Cent Taxicab Surcharge proposed

Mayor Gray's 2013 budget included a  proposal of 50-cent surcharge on every cab ride, the proceeds of which—roughly $1 million a year—would go to fund the operations of the Taxicab Commission. Since last year, Gray has been promoting his commitment to overhaul the city's taxicab industry. His taxicab commissioner, Ron Linton, has already pushed a fare increase and proposed modernization of the city's taxicab fleets. Today Gray put more emphasis on a better cab industry, saying that he would like to see smart meters, credit card payment options, a uniform cab color, GPS technology, and security features for both drivers and riders.

Monday, February 27, 2012

Fuel Surcharge Extended

The Emergency Fuel Surcharge extended again through June 20, 2012. Current Fuel Surcharge expires on Monday, March 5, 2012.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Taxi Fare Increase, Really?

The DC Taxicab Commission has proposed an increase of $0.66 per mile, from $1.50/mile to $2.16/mile. But unfortunately, they want to take away all the extra surcharges including gas, luggage and extra passengers. Most of the News outlets, in particular the social media ignore the latter part, only to claim that the DC taxi drivers are getting 44% fare increase and of course that is not true when all the extras are thrown away.
Some drivers passionately argue that the Fare increase is not enough and instead of asking the commission that the extra surcharges should not be taken away and it should be applied to all taxis whether van taxi or sedan taxi. 
I have printed statistical receipts of some taxi meters for analysis and I have come to realized that the extra surcharges count for about 30% of the gross receipts. Also without these extra surcharges, the new fare increase (correction: the new fare decrease), drivers will loose about 7% to 13% of their income.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Share Riding at Nationals

On February 16, 2012, Nationals Park, joins Union Station and Verizon Center as the places in the District that allow shared riding by the an Emergency Rule  Making of the Commission.

** Share riding, Passengers who are going to different destinations pay the fare whenever a passenger gets out, the fare shall be paid, the meter shall be reset and the pattern continues until the last passenger pays the remaining fees.

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Comments Period Started

 Comments period of proposed rate change and Vintage law started on February 17, 2012 and it ends March 17, 2012.

We all have to make comments about these proposals that we utterly disagree; for example van taxis can charge $1 for each additional passenger up three additional passengers, where sedan taxis can't. What is the logic here, both type of vehicles use same gasoline, same insurance fees, same registration fees and of course same wear and tear. Another one is the fact that the large luggages are free of charge where the smaller ones will be charged $0.50 each. Also replacing taxi with vehicle that is no more than 5 years old model, with this low fares who can afford new vehicles.

Make your comments of proposals Fare increase and Age of Taxicab on the following links:

 Or Email  your comments to  Dena C. Reed, General Counsel and Secretary to the Commission 


Monday, February 13, 2012

Proposed Age of Taxicab

Effective ______________, , no vehicle that is more than five (5) model years old (or has accumulated mileage in excess of three hundred thousand miles (300,000 mi.)) may be placed into service as a taxicab in the District of Columbia, whether owned, rented, or leased.
Further, effective December 31, 2012, the following 5-year schedule of vehicle removal from service will apply to all public vehicles for hire currently in service as a taxicab in the District of Columbia, whether owned, rented, or leased.  Any subsequent vehicles to be placed into service must meet the requirements of 
subsection 609.1.
Disposal Year        Age Policy       Model Year

      2013          1997 and older

      2014           2000 - 1998
      2015           2003 - 2001
      2016           2005 - 2004
      2017           2006

** Vehicles must go out of service on Dec 31st of the year listed.

These regulators are out of touch, asking drivers to have new vehicles (no older than five model years old), I wonder how many drivers could afford buying such an expensive vehicles. Five-year Removal plan may sound good for now, but what happens when drivers begin replacing their vehicles and continue to replace them when vehicles reach only 5 years old.
There is no way to justify these kinds of investments from drivers where their average income will be reduced with the new proposed taxi fare.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

New Proposal Taxi fare

801.3 The regular metered fare rates for all trips within the District of Columbia and the Washington Metropolitan Area are as follows: (a) Three dollars ($3) upon entry (drop rate) and first one eighth (1/8) of a mile; (b) Twenty-seven cents ($0.27) for each one eighth (1/8) of a mile after the first one eighth (1/8) of a mile; and (c) The wait rate is twenty-five dollars ($25) per hour.
* Luggage fee – A fee of $.50 per piece of luggage is authorized for each piece of luggage the operator places in his trunk.  Briefcases, purses, bags of groceries, and parcels of similar size shall not be considered luggage. 
*Additional passenger fee for vans – A $1 per passenger fee may be charged for the second, third and fourth passenger (for a maximum additional passenger fee of three dollars ($3) per trip), in for vans.

With this proposal, drivers who have Vans as  taxicabs can charge $1 extra for each additional passenger up to $3. Many drivers will now be worrying about  how and when to buy Vans,  forgetting that customers in group obviously will not be taking van taxis to save these extra surcharges. This is will lead to more confusion.

Also drivers could charge $0.50 for each  small luggage if they handle and place it in the trunk, but not the large and the very large bags.
These regulations will have unintended consequence of discriminating against drivers who happen to be driving sedan taxis and Riders who happen to be riding in van taxis and more ambiguity of what luggage is large enough to not be charged $0.50.