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.