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.