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DC Taxicab Commission Approves Moving Forward on Action Items

Wednesday, September 19, 2012
Proposed regulations to establish Sedan-class to be published.

The DC Taxicab Commission (DCTC) approved today republishing revised regulations affecting the Taxi Smart Meter System (TSMS) and the standardized dome light. The Commission also voted to publish proposed regulations establishing a Sedan-class of public vehicle-for-hire. These regulations are subject to a 30-day public comment period.

The Commission also adopted emergency regulations to allow for standby authority to enable the collection of the $0.50 passenger per trip surcharge and provided the Chairman with authority to grant taxi drivers additional fare charges for holiday and special events.

The revised regulations pertain to technical modifications regarding the implementation of the Taxi Smart Meter System (TSMS); and the establishment of a standardized dome light. The full text of Chapters 5, 6, 8, 11, 13 and 15 are available for review on the DCTC website.

The proposed regulations to establish the Sedan-class defines this type of service as a public vehicle-for-hire that operates exclusively through electronic dispatch (i.e., email or text messages); does not accept street hails; and does not involve any direct payment transaction between the driver and passenger. The full text of the proposed regulation is available for review on the DCTC website.

The need to provide standby authority to begin collection of the $0.50 passenger per trip surcharge is a result of the hold on the TSMS contract. Since the contract award is under protest with the Contract Appeals Board (CAB), DCTC must prepare to implement an alternative means to begin collecting the surcharge in the new fiscal year if necessary. According to the “Taxicab Improvement Act” DCTC will no longer receive appropriated funds. Rather, the Commission will be funded by the user fees generated by this surcharge, as well as from fees derived from licensing and fines.

“There is no immediate action required of DC taxi drivers,” said Chairman Ron M. Linton. “However, the Commission must be prepared to continue operations in the event a favorable decision is not reached soon regarding TSMS.”

Chairman Linton will testify before the DC Council Oversight Committee on the Environment, Public Works and Transportation on Monday, September 24 to further address these actions.

“The opportunity to update the Council on the Commission’s progress and challenges is an example of the transparent approach we support in our efforts to modernize the public vehicle-for-hire industry in the District,” stated Mr. Linton.