MEDIA CONTACT: Neville Waters 202.645.6020; [email protected]
The DC Taxicab Commission (DCTC) today proposed a series of rulemakings including the elimination of the $5.00 fee currently paid by eligible CAPS-DC participants for rides. The other proposed regulations pertain to a range of issues including vehicle ownership; incentives to transition to wheelchair accessible vehicles; reducing certain fees; establishing a quota for the taxicabs; and creating a Neighborhood Van Service pilot program.
The CAPS-DC Program was established in conjunction with the Washington Area Metropolitan Transit Authority (WMATA) to provide a transportation option for eligible participants that will save money for District taxpayers; offer a higher quality ride; and increase the number of wheelchair accessible vehicles in the District’s public vehicle for hire fleet. The out-of-pocket fee for participants of $5.00 was consistent with previous fares charged by WMATA. However, DCTC has determined that many riders for a variety of reasons were able to pay less. With the ultimate objective to transition all eligible riders from MetroAccess vans to taxicabs, DCTC did not want the fee to be a deterrent to participation.
The compensation to drivers and companies would not change since the District payment would remain $33 per ride. This is less than the $51 subsidy payment for MetroAccess service. The total amount of savings to District taxpayers is based on the actual number of rides taken through CAPS-DC which will be credited to the District government.
The other proposed rulemakings would direct vehicle owners to adopt the uniform color scheme upon any change in ownership or vehicle affiliation; reduce the amount of time to comply with the statutory responsibility to meet specific milestones for the number of wheelchair accessible vehicles in a company fleet from 180 days to 90 days once a plan is offered; offer an additional incentive to transition to wheelchair accessible vehicles by providing a Transferable Vehicle License; reduce certain administrative fees for operators including applications and registrations; set a quota on the number of taxis in the District fleet to maximize use; and establish a pilot program for a Neighborhood Van Service to meet the transportation needs of specific geographic areas that have been traditionally underserved.