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DCTaxicab Commission Announces Results of Anonymous Riders Program

Tuesday, September 2, 2014
Refusal to haul and credit card violators are targeted for enforcement

Contact: Neville Waters (202) 645-6020 

The DC Taxicab Commission (DCTC) Anonymous Rider Program conducted over the Labor Day Weekend yielded infractions for 20 of the 63 vehicles tested. The program ran from Thursday, August 28 through September 1 with a total of thirty one tickets written; ten for refusal to haul violations; five for non-functioning credit card readers; and the others were issued for operating an unsafe vehicle, seat belt violation and maintaining an improper manifest.

In addition, five consumer complaints were submitted. The five complaints could result in further penalties including suspension or revocation of the drivers’ license. Forty-three vehicles were found to be in full compliance.

The Anonymous Rider Program augments the standard enforcement practices of Hack Inspectors and complaints submitted by the public. The program is an on-going effort of DCTC to periodically place trained anonymous riders in taxicabs to make direct observation of driver behavior. The primary objective of this enforcement program is to target violations for refusal to haul and determine that the Modern Taximeter System (MTS) is fully operational and able to process credit card payments. Other Title 31 violations observed are cited as warranted.

The deployment of anonymous riders includes African Americans and whites, males and females, and a range of ages, as well as, an individual in a wheelchair and a person requiring the assistance of a seeing-eye dog. There were no incidences of refusal to transport either the person in the wheelchair or the person with the dog.

Passengers should be aware that vehicles without an approved MTS to properly process credit cards should not be operating and picking up riders. Drivers are also required to provide a receipt from the MTS. The use of unapproved devices for credit card payments can result in fines to drivers of $1,000. The fine for refusal to haul violations is $500.