CONTACT: Abigail Zenner (DFHV) – (202) 961-4714; [email protected]
District Using $636,000 Through Federal Grant, Local Funds to Support Wheelchair-Accessible Taxis for Residents
Monies will help encourage more Transport DC wheelchair-accessible taxi drivers to serve customers in wheelchairs
(WASHINGTON, DC) – The Department of For-Hire Vehicles (DFHV) announces it will receive a $508,800 Federal Enhanced Mobility Grant, which along with $127,200 in local funds will be used to incentivize taxi drivers to serve residents who need wheelchair accessible vehicles (WAVs) in the District’s Transport DC program for persons with disabilities and older adults.
Transport DC is a premium, same day taxi service that is the District’s alternative to WMATA’s MetroAccess. Users pay $7 a trip to go to any destination in the city. WAVs have ramps so that people using wheelchairs and mobility devices can access the vehicle. Due to the global pandemic and public health emergency across our country, drivers of both sedan and wheelchair- accessible taxis are in shorter supply. This grant will be a tool used by DFHV and the taxi community to increase the number of WAVs in the District and reduce wait times for customers.
“DFHV is committed to providing a world-class accessible taxi system to DC residents with disabilities, and I am so excited that we are getting federal funds to enhance Transport DC, DFHV’s most popular program,” said DFHV Director David Do. “The grant will provide more support for drivers of wheelchair accessible vehicles who are critical to Transport DC’s success.”
The National Capital Region Transportation Planning Board selected DFHV to receive the grant in December. The agency is expected to receive the funds in the fall of 2022, and then will administer the grant in in two ways:
Financial incentives to minimize impact of “deadheading.” In transportation, deadheading represents the miles travelled and time spent en route to pick up a passenger. Through the grant, drivers will be compensated for the time it takes them to get to the passenger’s pickup location.
A WAV repair fund will be established. WAV engines and transmissions wear out more quickly than sedan taxis, and due to the pandemic, taxi companies and drivers have been unable to cover the repair costs. The fund will help pay for engine, transmission, or other repairs to the vehicles.
Eligible customers can book Transport DC rides by calling 1-844-322-7732 at least 30 minutes before pick-up time.