The Department of For-Hire Vehicles (DFHV) is authorized to hear complaints and disputes occurring within the vehicle-for-hire industry and to foster positive intra-industry relationships. See D.C. Official Code § 50-301.07. Where there are disputes between industry stakeholders (i.e., vehicle-for-hire companies, operators, and payment service providers), DFHV has an interest in assisting these parties in coming to a positive resolution. The DFHV industry mediation program consists of an informal and voluntary, but confidential meeting between both parties (and a neutral third-party DFHV mediator), for the purpose of addressing an issue they cannot resolve themselves. Please note that DFHV mediators are there to facilitate discussion, but cannot provide any legal advice. The Mediation is essentially a negotiation facilitated by a neutral third party, in which the disputing parties work with the mediator to resolve their disputes. Examples of the types of disputes that may occur are:
1) Disagreement over an account balance when a rental operator wishes to transfer from one taxicab company to another;
2) Condition of returned MTS equipment when an owner wishes to change payment service providers; and
3) Contract issues between a taxicab company and a supplier of taxicab equipment.
These disputes often cannot be resolved without resorting to formal legal mechanisms, which are time-consuming for all parties. They are also expensive, with the result that individual operators often feel pressured to accept unfavorable outcomes. To facilitate the fair, prompt, and low-cost resolution of industry disputes, DFHV has created this mediation program within the Office of Hearings and Conflict Resolution. This program is available at no charge to resolve any type of dispute within the vehicle-for-hire industry where all affected parties agree to participate.
An agreement to seek mediation and the mediation process are attached below. For more information please review the Administrative Issuance Series/Number AI-2016-008_001.