Panic buttons for D.C. taxis after cabbies arrested for allegedly assaulting passengers, report says

April 2, 2012

Line of taxicabs at Union Station. (Michael Williamson/THE WASHINGTON POST)

”What we're seeing is an increase in [cab drivers] physically manhandling their fares,” D.C. Taxicab Commission Chairman Ron Linton told ABC7. “Striking them. Pulling them out of their cabs. One woman was pulled out by her ankles.”

According to Linton, six of the seven victims who were punched or dragged from the vehicles in recent weeks have been women.

He added that all seven drivers involved in the attacks have been arrested.

The commission plans to install panic buttons in all D.C. cabs by December.

The panic buttons will be among other service upgrades scheduled to be implemented in D.C. cabs this year,

The plan includes a fare increase as well as required upgrades including GPS units and a cash-free meter system that will allow riders to pay with credit and debit cards.

These improvements, which some cab drivers oppose, are part of a plan to turn the city’s fleet of cabs into a “first class system.”

Watch ABC7’s coverage here.

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