Mayor rescinds plan to raise cab fares for playoffs

October 3, 2012

[8 p.m. update] Nikita Stewart reports on D.C. Wire that Mayor Vincent C. Gray quashed plans to allow taxicab drivers in the District to charge a dollar for each extra passenger after the first on the days when the Nationals have a home playoff game.

This happened shortly after the mayor got word that the D.C. Taxicab Commission had announced the surcharge in a news release.

The commission’s surcharge would have been in effect throughout the District on playoff game days from two hours before the game at Nationals Park until 4 o’clock the following morning.  
 
“The expected crowds attending the Nats’ playoff games will create a significant demand on the D.C. public vehicle-for-hire industry,” Commission Chairman Ron Linton said in the statement, now quashed, announcing the fee.


Taxicab Commission Chairman Ron Linton with D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray, left, during a July announcement about the city’s new “smart meter” system. (Office of the Mayor)

“We expect multiple riders to be using taxi services,” the statement continued. “The additional fare provides a fair compensation to drivers. It will also offer an incentive to deal with the increased congestion around the ballpark that could otherwise depress service, as well as assure service in other parts of the city.”

But then, Stewart reports: “The mayor expressed his displeasure with the decision, and the chairman agreed,” said Neville Waters, a spokesman for the taxicab commission.

For those who want to travel by taxis, the rules on drop-offs and pick-ups near the stadium will be the same for the playoffs as they were for the regular season games. Drop-offs will be allowed on both sides of Van Street SE, which is on the south side of M Street and just west of Half Street. Taxis won’t be allowed to stop on South Capitol Street.

The line for the pick-stand will form on the north side of the first block of M Street SE stretching east. Taxis can’t pick up passengers on the south side.

Limos can drop off and pick up passengers at the stadium entrance on Potomac Avenue SE between Half Street SE and South Capitol Street. They can’t cruise for passengers.

Robert Thomson is The Washington Post’s “Dr. Gridlock.” He answers travelers’ questions, listens to their complaints and shares their pain on the roads, trains and buses in the Washington region.
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Mark Berman · October 3, 2012