Four D.C. cab drivers face fines for credit card violations

December 12, 2013

Andraea Benson, a D.C. public vehicle enforcement inspector, issues a ticket to a taxi driver illegally stopped in Washington. (Photo by Jahi Chikwendiu/The Washington Post)

How many times have you tried to pay for your D.C. cab ride with a credit card and been told no dice?

Apparently more times than the D.C. Taxicab Commission was hoping when it mandated that all cabs would have to accept credit cards. The commission is now cracking down on drivers who don’t offer a cashless payment option.

Officials at the commission announced Thursday that four drivers have acknowledged they have violated the new rules that went into effect Oct. 1. These four cases are the first time drivers have been held liable for their actions since the new rules went into place. Commission officials would not say how much each driver was fined but noted that penalties range from $150 to $1,000 for each infraction.

More drivers could face sanctions. Commission officials say they are still investigating 72 other complaints regarding the payment rule.  Among the issues: drivers who did not accept cashless payments, who claimed that the card machines/readers didn’t work and who refused to take a passenger who wanted to pay by credit or debit card.

In addition to paying fines, the four drivers also are responsible for repairing their card machines if they are not working.

It can take from 30 to 60 days for a complaint to be thoroughly investigated. Drivers can accept the penalties or appeal through the  Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH).

Passengers can file complaints by completing a form online. DCTC encourages customers to contact the office with their concerns by e-mail at dctc3@dc.gov or by calling 855-484-4966.

The switch to cashless payment has been bumpy for passengers, but also for drivers who have complained that it is taking too much time to process payments. As a result, many said, they were owed thousands of dollars in payments. The commission has taken action to resolve that issue. For their part, the new rule changes have prompted several hundred drivers to affiliate with the Teamsters.

 

 

Lori Aratani writes about how people live, work and play in the D.C. region for The Post’s Transportation and Development team.
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Mark Berman · December 12, 2013