Taxi credit-card mandate delayed to April

January 24, 2013

Can you wait another two weeks for a guaranteed credit-card-accepting cab? (Bill O’Leary/The Washington Post)

Turns out District cabs won’t be required to accept credit cards by the end of March after all: Because the D.C. Taxicab Commission didn’t have a quorum at its meeting today, it could not vote to authorize the publication of the necessary regulations.

That means the credit-card requirement will likely be delayed by about two weeks, said Chairman Ron M. Linton — due partly to his absent colleagues, but also due to some concern that cab owners may need a little extra time to get their ducks in a row.

Linton said he is “not getting any blow-back  on the general idea of mandating credit-card acceptance. “We’re getting some blow-back in terms of pressure in meeting that [March 30] date,” he said.

A more likely date, he said, is April 15. He said he is confident that his fellow commission members will vote to publish the regulations at a special meeting set for next Wednesday. At that meeting, the commission is also expected to mandate new rules requiring that taxi roof lights link to their meters — meaning only available cabs will have their lights turned on.

In other news: If you have strong feelings about which color or design the city’s 6,500 cabs will eventually all be painted, two public meetings have been scheduled on the issue. The first is next Tuesday, Jan. 29, from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Southeast Neighborhood Library, 403 Seventh St. SE. Another is set for Wednesday, Feb. 6, from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Capitol View Library, 5001 Central Ave. SE.

Mike DeBonis covers local politics and government for The Washington Post. He also writes a blog and a political analysis column that runs on Fridays.
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Mike DeBonis · January 24, 2013