November 4, 2013

Regarding the Oct. 28 Metro article “Credit card payments hung up, cabbies say”:

Some problems can be expected with the rollout of any large system involving technology and behavioral change. The D.C. Taxicab Commission has been diligent in responding to issues with the implementation of the Modern Taximeter System in the city.

Hitch, the focus of this article, is just one of eight payment service providers (PSPs) that the commission has approved to process credit card payments, and it serves less than 20 percent of the D.C. fleet. We are well aware of some of the deficiencies with Hitch. The company was notified on Sept. 20 of our intention to suspend its authority to operate, and specific remedies were required, including a prohibition on signing up new vehicles, an accurate inventory of units installed, and the payment of money owed to drivers and the District. The company has also been issued a fine. We continue close oversight of the company to ensure compliance. Some of the issues with Hitch could be traced to drivers’ unfamiliarity with the new system and inaccurate banking information.

But the vast majority of PSPs are meeting performance standards, and both drivers and riders have generally been pleased. No drivers using the other PSPs have brought to our attention complaints regarding a failure to pay. We are serious about overcoming the challenges involved to modernize the taxicab industry, and we are proud of the steps taken thus far.

Ron M. Linton, Washington

The writer is chairman of the D.C. Taxicab Commission.

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