Mayor Marion Barry said yesterday that he may give formal and active support of the District of Columbia government to a request by taxicab drivers for higher fares.
After meeting for nearly an hour with representatives of three taxicab organizations, Barry also announced that a joint committee had been formed to find ways to improve the personal safety of cab drivers.
A taxicab fare increase of nearly 10 percent was granted by the D.C. Public Service Commission in January. Although the PSC said it would consider raising the fares a total of 20 percent, no hearings have been announced.
After some drivers complained of delays by the PSC, Barry said the city may intervene in the future hearings with a legal brief supporting the increase. Barry also said he would lobby the three PSC members to grant it.
Yesterday's meeting followed the shootings of two cab drivers in the last two weeks, one of them fatal. Barry said a committee including industry representatives, Deputy Police Chief Bernard Crooke and D.c/. transportation director Douglas N. Schneider Jr. would meet to recommend safety procedures.
Groups represented yesterday were the Alliance of Taxicab Businessmen, the Professional Cab Drivers Association and the Taxicab Industry Group.