An article yesterday about the D.C. Taxicab Commission incorrectly identified the commissioner who made a motion to table a surcharge and zoning map change proposal. Commissioner Joseph Becker made the motion. (Published 7/23/87)

The D.C. Taxicab Commission briefly took up proposals yesterday for a 50-cent surcharge to be paid by cab riders and changes in the half-century-old zone map used to calculate fares, but the items were tabled indefinitely after commission members balked at moving toward such changes so quickly.

The surcharge proposal was presented by commission Chairman Arrington Dixon to the commission's panel on rates and rules as a way to offset a scheduled taxi insurance increase scheduled for Sept. 1. That proposal and another to increase the number of zones in the downtown area were offered for initial consideration only, with a vote on either at least 90 days away.

But panel members tabled the measures after complaining they had not been given enough information to make a decision. One of the panel's few official actions was to vote to pay members $150 for holding study and work sessions. Previously, members were paid only for official meetings.

Dixon opposed the pay proposal, saying, "We are here to serve the public and we should be willing to serve without pay." He lost on a 4-to-1 vote.

The surprise move to table the surcharge and map-revision proposals came from commission member Lucille Johnson. She said later that the commission could bring up either proposal later, but "they would be presented in a different configuration." The commission has no scheduled meetings until September.

The action was a sharp rebuke to Dixon, who had overseen the passage of the controversial 120-day moratorium on taxicab licenses as well as measures to greatly increase fines against illegal cabdrivers.

"The mayor and the city council appointed a commission of 12 members to give direction to the chairman," Johnson said. "He had the flow going the other way. Today the panel said this is not the proper way to go."

Dixon refused to comment on the power struggle between himself and commission members. But he did say the lack of action on the proposals "would harm the drivers and the public."

"All we were trying to do was bring these proposals forward for public comment," he said. "We need to share these issues and to hear back from the drivers and the public."

Ajab Abdus-Samad, president of the local taxicab union, which has 400 members, said, "The panel's action to table the proposals leaves us with no way to comment. We are in a financial crisis which is only getting worse. We may call for a {rush hour} strike to protest the lack of a rate increase or a surcharge."