During a D.C. Council committee hearing yesterday, D.C. Taxicab Commission Chairman Ron Linton referenced the plan for improving the city’s 8,000 or so cabs, which other witnesses complained lacked basic modern amenities and easily enforceable standards.

Under Gray’s plan, taxicabs would have an Internet passenger display system that would allow for payments via credit card and hotel bills, and give passengers the chance to “read their meter charges, send e-mails or watch television news.” Moreover, D.C.-based cab companies and drivers would be given incentives to convert to fuel-efficient vehicles, the city would provide education for drivers to teach them about the city’s historical sites and improve their English, a unified color and marking scheme would be established, and enforcement of illegal taxicabs would be stepped up.

All of these improvements cost money, though, and Gray’s plan would impose a surcharge on each taxi trip that could raise up to $2 million a year.

[Continue reading Martin Austermuhle’s post at DCist.com.]

Martin Austermuhle blogs at DCist. The Local Blog Network is a group of bloggers from around the D.C. region who have agreed to make regular contributions to All Opinions Are Local.