The Washington Post

This gadget will soon be on top of all D.C. cabs


(D.C. Taxicab Commission)

Besides the mandatory credit-card readers, there’s another big change coming to D.C. taxicabs in the coming months: A new standardized dome light — one that should make it a lot easier to determine if a cab on the street is available for hire.

The taxi reform law that went into effect in October gave the D.C. Taxicab Commission one year to require “uniform cruising lights that clearly display a taxicab’s identification number, as well as identify when a taxicab is occupied, on-call, off-duty, or available to accept a fare.”

Earlier this year, the D.C. Taxicab Commission issued specifications for the new light, featuring a illuminated four-digit ID number for the vehicle next to a scrolling LED display that could read “TAXI FOR HIRE,” “TAXI ON CALL” or “TAXI OFF DUTY” depending on the cab’s status. When a cab is transporting a fare, the display would be blank.

Several manufacturers have expressed interest in producing the new light, said commission chairman Ron M. Linton, and the cost to cab owners is anticipated to “a couple of hundred dollars” per taxi.

Like with the credit-card readers, Linton said, the commission is expecting fare tweaks passed by the commission Wednesday — a 25-cent hike in the base rate, offset by a 25-cent cut to a proposed commission surcharge, plus a $1 additional-passengers fee — to mitigate the driver burden. “Our calculations are the revenues will be sufficient to cover that cost,” he said.

Mike DeBonis covers Congress and national politics for The Washington Post. He previously covered D.C. politics and government from 2007 to 2015.

The Freddie Gray case

Please provide a valid email address.

You’re all set!

Campaign 2016 Email Updates

Please provide a valid email address.

You’re all set!
Comments
Show Comments
Most Read

local

mike-debonis

Success! Check your inbox for details.

See all newsletters

Close video player
Now Playing

To keep reading, please enter your email address.

You’ll also receive from The Washington Post:
  • A free 6-week digital subscription
  • Our daily newsletter in your inbox

Please enter a valid email address

I have read and agree to the Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

Please indicate agreement.

Thank you.

Check your inbox. We’ve sent an email explaining how to set up an account and activate your free digital subscription.