Code of the District of Columbia

§ 50–301.26. Modernization of taxicabs.

(a) The DFHV shall have one year from October 22, 2012, to modernize the taxicab fleet, and make vehicle and equipment improvements, including:

(1) A meter system that facilitates non-cash payment of a taxicab fare, including credit cards, debit cards, and other generally acceptable means of purchasing goods and services as defined by the DFHV, prints receipts to passengers automatically, and allows non-cash payment to be made in the rear compartment of the taxicab without handling by the taxicab operator. This system shall contain an authenticated login unique to each individual taxicab operator, and shall electronically collect trip-sheet data through the use of GPS technology. GPS data shall not be collected unless a taxicab operator is currently logged into the meter system. The meter system shall consist of an information monitor for the taxicab operator that is able to send and receive text messages, and shall allow for integration with web, tablet, or cellular phone dispatch applications that can transmit the location of potential passengers to the taxicab operator information monitor. The DFHV may elect to certify the technology that can integrate with the meter system. The system shall also include an information monitor for passengers that, at a minimum, shall provide audio-visual content, including advertising, and is capable of being muted or turned off by the passenger for the duration of the ride;

(2) 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; and

(3) Uniform color and an emblem symbolizing the flag of the District. The DFHV shall issue rules allowing all vehicles operated by taxicab companies, fleets, and associations to place an insignia or logo on the vehicle, requiring the insignia to be of a certain size and placement on the vehicle. If a taxicab is powered by an alternative fuel, it may display this information on the exterior of the vehicle with a term or symbol approved by the DFHV. Taxicabs licensed to operate in the District as of the date on which the DFHV issues rules to implement this paragraph shall be permitted to maintain their current color scheme. The uniform color and emblem shall apply only to new vehicles entering taxicab service or when owners choose to repaint their existing vehicles.

(b) The DFHV may issue rules and regulations regarding the installation or use of counterfeit or non-compliant public vehicle-for-hire equipment or technology systems. Any person who willfully installs or uses any counterfeit or imitation public vehicle-for-hire equipment or technology systems shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, shall be imprisoned no more than 180 days or fined no more than $1,000.

(c)(1) The DFHV shall create a notice to be posted in a conspicuous location in all taxicabs in clear view of passengers. The notice shall be at least 5 inches by 7 inches in size, and shall include the following:

(A) A statement that a taxicab must accept credit cards through the approved taximeter system;

(B) A statement that a taxicab shall not operate without a functioning taximeter system;

(C) A statement that failure to accept a credit card is a violation of the law and is punishable by fine; and

(D) The information required for passengers to submit an alleged violation, including a telephone number and website address to the agency responsible for handling the complaint.

(2) To obtain a copy of the notice required to be posted under this subsection, the owner or operator of a taxicab required to post the notice shall:

(A) Print the notice from the DFHV website; or

(B) Request that the notice be mailed and submit payment to the DFHV for the cost of printing and first-class postage.

(3) The DFHV shall post a notice on its website indicating that compliance with this subsection is mandatory as well as the penalties for failure to comply.

(4) A violation of this subsection shall be punishable by a civil fine or other penalty provided by regulation.

(Mar. 25, 1986, D.C. Law 6-97, § 20g; as added Oct. 22, 2012, D.C. Law 19-184, § 2(s), 59 DCR 9431; Mar. 10, 2015, D.C. Law 20-197, § 2(i), 61 DCR 12430; June 22, 2016, D.C. Law 21-124, § 401(y), 63 DCR 7076.)

Prior Codifications

2001 Ed., § 50-326.

Effect of Amendments

The 2012 amendment by D.C. Law 19-184 added this section.

The 2015 amendment by D.C. Law 20-197 added (c).

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 days) repeal of D.C. Law 19-184, § 7, see § 7007 of the Fiscal Year 2014 Budget Support Emergency Act of 2013 (D.C. Act 20-130, July 30, 2013, 60 DCR 11384, 20 DCSTAT 1827).

For temporary (90 days) repeal of D.C. Law 19-184, § 7, see § 7007 of the Fiscal Year 2014 Budget Support Congressional Review Emergency Act of 2013 (D.C. Act 20-204, October 17, 2013, 60 DCR 15341, 20 DCSTAT 2311).

Short Title

Section 7001 of D.C. Law 20-61 provided that Subtitle A of Title VII of the act may be cited as the “Subject to Appropriations Repealers Amendment Act of 2013”.

Editor's Notes

Section 7 of D.C. Law 19-184 provided that the act shall apply upon the inclusion of its fiscal effect in an approved budget and financial plan, as certified by the Chief Financial Officer to the Budget Director of the Council in a certification published by the Council in the District of Columbia Register.

Section 7007 of D.C. Law 20-61 repealed D.C. Law 19-184, § 7.

Applicability of D.C. Law 20-197: Section 7 of D.C. Law 20-197 provided, in part, that §§ 1, 2, 3, and 4 of the act shall apply as of March 10, 2015.