August 2015
Ernest Chrappah
Chairman's Message

My objective is to transform the Commission from a legacy regulator into a brand that is highly regarded for innovation and excellent customer experiences. As such, it is imperative that the drivers and companies we regulate meet a standard level of performance that provides quality transportation services. We are developing a structure to reduce the regulatory burden, support transparent business practices and strive for continuous improvement; while ensuring accountability and accessibility in the District's transportation ecosystem. I look forward to increased engagement with industry stakeholders and the public. 

Panel on Industry: Public Hearing

The Panel on Industry held a second Public Hearing to continue the focus on the DC taxicab marketplace and to adopt a framework for rulemaking. Specifically, the Panel focused on structures under which licenses/H-tags may be expanded or limited to meet the appropriate needs of the market, including Wheelchair Accessible Vehicles, fuel efficient and clean fuel burning vehicles and other services. The priority is to develop recommendations for consideration to lift the moratorium on H-tags, and if so, under what circumstances and requirements. The goal is to assist the industry become as efficient and profitable as possible. The Panel recommendations are expected to be posted for public review and comments by August 17, 2015.

Transport DC Expansion Grants

The DC Taxicab Commission has established a $750,000 grants program to assist District residents and taxicab companies obtain new wheelchair accessible vehicles. Applications are available to drivers with a valid H-tag and taxicab companies that have met the 6% WAVs requirement. All those receiving a grant must agree to participate in the Transport DC program. A comprehensive online sensitivity training program developed in partnership with the DC Office of Disability Rights will also be a required element of this grant program.Grants up to $7,500 will be awarded to offset the purchase of a new WAV, or an annual grant of $2,500 will be awarded to offset the cost to rent a WAV. The first deadline to submit an application for a grant is August 10, 2015. In addition, MV-1 will provide an additional $5,000 grant to the first 20 drivers to purchase or lease a new MV-1 for use as a DCTC accessible taxi. So an owner/operator would be eligible for up to $12,500 ($7,500 grant from DCTC, plus $5,000 from MV-1); and with a special $25,000 DCTC Accessibility Price on the 20 vehicles, an owner/operator participating in this program can purchase a brand new MV-1 for only $12,500. More information re: grant submission is available here.

Public Safety: Passenger Pickup

The American University Department of Police and Emergency Management advises that the  drop-off and pickup of passengers to the AU School of International Service at Nebraska & New Mexico Avenues, NW, are being made illegally in the driveway to the garage in a no-parking and no-loading/unloading zone (see photo). This activity poses a serious danger to vehicles entering and exiting the garage, pedestrians on the sidewalk, and the traffic flow along Nebraska Avenue, NW. AU is working closely with the District Department of Transportation, the Metropolitan Police Department and neighborhood organizations to ensure compliance with District parking and traffic regulations at this location. So please b e advised that dropping off and picking up passengers at this location is strictly forbidden and that targeted enforcement is underway. 

The Universal DC TaxiApp

Beta testing has begun for the Universal DC TaxiApp. Live trips with real passengers and drivers are being used for data collection to be reviewed and analyzed. The results of this testing process will direct the next steps as the District's taxi industry continues to proceed with modernization efforts to better serve the public through a competitive market .

DC Taxicab Commission 
2235 Shannon Place, SE,  Washington, DC 20020