Cabbies rallied outside D.C.'s city hall Tuesday, demanding a meeting with Mayor Vincent Gray as they fight for more representation on the city's Taxicab Commission.
Two weeks after the start of universal credit card acceptance in Washington, D.C. cabs, the transition from cash-only to modern technology has been bumpy, with more than 5,600 of the District’s roughly 6,500 cabs having installed systems that accept payments from both credit cards and smartphone apps.
As a deadline approaches for D.C. taxi cabs to accept credit cards, the city's top regulator says most drivers will be in compliance. But despite threats of impounded vehicles, up to 2,000 cabs won't be ready.
By Thursday, Washington, D.C. taxi drivers are supposed to show they have scheduled the installation of a credit card payment machine in their vehicles. Many won't.
The paying public is asking why this is so complicated? The reason, in part, is a mismatched market.
As the deadline to apply for a 30-day extension looms, some Washington taxi drivers are petitioning the D.C. Taxicab Commission for more time to install credit card readers in their vehicles.
Tech companies are complaining. A D.C. Council member is urging restraint. And now the Federal Trade Commission is asking the D.C. Taxicab Commission to be careful when it comes to weighing new regulations for app-based hailing services reshaping Washington's vehicle-for-hire industry.
The D.C. Taxicab Commission is considering adopting “burdensome” regulations that would “discourage new, innovative technology companies from operating in the District,” according to a D.C. council member.
(New York, NY -- Ilya Marritz, WNYC) It's a quirky New York phenomenon -- there's the yellow cab world, which (unlike many cities around the world) can be hailed on the street most places in Manhattan and in small pockets of the outer boroughs, like Brooklyn Heights, a tony neighborhood just across the Brooklyn Bridge.
But then there's the world of livery cabs -- on call services, patronized by many New Yorkers who are too poor (or can't be bothered) to own a car. New York has the lowest car ownership rates of any large city in the country.
And livery cabs tend to be run by groups of aspiring immigrants, many of them from South or Central America.
But when it comes to catching a cab, New Yorkers living outside of Manhattan often have a tough time. This year, New York Mayor City Bloomberg proposed to allow car services, also known as liveries, to make curbside pickups. But there’s a catch – they’d have to install meters.
More on the political implications of volatile gas prices--as well as oil company subsidies--from the Wall Street Journal. The Takeaway talks about what -- if anything -- Congress can do to lower them.
Cabbies say the reason they often refuse to take passengers to New York's outer boroughs is because of their bottom line. (WNYC)
USA Today looks at suburbanization, and says most of the growth is happening on opposite ends of the suburban expanse: in older communities closest to the city and in the newer ones that are the farthest out.
The first crash test evaluations of the Chevy Volt and the Nissan Leaf earned the cars high safety ratings from the IIHS; AP video below.
Speaking of EVs: an unmodified Nissan Leaf is entering a steep hill climb race. (Inhabitat)
An audit found that Los Angeles is losing up to $15 million in revenue because the city barely captures half of the parking fines owed to it. (Los Angeles Times)
North Dakota became the 31st state to ban texting while driving. (Grand Forks Herald)
Utah lawmakers have scheduled a vote on whether to overturn the governor's veto of a bill that dedicates a portion of the state sales tax to transportation. (Daily Herald)
NYC DOT puts a digital speed detector at an intersection in Staten Island because "two out of every three cars were exceeding the speed limit," according to commissioner Janette Sadik-Khan. (Staten Island Advance)
Transparency watch: NY's MTA has a board meeting this morning at 9:30am; you can watch it here.
Despite moving forward on creating their own electric vehicles, the head of BMW says he doesn't think EVs are right for more than 10% of the population. (Fast Company)
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In case you missed it on Transportation Nation:
--The NYPD ticketed cyclists for not riding in a bike lane (link)
--BART wants rider input on new seat design (link)
--TN's Andrea Bernstein will be at the NYC Transit Museum tonight to talk about the past -- and future -- of Penn Station (link)
The sedan is out, the van is in. New York city's iconic taxi cab is about to get a makeover.
An iconic symbol of the city is facing a makeover. The city is holding an international design competition to redesign the yellow cab. The winner will have the exclusive right to make taxis for the next decade.
Governor Paterson vetoed a bill on Monday that would increase penalties for those convicted of assaulting a cab driver. Queens Assemblyman Rory Lancman, the author of the bill, said it is difficult to believe the governor rejected the Taxi Driver's Protection Act, which had near-unanimous support in both houses of the legislature.