News Release for Immediate Release
October 17, 2007
Fenty Mandates Time and Distance Meters for DC CabsToday, Mayor Adrian M. Fenty announced that he will sign a Mayoral Order requiring District of Columbia taxicabs to switch from the current zone fare system to time and distance meters. The system, created by Congress during the Great Depression, makes the District the only major city in the country with taxis that operate on a zone system instead of meters. Fenty made the decision to change systems after a thorough investigation of best practices across the country as well as input from the residents, taxi drivers and the hospitality community.
“As we work to become a world-class city, it is essential that all aspects of District government are user friendly, fair and efficient for residents and visitors alike,” said Fenty. “District residents are overwhelmingly in favor of modernizing and simplifying the fare system. By switching to time and distance meters, we meet the needs of the residents and standardize the experience for every taxi passenger.”
Time and distance meters calculate the fare based on a standard rate for distance traveled as well as time spent stopped in traffic. The current system is based on the number of zones crossed during the trip. The zones are not a standard size or based on major geographic landmarks.
The meters will allow passengers to see how the fare is calculated, while currently passengers have to rely on a vague map and visitors to the District have to rely on the taxi driver to calculate the fare. Meters also enable the District to more accurately track the number of trips, collect taxes based on the number of rides and gather information about usage patterns.
The Fenty administration will work with the District of Columbia Taxicab Commission to create a timeline and transition plan for all District taxis.