City Desk

Cabbies Crabby Over End of Gas Surcharge

The D.C. Taxicab Commission's $1 fuel surcharge on cab rides expired Wednesday. While customers may welcome the lower fare charge, District taxi drivers aren’t pleased.

“There is no fair rationale behind that,” Yellow Cab Company driver John Mills says. “They shouldn’t be able to just stick their finger up in the air and say the surcharge is off.”

Drivers complain that gas still costs more than it did when the surcharge was put in place. On average this summer, a gallon of regular gas costs $3.66. When the commission first implemented the surcharge in March of 2011, gas was $3.45.

“I am befuddled,” says Nathan Price, president of the D.C. Area Professional Taxicab Drivers. “I don’t understand their logic. It just comes down to the fact that the people in charge are not regulated.”

The commission has extended the surcharge three times since 2011. Because the law doesn’t allow them to use the same process a fourth time, the commission would have had to recreate the regulation, Taxicab Commission Chairman Ron Linton says. Without a complaint or petition from taxi drivers, the commission just allowed it to expire.

“The commission has been very, very kind to the industry,” Moses Animashaun, a researcher and analyst at the commission, says.

The Taxicab Commission will track the price of gas over the summer. If the cost doesn’t continue to decrease, the commission will consult experts to decide what to do next, Animashuan said.

Photo by Matt Dunn

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  • Justarider

    D.C. taxi rates are already higher than in New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore, Chicago, Atlanta, Miami and many other cities. And most other cities impose limits on how old a cab can be and how many can be on the streets. I would be happy to pay more for better service and better equipment. But D.C. cabbies are getting away with murder.

  • Skipper

    And yet how many taxi drivers "forget" to not charge the extra $1?

  • Typical DC BS

    I would rather see a lot of cabs on the streets like in DC, rather than the limited supply in all the cities Justarider mentioned. Although, having air conditioning actually ON is a must-have regulation for DC!

  • TM

    In related news, area child thinks bedtime is set too early.

    There should never be a gas price surcharge. The fares should address it in periodic inflation adjustments. We should ignore just about anything and everything DC cabbies say. They are not serious participants in this discussion.

  • anon

    City residents to cab drivers: Boo. Fucking. Hoo.

  • Class

    Took a cab last night and was still billed for the $1.00 surcharge. Cabbie got no tip from me

  • Sonja

    Waaaaahhhhhhh! Need a tissue?