City Desk

Report: D.C. Cabs Will Be Red With Gray Stripe

Washington's long-running debate over what uniform color scheme D.C. cabs should adopt will finally be over Wednesday when the D.C. Taxicab Commission announces the design. But NBC 4's Tom Sherwood is already reporting that the cabs will be mostly red with a gray stripe.

In February, the "One Color Panel" set up by the commission decided on red but left the possibility of changes to the design open pending full commission approval.

"I'm pretty certain that there's going to be a gray complementary color with the design," commission spokesman Neville Waters tells City Desk, but won't say whether gray would definitely be in the color scheme.

This being the D.C. cab industry, though, any change won't take effect immediately. Instead, cab drivers will get the new color scheme as they get more modern cars, meaning that the hodgepodge of cab colors could remain in some amount on the streets as late as 2018.

If it is introduced as part of the final color package, the gray stripe could assuage concerns from the surprising number of parties involved in the color fight. When red was first proposed, Mayor Vince Gray worried that it would make cabs look like fire engines, a problem the gray could alleviate. Depending on how it's implemented, the gray stripe could also win over councilmembers who were "appalled" by how ugly previous designs were.

Just about the only people who definitely won't be happy are taxi companies that already have a color scheme, like the black-and-orange Yellow Cab. In February, the company promised to fight a uniform color scheme to the end.

Red taxi photo by Shutterstock.

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