Loose Lips

Mary Cheh Wants Task Force to Consider a D.C. Transportation Authority

With the D.C. Taxicab Commission sparring yet again with Uber, mayoral hopeful Tommy Wells and the Washington Post editorial board want to shut down the commission. But that's thinking too small, according to D.C. Council transportation committee chairwoman Mary Cheh.

"I have bigger fish to fry than just abolishing the taxi commission," Cheh tells LL.

The sturgeon in question for Cheh is whether to fold the commission and a whole lot of other transportation planning responsibilities into a District-wide transportation authority. Along with the cab commission, Cheh imagines the transportation authority could have authority over creating a special tax district around H Street to pay for the new streetcar line.

It's not clear where all this would leave the District's Department of Transportation. In an email, DDOT spokesman Reggie Sanders says that the Streetcar Financing and Governance Task Force is studying transit options, but that's streetcar-specific. Mayor Vince Gray's office didn't respond to a request for comment.

Cheh plans to introduce legislation in the new Council session to create a task force to study the transportation authority. "I am tired of waiting for the other side to come up with something," Cheh says of Gray.

Photo by Darrow Montgomery

  • drez

    Sounds like a big no confidence vote from Cheh in DDOT's planning administration (whatever they call it these days).

  • http://citypaper SLY

    Mary Cheh is a WASTE.

  • Arthur Williams

    Who can tell you what the Transportation problems are better than the one whom have been in it day in and out the bus drivers and cab driver go through this everyday. The people that set traffic rules should be out in traffic from different direction everyday. instead sitting at a desk and making decisions. The people that are in it everyday have the solution to problem try us.

  • S.E.

    Don't need another task force to tell us what we already know......the system is F@$KED UP!!!

    Do any of these idiots even drive around in this city?

  • carter

    What has happened to DC transportation systems are political meddling (Mayors,city council, chairs), folks on commissions and boards (folks not really concerned to learn the fields), that they are regulating. When the proffessionals and public are on boards and commissions there is a lot more done. I believe that on Thursday it was that DCTC Linton stated that "we have recoprosity". The question is to what? Other than driving or parking violation, none is the answer. Uber operates using 93% out of state drivers (not licensed in DC. While DC licensed driver are not allowed to even renew their license. What sense does this make? Folks who are championing anything Uber should really understand that this company has done every thing they can to skirt the laws of the District. Should be fpined aggressively.

  • carter

    Uber should be fined and penalized until they stop or are out of business in the District. Notice they didn't go to VA or MD. They know where the suckers and fools are. Where the laws are inforce they behave (Uber). NYC and San Fran made them behave and do things legally.

  • John

    The Department of Transportation has become too political and respond to the Mayor and the Council instead of working for DC Residents. Cheh was given this large committee as a reward for supporting Gray but she does not have the time or interest to do the job. Cheh is a full time professor at GW and this oversight of Transporation takes a lot of time and knowledge. So her solution to the problem such as Uber is to create a committee to study it. That will make it someone else's problem and she can do nothing.

  • gordon


  • gordon

    how many outside jobs does cheh have?

  • Pingback: ‘They’re taking people’s lives’

  • Typical DC BS

    Once again, the DC councilmembers need to be MADE to give up their "full-time" jobs once they are elected to the city council. Or, they should have their councilmembers salaries cut in half, since a six figure "part-time" job DOES NOT deserve that type of compensation.

  • bigbob

    Mary Cheh is a waste as are all the others sucking up the enormous "part time" wages. The salaries should be cut and then only dedicated people would run for the positions. As far as Cheh is concerned she is the most uninformed person in the world about DC affairs. I wish I could vote her out. She is one dumb B***. Is she blond?

  • http://urbanplacesandspaces.blogspot.com Richard Layman

    FWIW, I've made this point for a few years in various writings. E.g.


    I guess a 3.5 year take up means that the city is getting more innovative, since normally it takes 5-10 years for such consideration and adoption.

    Tempe AZ is a particularly good example of having one, even though the city is small. In our area, Alexandria, Arlington, and Rockville have transportation commissions.

    In 2007 at a Zoning Commission hearing, I made the point that while Office of Planning staff are on the dais, DDOT staff are not similarly positioned with regard to the consideration of transportation issues.

  • RealDC

    Is this the best person that ward 3 get to represent them? For real?

    Cheh is always in "left field" on everything. SMH.

  • Asuka

    Cheh is terrible, but anything that gets this many cabbies to post this many inane rants must certainly be good for the citizens of DC. Cabbies: You WILL be dragged kicking and screaming into the 21st century. No more scamming tourists, no more long routes, no more 25-year-old Crown Vics, no more denying fares, and no more squawking on your phones. Hopefully a good chuck of you will be out of business in the next three years or so - there are far, far to many cabbies for a city this small. Those of you stop fighting the tide and adopt common-sense changes will do just fine.

  • Truth in Type

    First off Cheh is actually more active than the majority of Councilmen.

    Second, she isnt a full time professor at the law school.

    Third, supporting Gray has nothing to do with her being the Committee, she was one of the few logical options considering which members were left and which committees were left.

    Lastly, we don't need the Non driving taxi cabs in this city doing shit else but learning how to ducking drive.

  • RealDC

    What has Cheh accomplished? Really?

    Don't confused busy with productive.

  • http://www.dctaxicabdoc.com DC Taxicab Doc

    Interesting comments here... Thanks for posting.

    I am currently producing a documentary about DC taxicab reform from the perspectives of individuals on the DC Taxicab Commission, independent cab owners, DC cab customers, and leadership of the new tech startups. See the teaser here: http://www.dctaxicabdoc.com

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