D.C. cabs to accept credit cards by Aug. 31

Every taxi in the District of Columbia will be required to accept credit cards by the end of August, the DC Taxicab Commission announced Wednesday.

Installation of the Modern Taximeter System in all cabs is slated to begin June 1. The DCTC expects every taxi in the District to be equipped with the new payment system by Aug. 31.

A 25 cent MTS surcharge will also go into effect at that time, along with other new fees and rate changes. Taxis in D.C. will also begin collecting an additional passenger fee, which will cost $1 for cabs that carry more than one rider. Flag drop rates will also go up by a quarter from $3 to $3.25.

All other extra charges, with the exception of the Snow Emergency Fee and Telephone Dispatch Fee, have been eliminated.

This latest vote by the Taxicab Commission comes after a plan to install smart meters in every cab continued to be pushed back. Disputes between the city and two companies contracted to provide the meters for that plan ended that effort.

The next step after the introduction of the Modern Taximeter System will be the installation of Personal Information Monitors in each cab, which the DCTC says should be complete by Dec. 1. The monitors will offer riders news, current events, public service announcements and advertisements.

The uniform payment option plan is the latest in a line of major changes coming to D.C. cabs. In early May, the DCTC recommended a uniform red and gray color scheme for all taxis in the city.