'Smart meters' delayed until after Inauguration Day

(Photo: Associated Press)

You were supposed to be able to pay for your cab with a credit card by Inauguration Day in January, but that’s not happening now.

“I am hugely disappointed,” says Mayor Vincent Gray.

A contracting officer for the city for the “smart meters” was fired. The mayor says it was because the vetting for the contract was “not done as well as it should have been.”

“The employee that worked on the solicitation is no longer with the District and I can’t go into any specifics of an employee’s departure from District government,” says James Staton, chief procurement officer.

Some taxis started installing the devices but soon stopped.

“I’m disappointed,” says Ron Linton. “I’m very disappointed… I think we’ll bounce back.”

VeriFone initially received the $35 million contract to put “smart meters” in all D.C. cabs. The company beat out seven others. Two companies fought back with legal challenges in July, but that decision was appealed and found that the contract was improperly handled.

“I want to move forward as quickly as we possibly can to set as what we set out to do, but we clearly don’t want to revisit this process again,” says Gray.