Contact: Neville Waters (202) 645-6020
The Chairman of the DC Taxicab Commission (DCTC), Ron M. Linton in testimony before the City Council Committee on Transportation and the Environment regarding legislation being considered about private vehicles that provide public transportation services stated today that enforcement against rogue operators would be nearly impossible.
Chairman Linton added that DCTC has introduced proposed rulemaking that should be allowed to be adopted to determine its effect prior to any legislative action. This bill is being introduced without the knowledge of the full impact that DCTC proposed regulations would have on the public vehicle for hire industry.
Chairman Linton stated that a provision in the “Transportation Network Services Innovation Act” legislation under consideration would lead to a potential flood of out of market private unregulated vehicles soliciting street hails. The bill prohibits the booking agencies from reporting who drives for them in what vehicles; thus undermining enforcement efforts because identifying illegal operators would not be possible. The private sedans are only allowed to be booked through electronic means. However with an increased number of vehicles seeking riders competitive forces will entice these private drivers to pursue street hails which are solely the province of regulated metered taxicabs.
The testimony pointed out that owners of these vehicles that come from outside of the District make no economic contribution to the city, yet put public safety at greater risk since DCTC would be prohibited from reviewing the background of these private sedan drivers. The testimony expressed concern for the risk to the public pertaining to insurance coverage. Insurance companies do not cover commercial use of private vehicles and there have been several incidents that have left victims of accidents vulnerable for medical payments and repair bills. Also included in Chairman Linton’s testimony is the fact that these private vehicles do not add to the needs for transportation services for the disabled community.
Complete text of testimony is attached