The DC Taxicab Commission (DCTC) approved today publication of emergency regulations setting limited conditions for Payment Service Providers (PSPs) to apply for extensions of the deadline to install Modern Taximeter Systems (MTSs). DCTC also approved the publication of emergency and proposed rulemaking to clarify the payment process for taxicab companies and independent owners that choose to work with Digital Dispatch Services (DDSs) and approved publication of a third comment period of proposed rulemaking modifying Chapter 7, pertaining to enforcement.
Taxicab companies and independent owners must comply with the September 1, 2013 deadline to install the MTS. However, a PSP may apply by August 15, 2013 for an extension on behalf of its customers (taxicab companies and independent owners) with which it has agreements. The PSP must certify that it will complete installation of fully-functional MTS units by September 30, 2013. Vehicle owners that have not yet signed with a PSP must do so by August 15 to be eligible for an extension, otherwise their vehicles will be subject to enforcement action including impoundment beginning on September 1 if they do not have fully functional MTSs.
Only PSPs already installing MTS units can submit applications to extend the deadline for MTS installation. Vehicle owners should choose from among the approved PSPs who will file for the extension on their behalf. While the agency action does not constitute permission to nullify a contract with PSPs, owners will not be excused from compliance with the September 1 deadline if their PSPs are unable to complete installation by the deadline and are unwilling to file for an extension.
DCTC also approved publication of an emergency and proposed regulation regarding the payment process for vehicle owners that choose to work with DDSs. DDSs will be required to integrate at the hardware level, allowing drivers to indicate that a ride has been arranged through an approved DDS. The driver will then manually input the fare information provided that the DDS agrees to remit the $0.25 passenger surcharge to the CFO, provide trip data to DCTC, and allow DCTC to review its system as meeting basic consumer protection standards.
DCTC also approved republication of the proposed rules for enforcement in Chapter 7. The proposed rulemaking modifies the procedures for driver discipline, including the timeline for complaint filing and notification of intent to suspend a driver. Republishing provides for an additional 30-day comment period.
ANSWERS TO FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
1. What is the date for installation?
Installations started on June 1 2013. Contact your PSP for a scheduled installation date.
2. What makes up the credit card system?
The system consists of a smart taximeter, driver device, receipt printer and passenger console. In some cases, the printer or credit card reader are built into the passenger console or the driver device.
3. What is the cost of the credit card system?
The cost of the equipment is free in most cases provided the driver has a smart or upgraded meter with an eprom chip. Some PSPs charge a nominal monthly fee plus a credit card processing fee. Others charge a flat monthly fee. Installation costs can be about $150. There are numerous deals available to drivers depending on the PSP selected.
4. Will there be an extension to have the credit card machine installed?
No, there will be no extension. The first deadline to have the equipment installed is August 31st. The second deadline is September 30th for vehicle owners who have a signed contract with a PSP by August 15th and have been approved for a scheduled installation before September30th.
5. What will the system look like?
There are 3-5 pieces of hardware and software integrated into the taximeter.
6. How will the driver get paid from when a customer uses the credit card system?
Drivers establish an account with a PSP when they sign up for a credit card system. Drivers’ earnings are deposited into their accounts in 24 hours or the next business day.
7. Will there be any training on how the system works?
Drivers are trained on how to use the system during installation.
8. What kind of credit card processing machine or device can be put in taxis?
Credit card processing machines not integrated into the taximeter and not provided by an approved PSP are not allowed.
9. I already have a reader or swiper on my smartphone can I use it?
10. When is the deadline to get a credit card system installed?
August 31st or September 30th for vehicle owners with an approved extension letter.
11. When is the deadline to schedule an installation?
Any vehicle that doesn’t have an installation appointment by August 15th is at risk of noncompliance.
12. When is a deadline to choose my credit card system?
August 15th 2013
13. What is the credit card machine?
Allows passengers to pay for a ride using a major credit card (VISA, Mastercard, American Express, Discover, etc) or by smartphone.
14. When are they supposed to be installed?
August 31st 2013
15. Who makes them?
DCVIP, USA Motors, Hitch, Yellow, CMT, Transco, UVC, etc. For a detailed list of approved vendors see the link below:
16. Who installs them?
Almost all taximeter shops can install the credit card system. Some only install specific credit card systems. Your PSP will provide an installer when you get the credit card system. General installation locations are provided below:
17. How long is the credit card system contract?
Varies by PSP and number of vehicles. Some contracts have a term of 1 year and PSPs have longer periods.
18. Is DCTC tracking and reporting my income to the IRS?
No, that is between you, your PSP, and the IRS
19. What is the cancellation fee?
If there is any cancellation fee it will be stipulated in your contract.
20. Can DCTC mandate credit card prices?