Some passengers are complaining that D.C. taxi drivers have refused to take them to the Eastern Market area. The chairman of the Taxicab Commission says that's against the rules and could cost drivers a lot of cash. News 4's Jackie Bensen shows us why it will soon be easier for passengers to identify drivers who refuse to give them rides.
The D.C. Taxicab Commission is investigating multiple complaints that drivers are refusing to take people to the Eastern Market area of Capitol Hill, but DCTC Chairman Ron Linton told News4 it's about to get easier to report drivers who refuse to take you where you want to go.
Residents of the Eastern Market area of Capitol Hill say they are fed up with taxicab drivers who don't want to take them home.
A recent comment on PoPville claimed it was easier to get a cab to Petworth than to Eastern Market.
Jessica Curry described a frustrating effort to get a taxi home from the Navy Yard area.
“He wouldn’t take me,” she said. “I said, ‘Are you kidding?’ You know this is Eighth Street SE, Barracks Row, just the next neighborhood over, and he was like, ‘Yeah, no, I don’t go to Southeast.’ Mind you, we were already in Southeast.”
“I get in, close the door, put my seatbelt on and then tell them where I’m going,” said Leah Daniels, who owns the Hills Kitchen Store near the Eastern Market Metro Station.
Daniels is doing the right thing, Linton said. He said his job is to make both drivers and riders aware of the rules.
“The passenger simply opens the rear door, enters the cab, sits down, closes the door, and then tells the driver where they want to go,” Linton said. “If we find that he violated the regulation, it’s a $500 fine.”
Linton said riders are about to see something new on top of DC taxicabs that will make it easier to report drivers who refuse a fare. By November, every taxi will have an LED ID sign on top.
"If it says ‘Taxi for Hire’ and you wave at him, he has to stop or he’s in violation,” Linton said. “It will also, right next to that, have his taxi number, four digits, a letter and three numbers. If you call the commission, you give them that number and we fine him.”
Drivers who rack up enough fines could face the loss of their hack license.