All D.C. Cabs to Start Taking Credit Cards by End of August

Cab drivers must have credit card machines by August 31

It will soon be a little easier to pay for a cab ride in the District.

The D.C. Taxicab Commission agreed Wednesday to require all cabs to accept credit and debit cards.

The new rules will go in effect May 31, although cab drivers have until Aug. 31 to comply.

One cab driver told News4's Erika Gonzalez that he's happy about the change, saying it will even the playing field

"The reason [towncar service] Uber is taking our business is because we don't have a credit card [machine]," said one driver. "Once we have the credit card, we're going to compete with them and we are going to take the business from them."

Another driver said riders tend to tip better when they're using credit cards to pay. He said he's already using a Square card reader, which allows him to accept payments on his iPhone.

The easier payment plan comes with one drawback for passengers: higher fares.

The cost of a cab ride will increase, from a base fare of $3 up to $3.25. The commission says the surcharge is a way to help drivers offset the cost of equipment.

Some D.C. cabs have had the credit card equipment for about six months already as part of a pilot program. The drivers say they feel more confident and secure since they're not carrying as much cash.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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