DC's Taxi Commission Knows Exactly How Many Cabs It Needs

by Sean Riley

DC Inno

The D.C. Taxicab Commission ventured into new territory in 2014, establishing a regulatory framework for Uber and Lyft (that Uber quite likes) and paving the way for a new mobile app that could help taxis to better compete with ridesharing services. It also moved to introduce a cap on the number of cabs licensed to operate in the District.

Though not yet set in stone, since the D.C. Council gets 60-day review window that opened on Dec. 22, regulations approved by the commission on Dec. 10 would establish a limit 6,191 licenses in the District – the goal being to optimally serve demand while assuring that too many cabs aren't competing for a finite number of rides.

Here's the exact language:

The proposed rules would amend Chapter 10 to establish a quota on the number of DCTCtaxicab vehicle licenses which may be used to place vehicles into service under Title 31. Theproposed quota is based on information to be placed into the official record of the Commission’spublic proceedings from the date of the Commission’s approval of the proposed rulemaking,including a market study of the District’s taxicab industry which has determined that a quota ofsix thousand one hundred and ninety-one (6,191) vehicle licenses would optimize the taxicabindustry, resulting in an average passenger wait time of five (5) minutes. The quota proposed bythis rulemaking would be in the public interest and would not unduly and significantly harm thetaxicab industry.

The new rule would require the D.C. taxi community to downsize from a current inventory of approximately 6,300 taxi licenses, and that would be achieved by simply not renewing licenses for inactive cabs, as well as allowing attrition to reduce the total until it is "below five percent (5%) of the quota." [MORE]