DCTC Proposes New "X-Class" to Compete with Uber & Kill the Taxicab Industry: Any Car, Any Tag & Any License will do

by Sean Riley

The DCTC has proposed new lax regulations called X-Class which enable any licensed individual in D.C., MD. or VA. to drive any vehicle for hire in D.C. The trips can only be arranged by digital dispatch or by app like Uber and the cars must have an X-Class decal. There are apparently no vehicle age or mileage limits in the proposal. The vehicles must be for 8 passengers or less. Additionally, any business in D.C. is eligible to obtain operating authority to rent or lease vehicles to X-Class operators.  

“We are reducing the barriers to entry,” said DCTC Chairman Chrappah told WAMU during an interview at taxicab commission offices in Southeast D.C. But Xclass drivers will still face some rules, including a requirement to undergo an FBI fingerprint background check. 

Regulators believe legacy taxicab companies may be forced to consolidate operations and merge as the street hail market shrinks relative to digital demand, and focus on “niche segments such as seniors and passengers with disabilities.” Some economists argue competition is best served by reducing the regulatory burden on taxicabs instead of increasing regulations on Uber and Lyft. [MORE]

If taxicab regulations are so unnecessary then why have so many regulations for taxicab companies and drivers? 

Some of the proposed legislation is set forth below. The entire proposal is [HERE]

Any Driver's License Qualifies: 

An individual shall be eligible for an Xclass operator’s license if the individual: 

(a) Is the holder of a current and valid DCTC operator’s license (face card) to provide any other public vehicle-for-hire service (taxicab, black car, and/or limousine), or any combination thereof; OR

(b) Meets the following requirements: 

(1) Resides within the MSA; 

(2) Is at least eighteen (18) years of age; 

(3) Reads, writes, and speaks the English language; 

(4) Possesses a current and valid motor vehicle operator’s permit (driver’s license) issued by a motor vehicle licensing agency within the MSA; 

Any Car (except a taxicab) & Any Tag in D.C. area

A vehicle shall be eligible for licensing as an Xclass vehicle if it: 

(a) Is owned or leased by the applicant as the applicant’s private vehicle; or is leased or rented by the operator from any source, such as an Xclass business; 

(b) Is properly registered with a motor vehicle licensing agency within the MSA; and 

(c) Is in compliance with the annual safety inspection required by the MSA jurisdiction where it is registered. 

"Any vehicle MSA registered and inspected vehicle other than a taxicab shall be eligible for licensing may be used to provide Xclass service "

No Special Operating Authority for X-Class Business

A business shall be eligible for operating authority as an Xclass business if it: 

(a) Is the holder of a current and valid DCTC operating authority for a taxicab company or luxury class service organization; OR

(b) Meets the following requirements: 

(1) Is a District-based business, with a bona fide place of business in the District;

(2) Is registered with DCRA with all necessary endorsements; 

(3) Carries such commercial insurance as necessary in connection with its business, including the vehicle insurance required for its Xclass vehicle, and worker’s compensation insurance for its workplace. 

The entire proposal is [HERE