The District of Columbia Taxicab Commission Friday published a new regulation that represents the first of many important steps toward modernizing the city’s taxicab fleet.
The phase out of older vehicles required by this new regulation begins January 1, 2013. Read the Notice of Final Rulemaking here.
The new regulation: (1) prohibits any vehicle more than five years old or with more than 300,000 miles from being put in service as a taxicab in the District; (2) establishes a five-year schedule for removal for older vehicles; (3) clarifies that “salvaged” vehicles may no longer be put in service as a taxicab in the District; and (4) effective January 1, 2018, requires any vehicle more than seven years old or with more than 400,000 miles be taken out of service as a taxicab in the District.
“These rules are a major step forward in our fleet modernization program, which will ensure that our taxicabs meet today’s standards for safety, cleanliness and overall performance,” said Ron Linton, DCTC chairman. “We listened carefully to all comments and considered the interests of riders, drivers, owners and the riding public.”
The new standards are a major step forward toward meeting Mayor Vincent C. Gray’s charge to bring the District’s taxi industry into the 21st century. The Mayor has launched a sweeping improvement program for the city’s taxi industry that will include a credit card payment system, new safety protection for drivers and passengers, a GPS tracking system, a substantial increase in wheelchair-accessible vehicles and a uniform color scheme.
The gradual five-year schedule for vehicle removal established by the Commission will minimize the negative effect on drivers and riders of removing a large number of vehicles from service. The schedule, which applies to owned, rented or leased vehicles, is as follows:
- Vehicles 15 years and older must be taken out of service as of January 1, 2013;
- Vehicles 12–14 years old must be taken out of service in 2014;
- Vehicles 10–11 years old must be taken out of service in 2015;
- Vehicles 8–9 years old must be taken out of service in 2016; and
- Vehicles 7 years old or older must be taken out of service in 2017.
Owners of older vehicles who feel that their vehicle is safe and well-maintained can apply to the Commission for a one-time exemption from this mandate, which could give the owner up to three (3) additional years in service.
The rules were first published in December, 2011, and revised and republished several times in response to comments. The final rule was adopted by the Commission on May 23, 2012 for publication this Friday, June 1 in the DC Register.