It looks like taxi passengers will have to wait at least another month in order to be assured that credit cards will be accepted in all taxi cabs throughout the District of Columbia.
A long-term project has been under development – one that was greeted with overwhelming public support – to implement credit card readers in every single D.C. taxi cab.
The deadline for implementation was originally scheduled for August 31, but those who have demonstrated effort and have begun the process of implementation will have an additional month to come into compliance, the D.C. Taxicab Commission ruled last Wednesday.
With more than 6,000 taxi cabs in the District of Columbia, there were bound to be a couple of delays and snafus. As of now, around 1,000 taxi cabs have been equipped with modern credit card readers and another 3,000 are expected to be handled by the end of August. This would mean approximately two-thirds of cabs will meet the original deadline as set forth by the Taxicab Commission.
Any company that is affiliated with a payment service gateway or provider by the middle of August will be eligible for the one-month extension. As local payment service providers have struggled to keep up with demand, the commission saw it as the best course of action to prevent undue punishment to cab companies. Those who have enrolled and do not have credit card readers implemented by August 31st will be subject to their vehicles being impounded by the city.
One locally-based and large vendor of taxi cab payment solutions, TaxiMagic, worries that the deadline will be impossible to meet based on its high amount of demand. With only a limited number of terminals capable of being produced and installed each month, some of its current customers will be waiting far longer than the August 31st deadline and even past the additional one-month extension by its own counts.
Another deadline in December – one that requires back seat credit card points of service to be installed – also may come into question as roughly 80% of taxi cabs in the District still do not have credit card readers installed.