More ‘dark sedans’ Coming to Town

by Prince Of Petworth January 22, 2014 at 11:00 am 24 Comments


From the DC Taxicab Commission:

“The DC Taxicab Commission (DCTC) announced that applications will be accepted for new L-Tags. Passenger demand for sedan service and the increased number of eligible drivers who recently completed driver training have driven the need for more vehicles to meet the transportation needs of the market. The proliferation of digital dispatch services to connect riders and drivers has caused DCTC to respond to this service option to ensure the supply of vehicles can meet the demands of the marketplace.

Applicants must complete and submit to DCTC the Public Vehicle For Hire Registration Form that is also known as the One Stop Form. Applicants will be required to provide their signature to attest to the truthfulness of submitted documentation. A list of all required documentation is outlined with the One Stop Form. Vehicles must be titled in the District and owners are urged to review the standards for eligible vehicles prior to making any purchases.

DCTC will review applications and notify the applicant within ten days. After receiving pre-approval from DCTC, the applicant must pass a “for hire” vehicle inspection performed by the Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) in order to have the vehicle titled, registered and issued an L-tag from DMV.

The fee for independent owners with one vehicle is $250; the fee for companies with two or more vehicles is $475. The vehicle license fee is $100 per vehicle. All applicants must be based in the District. The L-Tag Application to register and complete instructions are available here.

  • Duponter

    So what they are saying is that services like Uber have dragged them into this century? Good.

    • Anonymous

      + 1

  • Anonymous

    I recently tried UberX and have never looked back.

    • Anonymous

      If you think uberx is good, you should try Lyft. Way friendlier drivers and I’ve found it to be like 10% cheaper than uberX and they don’t do surge pricing. Now they are offering $25 in free rides for two weeks for new users too.

      • Anonymous

        I like surge pricing. Ensures that I almost never have a problem getting a ride quickly, which isn’t always the case with Lyft.

      • PhilGP

        I believe in order to use Lyft, you need a facebook account.

      • Anonymous

        I dont need my driver to be “way friendly.” I want a cheap, quick, safe, clean ride from A to B. Fist bumping is not needed, and frankly ridiculous.

        Plus, uberx is cheaper than lyft.

        • Anonymous

          Read what Anon at 11:30 said: no surge pricing and $25 in free rides for 2 weeks. How is uberx cheaper than that?
          I also find Lyft to be a social experiment. You could find out that your driver knows one of your friends or works in the same industry as you while he gives you that cheap ride from A to B. I find that Lyft drivers are more often English speaking individuals who are happy to take suggestions as to quickest routes available. I’ve had to direct uber drivers around in the backseat on mulitple occasions.
          Do people in the 20-40 yo age group really not have a facebook account?

          • Anonymous

            There are actually people who read the facebook terms and, yes, decided that those terms were objectionable enough that they choose not to have facebook accounts. I’m sure there are people who have made this decision for other reasons as well. Was that a real question — or did I miss the hints of disingenuousness?

    • I guess I should be more patient but the tbree UberX experiences I’ve had were not amazing. Friendly drivers, but I expect them to be more knowledgeable about driving on the grid part of DC than those who don’t even own cars. Each time I’ve had to direct each and every turn or wait for them to plug it in the GPS. Guess it’s worth the discount from cabs though.

      Are Lyft and Sidecar identical to UberX? The Sidecar app implies that you’re welcome to sit next to the driver which seems different than UberX.

      • jumpingjack

        I agree that UberX drivers’ knowledge of the city is not stellar, and a definite downgrade from regular Uber. But they are always friendly and willing to use GPS, which alone makes it superior to cabs. That it’s cheaper and cash-free is icing.

      • Anonymous

        I have a feeling many of the UberX drivers came to the city for the purpose of working for Uber. Since they rely on clients and GPS so much, you have to wonder if they will ever learn the city. That said, they are cheap, clean/nice (v. old and beat up taxis), and the drivers don’t drive like maniacs where you have to fear for your life. Not a great option for tourists or people new to the area due to the lack of street knowledge, but that means more availability for me :-)

      • Anonymous

        i want to like uber x, but every drive has stressed me out. the drivers really don’t even know basic landmarks and intersections. I find i have to give turn by turn instructions and then even tell the drivers which lane they need to be in to make the turn. i appreciate the friendliness, but really i just want to tune out and get home.

    • Traveler

      UberX disappointed me. Yeah, it is cheap and fast but none of the drivers seem to know the city, even major intersections on DC’s lovely grid.

      • Loganite

        I have found it is a mixed bag (and I use it a lot). But for me, I prefer to tell the driver which way to go so I sort of appreciate having control over the path they take. Cab drivers always like to think they know the best way, which seems to me to often be the longest/most expensive way. I agree, the UberX drivers are not often as aggressive, which annoys me when they miss lights they shouldn’t miss. But all in all, most seem to have just purchased cars to specifically drive for UberX and I appreciate that and don’t mind directing them a little.

        What I would love is to be able to have a list of favorite drivers that you could seek out if they happen to be available.

        My only pet peeve is when surge pricing is in effect, and there are 8+ cars wandering around nearby. Seems like you would implement surge pricing when there is demand for it. It never seems to be the case. But I am sure they have figured out the right formula by now. Even with surge pricing, it’s not much different than a cab.

  • Anonymous

    More livery vehicles (L plates), not more taxis (H plates).

  • andrew

    for the longest time, i resisted using uber and other services because it seemed like they were unfairly circumventing regulations. but i’ve grown unbelievably frustrated with the number of cabbies who either claim their CC machine is broken, wont let you use it, use their own that rounds up tips to the nearest dollar, etc. I’d say only 25% of cabs use the correct machine without giving you a hassle. UberX it is.

    • TBone

      Before 90% of you uber and lift riders got here we had a affordoble and predictable zone system collage educatied could not figuer it out. now you got your meters made cab riding unaffordoble in the black neighboorhoods now you dont take cabs. You like uber and lift because you can talk to the driver any kind of way. Racist Taxi system white needs only

  • saf

    And I bet that they still won’t come here.

  • Anonymous

    Does anyone happen to know if the snow emergency surcharge for cabs is applicable today?

    • Anonymous

      It’s not

  • WestEgg

    PoP – You need to correct the headline. As the other commenter said, this announcement pertains to L-tag vehicles (dark sedans without meters that don’t accept street hails). These are not the same as what we typically think of as “taxis”.

  • Anon

    This is definitely needed. Hailo is the only service that I don’t regularly have a problem catching a cab with. My Taxi can rarely, if ever get me one during rush hour.


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