D.C. Taxicab Commission develops e-hailing app to compete with private cab companies

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It’s official. Life as we know it will be dominated by smart phones. Well, at least the cab industry will be.

In efforts to compete with private cab companies like Uber, Lyft, and Sidecar, the D.C. Taxicab Commission announced yesterday that they are developing an e-hailing app that will begin beta testing in March 2015. All 7,000 licensed taxis in the area will be required to use the Universal D.C. Taxiapp.

According to Commission representative Neville Waters, other cities have launched hail apps, but Washington will be the first in the country requiring all drivers to use the app. “It’s trying to respond to customer concerns and the evolving tastes out there,” he said.

Riders will be able to pay with pre-loaded credit card information, as well as with cash or cards in person.

After a recent anonymous test revealed that D.C. cabs have a 27 percent refusal to haul rate, this app would be sure to help change the not so pleasant reputation of taxis in the District.

Many cities across the country and around the world such as in Spain, India, and Thailand, have banned apps like Uber, in efforts to maintain their strong taxi systems. Launching this new hail app shows that D.C. is not backing down in the face of “Your Uber is arriving now”.

As Vox has been recently closing out her Uber app in the face of “surge pricing,” she thinks that the e-hailing app will be a game changer for D.C. transportation.

Photo: Oblivious Dude via Flickr

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