DC Superior Court Judge Brook Hedge turned down the request by DC taxi cab drivers to denounce the implementation of the meter system yesterday. Judge Hedge ruled that Mayor Adrian Fenty has the authority to order the Districts Cabs to switch from the Zone system to the Meter System. The dispute has been going on for the last few months after Mayor Fenty held a news conference this past January announcing that there would be lower fares for the new time and distance taxi meters he has mandated. All D.C. taxicabs are to switch from the zone system to the meter system this upcoming month. The Mayor also established that there would also be no more rush hour surcharge, and no more additional passenger fee. The new system is for the betterment of the everyday commuters of the city.
“I don’t agree with new system, I’ve been driving my car for more that 15 years in this city, the zone system has worked for me all this time,” Paul Henry Johnson Sr. 57.
Many city cab drivers have been protesting the ideas of the mandated transformation by going on numerous strikes over the last few months.
Cheryle McPherson, 28, of Georgetown said, “I moved here from New York and when I first got here I was overwhelmed how more expensive cabs were here! I am ecstatic of the change. I believe it will be more convenient for the average commuter.” As of June 1st drivers who have not changed their vehicles to meters will be faced with $1000 fines, according to the Mayor Fenty’s announcement on Tuesday.
“It is very disappointing that we don’t have a say in any decisions related to how we work. It is unjustifiable! I believe there should be a middle ground on the decision. Fenty should make a decision that works for the drivers as well as the commuters. To just favor the commuters is wrong, without us, who’ll drive,” One of the cab drivers who didn’t want to reveal his name told Black College View at the hearing yesterday.
Many cab drivers are in fear that the new system will cause them to lose a lot of money, but Fenty’s new system is supposed to help the commuters. The attempt for drivers to challenge the Mayor’s authority was unsuccessful. As of May 1st all DC cabs are required update to the meter system