Taxicab commissioner may sit down with Uber

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Local,Capital Land,DC,Liz Essley

Chairman of the D.C. Taxicab Commission Ron Linton said he may sit down to talk with Uber representatives in the next week.

The chairman had said the towncar company was "operating illegally" Wednesday and followed up that claim with a sting operation Friday that resulted in two tickets and an impounded car for an Uber driver.

Now Linton says Uber representatives have requested to meet with him.

"We sent an e-mail back saying they're free to make an appointment," Linton told The Washington Examiner.

Linton said the company is illegal because its cars charge by both time and distance, like taxis, but have higher rates than the taxi rates set by the Commission. Uber towncars charge a $7 base fee, plus $3.25 per mile or 75 cents per minute, depending on the speed of the car; customers can order a car via smartphone.

“You can’t be both a taxi and a limousine. You’v got to make up your mind what you are. And if you are both, I've got lots of problems with taxis and limousines. They’ll be all over me," Linton said.

Uber has insisted it's crossing t's and dotting i's and that it checked with D.C. officials before launching in the city in December. It waged a Twitter campaign Friday to drum up public support after the sting.

Linton said the company must either play by the rules or get the D.C. Council to change them. But he also said there wouldn't be anymore sting operations.

"We're not targeting Uber," he said.

 

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