Surcharge for playoff taxi rides abruptly rescinded

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Local,DC,Alan Blinder

A surcharge to be paid by the District's taxicab riders during the Washington Nationals' home playoff games lasted just more than two hours before regulators abruptly aborted their plans.

Just after 5 p.m. on Wednesday, the D.C. Taxicab Commission announced it had approved a surcharge of $1 for each additional passenger after the first passenger during a timeframe surrounding the postseason games at Nationals Park.

"The expected crowds attending the Nats' playoff game will create a significant demand on the D.C. public vehicle-for-hire industry," said Ron Linton, the chairman of the taxicab commission, in the announcement. "The additional fare provides fair compensation to drivers."

The surcharge didn't last long: Linton's office put out another statement at 7:12 p.m.

"The D.C. Taxicab Commission has rescinded the citywide $1 additional charge for each additional passenger after the first one," the agency said.

The statement did not elaborate on why regulators backtracked, but Mayor Vincent Gray had been worried about the impact of the surcharge and "made his feelings known" to Linton.

Gray spokesman Pedro Ribeiro said the taxicab commission made the ultimate decision to rescind the surcharge and that Gray had only offered feedback to the regulators.

ablinder@washingtonexaminer.com

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