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Color schemes for D.C. cabs go on display Monday

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Photo - D.C. hack inspector Kiesha Byrd talks with a taxi cab driver earlier this year. (Graeme Jennings/Examiner)
D.C. hack inspector Kiesha Byrd talks with a taxi cab driver earlier this year. (Graeme Jennings/Examiner)
Local,DC,Transportation,Liz Essley

District residents and visitors on Monday will finally get to offer opinions on what color all of D.C.'s taxis should be painted -- more than a month after city officials promised to unveil four of the options.

Four cars featuring different color schemes will be put on display at the Verizon Center on Monday. There will be at least five other options featured on the website of the DC Taxicab Commission.

The colors of the four demonstration cars will be: green and yellow; yellow and white with a green stripe; red and black with a gray stripe; and red and white with a yellow stripe, said Taxicab Commission spokesman Neville Waters.

The colors of the online designs will be: red, white and blue; black and white with a yellow stripe; black, gold and white; dark blue; and red, gold and blue, Waters said.

The D.C. Council passed a taxicab reform bill earlier this year that mandated all city cabs be the same color, among other upgrades like requiring cabs to have credit card machines and GPS navigation systems.

The public will be able to indicate its favorite color scheme in a comment box and online, though technically the public isn't picking the color scheme. That final decision rests with the Taxicab Commission, Chairman Ron Linton said.

"In the end, it will be our responsibility, but we still want the community's involvement and the feeling that they had something to say about it," Linton said.

The District had planned to put the taxi colors on display on Nov. 1 but delayed it.

"We began to be concerned about weather conditions, and getting through the bureaucracy takes time," Linton said. "We had a number of managerial or organizational things to do so that we couldn't keep the original schedule. And we thought maybe we were overdoing it. You can put things in front of people for a long time and they get tired of them."

The cars will remain at the Verizon Center until the week of Inauguration Day in January, when they will be moved to a tent at Union Station. From there, they will go to the Walter E. Washington Convention Center for the Washington Auto Show in early February.

The new paint jobs won't be cheap for cab drivers. Waters earlier estimated that painting a cab in the new color scheme will cost between $1,000 and $5,000.

lessley@washingtonexaminer.com

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