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After Journalists' Arrests At Taxicab Commission, Council Eyes Overhaul

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After two journalists were arrested at the D.C. Taxicab Commission meeting last week, the committee that oversees that board is expected to look at some changes.
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After two journalists were arrested at the D.C. Taxicab Commission meeting last week, the committee that oversees that board is expected to look at some changes.

The charges against the journalists were later dropped, but Council member Tommy Wells says the incident may still prompt some major shifts.

Wells chairs the council's Public Works and Transportation Committee, and he says the latest incident has convinced him it may be time to scrap the taxicab commission and start over.

The taxicab commission has not seemed to be able to do its job for quite awhile," says Wells.

Wells says the commission has not held meetings or been responsive to drivers. The agency has also endured a few controversies, such as a bribery scandal that led to the arrests of dozens of cab drivers and a council staffer.

"I'm going to look at other states to see how they set rates and hear complaints, and also how they plan for the number of taxi cabs," says Wells.

A spokesman for a group representing District cab drivers, however, says while says the industry needs reform, the group doesn't want the commission to be abolished. It just wants more drivers appointed to it.

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