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Hundreds Of D.C. Cabs Have To Look For New Payment Systems

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Hundreds of cab drivers in D.C. will have to scramble to install new credit card equipment from other service providers.
Rebecca Sheir/WAMU
Hundreds of cab drivers in D.C. will have to scramble to install new credit card equipment from other service providers.

Hundreds of D.C. taxicabs won't be able to accept credit card payments for a while, but it's not their fault.

More than 700 cab drivers who signed contracts with the company Gleike Taximeters to process their backseat credit card transactions need to find a new payment system. Gleike is going out of business, after struggling to pay drivers their fares and pay the D.C. Taxicab Commission its 25-cent per ride surcharge. So until those drivers install a new system, known as a PSP, they will be able to accept cash only.

In the meantime, provided they have documentation to show they are making arrangements to get a new PSP by having a scheduled installation appointment, they will not be subject to any enforcement action.

Since universal credit card acceptance took effect Oct. 1, two of the nine companies the District approved to accept credit card payments in cabs have gone under, leaving more than 1,600 cabbies looking for help. U.S.A. Motors cancelled their contract with cabbies in November of last year.

"We live in the United States where capitalism works very efficiently to make a determination of winners and losers in the economic arena, and I think the marketplace competition is dictating the results," says Neville Waters, a spokesman with the D.C. Taxicab Commission.

The credit card rollout was plagued by technical glitches, but the commission says almost all cabs have working credit card readers.

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