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D.C. Taxi Drivers Left In The Lurch After Gleike Pulls Out

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Some D.C. taxidrivers say they are out hundreds of dollars after a company that processed their backseat credit card transactions went under.

A day after announcing the French firm Gleike Taximeters was unable to do business because of significant financial problems, the D.C. Taxicab Commission suspended the company for good. Gleike was refusing to surrender its license to operate as a payment processor in more than 700 D.C. cabs.

"Sometimes it's not working. My ID is lost!" says taxi driver Gus Ray.

Ray's company signed a contract to have Gleike's credit card readers in its cab fleet. The ID he's talking about is a number he used to sign into Gleike's system so he could accept credit card payments from passengers. For two weeks it didn't work. And now he's stuck with Gleike's useless equipment.

"I want to say $450 I paid for the installation, and now it is gone," Ray says.

Other drivers have complained that Gleike failed to pay them fares, and the taxicab commission says the company had trouble transmitting the 25-cents-a-ride surcharge. Gleike's manager in D.C. declined to comment, saying his attorney was preparing a response to the commission's move.

As for the 700 plus drivers like Ray, they have to find another company to install credit card readers, and some are offering free installations.

Gleike is the second payment service provider (PSP) to cease operations since the start of universal credit card acceptance Oct 1. Seven approved PSPs are left, according to the D.C. Taxicab Commission's website, including some companies that have exasperated regulators with technical glitches and late payments to drivers.

Ray wondered how Gleike was ever approved to work in D.C.

"The biggest problem we have is the taxicab commission, because the commission assigned these [nine] PSPs, and they don't know Gleike had financial problems? How come?," Ray says.

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