The man responsible for getting credit card payments into D.C.'s cabs has left his post. D.C. Taxicab Commission Chairman Ron Linton has resigned.
Linton inherited a mess. Many of D.C.'s taxis were old and only took cash, and drivers were resistant to change. Appointed in 2011, he soon faced the rise of Uber, too, leading to three years of regulatory battles with the popular on-demand limo and ridesharing app. Now 85, Linton is moving on.
"Ron Linton can be very proud of his legacy in Washington, D.C.," says John Boit of the Taxicab, Limousine and Paratransit Association, which represents cab companies in D.C. He says Linton improved the shabby state of many Washington taxis.
"For years, Washington was the worst taxi market in any major city in the United States," Boit says. "Credit cards, lighted taxi signs, and soon a uniform color scheme for taxis — these are all the hallmarks of Ron Linton's tenure."
Weeks before leaving his post, Linton proposed an universal e-hail app for D.C. cabs to help them compete with Uber. The former chairman tried, but failed to convince the D.C. Council to strictly regulate Uber, which is blamed for a significant drop in taxi business here and in other cities.
Mayor Muriel Bowser replaced Linton with Eric Rogers, who will serve as interim director of the D.C. Taxicab Commission. Rogers used to be the administrator at the D.C. Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs.