D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray announced a plan Thursday to install a Taxicab Smart Meter System in all of the city's licensed cabs before the end of the year.
The system will allow riders to pay their fares with credit cards. It will also feature safety-response mechanisms, GPS tracking and other advanced features.
Under the $34.9 million contract, the District will lease the Smart Meter System for five years from VeriFone, Inc. The cost for installing and operating the system will be paid for from a trust fund supported by a 50-cent-per-ride surcharge.
The D.C. Council still needs to sign off on the deal.
This is the second major step in the District's comprehensive taxi-modernization program. The first was the adoption of a regulation to phase out all vehicles more than seven years old by 2018.
Other changes expected in the next few months include a one-color scheme and a substantial increase in the number of wheelchair-accessible vehicles.
WTTG FOX 5 & myfoxdc
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