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Inauguration taxi fee on the table in D.C.

Thursday - 11/8/2012, 4:10pm  ET

Mark Segraves, wtop.com

WASHINGTON - Taxi rides in the District could be more expensive on inauguration weekend.

The D.C. Taxi Cab Commission is considering a surcharge for extra passengers, similar to the added fee during the Nationals playoff games that was rescinded at the request of the Mayor.

Ron Linton, chairman of the commission, tells WTOP that taxi drivers would be allowed to charge a $1 fee for each additional passenger after the first.

"We are considering a special inaugural period extra passenger charge like we did on game days," Linton says.

Linton is looking at traffic patterns for past inaugurals to see where the demand is the highest and how many days are impacted by the inauguration.

"We want to encourage drivers to work when the traffic is going to be really bad," he says. "And we want to encourage them to service other parts of the city, not just where the large crowds are."

This would be the first time taxis in the District would be allowed to charge an added fee during an inauguration. Linton says one of the options being considered is how many days to allow the fee to remain in effect.

Huge crowds are expected in the nation's capital that weekend as the public swearing-in ceremony coincides with Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Monday, Jan. 21. President Obama will be sworn in Sunday in a private ceremony.

Linton says the commission is also issuing temporary limousine permits to out-of- state limo drivers who transport clients from states as far away as New York.

Linton says the added fee and limo permits will be discussed at the commission's next public meeting.

As for when a decision will be made, Linton says, "before inauguration day."

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(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)