App for D.C. taxis under development

WASHINGTON — Big changes are coming to the thousands of taxis that are licensed with D.C.

The D.C. Taxicab Commission approved a measure Wednesday that will require every cab driver to use an app.

Through the “Universal DC TaxiApp,” people will be able to hail a D.C. cab using their smartphones.

Passengers can pre-load credit card information into the app, pay by credit card while in the taxi, or pay with cash.

“I think it can go a long way in providing a true tool for competition,” says Royale Simms, spokesperson with the Washington D.C. Taxi Operators Association.

Traditional taxi drivers have been vocal in their opposition to popular app- based rideshare services, such as Uber and Lyft, calling them unfair competition.

Testing for the app is scheduled to begin in March.

According to the commission, an industry co-op will manage and market the app when it is complete.

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