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Rounds 1, 2, and now 3 go to the cabbies.

The D.C. Taxicab Commission announced this afternoon that it would consider on a case-by-case basis whether a cab driver was “unfairly denied” the opportunity to install an electronic credit card payment system by the Sept. 30 deadline.

Though the commission’s press release clearly stated that this was not an extension, it said it would “review the specific hardship circumstances provided only through DC Drivers United for Equal Rights to determine if any relief would be warranted.”

District cab drivers have already had 120 days and two deadline extensions to retrofit their cabs with electronic payment readers.

But on Wednesday, about 200 cab drivers rallied against the looming deadline, saying the whole installation process has been a total mess and though they tried, they have been unable to get readers installed through the commission-approved payment service providers because of a black log in the machines.

For those cabs who do not get this relief, the commission says they will be towed if they don’t have a reader.

“DCTC is projecting about 5,100 taxis will be equipped with MTS by October 1; which represents 80 percent of the active fleet. PSPs should have the necessary capacity to handle the approximately 1,000 installations during the first week of October. This will resolve the needs of those drivers who previously have been unable to obtain the appropriate equipment. Enforcement action is planned to proceed against vehicles without MTS on October 1,” the release reads.

Photo by Darrow Montgomery