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Come Oct. 1, as many as 2,000 of D.C.’s taxi cab fleet may still be without an electronic payment reader. That would mean nearly a third of the city’s cabs had missed both the original Sept. 1 deadline to have a reader installed and the extended Oct. 1 deadline.

Back in August, the TaxiCab Commission said it expected to have nearly 100 percent compliance from its approximate 6,500 cabs by Oct. 1. Last month, payment service providers applied for the Oct. 1 extension on behalf of about 4,200 cabs.

But Neville Waters, the spokesman for the commission, says the delinquent cabs won’t be getting a pass this time around, and every cab found without a Modern Taximeter System (MTS) will be impounded.

While in an interview with Washingtonian yesterday, D.C. Taxicab Commission Chairman Ron Linton said there will likely be at least 2,000 cabs without meters by the deadline, Waters says the 2,000 figure represents a worst-case scenario. Waters writes that the commission hopes the number goes down as cab drivers realize the commission isn’t bluffing about the consequences.

A joint task force of the Taxicab Commission and Metropolitan Police Department impounded 30 cabs and issued 116 tickets for various infractions last Saturday evening. Two nonlicensed D.C. cab drivers were arrested.

Photo by Darrow Montgomery