The Examiner reports that the D.C. Taxicab Commission could approve a new rate of $2.16 per mile (instead of the current $1.50 per mile) as soon as this month, with all cabs charging the rate by the end of May. Predictably, cab drivers who lobbied for the rate increase say it’s not enough, because gas prices are going up:

“It would be a nice interim fare increase, but any fare increase we certainly need,” said Larry Frankel, chairman of the Dominion of Cab Drivers. “If gas prices go up to $5 per gallon, then the fare increase would not be appropriate whatsoever.”

But citizen groups and hotel and restaurant representatives argued this year that cabs should not be able to charge higher fares until they’ve undergone the sweeping reforms promised by Mayor Vincent Gray’s administration.

The reform bill, currently moving through the D.C. Council, would require all cabs to take credit cards, use GPS guidance and have panic buttons for passengers who feel endangered. But it could be until December before the bill is signed into law, officials said.

Photo by Wayan Vota via Flickr/Creative Commons Attribution Generic 2.0 License