WASHINGTON — Thousands of D.C. residents who have trouble getting around have something to be thankful for this Thanksgiving: After public protests, the District is reversing cuts to a discounted taxicab program for paratransit riders.
Beginning Dec. 1, the Transport DC program will again provide rides for any purpose for the first 15 days of each month. The rest of the month, the $5 cab rides will remain limited to work-related and medical trips.
After a public outcry, the Bowser administration has reversed cuts to a popular, on-demand taxicab service for people with disabilities and senior citizens.
Citing a lack of funding, the District scaled back the Transport DC program on Oct. 3 for the second time in 15 months, restricting customers to trips to only jobs and medical appointments. Even worse, the cutback came without warning, stranding people who had taken the subsidized $5 cab ride to an appointment that very morning.
But as of Dec. 1, Transport DC will return to providing trips to any destination during the first 15 days of each month. Only trips to employment or medical services will be allowed during the remainder of each month through September 2018.
When it comes to developing innovative transportation strategies and providing customers more convenient, comfortable and safe access to rides, the D.C. Department of For-Hire Vehicles regards itself as a global leader.
To that end, the department’s aggressive strategy over the past two years has aimed to be a model for forward-thinking governments adopting plans to treat transportation as a service.
“We are a disruptor of the status quo,” said DFHV Director Ernest Chrappah. “I know that sounds strange coming from someone who works for a government agency that is a regulator. Well, welcome to a new day. The Department of For-Hire Vehicles has moved on well beyond the image of the D.C. Taxi Commission. DFHV is a nimble, enabler of change, that is creating new economic opportunities.”
Administrative Law Judge, DC Department of For-Hire Vehicles
The youngest administrative law judge in Washington, D.C., Nembhard oversees hearings and mediations at the D.C. Department of For-Hire Vehicles, an agency he helped draft legislation to create as an aide to D. C. Council-member Mary Cheh. Nembhard also has a private legal practice devoted to assisting non-citizens with immigration issues.
Washington, D.C., rolled out two new services to help those who’ve served our country. One will help low-income veterans get to doctor appointments and work, and the other will help veterans trying to launch their own businesses.
Richard White, 64, served in the Army and lives on his disability income. He finds it hard to get around using public transportation
“It’s very difficult when you try to use the bus,” he said. “Some of the people, you know, folks don’t give you a seat like they used to once upon a time, and then the weather – you’re waiting for a bus and it’s cold outside and that can be very harmful to your health.”