App-based taxi and ridesharing apps such as Uber and Lyft, are transforming personal transport in cities around the world. While these services may be driving down car ownership rates among urban residents, do they also pose a threat to public rail systems?
When Willie Stewart Ashton moved from his native Westmoreland County in rural Virginia to Washington in the early 1950s, he found his calling.
“I wanted to be a mechanic, but I decided to forgo that and come into Washington and be a taxi driver,” said Mr. Willie, as his friends call him. “I wanted to be independent.”
Sixty-four years later, Ashton still plies the capital city’s roads. At 85, he’s one of about 250 D.C. cabbies who are at least 75 years old. They are the last of a generation of old school drivers hanging onto a profession in decline, who simply enjoy driving and conversing as much as earning some money to augment their Social Security income.
Alipay and WeChat Pay, China’s two dominant mobile payment platforms, are ratcheting up their expansion plans through separate initiatives that will allow more taxis outside the mainland to accept digital payments, especially in the US.
WASHINGTON — Despite complaints from users who are blind, in wheelchairs or living with other disabilities, the District does not plan to allow more riders to use subsidized taxis in place of more expensive and convoluted MetroAccess paratransit service.