61.3 F
Tuesday, March 21, 2023
FairfaxFairfax officials throw lifeline to taxi company, riders

Fairfax officials throw lifeline to taxi company, riders

Must Read

Fairfax County supervisors on Jan. 24 unanimously agreed to aid the county’s sole remaining taxicab company by extending how old its vehicles can be and removing their maximum mileage cap.

The newly approved standards increase the permissible age of taxicabs from 10 years to 12 for ones that are powered only by gasoline and not wheelchair-accessible, and 15 years for hybrid, plug-in hybrid, electric and wheelchair-accessible taxis.

Because all taxis more than 7 years and older are inspected twice by the county and once by the state each year, supervisors also agreed to scrap the previous 500,000-mile limit for how far they may be driven.

“Staff’s recommendation balances the challenges of the taxicab operators, considers the practices of local jurisdictions, ensures the safety of the riding public and helps protect the environment,” said Rebecca Makely, director of the Department of Cable and Consumer Services.


Old Dominion Transportation Group Inc. (ODTG) last October asked county officials to relax the vehicle standards, because the company and its drivers had a hard time replacing cabs owing to disruptions in the market for new and used vehicles.

ODTG, which has a fleet of 109 gas-powered taxis and 21 hybrid cabs, became the county’s only taxi company last September after White Top Cab stopped operating in Fairfax County and returned its 20 taxicab certificates.

“We are committed to serve the county,” said Kyle Summers, ODTG’s chief operating officer. “We are working to get new and additional cars on the road, but with COVID, supply issues and the cost to buy cars, it’s taking longer than expected.”

The company has acquired seven new wheelchair-accessible vans and is in the process of buying some electric vehicles, he said.

As of Dec. 31 last year, 25 of ODTG’s vehicles (19 company-owned and six privately owned by drivers) no longer qualified under the previous rules.
A staff summary late last year posited that the newly approved regulations would help retain current taxi drivers and recruit new ones; reduce greenhouse-gas emissions; and encourage taxi companies to replace gas-powered vehicles with those running on alternative power sources.

Cabs serve county residents who are not able to use public transportation, staff said. Taxis in 2020 served more than 327,000 passengers and made 2,769 wheelchair-accessible trips, they said.

Taxis also ferry about 90 special-needs and disabled students to and from school and serve about 1,400 people enrolled in the Transportation Options, Programs & Services (TOPS) program, staff said.

- Advertisement -

Latest News

New School Board member receives liaison assignments

New Arlington School Board member Bethany Sutton has her assignments. School Board members on Feb. 2 are expected to approve...
- Advertisement -

More Articles Like This