Arlington County Board members are expected to hold a public hearing in May to consider allowing taxis to be in use longer than the current limit of 10 years.
The measure, to be considered at the request of the local taxi industry, would increase the maximum age of service to 12 years for gasoline-power vehicles and to 15 years for hybrid or electric vehicles. Gasoline-powered taxis that offer wheelchair-accessible service also would be permitted to remain in use for 15 years.
County staff acknowledge that the 10-year limit has put taxi operators at a disadvantage against rideshare services like Uber and Lyft, which have been allowed a maximum service life of between 14 and 16 years in Virginia.
“This increase would help to level the playing field,” said Angie de la Barrera of the county government’s Department of Environmental Services in a report to County Board members.
Although there is not necessarily any expectation that hybrid or electric vehicles will hold up better over the longer period they would be allowed in service under the proposal, giving taxi companies an extra three years (to 15 in total) for those vehicles is likely to incentivize their purchase, de la Barrera said.