That’s the question being asked by D.C. regulators. Well, it’s not a question they’re asking, it’s what they’ve proposed (and enacted).
I say no.
Despite not being a fan of the D.C. cab cabal, I like the varied colors and funny cab names. Especially the ones that are spelled wrong. There’s even a “Swift Cab” in D.C.!
D.C. is trying to be like its political big sister, New York, and achieve branding with all cabs the same color.
According to the Examiner:
The requirement for a citywide uniform cab color was approved by the D.C. Council earlier this year as part of its taxi modernization plan. The plan also requires cabs to install credit card machines and GPS navigation systems.
The change won’t be easy for cab drivers. Waters estimated that painting a cab in the new color scheme will cost between $1,000 and $5,000, and some cab drives are already unhappy about having to change at all, let alone having to pay for the paint job.
“People tell their kids to pick the orange and black cab. That’s our brand name. That’s our marketing. And we’re going to lose it because they want to go to one color. Does one color improve service?” said Roy Spooner of the Yellow Cab Co.
Does one color improve service? Not one bit.
In fact, if you get shafted by a D.C. cabbie who refuses to play by the absurd rules they usually support being imposed, you can refuse to hail cabs from that company in the future. That’s what I did. (Now, whenever I rarely require such service, I use Uber.)
But not under this new regime. In the future, all cabs will look the same and bad actors will look no different than good ones.