It’s probably happened to you: You’re running late and rushing to the cab stand, only to realize that you don’t have any cash. Well, as of yesterday, things will be getting a little easier for Cambridge taxi passengers. The License Commission is now requiring taxi cabs to have the capability to process credit cards.
“As fewer people are carrying cash, we need to ensure that residents and visitors in Cambridge can conveniently pay for a taxi fare with their credit card,” said Andrea Jackson, Chair of the Cambridge License Commission, in a statement on the new regulations.
Taxi drivers are at their own discretion as to what kind of machine they use, but per regulations, the device must be able to print a receipt with comprehensive information about the ride and the charge, including start and end miles, fare, total amount charged and taxi medallion number. Drivers who wish to impose a $10 minimum must indicate so through proper signage.
This update in regulations comes at a time when taxi cab operators face increasing competition from the tech sector. Bridj, a demand responsive bussing system, launched in Cambridge last fall and offers riders cross-town routes for a few more dollars than T fare. And of course, the cab industry has taken a hit all over the country with the emergence of Uber, which users say beats out cabs in cost and convenience. Last May, Cambridge taxi drivers protested the presence of Uber in the city, saying that it was a threat to their livelihood.
“The new regulations that went into effect … will not only increase customer convenience, but also ensure that the taxi industry remains a competitive and convenient transportation option,” said Jackson.