Photo by kenjonbro on Flickr.

All taxis in the District of Columbia will be red by 2018 if the city adopts a recommen­dation from a DC Taxicab Commission committee, Martin Austermuhle reports.

The commission had unveiled a number of more detailed designs in December to almost universal scorn. Councilmember Mary Cheh, who had written the legislation mandating a uniform color, said she had meant a single color, not some complex design.

Before the garish designs came out, many spoke in favor of the red color. After all, the Circulator is red, as are Capital Bikeshare bikes, and streetcars will be as well. Others worried that the sometimes bad experience of DC taxis might harm the brand identity of these other modes if taxis are also red.

Will Sommer writes that drivers of the “Yellow Cab” company don’t like the idea because their cabs won’t be yellow any more. The commission reportedly did not consider yellow as the universal color because of Yellow Cab. Would the company have preferred to have all taxis match its color or to have to paint its taxis something other than yellow?

Personally, I’m not sure we really needed a single color at all. It’s not really hard to distinguish taxis today, and even if they’re all red, people will have to differentiate them from solid red private cars. This feels more like regulating for the sake of regulating rather than to solve a specific problem, just like with the Uber situation.

If DC must have a single color, though, solid red is definitely better than the previous taxicab commission schemes. What do you think?

Tagged: dc, taxis

David Alpert is Founder and President of Greater Greater Washington and Executive Director of DC Sustainable Transportation (DCST). He worked as a Product Manager for Google for six years and has lived in the Boston, San Francisco, and New York metro areas in addition to Washington, DC. He lives with his wife and two children in Dupont Circle. Unless otherwise noted, opinions in his GGWash posts are his and not the official views of GGWash or DCST.