WASHINGTON (WUSA) -- DC speeds up its taxi modernization process with an announcement on Thursday that cabs will be fitted with technology similar to New York cabs, which will make it easier for riders to pay and more.

Mayor Vincent Gray announced on Thursday that he was sending a proposed contract to city council which would allow VeriFone Systems, Inc. to put a Taxicab Smart Meter System in all of the District's licensed cabs by the end of the year. According to a press release from the mayor's office, the system would "allow payment of fares by credit cards, driver verification, safety-response mechanisms, GPS tracking and other advanced features."

Vincent C. Gray@mayorvincegray

.Newsystem will incl. meters, monitors, GPS tracking, safety features & credit card payment very similar to New York's.

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With the $34.9 million contract, D.C. would lease the system for 5 years from VeriFone, which will install, maintain and operate it. the cost will be funded bya trust fund supported by a 50-cent-per-ride surcharge, according to the mayor's office. The drivers will pay a small installation fee.

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