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Mr. Barry hit back at the taxicab commission by saying that Mr. Linton should “stop playing games.”

Meanwhile, the city is looking at alternative ways to pay for the installations, even it means reimbursing upfront costs, Gray spokesman Pedro Ribeiro said.

“We’re going to work it out,” he said. “There’s more than one way to do it.”

The District unveiled the $35 million deal with VeriFone to install the meters equipped with credit card readers, GPS tracking and news programming in the city’s taxicabs as part of promised reforms to make the system as rider-friendly as those in cities such as New York.

Under the contract, officials said, riders no longer will have to rely on cash and will be able to summon help with a “safety” button in the cab. Riders also will be able to view NBC News, weather and sports programming on TV screens.

The deal was part of a broad package of reforms that Mr. Gray and other council members debated for months and which touched off heated protests among taxi drivers who think their leaders are burdening them with extra costs and intruding on their private businesses.

Mr. Gray has said the city in due time will introduce a uniform color scheme to replace the patchwork of exterior designs used by cab companies that do business in the District.