Commentary

Now that's kinda neat...

  • by , July 17, 2007

If you live in New York City for any length of time, you're going to encounter public transportation. It's pretty much the only way to get around short of just hoofing it everywhere.

And of course, there are those days that you want to avoid it altogether. (Just today, I witnessed an argument between a bus driver and a pregnant woman when the woman refused to pay double fare for her "plus one.")

So, a few days ago, I decided to take a taxi to work. (This is what you do when you wake up way late and realize it's either a taxi or you're late.)

Upon hailing a cab, I was met with this:

Not only was I given the option to pay my fare with a credit card (some taxis do this, but you must use a Discover card ... which I don't have), but I was able to view the latest news, weather, and entertainment clips on demand through a satellite system.

This is interesting. I do wonder, however, how many of these are in service.

A little more digging gave me an answer: "A pilot test of the new equipment services began earlier this spring through an initiative by the TLC to provide better communication and service to New York City taxi passengers. The TLC requires that all taxis inspected after October 1, 2007, feature mandated technologies."

I can't wait until this is fully implemented. It's actually a fairly decent service, for a beta.

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1 comment about "Now that's kinda neat...".
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  1. Josh Grotstein from SAS Investors, July 23, 2007 at 10:22 a.m.

    I also found this to be really neat (and potentially very convenient).

    However, my cabbie was very upset about it. Apparently, at least according to him, the TLA was making the cabbies "eat" the merchant processing fee of 5%. As a consequence, a $10 ride paid with a credit card would cost the cabbie $.50, which isn't trivial in the world of taxi-cab economics.

    Not sure whether this is in fact the case, but if so, it seems to me that the city, the TLA, and certainly the cabbies would be better served if the merchant processing fee could be somehow waived or at the very least reduced.

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