Another Reason for DC Taxicab Meters

Rolling around in the back of a New York City taxi on Monday, look what I saw in the backseat: a live TV monitor beaming back at me.

nyc taxi tv

Now wouldn’t it be cool to have a TV in the backseat of a DC taxicab? A TV system that can show you location on a real-time city map, can give you a Zagat restaurant reviews when you’re hungry, and best of all, offer a direct conduit to the DC Taxicab Commission?

But this cool wiz-bang technology isn’t coming to DC if we stay with zones. There’s no impetus for psycho taxi drivers to add electronics if they can zone gouge with taxi fares based on invisible lines and crap maps.

I join Max in calling on Mayor Adrian Fenty to step in where the DC Taxicab Commission is too chicken-shit to tread. Fenty, let Senator Levin’s requirement come to pass.

Give us meters in DC cabs!

11 Comments so far

  1. RumorsDaily (unregistered) on October 17th, 2007 @ 9:35 am

    I’m with you on this, but just out of curiosity, how would adding meters make drivers more likely to add new technology?


  2. Don (unregistered) on October 17th, 2007 @ 9:40 am

    Barf. Too many damned TVs. I like tv okay but I’d rather watch when I decide to watch, not when Walmart, CNN-Airport, or the taxicab commission decide I should watch.


  3. Wayan (unregistered) on October 17th, 2007 @ 9:45 am

    Right now, taxis have no need for any electronics, so installing a TV system like this wouldn’t be logical. But with meters, there is a basis for technology in the cab. With zone meters, there would even be an underlying real-time transmission basis.

    From there, adding the services like this cab has, paid for by ads I am sure, would be a small additional hassle that would be offset by people like me thinking these cabs are great. I know I’d call for TV cabs over others if they were available here.

    Until electronics are required in cabs though, we’ll be stuck with paper maps and pissed off riders.


  4. Wayan (unregistered) on October 17th, 2007 @ 9:50 am

    But Don, how about paying for a cab ride with a credit card? Beats digging for change to make the fare.

    See that VeriFone logo on the NYC taxi? I have payment envy now!

    Purchase, NY – August 16, 2007 – MasterCard Worldwide and VeriFone Holdings (NYSE: PAY) today announced that New York City (NYC) taxis are accepting MasterCard® PayPass™. Certain NYC taxis began accepting PayPass in June and more than 5,000 NYC taxis are anticipated to accept PayPass by December 2007.


  5. Don (unregistered) on October 17th, 2007 @ 9:53 am

    I haven’t had any trouble paying for cab rides with credit cards thus far so I don’t think I need to be exposed to more boob tube now in order to continue. I similarly find the MC PayPass gadget pointless – I don’t find swiping my card – or better yet, letting the vendor do it as if they’re, you know, providing a service – to be a big challenge.


  6. Chris L (unregistered) on October 17th, 2007 @ 10:02 am

    I want meters too, but I don’t think getting them will mean we’ll automatically get TVs. NYC passed legislation requiring cabs to have the new TVs…as far as I know thats not even on the table in DC.


  7. Mike Licht (unregistered) on October 17th, 2007 @ 10:02 am

    When I got in a TV cab in NYC I immediately looked for the "off" or "vol" button – nope. No escape! The custom programming is half ads or infomercials. I felt abused.

    Let’s have meters by all means but spare us cab TV.


  8. Wayan (unregistered) on October 17th, 2007 @ 10:12 am

    Don,

    You pay for DC taxi fares with a credit card?! I know you can do that in VA, but I’ve not see it in DC.


  9. staci (unregistered) on October 17th, 2007 @ 10:21 am

    TOTALLY loved this this past weekend whilst in NY for the JETS game…we were able to get ESPN news while riding in the back of the cab…which si great if you are trying to get scores in real time…plus, NYC CABS ARE SO INEXPENSIVE…I can’t wait until it costs like $4 to go from my office to my house here!


  10. staci (unregistered) on October 17th, 2007 @ 10:22 am

    TOTALLY loved this this past weekend whilst in NY for the JETS game…we were able to get ESPN news while riding in the back of the cab…which si great if you are trying to get scores in real time…plus, NYC CABS ARE SO INEXPENSIVE…I can’t wait until it costs like $4 to go from my office to my house here!


  11. Don (unregistered) on October 17th, 2007 @ 11:07 am

    Maybe I haven’t paid a DC taxi fare with a CC – I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve paid a fare with a CC, ever. I think you’ve had the misfortune to hear my ravings about the evils of credit so this probably shouldn’t come as a surprise….



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