New York to pull the plug on noisy and irritating Taxi TV

Ever since the backseat screen became something of a standard feature in New York's 4,000 yellow cabs, they have become a source of constant complaint.

New York taxi Authorities are to consider throwing out the Taxi TVs because they are driver both passengers and drivers to distraction

New York taxi Authorities are to consider throwing out the Taxi TVs because they are driver both passengers and drivers to distraction Image by dennis crowley / CC BY 2.0

The TVs were introduced so that customers could see how they were being charged as well as being able to watch news and featured shows to shorten the journey.

New York's taxis want a more updated way of tracking fares - and a quite background for journeys

New York's iconic yellow taxis Image by Stefano Brivio / CC BY 2.0

Instead, they have been blamed for car sickness, loud and repetitive ads and mind-numbing programme reruns. Not to mention the number of times they malfunction, driving passengers and drivers alike to distraction. The Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) say the screens could also be behind the numbers who choose Uber and other black car services ahead of the more traditional hired transport.

New York Passenger Pamela Davi, 72 said they were “right in your face.” However a British tourist, Sam MacAulay-Smith said he was able to catch the Columbus Day parade after hearing about it on Taxi TV. Drivers complain that they hear the same stories four or five times during their work shift.

Noise from Taxi TVs pushing customers towards Uber services

Noise from Taxi TVs pushing customers towards Uber services Image by Joakim Formo / CC BY 2.0

The New York Daily News reports that the commission is to consider ditching the TVs as part of a new system that would use tablets or smartphones to calculate the fare and extra payments process.

The TLC believes that passengers in the back seat could be given such a smart device with a card reader attached and so cut down on technology clutter in that area. Michael O’Loughlin, Cab Riders United director said he accepted that replacing Taxi TV would improve “passenger comfort and safety”. He added that taxi passengers should have convenience and up to date technology when paying.

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