NYC cabbies not sold on touch-screens

Touch-screen monitors in taxi cabs allow passengers to pay by credit card, find ads and reviews for neighbourhood bars and restaurants, view news stories and check an electronic map of their cab's progress. Still, not all taxi owners are convinced. The monitors are now in 200 city cabs as an experiment, but a plan to put them in all 13,000 cabs has angered many drivers. They see the technology as an expensive imposition that would cost them money and allow taxi owners and officials to check up on them.

The Taxi and Limousine Commission is scheduled Thursday to consider an October 1 deadline for all of the city's cabs to start installing the systems. "This project is nothing short of revolutionary and evolutionary for the taxi industry," said Taxi and Limousine Commissioner Matthew W. Daus. Officials say the credit-card option could translate to bigger tips and more fares from riders short on cash. The global positioning system in the technology will also automate required record-keeping and give drivers crucial information about traffic or lost items. The commission has approved tests of four systems and may endorse them for sale within days. Taxi owners would choose from the four systems, at a maximum three-year cost of $7,200 for equipment and various fees. Vendors say advertising can offset at least some of owners' costs.

Objecting drivers have raised concerns about the costs of the hardware, credit-card fees and potential working time lost if the systems need repair. Some worry that the global-positioning system will be used to track their movements, although the taxi commission says it will record only the pickup and drop-off points and fare, which drivers already are required to log. The alliance held a rally in March to protest the new systems and is exploring legal and political avenues for trying to block the plan.

News source: CNN

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I didn't see any type of dispatching mentioned as being integrated, but the post above seems to indicate they're doing that in Sweden. Makes sense, GPS can pick the closest cab and dispatch quicker and more accurate than a human.

A system, much like this has been installed in all cabs in Sweden for the last few years. It features a touch-screen interface, with GPS tracking and mapping, credit payments, logging of fares and also includes camera surveillance in the cabs (that only trigger at certain times, such as getting in and out of the cab or when the motor stops).
The cabdrivers here in Sweden seem to like the system very much and it has improved the efficiency for the costumer greatly as the cabs are now more evenly spread across the cities, leading to shorter wait times and quicker fares.

For those of you who don't use a taxi, they have been known to drive around pretending not to know exactly where
you need to go, thus, running up the price. If they have nothing to hide, then what is the problem? The cabs belong
to the cab companies, NOT the cabbies. If the cab companies want to keep track of their vehicles, that is their business. Considering the price of gas, I don't see what the big deal is.

"Quote" Objecting drivers have raised concerns about the costs of the hardware, credit-card fees and potential working time lost if the systems need repair. Some worry that the global-positioning system will be used to track their movements

Exactly! Especially in a large city like New York, they're very prone to drive around and run up the meter.

And yes, MOST cab companies own the cabs, some the cabs are privately owned, but most aren't

Taxi owners would choose from the four systems, at a maximum three-year cost of $7,200 for equipment and various fees. Vendors say advertising can offset at least some of owners' costs.

Yikes I can see why they would object this system. I wonder how much the company gets for each credit card transaction, I know they will get a small cut in the fare.

i think cab companies in my city accept visa/interac, I agree with the cab drivers though, they don't make much money as it is, and these expensive systems will come out of their own pocket. I just want more cab drivers out there to pick me up at 3:00 AM on a Sunday morning, and I want to get through the taxi phone lines on saturday nights as well..

it takes an hour to get through to their lines.