NYC Taxicab TVs Un-Turn-Offable?

Irate riders find the TVs in the back of NYC cabs are missing the "Mute" and "Off" buttons

By Elizabeth Bougerol
|  Tuesday, Nov 11, 2008  |  Updated 3:54 PM EDT
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NYC Taxicab TVs Un-Turn-Offable?

Mario Tama/Getty Images

Riders claim that many New York taxicabs equipped with TV screens seem to be missing the "Off" and "Mute" buttons.

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We've whiled away many a pleasant minute watching those little taxicab TV screens built into the driver/passenger partition, learning about new restaurant openings and watching outtakes from The Office while our cab crawls across the Brooklyn Bridge (and we're not just saying that because the screens broadcast content from our kindly overlords at NBC).

But some days, you just want some peace and quiet. After waiting for minutes on end - usually in the rain - at the corner of I'm Tired St. and For Chrissakes, How Can they All Be Taken? Ave., you crumple into the back of a cab, only to have Al Roker start yammering at you. You instinctively reach for the "off" button and - wait, where is the "off" button? Or the "mute" button? Nooooo!

After hearing from an irate reader/taxicab rider who wound up in this very pickle and had to "conduct business" on his cell over the un-muteable din, Gothamist called over to the Taxi and Limousine Commission, who explained the problem as a simple tech malfunction and very rare in its fleet of about 5,500 cars equipped with the gizmo. Still, if you've tried to mute your commute and wound up angry, the Gothamist post above has a link to the TLC page where you can file a complaint. Do it for the drivers - imagine how tired they are of hearing about that hot new restaurant (especially when frustrated riders take out their anti-TV fury by under-tipping).

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