The TLC is asking New Yorkers to suggest technological enhancements that would make riding in a cab decidedly more pleasant and efficient. If they aren't careful, taxis could start employing 21st-century technology by 2012.
"This a search for ideas," Taxi and Limousine Commission honcho Matthew Daus told The New York Post. "It includes some ideas we've reviewed, and I'm hoping that passengers will tell us what they want, and we'll find out what's possible."
From now until June 15, the TLC will be taking submissions for its new "Taxicab Passenger Enhancement Program" via their Website. They plan to have a final list of ideas ready by the time the current contract for information screens expires.
Among the improvements already being considered are MTA-style taxi fare cards that could be used to pay for your ride, wi-fi, USB ports and GPS systems. And you can bet that new "instant complaint" form would get quite a workout.
Perhaps the grandaddy of them all is the proposed front seat cell phone blocker that would prevent hacks from gabbing incessantly throughout your ride. Only a cab driver could think this is a bad idea.
"How about putting a cell-phone blocker in the back?" cabbie Tahir Mahmood asked The Daily News. "Passengers are always yelling and I can't pay attention."
The TLC's aspirations to embrace GPS technology are laughably overdue. For years now, taxi cabs in Austin, Texas, and other cities have been equipped with GPS systems that call you automatically to let you know your car is only a minute away from your home. Imagine living in a world where cabbies aren't honking outside your building.