TLC Says It’s Time To Get Rid Of Back-Seat TV Screens In Taxis

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The TV screens in the back seat of New York City taxis will likely soon be no more, the Taxi and Limousine Commission said Monday evening.

The “taxi TV” screens that provide information and entertainment were widely unpopular with both passengers and drivers – to the point where everyone wanted them gone, the TLC told CBS2 Monday night.

They were installed in all yellow cabs by late 2008, as part of the integrated TPEP system. The system also allows passengers to pay by credit or debit card, provides drivers with a small screen to receive warnings and notices, and automatically captures trip data that previously had to be entered manually, the TLC said.

The TPEP system as a whole has proven its value in many ways – from helping recover lost property to warning drivers of weather emergencies, the TLC said.

But the “taxi TV” component drew complaints from drivers who heard the audio content even when their cabs were empty, the TLC said.

Along with the retirement of “taxi TV,” the TLC has also proposed the introduction of a GPS-based meter to replace the software algorithm-based meters now in use.

A GPS-enabled virtual meter will use laser-precise satellite pings to update distance and time measurements constantly, the TLC said.

The TLC is expected to consider and vote on a resolution to begin the GPS meter pilot program, and to retire “taxi TV,” on Thursday.

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