NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Do you have trouble determining if a New York City taxi is actually available?

WCBS 880’s Paul Murnane On The Story

The lights on top of the cab can be hard for some folks to understand. One indicates the taxi’s medallion number, and it is surrounded by the “off-duty” light.

Some passengers, especially visitors, have complained about this set-up, and repeatedly try to hail unavailable cabs.

As a result, the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission is considering switching to just a single roof light for the vehicles.

Some potential passengers mistake any roof light turning on as indicating the cab is on duty and available. Others complain that from a distance, the lighting is difficult to discern.

The current lighting scheme for taxis is as follows: when the medallion number light is on, but the off-duty light is off, the cab is on-duty and available.

When both the medallion number and off-duty lights are on, the cab is off-duty, but you might be able to get a ride, if you’re destination lies along the route the taxi driver plans to take – a “going my way” trip.

When both the medallion number and off-duty lights are off, the cab is on-duty, but already has a passenger inside.

Finally, when the medallion number is off and the off-duty light is on, the cab is off-duty and occupied by a passenger on a “going my way” trip.

Taxis in other cities already employ a single light system, where if the light is off, the cab is unavailable, regardless of the reason.

Bright idea or not? Sound off in our comments section below…