NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The Taxi and Limousine Commission has given the thumbs up to a pilot program that would phase out Taxi TV.
The program will remove the backseat TV screens from 1,000 vehicles in the fleet. They will be replaced with updated technology to accommodate credit card payments.
TLC Commissioner Meera Joshi said the original plan to take the TVs out of 4,000 cabs was too much.
“We want to be conscious of concerns that were expressed to us from the disability community about whether or not the visual accessibility requirements would be met,” she told WCBS 880’s Kelly Waldron.
Since late 2008, all yellow cabs have been equipped with a TV screen that allows riders to pay by credit card. But it also automatically broadcasts a loop of news, information and other programming.
The TLC said the TV function has not been popular with customers or drivers. That’s why it wants to test out a new high-tech smartphone or tablet system that would allow riders to pay without having to listen or watch Taxi TV.
Under the program, the four participating companies will now only be allowed to make the changes in 250 of their vehicles, which is about 10 cars at a time.
Officials hope to see the new technology installed in all taxis by 2017.