By Mariel S. Clark
DNAinfo News Editor
MANHATTAN — Hate that TV in the back of taxicabs? You're not alone.
As part of the "Taxi of Tomorrow" contest, the Taxi and Limousine Commission surveyed more than 22,000 riders [pdf], half of them living in Manhattan, to see what they liked and didn't like about the city's fleet of yellow cabs, and what they'd like to see in future taxis.
"The survey was an overwhelming success for us," said TLC commissioner David Yassky in a statement.
"Taxicabs are a crucial method of transportation in New York City, but they are also deeply intertwined with the City’s identity, and the survey shows this very clearly," he added.
Riders' top gripe was that taxis were "too expensive," with 37 percent of respondents complaining about the cost, according to the survey. And nearly a third of riders disliked the backseat televisions. Other complaints were aggressive driving, a too-small passenger compartment and dirty cars, the TLC's survey said.
But the survey wasn’t all about the negatives. More than a third of respondents rated their rides as "very good" or "excellent," according to the TLC's survey.
Nearly 58 percent of passengers liked that they could pay with credit cards, the no. 1 "like," according to the survey. Riders also liked that the city's cabs were easy to hail and thought they were faster than the subway or bus, the numbers showed.
When it came to the future designs, roughly half of respondents said it was important to them that the cabs be "environmentally friendly" and "more comfortable for passengers." Riders also wanted better safety features and an attractive design to be high on designer's lists.
Respondents gave the green light to Turkish company Karsan, with two-thirds of respondents giving it top marks, according to the survey. Nissan's model was next with 43 percent liking or loving the design; 38 percent liked or loved Ford's design. The three car manufacturers recently became the finalists in the contest to create a new design exclusively for the city.
Beginning in 2014, owners of the city's more than 13,000 cabs will have to replace their current cars with the Taxi of Tomorrow contest winner.