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Taxi Cabs May Get iPads to Replace TVs, City Says

By Jill Colvin | February 21, 2012 11:05am | Updated on February 21, 2012 1:49pm
The iPad tablet computer.
The iPad tablet computer.
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Marcio Jose Sanchez

MANHATTAN — Hate those blaring TVs in the back of cabs?

The city’s Taxi and Limousine Commission is considering replacing some of the squawk boxes with spiffy new iPads or other similar tablet devices.

The California-based mobile payment company Square, which hopes to make the cash register obsolete, has proposed a pilot program that would outfit 50 cabs with tablets, a TLC spokesman said.

The devices, which would be installed into the partition between drivers and passengers, would display information throughout the trip, including the cab's location, the running payment total and other details.

Passengers would also be able to pay their fares at any point during the ride, swiping their credit cards, signing with their fingers, and receiving e-mail or text message receipts.

iPads are being considered to replace taxi television screens.
iPads are being considered to replace taxi television screens.
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Spencer Platt/Getty Images

"By partnering with the NYC Taxi & Limousine Commission on this pilot, we've built a system that meets the specific needs of NYC taxi drivers and makes the payment experience even better for their passengers," a spokesman for the company, which was launched by Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey, said in a statement, noting that thousands of taxi drivers around the country already use the service.

The full cost of the pilot would be covered by Square, the MTA spokesman said.

The company is set to present its proposal to the commission at a meeting on March 1.