NEW YORK CITY — The Taxi and Limousine Commission voted unanimously Thursday to remove TV monitors in the back of yellow cabs and replace them with new technology, a spokesman said.
The current technology, known as the Taxi Passenger Enhancement Project and rolled out in 2006, introduced an automatic fare-calculating taximeter, a small screen from which the cabdriver can receive warnings and notices, as well as the ability for customers to pay by credit or debit card.
But perhaps the most well-known feature was the so-called taxi TV, which blares news, sports and business alerts at the passengers in the backseat. It received regular complaints from passengers and drivers, the TLC wrote in the resolution they voted on.
As a result of the complaints, as well as fears that the screens would make customers choose other taxi services, the TLC is now searching for new technologies that will replace the current TPEP.
The TLC is beginning "a kind of open application system where anybody who thinks they can meet [the TLC's] regulations can apply," TLC spokesman Greg Gordon told DNAinfo.
"If applicants meet our guidelines and pass rigorous testing to make sure their technology is foolproof, they will be authorized to install their solution in up to 250 taxis."
The TLC does not know when yellow cab riders can expect the TVs to be gone.
"It wouldn't be right to speculate, because we don't know," Gordon said. "It's not something we have a set timeline on or could even guess."