The Philadelphia Parking Authority is renewing a contract to install new meters, GPS, dispatching and credit-card payment systems in city cabs. Some taxi owners are objecting. What would you do to improve cabs?
WHYY’s Dave Davies reported yesterday that the Philadelphia Parking Authority voted to renew a contract for putting new metering, GPS, dispatching and credit-card payment systems in city cabs. The cars will also be outfitted with ad-revenue-generating back-seat screens.
The primary objection of some taxi owners seems to be the GPS system, which they say is unreliable.
I would have expected it to be the credit card systems. Some friends of mine claim to have been denied rides from Philly cab drivers because they wanted to pay with a credit card, but I have never once had trouble. There was one time when the meter wasn’t operating properly, I didn’t have any cash on me, and the driver gave me a free ride. (Though I don’t imagine is normal.)
What changes would riders object to, I wonder? Those back-seat screens are all over New York taxis, and I find them annoying and useless. If you want to know the weather, that’s one thing, but seeing the same info-tainment clips every time you hop in a cab (which in New York, of course, is often) gets pretty old pretty quickly. I usually just turn off the sound.
What’s your experience with cabs in your city? Do the card readers work for you? Do you get a receipt? Where do you see room for improvement?