Big changes are afoot at the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission. Yesterday, the TLC approved a pilot to get rid of the obnoxious in-cab TVs almost everyone immediately puts on mute. And as part of that plan, the agency also wants to remove all mystery and doubt from the fare meter. As part of the same pilot, participating taxis will switch off the dashboard-mounted meter. Instead of glancing at something that looks like an alarm clock to see how much you're being charged, that information will be displayed on a tablet.
This is the same tablet that will replace Taxi TV during the trial, so if the switch eventually goes citywide, taxis will dramatically cut down on the number of mandatory extra devices that go inside each vehicle. Now, it'll just be one: the tablet. And instead of calculating your fare using sensors that each cab is outfitted with, the new pilot will utilize GPS to determine how much you'll pay the driver. GPS-based meters have already entered preliminary testing, according to The Wall Street Journal. The TLC will test several different systems during the course of the yearlong trial approved yesterday, but with only 1,000 taxis scheduled to take part, the odds still favor riders getting stuck with Taxi TV until everyone agrees on its final replacement.