The New York City Taxi & Limousine Commission is considering a proposal by Jack Dorsey’s Square to replace Taxi TVs in 50 cabs with an embedded iPad or another tablet PC. “Taxi drivers are among our most active and loyal users, with thousands of drivers around the country choosing Square as a more simple, cost-effective way to get paid for their work,” says a Square rep. “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.”
David Yassky, chairman of the TLC, told The New York Times that Square’s technology could pave the way for apps like Foursquare and games.
New York cabs have been at the forefront of industry technology since 2007, when Taxi TV began appearing in the back seats of some sedans. By 2011, Taxi TV was ubiquitous, much to the annoyance of drivers and passengers.
An alternative that passengers can control might be a viable alternative and present a different business model: While Taxi TV’s revenues are based on ads, Square’s technology might enable shopping and paid games.
Square, which has faced resistance from Creative Mobile Technologies and Verifone Media — the two purveyors of Taxi TV — is expected to make a formal presentation to the TLC on Mar. 1.
What do you think? Would you prefer a tablet in your cab to TV? Sound off in the comments.