NYC Taxis Of The Future Could Accept MetroCard Swipe Payments

The New York Taxi and Limousine Commission is thinking about creating a kind of unlimited card for cabbies – which is just one of a long list of recommendations put forth in a taxi-industry study, TLC officials announced yesterday. This could be a portent of the future, where taxis could accept MetroCards.

Commission Chairman Matthew Daus announced the completion of the two-year, $150,000 report by the Design Trust for Public Space, which is being contemplated as a potential roadmap to the future for the taxi industry.

“It lays the groundwork for a new generation of taxis and an improved taxi system that we will all enjoy soon,” said Deborah Marton, the executive director of Design Trust. “The TLC can continue the momentum forward armed with the most comprehensive taxi-system analysis and set of recommendations ever set anywhere.”

Some of the study’s recommendations are already in the works, including gas-efficient vehicles, global-positioning systems and touch-screen video technology. But others would be brand new to New York.

In addition to looking at “fare integration” with buses and subways – possibly using the tap-and-go smart-cards currently being tested by the MTA – the report suggests exploring “ride-share fares” for people going the same way. But the report also adds that past ride-share trials have not met with much success in other cities or in New York. The 159-page study also presents a list of alternatives to taxi medallions.

“In London, cabbies have to pass the famous ‘knowledge test’ of the city’s downtown streets, requiring two years of intensive study,” the report states. “This examination, rather than any numerical limit, provides a formidable barrier to entering the taxi market.”

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