Taxicab Confession: No One Likes the Backseat Televisions?


Who exactly are the 22,000 people who responded to New York’s Taxi and Limousine Commission’s online survey about the taxi-riding experience? The TLC chose to rely on self-selected responses, so they can’t be blamed that the feedback skewed young and male. But we’re not sure we agree with what they have to say. For one, 47 percent rated “easier to get in and out” as a “very important” attribute of the taxi of the future, which means it ranks higher in their minds than “better passenger/driver communication” and having a charger or electrical outlet. What 18- to 35-year-old is having serious trouble getting out of a taxi? Or at least more trouble than getting out of the back of any car. Fifty-seven percent overwhelmingly rated “environmentally friendly” as the No. 1 thing they want from future taxis once “universal accessibility” is covered, so they seem like good people. But they also voted “Taxi TV is annoying” as the second-most-dislikable thing about present-day taxis — after “too expensive” — more dislikable than “Taxi is driving too aggressively” and “Driver doesn’t speak English/know geography.” As someone who has often had to navigate from our Google maps app, that seems strange. But as for Taxi TV, next time you angrily tap the touchscreen to turn off the squawking, just know you could be missing out on 60 seconds of cinematic bitchslapping from Sandy Kenyon, in the role he was born to play.

Taxi of Tomorrow Survey Results [TLC via City Room/NYT]