Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Meanwhile, enjoy the silence!

Some NYC cab drivers are striking because they don't want GPS, credit card and advertising technology installed in their cabs. I agree with the GPS and the advertising. A cabbie should know how to go places. He's supposed to be the GPS. The advertising nobody needs. But the credit cards? In many other cities in America cabs have credit card machines and it is very convenient for the passenger, particularly if you are traveling for business. I bet a lot of people would take advantage of the fact that they could easily expense a cab ride with a credit card, instead of waiting for a car service to show up.
Truly, when a ride from the airport costs almost 60 dollars, they can't expect everybody to fork out cash. It's medieval.
However, I don't see why it is the drivers who have to pick up the 5% surcharge for use of the credit card. That should be picked up by the cab owners, who as far as I understand, are succubi from hell.
Or, if they are going to be carrying plasma screens showing ads, they should get a cut of the profits somebody is making with these screens. That would be fair, no?
As you know, the sorry state of cabs in NYC is one of my favorite rants. I bet there is much more urgent stuff to reform in the cab industry than installing GPS and advertising plasma screens. Like for instance:
• Why doesn't the city institute a program to help cabbies afford to own their own cars? Like microloans or something. Cabbies are almost like indentured slaves the way things are. Why does a medallion have to cost a fortune?
• Why do cabs have to be gas guzzling monstrosities, instead of fuel and space efficient compact cars? • And lastly, why has nobody implemented my sensible suggestion to deliver an electric shock to the netherparts of any cabdriver who honks a horn unless it's a matter of life and death?
Actually, we could implement this program with ALL drivers. Aural bliss is what would follow.
As you ponder these apparently intractable questions, enjoy the relative quiet on the streets today, brought to you by all those striking cabbies that are mercifully not out honking their horns as usual.

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