The Taxi and Limousine Commission is asking for your suggestions on how to make cabs better. No, really: they’ve put out an RFI for “ways to enhance the technology systems in each taxicab for the benefit of passengers, drivers and owners alike,” and You the Public are encouraged to respond by email or elsewise by June 15.
NBC has already gotten the ball rolling (one cabbie has asked for a “cell-phone blocker” to keep riders from yakking). We’ve got our own big, fat wish list and we’re going to use our considerable influence to get them on the top of the TLC pile (we’ll include yours, too, if you like):
• Optional police lights. For a hefty extra fee, high-end riders should be able to activate a flashing red light on the top of the dashboard to encourage other drivers out of the way. The Mayor says he loves the rich — what better way to show it than to give them extra traffic-evasion privileges?
• Backseat webcast facilities. No one likes those stupid TV shows in the backs of cabs, but what if we used the power of social media to communicate with other riders? It would appeal to both the ham and the voyeur in every New Yorker. Should come with parental controls.
• Sunroof access. We were disappointed when cops made the Murray Hill YouTuber withdraw from his sunroof performance. But as long as riders are paying the freight, why not allow them to play charioteer? Waivers will settle any problem with getting smacked in the face with a traffic light.
• Vanity horns. We ride taxis because we can’t drive, and enjoy whatever vicarious car-thrills we can get out of it. Again for an extra fee (TLC has got to love these increased revenues) riders should be able to demand the drivers hit “La Cucharacha,” “Theme from the Godfather,” “Here Comes the Bride,” or other popular honktones engineered for the purpose.
• Mood lighting and music. It’s been a beautiful evening and it’s a long ride home. You and your special someone should have warm lights (maybe including a gobo) and romantic tunes to keep the tender vibe going all the way to Bayside. (Tip the driver up front to encourage discretion.)
• GPS. Ha ha, just kidding.