New York City cabbies are opposing plans to install GPS devices, or similar technology, in their vehicles.
As the city's Taxi and Limousine Commission boasts a year of technological innovation, with plans for hybrid vehicles and GPS or similar technology, thousands of drivers are parking their yellow cabs and protesting. The New York Taxi Workers Alliance is rallying in the city Monday.
Drivers say they don't want to be tracked and do not need the expense (estimates range from $3,000 to $5,000 per vehicle) of installation. They also claim the devices could be used to monitor speeding and other activities, violating their rights.
The TLC began requesting proposals last year to meet new cab requirements, including the addition of GPS systems. The commission maintains that the tracking equipment would help drivers navigate traffic, provide efficient routes, and help passengers recover lost property.
When the commission announced last year that it planned to mandate equipment for mapping and automated data collection, Chairman Matthew W. Daus said the improvements would enhance the fleet's technological capabilities, improve passenger convenience, and bring "the already high quality of taxicab service to the next level."