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NYC Media and NYC Taxi and Limousine Commission Launch 'Be a Backseat Driver'- An Interactive Campaign that Lets Riders Choose New Video Taxi Greeting

February 10, 2010 - NYC Media, the official TV, radio and online network of New York City, and the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission have announced the launch of an innovative voting campaign in the City’s 13,000-plus taxicabs that allows riders to choose new introductory content for the passenger information monitors (or PIMs) in taxicabs. “Be a Backseat Driver” invites taxi riders to view three potential choices for the greeting that runs upon entering a taxi and includes information about fare rates and rider safety, among other details. Riders are encouraged to vote online to choose their favorite by visiting nyc.gov/backseatdriver.

“At NYC Media, we’re committed to using our resources to help City agencies interact with New Yorkers in novel ways as well as bringing engaging and educational entertainment to the City’s television stations,” said Katherine Oliver, President of NYC Media. “This campaign with the TLC will serve to enrich every rider’s experience in a taxi by providing a new twist on how we deliver pertinent information.”

“Having the proper information is really key to the taxicab riding experience,” said TLC Commissioner/Chair Matthew W. Daus, “and the way this information is presented plays a significant role in how passengers absorb and utilize it. This innovative campaign with NYC Media will help us to communicate with taxi passengers more effectively in a fun and entertaining way that will truly put riders in the driver’s seat. Let the voting begin!”

The new greetings were created and produced by NYC Media and feature three different options from which riders can choose. In one choice, a CGI taxi zips through a video game version of the City as relevant facts are highlighted on passing street signs. In another, an animated taxi follows the curves of a map, and in the third, details are displayed in the style of an old-fashion rotating train station schedule.

Each introduction includes a welcome message from Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and TLC Commissioner/Chair Matthew Daus, a reminder to buckle up for safety, fare information outlining initial and supplemental charges, and where to find lost property, log a complaint or offer a compliment (by calling 311 in the City or 212-NEW-YORK outside of the City or by visiting nyc.gov/taxi). It also features text detailing that credit card acceptance is mandatory for all fares and that drivers are not permitted to use hands-free or hand-held cell phones when driving, as well as where to find additional details about out-of-town fares and additional fees on the info button on the taxi screen.

New Yorkers can visit nyc.gov/backseatdriver where they’ll be able to watch the three greetings and vote on their favorite. The spots were designed by Roland Le Breton, NYC Media’s Art Director, and his team with input from TLC.

About NYC Media
NYC Media, the official TV, radio and online network of New York City, informs, educates and entertains New Yorkers about the City’s diverse people and neighborhoods, government, services, attractions and activities. As a unique public media entity, NYC Media produces award-winning content that is accountable, useful and compelling and serves as the quintessential source of information about New York City. Visit nyc.gov/media to learn more.

About New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission
The New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) was created in 1971, and is the agency responsible for the regulation and licensing of almost 200,000 yellow medallion taxicabs and for-hire vehicles, their drivers, and the businesses that operate and support their industries. It is recognized as the largest and most active taxi and limousine regulatory body in the United States. To find out more about the TLC, or to review its rules, regulations and procedures, we encourage you to visit our official Web site at nyc.gov/taxi or call 311 in New York City, or 212-NEW-YORK from outside of New York City.

Taxicab Stats
Average trip distance: 2.74 miles
Percentage of total fare paid with credit cards per day: 34
Average tip on trips paid with credit card: 18%
Number of trips per hour: 2.69
Average gross driver income per hour (minus tolls paid): $29.52
Average net driver income per hour: $20
Average shifts per driver per month: 23.72
Number of licensed drivers: 48,220
Number of shifts per day citywide: 23,658
Total trips per day citywide: 503,969
Total fare-box yield per day citywide: $5,555,741.00

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