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Be the Next Taxi Star


City Also Announces "Be the Next Taxi Star" Audition Contest and In-Taxi Surveys

October 25, 2011 - 
New York City Mayor’s Office of Media & Entertainment Commissioner Katherine Oliver and NYC Taxi & Limousine Commissioner David Yassky today announced the launch of the new “NYC Channel,” available in City taxi cabs. Content from the new channel will be curated by NYC Media, the official network of the City of New York, and will feature a variety of City-centric content, including an inside look at the latest events happening in the City, helpful hints for finding a job, PSAs about City services, restaurant profiles, recycling tips, glimpses into local parks and neighborhoods and more.

As part of the launch of this new channel, New York City residents will have the opportunity to audition to become the “Next Taxi Star” and appear in an introduction video that will play in cabs at the beginning of every ride. From now until November 1, New Yorkers can submit their 30 second video auditions to NYC Media on explain why they should be the “Next Taxi Star.” Click here for additional details and official rules. 

“New Yorkers are always on the go, and the new ‘NYC Channel’ is the perfect way to provide taxi riders with informative and entertaining info about their City,” said Commissioner Oliver. “The ‘NYC Channel’ is another example of finding new, high quality, cost-effective ways to reach New Yorkers using as many platforms as we can. We’re bringing the content NYC Media has produced for the City’s TV station and digital platforms to a whole new audience by branching out to taxis with a channel completely devoted to New York City.”

”Not only will riders really enjoy the new entertainment content on the ‘NYC Channel,’” said Commissioner Yassky, “but it also represents a new kind of informational resource to help people benefit from everything our exciting and dynamic City has to offer. It’s informative and smart, and it just may be the most fun you’ll ever have in a taxicab!”

The television system that currently appears in cabs first started in summer 2007, and reached 100% implementation in the fleet by November 2008. The video content for the “NYC Channel” comes from various programs that air on NYC life, the flagship station of NYC Media. Among the programs airing on the “NYC Channel” are bite-sized versions of Job Hunt, That’s So New York, Green Apple, City Scoop and NYC4Free. New videos will be added multiple times per week, which will include Public Service Announcements and information relevant to the lives of New Yorkers.

In 2010, NYC Media created several introductory greetings for taxis that featured information about fare rates and rider safety. New Yorkers were asked to vote for their favorite selection in the “Be a Backseat Driver” interactive campaign, and the winning video can currently be seen in cabs today.

NYC life is available in the New York tri-state area on broadcast, cable and satellite channels, Channel 25 on most systems and Channel 22 on Cablevision. It is watched by over 1.4 million viewers a week on television and online. Programs are also available to watch online on the NYC Media Video on Demand player – – and through the NYC Media app, available to download for free from iTunes, which features hundreds of hours of videos and an interactive map.

Commissioners Yassky and Oliver today also unveiled yet another new capability for the state-of-the-art integrated systems – the ability of passengers to participate in surveys at the touch of a button. The surveys will be rotated in such a way as to prevent passengers seeing the same survey more than once, regardless of whether they take multiple taxicabs in the course of a day.

“This new capability will allow us to gather data on a multitude of issues and topics,” continued Commissioner Yassky. “We anticipate asking taxi riders a wide variety of questions, which will change regularly, and we hope to use their answers to advise and help us formulate policy. New York City is famous for people who enjoy making their opinions known, and we look forward to helping them do that!”

While a number of taxicabs are already equipped with the survey function, it should be available in any remaining taxicabs by the end of this week.

For offical rules, click here.