America News: NY cabbies need a reality check

America News:  NY cabbies need a reality check

New York’s cab drivers are not endearing themselves to either the authorities or the public, with their stubborn refusal to install GPS units in their cabs.

New York cabbies have been out on strike twice in protest against the Taxi & Limousine Commission’s plan to install GPS devices in all city cabs, hopefully by January 31, 2008.

Philadelphia’s cab drivers weren’t too enamoured by the new technology either, and while Bermuda’s anti-GPS cabbies threatened to disrupt services if forced to install it, the majority of them eventually capitulated.

Spain’s cabbies are more receptive to the technology, as are cab drivers in Kuala Lumpur and Beijing.

An Information Week article points out the merits – and the benefits to the paying passenger – of being able to see which roads are affected by traffic incidents and congestion and find an alternative route.

However, London taxi drivers aren’t impressed with this facility, preferring to rely on their own local knowledge and experience rather than a device that has reportedly misdirected drivers to cliff edges, narrow streets and into rivers.

The Information Week article indicates that the New York cabbies’ concerns revolve around privacy issues.

Privacy in the workplace? What makes cab drivers think they’re special? Office workers have no privacy. If the boss isn’t snooping around checking up on people, the IT department is poring over the computer logs to see who’s accessed what, and the accounts dept is picking through the itemised billing to see who’s been making private phone calls at the company’s expense.

To read the full Information Week article, click here

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