New York City Taxi TV may be a thing of the past. The once popular media option is being removed. They were introduced between 2006 and 2008 for media entertainment, advertising revenue and to allow credit card payment, but riders have said that all it has accomplished was making rides more annoying. Smartphone or tablet-based payment system are planned  instead of the Taxi TV. This would change the overall experience of New York City taxis.

Media agencies will be losing a simple digital OOH option that allowed for targeting against a more affluent taxi NY transport audience. This downfall demonstrates how bad user experiences can backfire on otherwise good media delivery vehicles.  Perhaps they should have kept screens quiet unless a user wanted otherwise.

Many complained that the audio can be annoying since the mute and off buttons frequently do not work. Apps such as Uber and Lyft have challenged yellow and green cabs with payment systems that don’t require swipes and automatically email a receipt to passengers. Riders have been opting for this hassle free option that allows them to avoid the unwanted Taxi TV. Drivers also hate Taxi TV, which requires them to listen to the same looping content for shifts that typically last 12 hours.

When the TVs were installed, fleet owners believed they would bring in ad revenue and entertain riders. Instead, tech vendors Creative Mobile Technologies and Verifone, which process credit-card payments and taxi trip information, left drivers and passengers extremely unhappy. The New York Post stated, “Officials have been flooded with complaints about Taxi TV for years and even admit that the obnoxious devices have been a big factor in riders switching to app-based services such as Uber.”

If approval is received for removal, a new system would be tested in 1,000 cabs and expand citywide by 2017 if it is a success.