Why Is There a Taxi TV, And Who Benefits?

The average passenger has long since realized there’s nothing of value for him or her on the Taxi TV.

Although the assumption at first was that there might be something useful on the tube, that idea went by the boards pretty quickly, as even the most diehard Bloomberg fan had to admit that 50 hearings of the Mary Poppins commercial were — maybe — a bit too much.

So why is the thing back there anyway?

Revenue, of course. The nickel-and-dime billionaire who is our mayor has never hid the fact that the prime consideration in installing the monstrosity was money. Despite some notions being floated that gullible tourists would be seduced into heading for certain restaurants based on cab advertisements spontaneously acted on, (an event I’ve never known to happen in 4 years or so), the fallback position has always been that companies would pay for ad time on the tube, and this would constitute a valuable “revenue stream.”

That the whole ordeal would be a prolonged ugly experience for drivers and passengers alike wasn’t much factored in, apparently.

Some questions one might ask : how much money is involved? and who gets it?

The answer (to both)?

Who knows.

The mayor has made claims of openness and “transparency” in government : the city budget, he has claimed, is available for public viewing on the internet.

Well, maybe.

The city budget is available — to a degree — on the internet. But, as for information on the amount of revenue brought in by the Taxi TV  — there is none. The subject is not covered. As for information on the agencies or entities that get the money : none.

So much for “transparency.”


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