Saturday, October 6, 2007

Intro to taxi GPS

 I have been practicing with some other cabbies on a GPS computer display model in the garage. The Dispatcher takes us through the basics and quickly takes us into circumstances we don't anticipate. such as this:

If the passenger were to pay in cash, the driver would first hit 'time off' on the meter, followed by the 'print' button, to combine the extra charges and accumulated units and initial charge as usual. But if the passenger then decides to pay with a credit card after first saying they were paying cash, the driver must go through the computer, click 'refuse payment', then set a flat fare of the same amount just cancelled, hit 'time off', and let the passenger choose 'pay with credit card' accept the charge, select a tip, then swipe their card. But, then what if the passenger pays with their card, then changes their mind once more and decides to pay cash? The the driver must select 'cancel C.C. transaction', enter the flat fare again and 'time off', and 'print.'

I suppose if something like this really happened, it would  be laughable, and a little degrading.

GPS and the taxi meter:

Here are the differences between GPS taxis and taxis without GPS:

Without GPS, the meter has only hiring rates 1 and 2: 
  1. A regular New York City fare
  2. A  flat fare from Manhattan to JFK or vise versa ($45 plus tolls)
With the GPS, we can put rates 3 through 5 onto the meter:
  • Rate 3 is a Newark Airport fare. Typical rate 1 initial charges are engaged, plus a 15 dollar charge for our time spent in New Jersey. The meter shows 17.50, and rolls on for each additional unit (mileage and waiting time) driven, the toll needs to be added. All told, a Newark Airport ride totals to 60 bucks.
  • Rate 4 is double the meter. Rate 4 should be initialized if the passenger is going to a destination near the city, but not in the city, and yet still in New York state. But the meter should only be doubled once the city border is crossed. I am still unsure if the GPS automatically doubles proceeding units on the meter once the border is crossed, or if the 4th rate needs to be pressed precisely at borderline.
  • Rate 5 is simple, a flat fare agreed upon by both the driver and passenger. It is entered into the computer, and after agreed on by the passenger via the touch screen, it appears on the meter. A flat fare other than 45 dollars is suitable for rides Out of New York State, or for a far enough distance from New York City.
In taxis without GPS installed Rates 3 through 5 are (and were previously) done in addition to, or without the meter. So the thinking now is that there will be less passenger confusion when they see everything on the meter and get easy to read credit card instructions on a monitor.

Plus, with the addition of GPS, we won't need to write down our pick-up and drop-off times and locations on trip sheets.