A couple of weeks ago one of us snagged a cab with a very chatty cabbie on the west side of Manhattan to run uptown and meet some friends for dinner. The driver had a bone to pick with the Big Apple over a new GPS system set to be installed inside city cabs later this year and somehow he thought I could help him make this not happen — or maybe he was just venting, we're not sure. Whatever the reason, Ackmaz apparently wasn't the only cabbie upset by the plan to install satellite positioning systems with a fun little credit card swipe system, route tracking and passenger route view screen in every yellow FoMoCo vehicle in the city. It now appears he and the rest of the 8,400 member (out of a 26,000 driver total) New York Taxi Workers Alliance are threatening a strike come September if the city moves forward. So, umm, why are the yellow-car Ford drivers so upset about a GPS system?
Two reasons. First, there's the public message, as noted by the NYTWA executive director:
"Taxi drivers sometimes use the cars in their private time. Why should they tell the TLC where they are going on a Sunday with their family? This is an invasion of privacy..."
OK, that's one viewpoint, but oh, wait, then there's the second reason —the one they're not publicizing, but my boy Ackmaz explained to me as such:
"If they let people pay with the cards, the IRS will know how much we're making in tips. Why should the IRS know that and take my money from me?"
We've been asking that question for years my friend. [Yahoo! News]