Posts tagged “taxi”

Don’t know what you’ve got til it’s gone

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The New York Times reports on a grassroots taxi redesign effort: A nonprofit group called the Design Trust for Public Space plans to ‘define the ideal taxi and taxi system of the future.’ At a workshop on May 24, designers, architects, city officials and representatives of taxi owners and drivers sketched out an array of ideas. Matthew W. Daus, the chairman of the Taxi and Limousine Commission, has given cautious support to the effort. “This is a good exercise to get the perspectives of consumers and passengers, and also of architects and designers who are not involved in the day-to-day business of cabs.”

Yet the perspective of consumers and passengers is not included in the process! This seems like a fantastic opportunity to try to understand the needs of the users of the system from another point of view, rather than as users of the system who presumably arrive at these workshops already ready to solve the problems they’ve defined. Let’s take a step back and try to understand what isn’t working for someone else. Ethnographic study of the cab-riding experience, anyone?

Taxi cab riders in S.F. to get smart ‘passenger’ in back

Taxi cab riders in S.F. to get smart ‘passenger’ in back

Starting next week, the first of 200 taxis will hit the road with computer screens offering riders news and listings for restaurants, bars, movie theaters and museums.
The touch-screen terminals are intended to be a convenience. Use is free of charge.
“You can be in the back of a cab and say, ‘Hey, where can we go to dinner?’ ” said John Lazar, president of Luxor Cabs.

Huh? So people get in cabs without a destination in mind, and then they’ll use this system to figure out where they want to go, while the cab is doing what? Idling? Just driving? Sounds like the scenario isn’t well understood by the customer.


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