NYC Media, the official TV, radio and online network of NYC, and the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission announced the launch of an innovative voting campaign in the City’s 13,000-plus taxicabs that allows riders to choose new introductory content for the passenger information monitors (or PIMs) in taxicabs. “Be a Backseat Driver” invites taxi riders to view three potential choices for the greeting that runs upon entering a taxi and includes information about fare rates and rider safety, among other details. Riders are encouraged to vote online to choose their favorite by visiting www.nyc.gov/backseatdriver.

“At NYC Media, we’re committed to using our resources to help City agencies interact with New Yorkers in novel ways as well as bringing engaging and educational entertainment to the City’s television stations,” said Katherine Oliver, President of NYC Media. “This campaign with the TLC will serve to enrich every rider’s experience in a taxi by providing a new twist on how we deliver pertinent information.”

“Having the proper information is really key to the taxicab riding experience,” said TLC Commissioner/Chair Matthew Daus, “and the way this information is presented plays a significant role in how passengers absorb and utilize it. This innovative campaign with NYC Media will help us to communicate with taxi passengers more effectively in a fun and entertaining way that will truly put riders in the driver’s seat. Let the voting begin!”

The new greetings were created and produced by NYC Media and feature three different options from which riders can choose. In one choice, a CGI taxi zips through a video game version of the City as relevant facts are highlighted on passing street signs. In another, an animated taxi follows the curves of a map, and in the third, details are displayed in the style of an old-fashion rotating train station schedule.

Each introduction includes a welcome message from Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Daus, a reminder to buckle up for safety, fare information outlining initial and supplemental charges, and where to find lost property, log a complaint or offer a compliment (by calling 311 in the City or 212-NEW-YORK outside of the City or by visiting www.nyc.gov/taxi).

It also features text detailing that credit card acceptance is mandatory for all fares and that drivers are not permitted to use hands-free or hand-held cell phones when driving, as well as where to find additional details about out-of-town fares and additional fees on the info button on the taxi screen.

New Yorkers can visit www.nyc.gov/backseatdriver where they’ll be able to watch the three greetings and vote on their favorite. The spots were designed by Roland Le Breton, NYC Media’s Art Director, and his team with input from TLC.

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