NEW YORK -- The next time you hail a cab in the city, you may end
up riding the information superhighway.
Ten Internet-equipped taxis hit the streets of the Big Apple
last month, allowing visitors and residents a chance to surf the
Web while they get to where they're going -- or sit in gridlock
The fleet of purple-and-yellow, wired taxis are a joint effort
between Yahoo! and Medallion Financial Corp., a firm that places
advertising on taxis.
The taxis will be on the streets through March.
The purple-upholstered cabs are equipped with Palm Pilots
secured to the back seats. The wireless Palm Pilots connect to a
cellular modem on the dashboard.
There is no mouse. Instead, riders use a stylus -- a plastic,
Via Yahoo!, riders can send and access e-mail, scan the latest
headlines, keep an eye on stocks and check movie timetables.
There is no extra charge for passengers to ride the wired cabs
or log onto the Internet.
Although it won't be easy hailing a wired cab (there are 12,187
yellow Medallion taxicabs in the city), you sure can't miss them:
the 10 colorful cabs are plastered with the Yahoo! logo.
Riders who never have used Palm Pilots can get help from their
cabbies, who have been trained to offer tech support and carry
The Internet-ready taxis were first rolled out in San Francisco
in September 1999 and were on the road through March.
"The response [in San Francisco] was tremendous," said Linda
Bennett, a brand marketing executive with Yahoo!. "We decided to
roll out the program in New York because it is a top destination
for people on the go, and now the Web can go with them," she
If all goes according to plan, Yahoo! plans to expand the
project to Dallas, Los Angeles, New Orleans and Washington.