Confusing NYC Taxi Roof Lights Get Overhaul

by Associated Press
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Taxi Cabs

Kim Olson Photography, flickr

A light switch will help identify vacant yellow medallions.

Determining whether a New York City taxi is available or off-duty has always been a challenge. No more.

The Taxi and Limousine Commission voted Thursday to remove the guess work.  A light simply will mean the cab is available. No light will mean it's not.

The confusion came from two sets of lights - one indicating availability and one that the cab was off-duty.

TLC Commissioner David Yassky said the off-duty light were confusing. He called the new system "plain, common sense."

The change will be completed during the taxis next scheduled inspections, between Jan. 1 and April 30.

Cab drivers will still be able to take as many breaks as they want. They also will be allowed to pick up passengers when they are off-duty.

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