SEATTLE — Editor's note: The above video was published earlier in 2019 about new apps for taxi passengers.
A new program in Seattle is testing out "smart taximeters" in certain taxi services to make commutes easier for passengers.
Seattle's Department of Finance and Administrative Services announced the two-year pilot program Wednesday.
The smart taximeters use GPS technology to dispatch and meter trips. The meter is displayed in a tablet which will be visible to the customer.
Passengers will also have more options when booking a trip and receiving a receipt, giving them more control over their commute.
Seattle Yellow Cab was one of the first taxi associations to propose using the more advanced meters. Now, all taxis in its fleet have new tablets and credit card readers and the old taximeters will eventually be removed.
The pilot program will allow other taxi associations to try out the new smart taximeters as well.
The new technology will allow the city to collect more reliable data on taxi trips, and also give passengers more options when booking a trip and receiving a receipt.
Even with the new technology, meter rates are staying the same at $2.60 for the base trip, 30 cents for each 1/9 mile and 50 cents for each minute of waiting time. The meter rates are set by city law.
The smart taximeters will also establish the infrastructure to support dynamic pricing if allowed by regulation in the future.
Seattle's Department of Finance and Administrative Services is partnering with King County to permit the pilot program.