Toledo could modernize taxi meters, GPS-based software

Toledo could modernize taxi meters, GPS-based software

TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - From mechanical to digital, the City of Toledo could modernize the way taxis track trips. The move comes after a push from a local taxi company to change city laws.

Scott Potter, co-owner Black & White Transportation, says he's not asking for the city to do away with old meters if other companies want to use them, but he'd like to be allowed to run digital meters using software that measures travel based on GPS. 

"It's not that the old way doesn't work," said Potter. "But we're investing a lot of money in some new software that has a lot of very great conveniences for the customer experience."

Potter says with a GPS-based meter system, he can tell the route a driver went, so travelers won't get overcharged.

"It gives us a lot more accountability and it gives the passenger a more consistently measured ride," said Potter.

He also says the software will let travelers keep tabs on their drivers.

"It'll recognize your phone number as having a ride in the system, and you can hit a number and it will say that your car is at the corner of Laskey and Secor, and it'll be there in six minutes," said Potter.

Tom Waniewski, Toledo City Council, proposed legislation, saying he'd like to bring the city's taxis into the 21st century.

"Right now we require them to have a taxi meter, and our law specifically says it has to be connected to the drive shaft, which has to be connected to some gizmo on the steering column, and taxi companies are moving away from that," said Waniewski. 

Waniewski says the city would still inspect and certify those electronic meters.

The issue first appears before a full city council next week. Potter says he'd like to get the new system up and running by May 1.

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