Creative Mobile Technologies (CMT), the nation's largest comprehensive taxi technology services provider, has inked a 10-year deal with Taxi Affiliation Services, a Chicago based company providing services to Yellow, Checker and Blue Diamond taxicabs in the City of Chicago.
Yellow, Checker and Blue Diamond, together form the nation's oldest and largest continually operating taxicab fleet, and comprise 2,600 taxicabs in Chicago. The deal will bring Chicago taxi passengers a quick and easy credit card payment system in the rear seats of vehicles, as well as multi-channel, interactive media screens and numerous other technologies that will enhance passenger service and increase efficiency in the taxi industry.
"CMT is proud to work with Yellow, Checker and Blue Diamond which have long histories of innovation and excellence in the Chicago taxi industry," said Ron Sherman, Founder and Chief Executive Officer of CMT. "Michael Levine's Chicago taxi fleets will serve as a launching point for several exciting new CMT-developed features that will further enhance our award-winning suite of products currently operating in over 5,500 New York City taxicabs. We cannot think of a more suitable place to roll out our most innovative new ideas in taxi service enhancements than with Yellow, Checker and Blue Diamond which are legendary pioneers in the taxi and for hire vehicle market nationwide."
"Yellow and Checker have been pioneers in taxicab safety and technology from the 1920s, when John Hertz first installed traffic lights in Chicago and seatbelts in taxicabs, to the 1980s, when Yellow introduced the first digital dispatch system in Chicago," said Michael Levine, Chief Executive Officer of Yellow, Checker and Blue Diamond. "We have always put passenger comfort and convenience first, and today, we are building on that tradition of innovation and service by providing our passengers with the fastest, safest, and most secure credit card transaction technology available as well as media content that will be both entertaining and informative. We believe that CMT technology and equipment will prove to be a huge boon to our passengers, our drivers, and to the City of Chicago. It will, without a doubt, improve taxi service in Chicago, and it is a natural fit for our companies here."
Ron Sherman and Michael Levine first crossed paths in the New York City taxi market, where both men have operated well-established taxi fleets for many years. Mr. Levine chose to outfit 328 New York City yellow taxicabs with CMT technology. After witnessing how the technology enhanced the taxi experience for passengers and increased revenues for drivers, Mr. Levine chose to bring the same kind of passenger enhancements to Chicago.
CMT's "FREEdom Solution" was developed in New York City by leading technology professionals and recognized leaders of the taxi industry as a "by the industry, for the industry" solution. CMT's ubiquitous Passenger Information Monitors (PIM) feature credit card acceptance functionality that allows passengers to securely swipe their own credit card and complete wireless transactions in seconds. The CMT PIM, which also features regularly updated news and media content, as well as GPS-powered passenger maps, has come to define the taxicab experience more than anything since people started stretching their arms to hail taxis a hundred years ago.
For the first time since credit card acceptance was mandated five years ago, Chicago taxi passengers will have the ability to control every aspect of the transaction process by swiping the cards themselves and for the first time, the transaction process will be completed in just a few seconds, allowing the passenger and driver to quickly go about their business. Also, for the first time, Chicago taxi passengers who enter a Yellow, Checker or Blue Diamond taxi, will have access to a uniquely tailored news and entertainment system and passenger maps that they can control with touch-screen technology.
Taxi drivers are expected to greatly benefit from the vast improvement in credit card transaction reliability, efficiency, and ease-of-use on both the driver and passenger ends of the transaction process. Unlike today, where taxi-based credit card transactions often frustrate drivers and passengers who are used to quicker, self-controlled processes in their local supermarkets or gas stations, the new CMT-designed transaction process is designed for the 21st Century consumer.