A passenger stepping into a taxicab in Miami-Dade County will soon be able to track the route electronically, whiz down expressways without stopping for tolls and, at the end of the trip, pay with a credit card.
OK, cutting-edge it is not. But the technological gadgetry, approved Wednesday, will mark the first extensive reforms in years to Miami-Dade County’s highly regulated taxicab industry.
County commissioners, fed up with complaints from tourism and business leaders about Miami-Dade’s lackluster taxicab service, signed off on a slew of measures intended to improve passengers’ experience.
“Changes are coming to this county,” Chairwoman Rebeca Sosa said.
For the first time, the county will require all cabs, within two years, to accept credit cards and, within six months, to install SunPass transponders. Passengers will get a discount if they pay cash.
For the privilege of picking up passengers at the airport and seaport, drivers will have to apply for a special decal and wear collared shirts, long pants and closed-toed shoes.
The changes don’t go as far as some industry critics had hoped for when the reform effort began months ago.