RealTime IT News

Yahoo! Takes NYC Taxi Passengers On a Ride

Bright yellow and purple paint and purple upholstery aren't the only unusual things about the ten taxicabs Yahoo! is sending rolling through the streets of New York City; they also feature Palm VII handheld wireless devices mounted in the back.

The campaign, an effort to highlight Yahoo!'s mobile offerings, will run through March 2001. The implicit message: consumers can access Yahoo! through a variety of different devices, in the most unusual of places.

The latest ads-on-wheels campaign follows a similar effort that began last year in San Francisco. In New York, Yahoo! is launching the promotions in partnership with Medallion Financial Corporation and Team Systems Corporation.

"We decided to roll out the second leg of the program in New York City because it is a top destination for people on the go, and now the Web can go with them," said Linda Bennett, brand marketing, Yahoo!.

New York is also more dependent on taxis for transportation than, perhaps, any city in the United States.

"The yellow medallion industry is a vital part of the ground transportation system in New York City, carrying nearly one million passengers safely and efficiently each day," said Theodore Straul, vice president of Team Systems Corporation.

"These passengers now can surf the Internet for free while traveling to their destination. This truly brings the yellow medallion taxi, one of NYC's greatest and most recognizable icons, into the 21st century."

Passengers aboard the Yahoo!-sponsored taxis are able to access the portal's services, and can also surf the Web. Standard taxi fares apply, and there is no extra charge for using the Internet services.

Spending for the campaign wasn't disclosed.