To many taxi riders in the city, the backseat television screens are sensory overload, an intrusion that can make rides very unpleasant.
"I do find them annoying," one woman said. "I actually turn the volume down."
Under a new proposal by the Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC), those screens would no longer be required, and if they did remain in a cab the default setting would have to be mute, requiring a passenger to activate it to listen.
Introduced more than a decade ago, the televisions have doubled as credit card consoles. TLC officials say any change to the screens would not affect credit card transactions.
Some customers say the televisions aren't as bad as some riders argue.
"There's little fun tips, there's the news, there's weather," one taxi rider said.
"They're fun, they're quick," another said.
The TLC is also trying to make yellow cabs more competitive, launching a pilot program that would allow people who use an app to hail a yellow cab to pay an upfront fare.
The program also applies to green cabs. It's an effort to better compete with e-hailing apps such as Uber and Lyft, which have decimated the street hail business.
The pilot program allows the developers of the four e-hail apps now being used in yellow and green cabs to ditch the metered fares and develop new pricing models. Street hails would remain metered.
Some taxi drivers say it's about time. "That's what we have to do. It took so long for us, you know?" one driver said. "Uber came, Lyft came, all of these companies came, and we just have this old system.
E-hails represent a fraction of business for yellow and green taxis. But the TLC hopes the apps catch on.
One of the e-hail apps, Curb, said upfront pricing will help "win back some of those riders who prefer to know the cost of their trip in advance."
Other drivers wish the business would just go back to the way it was.
I'm a native New Yorker, I like the old standard days of just flagging down a cab," one yellow taxi driver said. "Nevermind all this surcharging, let's get out here and rock and roll and let's work."
A bit of nostalgia for a system that no longer exists.