HOUSTON (CBS Houston) During your next cab ride in New Orleans, quench your thirst with a cool beverage, courtesy of a vending machine that is located right inside of the cab!
Now, when you get into a N.O cab, not only will you be taken to your chosen destination in a hybrid and/or environmentally “green” vehicle but as a passenger, your ride will be more pleasurable with your choice of five different non-alcoholic beverages for 0.99 cents with just a click of a button and a swipe of a credit or debit card!
“New Orleans Carriage Cab is the first company nationwide to develop technology to offer soft drink vending machines in taxis. “We decided to introduce the vending machines in New Orleans because it is the nation’s hub of innovation. The city welcomes new ideas. Couple that with its long-term history of being a hospitality leader, launching the drink dispenser here made sense for the city and the tourism industry,” said New Orleans Carriage Cab and Yellow-Checker Cab Owner Simon Garber,” as stated in a press release.
Approximately 250 New Orleans Carriage Cab and Yellow-Checker Cab vehicles will be equipped with the vending machines allowing passengers the opportunity to purchase a beverage by clicking on a touch screen.
“Options include Coke, Diet Coke, Dr. Pepper, Sprite, iced tea and orange Fanta. Passengers simply slide their debit or credit cards through the machine which immediately dispenses the cold beverage of their choice. Each vending machine fridge has the capacity to hold 36 drinks and used cans are recycled weekly”, stated officials close to the endeavor.
Garber, operator of more than 1200 taxis nationwide, has been testing the machines for the last six months. He says the offering of beverages to passengers inside of the cabs is the brainchild of his son Shaun who conceptualized the idea of vending machines in taxis back in 2007: “Initially, I thought was impossible but he kept after me until I found a patent attorney and the necessary technical experts to make it happen,” said Garber. The vending machine idea took four years to develop.
The New Orleans City Council passed several new taxi regulations which are slated to be implemented this year and further making it mandatory that all taxis have security cameras, air conditioning, credit card machines as well as taxis being under 11 years old.
“New Orleans Carriage Cab is not only meeting these new standards but exceeding them with this new beverage dispenser technology and with the addition of new hybrid vehicles to our fleet locally. Our goal is to be the only exclusively ‘green’ cab company in the nation,” said Garber in a statement.