The taxi business is being impacted severely by competing transportation networks: in July, average trips by taxis in San Francisco, home to on-demand car services Uber and Lyft, were reportedly only one-third of trips in March 2012. The San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) is doing its best to help taxi drivers stay in business, but the trend towards on-demand services seems all but inevitable at this point.
New investments hope to launch Vengo, the mini vending machine distributor, into the mainstream. The startup began as TaxiTreats, aiming to install vending machines in the backs of cabs, but has since expanded to target bars, offices, and other locations where small vending machines offering a variety of convenience products could be desirable. Payments are currently all by credit card, and operation is entirely by touch screen, and once the mobile arm of the company clears its technology to be installed in cabs, brands could be clamoring to get involved, offering their products on the go, possibly with some form of smart advertising.
NYC Taxi Commission Opposes Uber