The days of the checkered cab are long gone. Last month, the Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) announced its vision of the future: a high-tech fleet of taxis that will include touch-screen monitors, text-messaging capability, and a global positioning system. On Thursday, the City Council discussed the details of a plan that would make this vision a reality for the city’s 13,000 taxis, inciting protest from taxi drivers who claim these e-amenities would decrease profits and violate their privacy.

If the plan is approved, riders will be able to pay by credit card, get information on events around the city, check the latest news and scores, and track their fare and trip. These options will vary depending on the preferences of medallion owners and the four vendors who are contracted to make these installments, but one thing’s for certain: riders will have more than the drunken phone call to keep them busy on their way home.

200 cabs now have the package installed as part of a beta test. Meanwhile, the debate in City Hall will continue with medallion owners, drivers, the TLC, and riders wondering if the $2,900-$7,200 per taxi cost is worth the trip. If anyone had the chance to ride in the upgraded taxis, please send us your reviews.