New Orleans Carriage Cab passengers now have a choice of five different non-alcoholic beverages for $0.99 with a click of a button and swipe of a credit or debit card from the new soft drink vending machines now installed in more than 200 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 in a prepared statement.
About 250 New Orleans Carriage Cab and Yellow-Checker Cab vehicles will be equipped with the vending machines that allow passengers to purchase a beverage by clicking on a touch screen. Options include Coke, Diet Coke, Dr. Pepper, Sprite, iced tea and orange Fanta. Passengers can 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.
Garber says it was his son Shaun who in 2007, then 14 years old, thought of the idea to offer passengers soft drinks in taxis. “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 idea took four years to develop.
Garber, operator of more than 1,200 taxis nationwide, has been testing the dispenser for the last six months. Future vending machine roll outs are being planned in Chicago and New York. However, the technology is available for purchase across the country. “The vending machines will be accessible to any operator that wants to have this technology in their cabs,” said Garber. “Passengers across the country will appreciate knowing they can have a cold beverage on the go at an affordable price. They will not have to make an extra stop to get a drink.”