The current system by which taxis let passengers know whether they’re available for a ride, involving two lights that can be used in four distinct combinations, can be confusing to tourists and New Yorkers alike. Now, thanks to a near-unanimous decision by the Taxi and Limousine Commission, it stands to be replaced by a much simpler system: no more “off-duty” lights, with the cab’s medallion number lit up if the car is available and darkened if its not.

Though some are sure to lament the loss of one of the more idiosyncratic bits of New York City life, I’ll be eagerly awaiting next year, when cabs are forced to comply with the new rules. Now, cabbies won’t be able to ride around with both lights on and tell me they can’t drive to Brooklyn.

(Photo: Michelle Friswell/Flickr)