We all know about food trucks. We’ve also reported on some more unique mobile trucks in New York City, like one for sharpening knives, one for checking paternity called “Who’s Your Daddy?” and a dentistry center. But yesterday, we came across a mobile truck that stores your electronic devices. Teens were lining up to collect, and turns out these mobile trucks are part of a booming business that only exists in New York–because cell phones and other devices–are banned from all New York City public schools.
The rule has been in place since the 1980s, but a few years ago the city started enforcing it past the “out of sight, out of trouble,” policy in place. The rule isn’t totally enforced still, but definitely in action in the approximately 90 schools that have metal detectors. The first company to hit the streets was Pure Loyalty Electronic Device Storage, which we saw yesterday. It was started by Vernon Alcoser, a corrections officer from the Bronx. It costs $1 a day for one item, $1.50 for two. The total electronic storage device industry was reportedly taking $4.2 million dollars per year from the city’s youth as of 2012.
There have been various concerns, ranging from trucks getting held up at gun point to the fact that the rule disproportionately impacts the poorest of the city, since the metal detectors are installed in schools located in the highest crime areas. Other companies include Safe Mobile Storage, Cell Secure Electronic Storage, Smart Dock, Archangel and Holding Cell.
[Update: On March 2nd, 2015 as the city changed its no cell phone rule, students were able to bring in cell phones again]