Judge blocks Nissan’s NYC taxi plan weeks before start image

The judge put a stop to the plan to refresh New York’s yellow cab fleet with a minivan-style “Taxi of Tomorrow”, three weeks before cab owners would be required to start buying the new vehicles.

Nissan Motor Co., which has a 10-year contract to supply the cabs, a taxi version of the NV200, said it’s now judging the decision. Giving reason to cab owners who challenged a requirement that would make them gradually replace most of the city’s 13,000 taxis, Manhattan state Supreme Court Justice Shlomo Hagler said the city Taxi and Limousine Commission had overstepped its authority.

“The notion that New York City should have one exclusive ‘iconic’ New York City taxicab is a policy decision that is reserved for the City Council,” he wrote in ruling on the latest in a series of lawsuits challenging the new cabs on various grounds.

The city’s chief lawyer, Michael Cardozo, called the decision “fundamentally wrong,” and Taxi and Limousine Commissioner David Yassky said officials still side with what he called “by far the safest taxicab ever designed.”

The Greater New York Taxi Association, an owners’ group, said the city was actually improperly forcing owners to buy just one vehicle, and also one they didn’t want. The group also pointed out that the NV-200 isn’t a hybrid and isn’t wheelchair-accessible without further modifications.