The Nissan NV200 van was voted the New York’s “Taxi of Tomorrow” by the city’s Taxi and Limousine Commission.
Yesterday, September 20th, the TLC approved regulations according to which taxi fleets can replace retiring cabs with the Nissan. The automaker managed to surpass rivals such as Ford, with a 5-to-2 vote, as a safer and roomier alternative to the current taxis. Nissan NV200 also has some attractive features including transparent roof panels, phone chargers and “lower-annoyance” horns.
“Taxi owners, left to their own devices, will buy the least-expensive car available,” David S. Yassky, the commission’s chairman, said in an interview. The commission, he said, “needs to stand in for passengers.”
As expected, once the vehicle got the TLC’s approval, criticism began to spread, including the fact that the car is not wheelchair-accessible and that its introduction will decrease the number of hybrid taxis in New York. Bill de Blasio, the city’s public advocate, and Assemblyman Micah Z. Kellner urged the TLC to reject the vehicle due to these issues.
Mr. Yassky offered a quick argument saying that wheelchair users can arrange a ride with one of New York’s 230 wheelchair-accessible yellow taxis and that the vehicle is the most fuel-efficient car among those who submitted in the design competition.