Much hype and controversy, including a long string of legal challenges has surrounded the Big Apple’s Taxi & Limousine Commission Taxi of Tomorrow program.
But all that is now coming to an end, as the municipality officials have decided that April 20, 2015 is the official start date of the program, in which Nissan built NV200-based cabs will be unleashed on the streets of New York. That means – with very rare exceptions – the entirety of the current New York cab fleet will be replaced by the specially modified Nissan NV200 vans when the older cars retire. Three years ago the Japanese automaker won a three-way shoot-out for the bid to replace the well-known Ford Crown Victoria as the taxi choice for the New York yellow fleet. Those in favor of the Nissan model say the van has some advantages over the model it replaces, including way more room, better visibility and improved fuel economy for fleet operators.
On the other hand, in rather typical New York fashion, the winner was challenged in a series of court cases and after a legal conundrum the Nissan model was given the go ahead. The exception is that fleet operators can choose an alternative – but only hybrids or wheelchair accessible vehicle are allowed.