Following years of development, a serious fight with the other contenders and a massive conundrum with proponents and detractors, New York City’s Taxi of Tomorrow is now officially a reality.
The only thing is the Big Apple has come to be known for its relaxed – blasé – attitude so the formal launch of the car that will become the base of the NYC’s taxi fleet was mostly ignored by both city officials and taxi riders. The NY Taxi & Limousine Commission actually called for this moment to have happened five months ago and the people might be excused not to see the difference, as the fleet of Nissan yellow cabs will need years before reaching ubiquitous dominance – as did the old Ford Crown Victoria in its heyday. Nissan won the competition no less than four years ago and will move to replace the traditional Crown Victoria as the yellow taxi in New York. Those in favor say the NV200 van converted into a cab will deliver more room, enhanced passenger visibility and better fuel economy for the fleet operators. Detractors claim the increased interior space is not actually enough, the cabbies have said the mileage is less than stellar and most of them didn’t enjoy the base price of $29,900.
After all the commotion, city officials signaled there was no need for a formal event marking the introduction of the program – NV200 taxis have already been seen on the city’s streets for some time now. There are already around 750 units in operation among the city’s 14,000 unit-strong fleet and each year about 2,500 to 3,000 cabs will be replaced. In the end – because a small number of alternative models has been allowed in certain operator fleets, the NV200 is expected to make up around 80 percent of the city’s taxi fleet.