New York’s New Taxi to Be Unveiled This Week

Taxi

Vanity Fair's Brett Berk outlines the new features of the Nissan NV200, which will be NYC's taxi for the next decade, and is shown at the New York Auto Show this week:

These include a standard driver’s navigation system that will preclude ever again having to explain which numbered streets precede and follow West 17th, a panoramic glass roof for staring up at the young men on those Hollister billboards, a low-annoyance horn tuned to a frequency that’s only audible to other cabbies (or so we hope), one 12-volt and two USB charging ports so all your batteries will be as fresh as the scent inside the cabin, fuel-economy numbers that double those of the neolithic Ford, and antibacterial pleather seats…

Also baked into the compact new cab: space. And not just inside the cabin, where a flat-floored, “no hump” rear seat and lengthy wheelbase will provide ample legroom for drivers and passengers. On the streets, too: “When all of the Crown Vics are replaced with NV200s,” David Reuter, Nissan’s V.P. of global communications, told us, “there will be five acres of real estate given back to the city of New York.”

The Nissan is set to replace the Ford Crown Victoria and the other models currently on NYC streets.

Comments

  1. Oliver says

    I was hoping to read that the rear doors are electrically operated by the driver, as they are in Japan.

  2. Hotter Perry says

    “… there will be five acres of real estate given back to the city of New York”

    Fat chance, everyone knows NYC abhors a vacuum.

  3. Derek Pearce says

    Uh, Perry, you do realize they meant 5 acres of interior vehicle space and not parkland, right?

  4. ratbastard says

    Why do they need an ‘official’ taxi?! This is BS. I understand having standards, of course, but there’s no need to micro-manage and control to this degree. It’ll also obviously cost substantial $ to change over to the new ‘official’ cab.

  5. MD says

    They make enough money off the monopoly the city has granted them so if the city wants to set an official cab so be it. If they don’t like it they can sell their medallions and become gypsy cabs.

  6. Oliver says

    Speaking of taxis and monopoly. Were you all aware that NYC taxi drivers HATE the use of credit/debit cards…contrary to the ad campaign that runs inside the taxis and on billboards around the city? It’s true. There are two companies that own the credit card processing services for taxis in NYC and every taxi must subscribe to one or the other service. Those services take 5% off of every receipt (and that includes tolls, tips, etc).

  7. Jim says

    There used to be an official taxi in NYC, the Checker. I really miss the space (and the jump seats) in those vehicles. This is an attempt to bring back that standard.

    @Oliver re the credit cards, it appears that the Global Payments problem (info on 1.5 million credit cards stolen) appears to be heavily weighted towards NYC taxis. I NEVER use my credit card in a taxi.

  8. fhrblig says

    @Alan, there was a competition bid where the Nissan beat out the Ford Transit Connect and an independent entry.

  9. ratbastard says

    @Jim,

    I remember them as a kid. They were great. I loved riding in them. Never the less, the taxi business is too convoluted, micro-managed, and expensive. Standards of cleanliness and safety should of course be rigorously enforced, but I see zero need for an ‘official’ cab.

  10. jamal49 says

    Sigh. Wish they could make a hybrid Checker. Still the best cab there ever was. Loved those jump seats!

  11. Tom in Lazybrook says

    I really don’t care what the cab looks like on the outside, so long as they are actually available between 3-5 pm (that’s when every cab company switches drivers), they crack down on cabs refusing to go where the customer wishes, and they stop treating loading zones as holding pens for boutique fares.

  12. Frank says

    Who cares if the cab is ugly or not? You’re not buying it. The goal is to provide a taxi that offers abundant space for passengers and their belongings (shopping bags, luggage, strollers) – not to make you feel fashionable while you’re being driven around.

    On the question of the car not being American-made, I’d like to see more info. Many “foreign” brands of vehicles are actually manufactured in the United States, providing excellent jobs, salaries, and benefits to American workers.

    I’m not familiar with the NYC medallion system, but living in Washington, DC I can tell you that having a system where anyone can apparently drive any type of vehicle (with varying degrees of cleanliness and odor) makes me envy a city where you know what you’re getting when you hop into a taxi.

  13. Tyler says

    The ugliness of a car isn’t the problem for the people in it, it’s a problem for the residents of the city, where the cabs are 80% of the cars. I know it’s a shallow problem. But if they’re going to regulate them so tightly, they could at least make them not look like a Scion and an Odyssey made a hideous lovechild.

  14. Martin says

    Really surprised it is not a hybrid… It would have been a good opportunity. Oh well. In 10 years maybe?

  15. Bob says

    LOUSY SHADE OF YELLOW
    — and it looks like the Asian market car it was derived from. VERY disappointing, non USA looking styling, but the Americans did not win the compettion.
    Trusting that they will be made in Nissan’s Tennessee plant, or else!(not in Japan or Mexico or Thailand)

  16. David Hearne says

    New York should show some national pride and use American badge cars. Yes, I drive a Toyota (union made in Freemont California) , but I am an individual not a city.

    I think maybe New York has forgotten what country its in long ago. They seem to have no respect for the Second Amendment and many don’t seem to have a lot of respect for the First Amendment while the cops don’t have a lot of respect for the Fourth Amendment.

    The madness takes its toll.

  17. Bob says

    I still miss the Checker cab. Crappy car but great for a taxi. I drove one when I was in grad school.

  18. Hugh says

    There’s a special kind of meta-irony going on when members of a marginalized minority make xenophobic comments about how the most international city in the world isn’t being patriotic enough. Nice…

  19. David Hearne says

    Hugh,

    Did they move it since I was last there? I realize patriotism must seem awfully pedestrian to someone as clearly sophisticated as yourself. Deal with it.

  20. Hugh says

    You sure told me! Those damn immigrants and their ignorance of all those Constitutional Amendments.

    Get over yourself. There’s a difference between being a proud patriot and ignorant jingoism.

    NYC to me, has always represented two things:
    1. The world leader in globalization; whether it’s the UN, Wall Street, or the centuries of constant immigrant influx.
    2. The epitome of American diversity; b/c being American doesn’t mean losing touch with your foreign roots.

    NYC, its economy, and its people are defined by their connection to the rest of the world; arguably more so than any other place. So what if they went with a foreign company instead of a domestic one? Like that doesn’t happen hundreds of times a day in New York. You wanna send the Statue of Liberty back to France, too?

  21. David Hearne says

    “You wanna send the Statue of Liberty back to France, too?”

    I wasn’t aware that the taxi fleet would be a gift from Japan. That changes everything.

  22. John says

    I was always hoping for Lories like in London, with the jump seat , this’ll do I guess..now if cab drivers would stop throwing a hissy fit when you say “there will be 2 stops”, not to mention throwing you OUT if you tell them one stop is on the west side and the other on the East, and can we get roof racks for larger purchases like ski equipment or that time I needed to move a mattress and was forced to drag the thing on the subway

  23. Matt says

    THIS IS SAD FOR NY RESIDENTS + VISITORS. 1. It’s a damn ugly converted delivery van. 2. The rear windows don’t open. I can only guess this was OK’d by a blind person with no olfactory sense, who has NEVER been in a cab with smelly driver in a NY summer. Who greenlights these programs? Not the drivers (who never would have selected this vehicle which, I suspect will become problematic for a long list of other reasons like front wheel drive, heavy tire consumption, etc, etc). Not the riders who will surely take issue with my points above. This is sadly a $ issue, obviously underwritten by Nissan. We get to relive a poor recession choice for the next 5-10 years. Mr Bloomberg, WTF?