NYC Taxi of Tomorrow Program Set to Launch April 2015

NYC Taxi of TomorrowSome major changes will soon come to the streets of New York City. According to a Nissan news release, New York City’s Taxi & Limousine Commission (TLC) has declared April 20th the official start day for the Taxi of Tomorrow program. It will require that almost every retiring taxi be replaced with a Nissan NV200, and will also significantly increase the number of wheelchair-accessible vehicles in the fleet.

The NYC Taxi of Tomorrow guidelines require all Manhattan yellow taxis be replaced by a NV200, an alternate wheelchair-accessible vehicle, or a hybrid. Nissan has been working closely with BraunAbility (the global leader in automotive mobility) to provide wheelchair-accessible NV200s, which are currently available for purchase.

The Nissan NV200 is the ideal taxi for NYC due to its unique safety features and production. The NV200 is the only taxi which leaves the factory with an installed partition. Partitions that are installed aftermarket usually compromise other safety features (like rendering the airbags useless), so this approach won’t pose a problem. In addition, the NV200 meets global pedestrian-protection standards that reduce the impact to a pedestrian when hit by a vehicle.

In an effort to ensure the NV200’s performance, Nissan created its own “New York Ave” at its Arizona proving grounds. The street was designed to replicate the congested traffic and pedestrian conditions of New York City, and the NV200 was rigorously tested and refined with the help of actual NYC taxi drivers.

Here at Nissan of Lake Charles, we are excited to see New York City’s Taxi & Limousine Commission making our environment, safety, and accessibility major priorities.

Nissan’s Taxi for London Surprises Current Drivers With Affordability

To those of us living on the other side of the pond, London triggers a number of defining images (we at Nissan of Lake Charles often find ourselves thinking of foggy
cobblestone streets, but we may have also read The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde one too many times).  One of the more iconic aspects of the city is its public transportation: from the London Underground and double-decker busses all the way down to police call boxes that are much more spacious on the inside.  Nissan has announced that London’s cabs will be getting a new look soon with the reveal of their Taxi for London.  These slick black cabs are based upon the automaker’s NV200 compact-van platform, which has already taken its place as the Taxi of Tomorrow in New York.

Wall Street Journal’s Marietta Cauchi took to the streets of London (where, contrary to what Morrisey asserts, there seems to be absolutely no panic).  What she did find was a number of grizzled old cabbies who, despite the competition presented by Nissan’s Taxi for London, seemed impressed with the new rival’s looks.

One driver says, “The public generally like the iconic shape of the current taxi that I’m using.  I think the drivers, long term, if they had a vehicle that was cheaper to run…that’d be a good thing for the taxi drivers.”

Another, who suspiciously and awesomely resembles Ernest Borgnine’s Cabbie from Escape from New York, says, “Well, it looks very smart from the outside.  It’s whether, of course, it’s practical on the inside and functional regarding passengers, wheelchair accessibility and, most importantly, has the driver got all the facilities in the front to make his long working day comfortable?”

The £30,000 ($45,291 USD) Taxi for London is remodeled to more closely resemble the iconic London cab shape, featuring a remodeled grille, LED lighting, and new front bumper panels; the Taxi for London also conforms to London’s licensing rules while managing to run more cleanly (and at less cost) than standard cabs.

“Having already overcome the unique technical challenges presented by the development of a new Hackney Carriage for London ahead of our launch of the vehicle in August 2012, we turned our attention to making the vehicle look the part,” Darryl Scriven, Design Excellence Manager at Nissan Design Europe said in the automaker’s official press release.  “The Mayor’s office and taxi drivers were very keen that we maintain the character of the Hackney Carriage, making it something that people in the city can be proud of.”

“The main challenges were concerned with making sure customers can easily recognise it as a taxi. Being in London, we were able to go out and talk to cabbies about what was important to them as well as look at the vehicle from a customer’s viewpoint. It’s unusual for us to be able to work on something as bespoke as this, specifically for one location in the world and we are very proud to have been asked to do so.”

Nissan is Still the Taxi of Tomorrow

Though the Nissan NV200 had seemed like a promising Taxi of Tomorrow, politics and public expectations are making it difficult for the minivan to become the widespread, official cab of the Big Apple.

The taxi has been struggling to take off because of political blockage and the public’s reluctance to move on from the yellow Crown Victoria it has been so accustomed to. A state Supreme Court judge recently made a third adverse ruling to prevent the city from going ahead with the Taxi of Tomorrow plan, and though the Bloomberg Administration said it planned to appeal immediately, the mayor is due to leave office on Dec. 31 and none of the candidates looking to succeed him in 2014 are in favor of the project.

But Nissan still believes in the potential of the NV200. It’s got sliding doors on both sides for easy access and a flat floor for better legroom, as well as a panoramic sunroof to let passengers enjoy the skyline. Along with the improved fuel economy and reduced carbon emissions, the minivan was and remains a flat improvement over its New York predecessor.

“From a volume and brand promotion standpoint, we believe the Taxi of Tomorrow program was and continues to be a very successful opportunity for Nissan,” said Joe Castelli, Nissan’s VP of commercial fleets and vehicles in North America. “But it is not our only opportunity, as we intend for the NV200 Taxi to show up in many cities throughout the country.”

Nissan is also developing a hybrid version of the NV200 to better help establish it as a taxi of the future, so all hope is definitely not lost. With a bit of luck, Nissan’s Taxi of Tomorrow will soon be the Taxi of Today.

Nissan’s ‘Taxi of Tomorrow’ NV200 Enters Production

The New York City taxi fleet will be gaining a new member this year, with the production of Nissan’s ‘Taxi of Tomorrow’ starting this week. Based off of the current Nissan NV200, this innovative vehicle will receive a few taxi-specific tweaks, such as a panoramic sunroof, antimicrobial upholstery, grab handles and tons of lighting that will make any cab-goers experience that much better.

The Nissan NV200 taxi large interior space will leave plenty of room for large families to travel comfortably, with plenty of trunk storage for anyone off to the airport. The double sliding doors make it easy to enter on any side of the road, meaning that you won’t have to worry about exiting into traffic like you have to do with many of the van cabs currently in production. Along with awesome 24 mpg city, it is the perfect large livery service vehicle.

Though there have been some obstacles the NV200 has had to face before being included in NYC’s taxi fleet, many believe that the introduction of this cab will revolutionize taxi services nationwide while also tipping its hat to the past, prolific Checker cabs New York City was known for. Interested in any of our great Nissan models? Check out our new inventory! We’ve got plenty of brand new 2014s waiting to go on a test drive!

Nissan fights against New York Supreme Court for Taxi Deal

Nissan scored a big win not too long ago when they sealed the deal to make the NV200 the “Taxi of Tomorrow” for the city of New York. This would make the newly designed Nissan NV200 the primary Taxi vehicle for the entire city. Although this new NV200 model took some major strides in redesigning the taxi cab in fuel economy, driver safety, and customer comfort, there’s a big problem facing the change now. The New York Supreme Court is fighting against this new deal stating that the deal is “null void and unenforceable”.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg “Taxi of Tomorrow Plan” originally stated that the new Taxi design would need to be a hybrid vehicle. This plan was to continue striving towards a greener public transit system. Due to the fact that the NV200 is not a Hybrid, despite the previously agreed upon deal, the New York Supreme Court is ruling against the new Nissan vehicle. Despite these setbacks, many believe Nissan will be able to overcome the objections and still be the official taxi of New York City.