Photo credit: @julesdwit.
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David Yassky, commissioner of the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission, wants you to weigh in on what matters to you in picking the winning design for future NYC taxis.
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Karsan is the best with the big sunroof, looks nice and has better image. i think the Karsan is brilliant for NYC
Karsan looks nice and has better consumption values...
Taxi of Tomorrow is going to make money for the NYC taxi business elites, not the drivers.It is going to cost the drivers and the riding public, the passengers, another 19%, for a total of 47% fare increase, and then once that Taxi of Tomorrow comes out, THERE WILL BE ANOTHER FARE INCREASE And the public will think the driver is getting it, no no no no
I agree that the London cab is the model you should emulate. It should not be a big problem to move the steering to the left side and to convert the engine so it can use natural gas. It should also be possible to build the cabs in the U.S.
Simpletons ! If one can submit specs or an RFP for legroom, fuel mileage and aesthetics you can consider jobs too!! Not insisting on purchasing American manufactured vehicles signals their Walmart mentality …….. “No matter that American manufacturing jobs have been given away and thousands of folks are out of work ………. NYC saving a dime is more important”! Self centered boobs one and all! NYC you should be ashamed !!
Why do we need to reinvent the wheel? There are no better taxis in the world than the London cabs. Why do we need to be so original when we can copy the best and proven urban transportation vehicle?Alberto
As New York weighs a design for its new taxis, it should be sure that one model is equipped to burn natural gas since natural gas vehicles provide the best value environmentally and economically.
Cabs burning natural gas - a cleaner fuel than gasoline - generate less pollution as well as 30% fewer greenhouse gases, and these vital public service vehicles are freed from reliance on a fuel made from foreign oil and subject to destabilizing price spikes.
Natural gas cabs operate in San Francisco and other US cities today, and a new model, designed in Dallas, will go into production soon. Further, the investment in natural gas refueling stations means that cabs and other fleets using conventional natural gas today but will be able to shift easily in the future to a renewable form of natural gas made from waste (called biomethane). Many cities in Europe already produce biomethane from their wastes for their fleets. NYC generates enough waste to make fuel for all its taxis as well as its refuse trucks!
OK, now I see that when you click on Post Comment you get a teeny line "Thank you for your comment." And the screen moves down off the comments section to the table of contents below, like maybe you did something wrong like tabbing instead of entering. If you move back up to see if your comment is still there the whole box is gone. If you know to check for your comment way up above, it is not immediately there even if you refresh or even close the site and come back. Other sites post instantaneously or show a message like "Your comment will appear shortly after review."
Please fix your site to conform with what other sites do in order to reduce repeated posts.
In case you're wondering why I and others have posted repeated similar comments, just try actually using your comment system. When you hit "Post Comment" your comment disappears and the screen image moves up, like you did something wrong. There is no confirmation of the comment being entered. Your comments appear in reverse order of entering, so instead of a new comment appearing just above, it's maybe a hundred comments away at the top of the list. Now I know. I figured it was just another Internet Explorer problem. You might want to fix this problem.
The on air comment by the driver about sliding doors is as moronic as the one by the guest that the bike dooring problem is solved by a warning to the passenger getting out. Minivans have had powered sliding doors for years, and all taxis should have them.
One cool thing besides functionality of London cabs is that the newer design is an update on the old one. Some adaptation of a minivan (Nissan) or delivery van (Ford) is totally inadequate. The Ford Transit Connect is an economical and practical vehicle, and it was about time Ford introduced them here. I see they are really catching on. But it's an EIGHT YEAR OLD delivery van design they are trying to adapt for taxi service. Totally inadequate. Only the Karsan is at all acceptable. It's a modern unique dedicated design with no doubt a lot of features designed in for taxi use. And the big sunroof is brilliant and should be a part of any design chosen.
About comparisons of London and NYC taxi drivers: Maybe the London model is a bit extreme, but seriously the crapshoot about driver ability, knowledge, attitude, cleanliness etc. you get in NYC is ridiculous. Are we afraid of teabaggers screaming about socialism or something if some kind of standards are introduced?
I vote for #1 the Karsan
Safety should be the primary concern of the TLC. What is needed is a vehicle that can accelerate, brake and maneuver well, especially in critical accident avoidance situations. Also a vehicle with no driver distractions. In the Ford Crown Vic, the CMT version of the video screen in the passenger area has a speaker located 12" from the drivers ear. When the meter is turned on, the horribly distracting noise begins. It can only be turned off by touching the 'off button' on the rear screen ( a screen that is covered with viruses and bacteria), assuming that is, that the 'off button' is functional. All NYC yellow cabs have GPS, the driver however has no access to it. We can thank the former TLC commissioner for that idiocy.
As an octogenarian with arthritic issues my concern is the height of the step up into a cab. I use cabs only when in severe pain, have to get to a doctor and can't walk from a bus stop to my destination. What height will the step up be in these proposed taxis?
Buses are mostly well designed for this problem of the older population, they "kneel" or lower to sidewalk height.
I'm with all the commenters saying make the taxi as US-jobs-centric as possible
Also, I want my Johnny-Cab ;)
Cyclist safety: In addition to the sliding doors, the cab should have a rear facing warning light that comes on as soon as the door handle is pulled. So even before the door has started to slide out, there is a warning to approaching cyclists that a passenger is about to step out.
Being hit by a swinging steel door can spoil your whole day, so the sliding door is very good.However, being hit by an exiting passenger can spoil two peoples day.
A warning light on both the door and on the side of the cab can provide that fraction of a second to both shout a warning to the passenger and try to move aside from the cab.
Note that a bike at only 10 miles per hour - 1/3 of the city speed limit of 30 MPH, is still traveling at 15 feet per second. A cyclist a car length behind a cab has just over one second to react to the opening door! Cyclists need all the help they can get to avoid collisions with taxi passengers.
The taxi driver's on air complaint about sliding doors is ridiculous, and the guest's comment that there is a warning now about being careful about opening the door is just as worthless. Mini vans have had powered sliding doors for years. That is what any taxi should have.
Newer London cabs are a modern take of their traditional look, which I think is a cool idea. NYC is full of taxis, and they should also be beautiful and iconic. The Ford Transit Connect van is a great practical and economical vehicle for deliveries. It was about time they got introduced here and I see them spreading fast . But a modified delivery van, (which is an EIGHT YEAR OLD design!) is a non starter for a NYC taxi. The big sunroof idea of the Karsan is brilliant for NYC and should be a part of any design chosen. Also the Karsan is clearly overall a dedicated taxi design with I assume a lot of design features based on unique taxi requirements, not some half assed adaptation of something else like the other two.
And all the comments about existing shortcomings of NYC taxi drivers....are we so afraid of teabaggers screaming about "socialism" or something that we can't do something about the apparently nonexistent requirements for knowledge and behavior of taxi drivers here? The London model may be a little extreme, but it's certainly much better to get in a cab you know will be clean with a professional, knowledgeable driver than the random who-knows-what taxi experience lottery you get here.
Which ever cab wins it needs the following like the Crown Victoria for NYC streets:5 star crash rating, Body on frame construction and extra padding in the Rear Seats AND not too low like the Nisson ALtima. Crown Vics are sturdy, safe, last 300k miles...ask the drivers...and economical to fix...Repair economy is as essential as mpg's.
I prefer cabs without sliding doors. The doors are heavy which makes them difficult to open. ALso they are too high for easy/safe access. I always avoid them.
Regarding bicyclists/doors: I love the idea of bicycles but a good percentage of cyclists are not safety conscious. They ride on sidewalks. do not follow traffic rules and pretty much have taken over walkways in places like Riverside Drive.
We should be concerned that none of the US auto makers could come up with (or even try to) an auto that would meet the criteria specified. How proud we could be to have thousands of US-made cars running around the city. This would be good PR for the industry not to mention job preservation for US citizens. Instead, we will be announcing to the world that we're not capable.
I like the design of the first one, but I prefer the energy efficient taxi, that will turn into electric run in the future. (even if the "look" isn't the nicest)
Taxi's should have a built in rear bicycle rack.Brian, on the air, said roof racks, but that was a misunderstanding by the staff person answering the phone. The racks should be on the rear of the cab, and fold neatly against the back when not needed. The roof would NOT be a good location on a cab. A rear bike rack is much easier to load and won't interfere with roof signs.
In Europe, most taxis carry a bike rack, sometimes folded in the trunk. Cyclists get caught in bad weather, with mechanical breakdowns, or returning after a night of heavy partying. While cyclists can bring their bikes on the subways, trains don't actually get close to large parts of the city. There is a small but real market for carrying bikes on cabs, and it can be met with a small simple built in rear bike rack.
I assume that the goal of a taxi fleet in NYC is to provide the convenience and capacity of a private car, without the need to own and operate that car. So carrying two couples, their luggage or shopping, a bicycle or two or three, the baby stroller or a wheel chair, is all part of providing a viable alternative to your own car.
The rack can also be used to carry folded wheel chairs if the luggage space is otherwise full. It's an easy minimal addition that's out of the way until needed.
Bicycle safe sliding doors are excelent
Can anyone figure out how one actually votes on that terrible site? NYC.gov & taxioftomorrow.com keep referring to how you can vote on "the" website (which one isn't specified), but even after signing up for taxi ...com, I can't see where one votes. I feel somewhat like a fool, but I'm more amazed by how poor that website is.
I hope they put low sounding horns in the Taxis. They also should not work when the car is not in motion. The drivers seem to honk constantly without necessety or danger.
It's probably too late to influence the design process, but I never understood why we don't look at the design of the cabs used in the UK. They are low to the ground and small in size, but have ample leg room, can fit wheel chairs, and cary 5 people.
What about the recent and annoying tendency of cab & limo drivers to honk at pedestrians in order to get their attention as in "Hey! Wanna ride?"
You are standing near the curb minding your own business and they are constantly honking as they pass by, as if "Oh, I'm glad you reminded me... I had forgotten that I was going someplace!"
They think New Yorkers don't know how to hail a cab anymore when they want one without prompting.
It's ridiculous and insulting.
I think the new taxi should be built by an American car company.
To the bike rider... that door is the only thing lessing the impact of you slamming into the departing rider. I always look before openning the door and still have managed to get whacked twice this year.
not sure why you are insisting on 'strong arming' all taxi owners to buy into this design issue....exclusivity is a bad idea as much as I like the basic designs.I like the Ford because they have been manufacturing small and lightweight heavy use vehicles in Europe since the 1960's with their "Transit" vehicles.
in the uk all taxis are wheelchair drive in, power wheel chairs can drive right in, ALL taxis.Many people don't realize that a custom measured manual wheelchair cost over $3000, some $5000, these are manual wc, and they get broken easily by untrained people taking them apart.these are not the hospital chairs that are rented out for short term use.
I like the looks of Karsan, and sliding doors are required, IMO.
It seems to me that many people have a hard time understanding when a car is available, off duty, etc., but it doesn't appear that the signage has changed much. Can't it be designed for greater legibility?
I'd go with the most environmentally friendly ... but one feature they all need is a GPS. Either that or drivers should have to pass a test to prove the have "the knowledge" like drivers in London. It's so frustrating that most drivers don't know where they're going outside of Manhattan. When we have guests coming from the airport, I have to get on the phone with the driver to explain how to get to our house. We live in Clinton Hill, right near downtown Brooklyn.
karsan, appears to have the best visibility/largest windows, best for seeing pedestrians and cyclists. and although doors are bad for cyclists, it's really the people behind them that are the problem, don't see how sliders will help too much. you will hit a person instead i suppose, it still hurts.
is the turkish car safe?
As a European immigrant here, I have to say I lament the "Europeanization" of the cabs. Part of the fun of visiting New York is the sense that you are in a very different country, and the asthetics of cars like the Crown Victoria are uniquely American: wide, spacious, fast.
Number 1 reminds me of the Pope Mobile.
Can you also please make a recorded announcement to look for bikes before you exit the vehicle?
What about the London taxis. They have a new tested model.Why can't you see the driver's license? The partiton is always dirty.
Which ones permit 4 passengers behind the partition?
...and we're going to start enforcing bathing among drivers.
First of all, Brooklyn is way cooler then almost anywhere and I appreciate it's being defended. Also, can we take the stupid tv's out of taxis? I find them beyond annoying and unnecessary. Thank you.
Are these vehicles tried out with the handicapped population before they go into production?
I want a taxi that knows to stop behind the white line and doesn't crowd me out of the crosswalk.
Baby/Child seat in case I need one when I'm traveling with my grandchild.
To the caller commenting on ugliness...I agree they are not the sexiest models of automobiles I have seen but clearly functionality is more important in a taxi than appearance. Also try to move past the idea of a taxi as the crown vic or a classic sedan. 12 mpg per crown vic in the city is truly a sad and disappointing fact.
Wheelchair accessibility that allows the wheelchair user remain in their chairs, as it's easier and faster to get in and out. Plus, it doesn't disrupt traffic as much and is safer. Also, NOT everyone in a manual wheelchair uses a collapsible chair. Many people use rigid frame chairs, which DO NOT collapse. And if you are traveling alone, many cab drivers do not want to help put the chair in the trunk. It also can damage the chair if it is not put in the trunk properly.
It really is too bad that NYC was initially responsible for killing the Checker Cab Co. Now that was a Taxi!
My vote is the Ford. Particularly since they plan on producing it eventually in the US.
Instead of wasting that money on these hideous cars, spend it on proper and rigorous driver training where it belongs.
I'm sure its way more complicated than I make it out to be, but it seems like this would be a great opportunity to produce something in America... so why can't we?
Is Commissioner Yassky considering cabs that can serve the aging baby boomers? Vans, with their high "step up" to enter are painful and discouraging to those with aging joints. Function over form should be the goal. Wheel chair accessible is a great idea, and perhaps that feature would also serve families with those big strollers!B Lynd
These are all too big, and so ugly. Taxis should be discouraged all together. Most taxi rides are solo riders with no luggage. At least admit that congestion, noise, pollution and other stresses caused by too much traffic is mostly caused by taxis. Subways should be encouraged.
I always TRY to wear seat belts, but a 1/3rd of the time they are broken!
I've been in Taxis that they a. don't have seat belts, and b. not enough functional.
Who appointed you to your present position and was your betrayal of your constituents to bloomberg's third term ambitions worth it?
It's simple really. One manufacturer makes the process for extracting graft easier.
Ask Mr. Yassky - he knows all about it.
why do we have to choose one, why can't we have choices for different needs
Anything to fix the absurdity of today's taxi is way overdue! Go to London, make them like that. Room for 5, comfortable, wheelchairs fit, etc..
Although Commissioner Yassky notes that most wheelchair users have collapsible manual chairs, people like me use power chairs. I have not been able to take a cab with my power chair - ever. (The one time I called 2 hours in advance for one of those chairs, I was told it was coming, but it never did.)
I can only use a folding chair if my husband is available to push and fold.
We need a FULLY accessible vehicle.
Keep in mind that it's going to drive the cost. Most of the Taxis are owned by the garage and they charge too much for a hack driver. How can a driver survive the cost if the garage start charging whatever they want. who mandates the rate of lease from the garage?
Design: 1) Why not turn the front passenger seat around? Need a minimum of 4 passenger seats. 2) What happened to the driver protection shield? 3) Ford makes a new generation diesel - MPG comparable to a Prius - and very clean ... this is also NYC's chance to push LNG in passenger cars - use current technology while electric/battery options are developed.TLC must work out a taxi solution for the outer bouroughs .... the illegal black car situation is out of control .... but as the TLC has been co-opted by the fleets , fat chance ..... the TLC should be disbanned and a new agency created.
# people across the back is nice, but how about having a design where the front passenger seat is facing the rear and integrated into the passenger compartment so that 4 people can ride together rather than 3 in back and one with the driver in the front?
Definitely the Karsan. Looks like Bladerunner.
this is dumb. why are they picking only one car? so tall people, short people, and handicap forced to use this leaving no one very happy with the option.
The most important question: what are the decibel levels on the horns? Will I get some sleep in the future?
What will happen with the advertising on top of the taxis?
None of these designs are any good. The commisioner says they got 7 design proposals. If they really opened this up in an international design competition, they would have gotten hundreds. London transit did this with their new buses, and got an amazing design from Fosters and Partners Architects.
Why not demand that the cars be at least partially manufactured in New York?
My bad knees need leg room and a taxi low enough to get into/out of easily. I seldom take taxis ($16-$20 ride from Chelsea to upper east side) and because it's just too uncomfortable. (BTW I've stopped taking taxi to JFK - at least $60 including tip.)
Now that I've looked at the pics - there's nothing much there I'm crazy about. They all look more like delivery trucks and ambulances than people movers. They look to be narrow, too - legroom, great. Shoulder room, not so much. A taxi ought to be able to carry 4 adults - two couples traveling across town shouldn't have to take two taxis. So flexible seating might be a consideration.
like the Karsan best. Ford is just ugly, but:1. all are not 'modern' looking.2. provide for 2 or 3 types for various types of needs (like airport limo services have)3. SLIDING DOORS - save the bikers!!!
....and perhaps it's fitting that the new New York's taxi appears to be a mini-van!
Caller is right: they all look like refrigerators.
There's a lot, A LOT that's cooler than Brooklyn. It's become waaaaaay overrated in the recent past.
Whichever has the lowest entrance to the ground. My husband walks with a cane, and he can't negotiate getting into the new cabs. and there is no legroom; you can barely slide over on the seat.
Knee room matters for people with knee problems and replacements.
- These larger cabs should be allowed to carry more than 4 people. That's a policy issue. The SUVs on the road today have a 6 passenger capacity but are limited to 4 by law....
- Also more capacity in back to carry stuff. I do install and production work and need cargo space --- Maybe a fold up back seat the is ULTRA easy to use?
good luck pleasing everybody...
Let's finally give passenger leg room a hgiher pririoty than all the wasted unused space provided for luggage. I'm only 6 ft tall and reguarly have my knees jammed against the back of the driver's seat. Everyone else in the world seems to have solved this but NY.
does it mean that we expect always to have 3-4 customers in a taxi at any time? It would seems wasteful if in general, taxi ferries 1-2 people at a time...
A quick shout out from a Brooklyn Law School grad.
My most important feature for a new Taxi is a quieter horn or maybe no horn at all. We could ace millions on anti-anxiety drugs.
Best of luck.
i live, work, walk and drive in Manhattan and have done so for more than 50 years. as far as i am concerned the most important feature a new taxi should have is a horn which will blast inside the vehicle, directly from the the dash board, each time the driver blows his/her horn
Typical of the dopey and tone-deaf TLC to focus on the cars. What we want are great DRIVERS in this town...drivers that speak English, that know the city like the back of their hands, and most of all drive with prudence and the safety of their passengers foremost in mind. No cell phones and all the rest of the crap. We need TRAINED DRIVERS with the full professionalism of London cab drivers. I NEVER take taxis, and I've lived here all my life, because I always feel I'm taking my life in my hands. Some of the worst drivers on the planet.
I just got back from London and i loved the taxis there. I was even thinking that now that the crown vic is going away, i hoped nyc would adapt something similar to that but with some nyc style. number 1 really reminds me of that. love the accessibility, love the 4 people in 1 compartment and love the glass roof. plus its distinctive.
Karsan hands down, then ford in 2nd. No legroom, lack of cargo space is the worst thing about taxis. The glass roof is genius in a city as spectacular and vertical as NYC. Anyone who has been in a London taxi knows how great the drop seat and extra space are for large groups or carrying things home, in addition to accessibility.
Please don't require wheelchair accessible. This makes the taxis weaker and less comfortable for the rest of us. I wish there were a middle ground to help wheelchair people and the 99% rest of us.
Are they weighing where the cars will be built? In tough economic times it would be better if these cars are made in the US
My vote is for London Taxis, but I know they're very expensive. Of the three proposals, the Turkish option is the best looking design. The Nissan is just horrible looking, they couldn't even make it look good in the rendering. The Ford looks like a modification of their small delivery vans sold the UK and Europe.
I know we're in a recession, but these cabs will be a hallmark of this city and should be something we can be proud of.
KArsan for sure, its the only one that looks like a taxi. Nissan looks depressingly like a minivan and the ford looks like a truck you would load food into not passengers.\KArsan also looks like it has good visibility for the passenger to see the city.I am 6'1 and would gladly trade off some leg room for fuel efficiency any day, its worth it.
Typical of the dopey and tone-deaf TLC to focus on the cars. What we want are great DRIVERS in this town...drivers that speak English, that know the city like the back of their hands, and most of all drive with prudence and the safety of their passengers foremost in mind. No cell phones and all the rest of the crap. We need DRIVERS with the professionalism of London cab drivers. I NEVER take taxis, and I've lived here all my life, because I always feel I'm taking my life in my hands. Some of the worst drivers on the planet.
I vote for any taxi that is built in the usa by us, bringing jobs to us. I vote for a taxi that is not as light as a feather and in which one is knocked around like a jumping bean (reference to those crappy station wagon-esque things they have use). And last, any taxi that has slower moving meters. That's what I vote for.
Less about the vehicle, more about the driver... I demand more distracted drivers talking on their bluetooth with limited knowledge of the city and outer buroughs, erratic stop and go driving, and the strong smell of what was for dinner filling the cab.
The taxi mini vans are indispensable these days - they make shlepping possible. But they could be more "elegant," and there frequently isn't enough room for 3 passengers on the one rear seat. SUV taxis also offer flexibility.
Minivans also tend to have lower safety ratings than sedans - and we need a safe vehicle.
Safe, environmentally up to date, versatile but not to the point where it feels like riding in a delivery truck.
Yeah, fine, improve the cabs... but what about improving the drivers!?
They look low enough to step into which is a great advantage for those of us with some arthritis in the knees : )
make sliding doors mandatory! as a longtime bike commuter, i know that most 'dooring' injury dangers come from taxis because of the high number of non-new yorkers riding in them.
Electric, Electric, this is the perfect way for new york city to make a stance around the world to conserve energy in a big way. David & Brian... has this been considered?
I vote for number 1. It looks like it has the most room on the inside, while keeping the outside very compact.
made in America..support only USA products most important aspect
why not a smart car?why do people take taxis in manhattan any way (lazy, fat, money to burn)
DEFINITELY have several different designs and manufacturers. Brian makes terrific points about this issue.
Make seat belts better--always easily available. Make sure drivers don't pull away until passenger is strapped in. A woman was killed in just such an accident.
What ever they decide they should be hybrids or electric. There is no reasons not to be.
LOW ENOUGH TO GET INTO - CURRENTLY IF YOU WEAR A SKIRT, ARE SHORT OR INFIRM, YOU HAVE TO PASS BY ALL THE VANS TO GET A SEDAN
To be honest, I am only impressed with the first but still not in love. The second two appear as nothing more than ugly reinterpretations of vans already in production.
Like the one with sliding doors but I agree designs seemed dated. Are these hybrids?
Sliding doors yes. They also need to be friendly to senior citizens, as the SUV types are too tall to get into and out of. Also, they need to be big enough to take five passengers. I remember the old days when there was a flip up seat in the back - three on the bench and one stool.
You have to 'sign up' and 'sign in' to vote? Seems like an address fishing scheme.
The London taxis are great, but of course, here in the US we could never just adopt something that was developed in Europe! The Karsan looks like the smartest design- compact, upright, lots of glass. Gets my vote.
The Nissan is awful and the Transit seems larger than necessary.
Low enough for children, short women, and especially little old ladies to be able to get in and out of. (If I were fit and nimble enough to climb as high as necessary for some new taxis, I wouldn't need to be taking taxis, would I?)
Cab number on the body of the car, not on the door, so that departing passengers can have a good look at the number as they look back inside the cab to make sure they didn't leave anything behind. When the number is on the cab door, departing passengers only see it fleetingly. Always memorize cab numbers in case of lost property.
More light in the back seat for counting money at night.
I vote for #1. It looks like taxis do in many parts of europe. And, they just do everything much cooler over there than we do here.
There is nothing new or innovative about these so-called "Taxis of Tomorrow." It's unfortunate because they already feel dated. I'm disappointed.
As a cyclist I like the one with sliding doors. Traditional swinging doors are the ugly russian roullette of NYC driving. It's so dangerous for cyclists when riders swing open those doors to get off the cab and never look back on oncoming bikers.
Why not just use the new London taxis? They're fantastic. I've used them in London, in Manchester, and in Cape Town, and loved them.
Here in France, there is no uniformity in design. Any vehicle can be a taxi, and until recently, there's not even been any visual design consistency. Now there's a new rooftop signal that replaces the three bulb display with a single larger light that shines either red (unavailable) or green (available). Alas, this is of no use for the 10% of the population that suffers from red-green color-blindness.
The only other change will be introduced as taxis are replaced, and it simply requires that the roof and top part of the taxi be black.
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