(Caitlyn Kim, New York, NY -- WNYC) The Taxi and Limousine Commission approved the city's next generation of yellow cabs Thursday morning.
The Nissan NV will hit New York City streets next fall. Among the features of the new taxi, which retails for about $29,000, are an interior skylight, a charging dock for passengers' electronics, and air bags.
Any taxi vehicle purchased before next fall can remain on the streets until it has to be retired due to wear and tear, which usually takes about five years. By 2018, the Nissan model is expected to be the only taxi in the city.
That means hybrid taxis will be one of the 16 car models phased out. The Nissan only gets approximately 25 miles per gallon.
The hybrid, while environmentally attractive, did have its detractors. Passengers complained of a lack of leg room, while cabbies said it was less reliable than the old Crown Vic model.
New Yorkers got a chance to look at the NV at the car show in April, and many praised the new features and the expanded leg room. But the boxy shape of the taxi didn’t please many.
Nissan won the 10-year, $1 billion contract to provide the exclusive taxi for the city in May 2011.