Taxis of the Future

Monday, April 20, 2009

Commissioner and Chairman of the Taxi and Limousine Commission Matthew W. Daus is soliciting suggestions from the public and techies on how to make taxis more efficient and rider-friendly. What does the Taxi of the future look like to you? Comment below!


Matthew W. Daus

Comments [38]

Jean from Brooklyn, NY

The Taxis of the Future will all be wheelchair accessible so all of us can take any of them, and they will be fuel efficient and easy on the environment, maybe natural-gas-powered. Look how curb cuts transformed our walking lives. Accessible cabs can do the same for our riding lives, certainly for wheelchair and scooter users and their families and friends, but for others, too. Besides that, they will save millions of dollars for taxpayers because Access-A-Ride users could use them, too.

Apr. 24 2009 12:38 AM
Linda from Manhattan

In the 21st century, designers should be able to come up with a taxi that is thoroughly accessible to wheelchair users and also produces low emissions. (We all have to breathe!)

When my close friend had to use a wheelchair in her last months of life, she could no longer fit into taxis. She stopped going anywhere that required taking more than one bus because it was too exhausting. In her last months, it was winter and too cold to wait for buses, so she stopped going out at all. I've always thought that her sadness about not being able to go places and see people shortened her life. It certainly made it emptier.

Apr. 20 2009 03:40 PM
Laura from brooklyn

Yes to universal design. But also yes to more public bathrooms and rest areas for taxi drivers. Maybe they wouldn't be so impatient with the horns if they had proper places to rest, use the bathroom, park the cab, have a snack between demanding fares.

Apr. 20 2009 01:55 PM
Jon P. from The Garden State

Yes to more taxi cabs that are wheelchair accessible. No to kiddy seats in taxi cabs. It’s a choice to have kids so it’s the parent’s problem. People don’t choose to be in a wheel chair or disabled. It’s society’s duty to accommodate those in wheel chairs.

Apr. 20 2009 01:47 PM

As a person who uses a wheelchair, I am frustrated by the lack of accessible taxis. When I am running late or the weather is inclement, I do not have the option of hopping in a cab like most New Yorkers. The TLC--rightfully so--won't tolerate taxi drivers that turn down customers based upon their race, but allows medallion owners to operate vehicles that can't accommodate people who use wheelchairs. It's long past time for the TLC to require that every taxi on the road be able to serve every New Yorker that wants to use one.

Apr. 20 2009 01:08 PM
Alexander from NY, NY

After years and years of talk, legislation, and stalling the Taxi & Limousine Commission has done nothing but provide lip service regarding putting wheelchair accessible taxis on the road. The number of yellowcabs in NYC totals over 13,000 -- while less than 200 are wheelchair accessible. This is very backward. The taxi of the future needs to have universal design as a premise, rather than an afterthought. Green design should not preclude universal design. Enough heel-dragging already, it's time to do what's right! It will benefit folks with packages, parents with infants and strollers (hence the term "universal design." It's for the greater good of all... Tall people, fat people, old people, young people... you get the idea...

Apr. 20 2009 01:01 PM
mike from Manasquan

I like the "hornless" cab idea. Maybe only the drivers inside hear the horn? Some form of wireless horn delivery straight to the offending cab driver's ears?

Also: MORE LEG ROOM. Why must you have the flexibility of Houdini to ride in a yellow taxi? Vans and SUVs are better but supposedly transmition-challenged for the job. No more rolling coffins, I want comfort crossing town.

Apr. 20 2009 12:06 PM

rick, you and the city are mistaken about how much natural gas helps curb global warming.

gas cos have plugged the western shale formations to death to drill natural gas, most of which is being sold ex-US. what that requires is mixing millions of gallons of local drinking water with 350 toxic chemicals and using a diesel generator to blast the shale open and draw up the gas. there's nothing clean about it, and the city should drop "natural" gas hybrids. more info:

more cars of any sort are not the solution!

Apr. 20 2009 12:06 PM
Richard Wrightman from NYC

Easy to get in and out of and leg room of coarse.
A soft barrier between passengers and the driver.
How many people have died when their heads have
impacted the current hard barriers.

Doors that slide open will prevent unaware passengers from flinging their doors against before approaching bicyclists and prevent countless yellow dings on other car doors.

Apr. 20 2009 12:01 PM
Cynthia Lewis from United States

The Commissioner just said that they want to design "adorable" cabs. OMG! Have pity on older tall New Yorkers. We are not interested in cute cabs to attract tourists. We are your core constituency and are very uncomfortable in the new cabs. We pass them up for good,old, NY taxis and sometimes just take the bus if we can't find one.

Apr. 20 2009 12:01 PM
Ryan kitson from Brooklyn


We all know that horns are necessary for safety, but to combat horn abuse they should also go off on the inside of the cab, on the drivers side, close to their ear. This is the only way to prevent abuse and still allow horns to be used for emergency.

Apr. 20 2009 11:58 AM
ivan from ny

First, they have to go to school for courtesy.
As you can see 95% of taxis drivers came from an undisciplined country.They came here with their selfish attitude and some mental problems
and other issues. Those drivers should be screened properly. They do not care to understand the culture of this country. While being on left side,they switch to right side to pick up a passenger. They have no respect for people's life just like they were at home.ALTHOUGH WE NEED THEM , THEY HAVE TO HAVE MORE TRAINING ON COURTESY.

Apr. 20 2009 11:58 AM
Pat Costello from Long Island

Moon-roof for looking above

A light in the back seat since the upholstery is always dark and dark rugs - can't see if I dropped or forgot something - it's just a black hole.

Sturdier seats that don't swallow you - can be very hard to get in and out sometimes.

Maybe add a built in shelf for the driver - allow for his/her clipboard, newspapers, etc to be neatly kept.

Apr. 20 2009 11:56 AM
Xtina from Lower Manhattan

Wheelchair accessibility is CRUCIAL TODAY!--when you call 311 for a wheelchair cab --it takes up to 3 HOURS (no joke) to get a ride!!! My friend in a wheelchair called for a cab at 11:30 the other night, finally gave up and found another way--then received a call at 3 in the morning saying his cab was on it's way.

Apr. 20 2009 11:56 AM
cam from UWS

How about pop up toddler seats?

Apr. 20 2009 11:56 AM

Ebun from Brooklyn,

>>April 20, 2009 - 11:52AM

I hope the taxi of 2moro picks up blacks<<


Its a question of getting a return fare. The feeling is that the liklihood of getting a return fare from a black neighborhood is slim.

Apr. 20 2009 11:56 AM
markBrown from

Cell Phone blockers are ILLEGAL in the United States per the FCC.

you might be able to get around that by having a cell blocker for the car when the engine is running, but that would also affect the customer in the back

Apr. 20 2009 11:56 AM
Mary from Manhattan

Is anyone considering the visibility of the lights that indicate whether a car is full, free or off duty? In daylight, it's very hard to see if a car is free or occupied. At night, the most visible lights are "off duty." I'm a lifelong resident and I still find it confusing.

Apr. 20 2009 11:55 AM

I would suggest passenger doors that open in reverse - similar to the old-style "suicide doors". As a cyclist, getting hit by an opening door is a very serious concern and having the doors open in the opposite direction would considerably lessen the impact.

Apr. 20 2009 11:54 AM
Suzanne from queens

Some sort of carseat or child restraint would be great, maybe one that can fold down from the back seat? Having no car and two kids, I know that schlepping two car seats for a short taxi ride is just about impossible.

Apr. 20 2009 11:53 AM
Rich from manhattan

2 questions:

1 - what are your thoughts on the ny magazine article about the electric cars with a replaceable battery (as opposed to just a rechargable one) - so have the T&LC invest in the stations throughout the city where taxis can pop in and out [in less than 1 minute] and drive out with a new and full battery.

2 - approx how much of the T&LC's revenue comes from trips to and from the airports? what would happen if we had better public transportation all the way from JFK and LGA to NYC?

Apr. 20 2009 11:53 AM
Adam from Fort Greene

The taxi of the future should be no taxi at all. Taxis create congestion, pollute the city and make the streets less safe for pedestrians. The taxi commission should be scaled back to a care service where people can call to request a pick up, and the remainder of the budget should go towards improving and expanding mass transit systems like subways and the rapid transit bus system.

Apr. 20 2009 11:53 AM
Voter from Brooklyn

One suggestion. Go back to the less trendy far easier to read font for the cab numbers and fair charts… the current design favors “coolness” or “newness” over solid information graphics.

Apr. 20 2009 11:52 AM
Ebun from Brooklyn

I hope the taxi of 2moro picks up blacks

Apr. 20 2009 11:52 AM
Steve (the other one) from Manhattan

Simple - steal the design of the London taxi and make it a hybrid, an electric, and/or a clean diesel.

Apr. 20 2009 11:52 AM
katie from scarsdale, ny

I love the taxis in London. They are comfortable, easy to get in and out of, and perfect for a family of 5 traveling together. Love the way they look, too. But, I doubt they would meet any green standards!

Apr. 20 2009 11:52 AM

Will these cabs run on natural gas? AT&T is converting their fleet to natural gas. Utah has tons of natural gas filling stations. Honda has a natural gas cars. That would help with Global Warming instead of this plug in hybrid nonsense.

Apr. 20 2009 11:52 AM

1) The taxi fleet should be completely transitioned to hybrid cars. Period, done.

2) Get the annoying screens out of the back seat and put the GPS on the dashboard for the DRIVER. I don't need to watch a map of where I'm going, but I wish the driver didn't have to rely on me to give him directions when going into Brooklyn, especially when it's to a destination to which I don't know precise driving directions.

Apr. 20 2009 11:51 AM

What is the legal status of Mayor Bloomberg's requirement for an all-hybrid taxi cab force?

Apr. 20 2009 11:51 AM
Maggie Clarke from Inwood

Since taxis stop and start a lot, they need the flywheel built in to capture all that wasted energy as well as good fuel efficiency. They need to be smaller as well (or at least one option would be smaller) since most fares consist of one person. I actually think the fleet could be mostly the small ones with a few the current size and a few larger (for people with large packages). The smallness would also help them conserve fuel and not be quite as much a hazard to bike riders. There should be a bigger rear view mirror and bigger windows so that the cabbie can see bicyclists better.

Apr. 20 2009 11:50 AM
rachel from manhattan

i've always thought the best part of taking a cab was the convenience it provided. however, i recently rode in a prius taxi which was a wonderful experience. it was clean, quiet and lovely. you're on the right track, keep up the good work!

Apr. 20 2009 11:50 AM
charles from manhattan

put a light in the back seat, so I can count my money on a night trip.

should have been part of cab 1.0

Apr. 20 2009 11:50 AM
hjs from 11211

please take the TV's out of the cab. they are annoying

Apr. 20 2009 11:49 AM
David Martin from Indianapolis, IN

I am a wind power dude. A city like NYC, or one with a greater air pollution problem, should build a large offshore windfarm and use the energy to charge the batteries of a plug in hybrid taxi fleet--perfect marriage of the two technologies. Cleaner air, healthier people, reduction in fossil fuel usage, ....

Apr. 20 2009 11:47 AM

the taxi of the future need not be re-designed. it is the bicycle (tandems and such for group rides).

Apr. 20 2009 11:47 AM
Al from Manhattan

I saw this same competition a few years ago. All of the entries were from art school grads. They were all very pretty. Not one came from an engineer with actual knowledge of how to build a car. Function doesn't seem to matter as much as form and the artist's ability to promote himself. I would love to see a competition for cars that actually run.

I would be the first to submit a design for a 100mpg drivetrain. Someone else can make it look pretty later.

Apr. 20 2009 11:10 AM
hjs from 11211

may I suggest, larger mini-van taxies used for ride sharing that go up or down only one avenue, from battery park to 96th St.

Apr. 20 2009 11:06 AM
Tristan from Manhattan

how about one without a horn?

Apr. 20 2009 11:05 AM

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