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Taxi Of Tomorrow

Transportation Nation

Judge Invalidates NYC's Taxi of Tomorrow

Tuesday, October 08, 2013

A New York State Supreme Court justice has struck down New York City's "Taxi of Tomorrow" plan, invalidating one of Mayor Bloomberg's signature initiatives.

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WNYC News

Bloomberg Says He'll Override Taxi Dissenters

Friday, December 14, 2012

Mayor Michael Bloomberg is dismissing reports that City Comptroller John Liu will not sign off on the new generation of taxis.

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Transportation Nation

New York City's Taxi of Tomorrow Becomes Taxi of Today

Thursday, September 20, 2012

(Caitlyn Kim, New York, NY -- WNYC) The Taxi and Limousine Commission approved the city's next generation of yellow cabs Thursday morning.

The Nissan NV200 -- New York's "Taxi of Tomorrow" - on display at the 2012 New York Auto Show (photo by Kate Hinds

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.

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Transportation Nation

New York City Comptroller Says He's Blocking Taxi of Tomorrow

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

The Nissan NV200 -- New York's "Taxi of Tomorrow" - on display at the 2012 New York Auto Show (photo by Kate Hinds

Comptroller John Liu further complicated the New York City’s "Taxi of Tomorrow" project  Wednesday by saying he wouldn’t approve the city’s contract with Nissan because the vehicle selected isn’t wheelchair accessible.

Surrounded by other elected officals and advocates for the disabled, Liu said he believed the contract ‘as is’ violates the Americans With Disabilities Act.

But Liu, who is under an ethical cloud for campaign finance violations,  may not be able to reject the contract outright.  Liu's campaign treasurer and a fundraiser have been indicted for using "straw donors" to circumvent city camapaign finance rules.

Kate O’Brien, spokeswoman with the City Law Department, said, “the law limits the issues upon which the Comptroller may refuse to register a contract. None of the matters raised, including ADA compliance, would constitute lawful grounds for refusing to do so.”

The city chose Nissan to be the single provider of yellow taxis for the next decade beginning in 2013. The new cabs will be rolled out as older cabs are retired.

The Nissan NV 200 has transparent roofs, USB chargers and extra legroom.  However, even though it’s a mini-van, it isn't accessible to people in wheelchairs.

Liu said “requiring cabs to have independent climate controls is nice but when you fail to make them accessible to a growing number of New Yorkers, it’s not just a slap in the face, its illegal.”

Taxi and Limousine Commssion spokesperson Allan Fromberg called Liu’s objection to the contact “mysterious and ill-informed.” He said, “Nissan is providing a wheelchair accessible version of the Taxi of Tomorrow, the city will create an additional 2,000 wheelchair accessible medallion licenses and they’re on the cusp of launching a demand responsive wheelchair accessible taxi dispatch system.”

Disabled groups sued the city over the Taxi of Tomorrow, and in 2011, a federal court ruled that the city, through the Taxi and Limousine Commission, violated ADA because it failed to provide passengers in wheelchairs meaningful access to taxis.  But an appeals court has allowed the city to put new taxis on the street without complying with the lower’s court’s order.

Currently, only 2 percent of the city’s taxi fleet is wheelchair accessible.

Attorney James Weissman with United Spinal Association, one of the groups involved in the lawsuit against the Taxi of Tomorrow, rejected the notion that a dispatch system will provide “meaningful access” to cabs for the estimated 60,000 New Yorkers in wheelchairs.  He noted that a separate system just for people with disabilities is a classic violation of civil rights.

“If it was any other protected class would we even question whether or not this was a shameful practice?” he asked. “What if we were running a separate system –substitute any other protected class…women have to take a separate system, blacks have to take a separate system – they can’t get in the same cabs…it doesn’t pass the smell test.”

By taking on the taxi issue, the embattled comptroller isn’t only taking on New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg  He’s going head-to-head with TLC Commissioner David Yassky—his rival in the 2009 runoff for the office of Comptroller—an office many political insiders believe Yassky would make a run for again.

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WNYC News

Liu Vows to Block 'Taxi of Tomorrow'

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

WNYC

Comptroller John Liu further complicated the city’s Taxi of Tomorrow project on Wednesday by saying he wouldn’t approve the city’s contract with Nissan because the vehicle selected isn’t wheelchair accessible.

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Transportation Nation

New Yorkers Check out Taxi of Tomorrow

Sunday, April 08, 2012

It's roomy...but also boxy. Those are some assessments of New Yorkers who got to check out the  'Taxi of Tomorrow," unveiled this week with much fanfare. The Nissan minivan has been chosen by city officials be the cab for the next decade, beginning next year as older cabs are retired.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg kicked the tires with Nissan execs Tuesday night, as the press was treated to cocktails and hors d‘oeuvres while they inspected the vehicle.

But at the New York International Auto on Friday, potential passengers got to see for the first time the taxi that will shuttle them home in the wee hours or take them cross town when they’re late for a meeting for the next decade.

The  NV200 model attracted a small crowd.

Myles Simmons from Manhattan looked closely at the prototype on display. He said he appreciated many of the next taxi’s features.

"I do like that there's leg room, I like that you have personal climate controls in the back, and that there's the USB ports where you can charge things," he said.

He did wonder why the minivan couldn’t fit wheelchairs.

Brooklyn’s Eddie Fernandez said part of the reason he came to the auto show was to look at the taxi. “I wanted to see exactly what it looked like up close before they put it on the street.”

Fernandez said the larger size will come in handy for New Yorkers who schlep around tons of stuff. “A lot of people have baby carriages, or luggage, they carry big bags around with I-Pads and all of their electronics, so I like that,” he said.

But others like Brooklyn's Orlando Vargas didn't approve of the boxy shape of the Nissan. Vargas would have preferred something sportier.

"This is just too cargo-y, just like a delivery van in a way, a yellow delivery van," he said.

The  NV200 will retail for $29,700 when it goes on sale in 2013.

The brighter yellow cabs of the near future will be on display at the Javits Center until April 15.

Getting a closer look at the city's next taxi
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Transportation Nation

Slideshow: New York's "Taxi of Tomorrow" on Display at New York Auto Show

Friday, April 06, 2012

The Nissan NV200 -- picked last year to be New York's "Taxi of Tomorrow" -- is making its public debut Friday at the New York International Auto Show.

It will be phased into the fleet beginning in October 2013. The city expects it to replace all other cab models by 2018. Check it out below.

The city's choice of the Nissan is enraging everyone from disability rights activists to lawmakers upset with the company's business ties to Iran. A class action lawsuit, calling on the city to make all cabs wheelchair accessible, is wending its way through the courts system. Meanwhile, a photoshopped image of Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad riding shotgun in the new taxi is being tweeted by NYC Public Advocate Bill de Blasio.

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WNYC News

Photos: New NYC Taxi on Display at Auto Show

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

A prototype of the new New York City taxi was on display at the New York International Auto Show in midtown Manhattan Wednesday.

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WNYC News

Hail to the New NYC Taxi; Nissan Cab Unveiled

Monday, April 02, 2012

In a cab and your cell phone just died? No problem. Just plug it in. The new cabs hitting the streets of New York City next year will have charging ports for riders' electronics.

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Transportation Nation

Taxis Are So Hot: Nissan Uses NYC Cab as Ad Model

Monday, March 26, 2012

(Soterios Johnson, WNYC -- New York) New York City's "Taxi of Tomorrow" will be making a kind of early appearance starting this week.

Nissan, the maker of the city's next model taxicab, said it will be using the boxy van in an ad campaign to help brand the company as innovators to be showcase the company's innovation.

Last year, Nissan's NV200 van won the city's design competition for all new New York City yellow cabs, which are expected to hit city streets next year.

Among the taxi's novel features are passenger airbags designed to work around the partition, exterior alert lights when a door is opened, independent passenger climate controls and more cargo room than a large sedan.

The car company’s advertising campaign will include huge billboards throughout the city around town, social media outreach and signs on existing taxi rooftops. It will also tie in the company's launch of five new vehicles over the next 15 months.

One of the other aims of the campaign is to get people to visit one of the new taxis at next month's New York International Auto Show.

Nissan's confidence in attaching its brand so closely with the city is seen as a sign of how big a draw New York has become for advertisers.

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WNYC News

So-Called Taxi of Tomorrow Makes Cameo This Week

Monday, March 26, 2012

Nissan, the maker of the city's next model taxicab, said it will be using the boxy van in an ad campaign to help brand the company as innovators to be showcase the company's innovation.

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Transportation Nation

TN MOVING STORIES: Public Transit Tax Benefit Cut, New Trucking Rules, & NYC's Taxi of Tomorrow Threatened by Livery Bill Of Today

Friday, December 23, 2011

Top stories on TN:
FAA Clears Santa’s Flight Path (Link)
DC Dangles Cash to Fight Congestion (Link)
Just How Good Are the TSA’s Body Scanners? (Link)
Tips for Infrequent Flyers: Leave the Olives at Home, and Junior’s Shoes On (Link)
Despite a Year of High-Profile Crashes, Inter City Bus Use Soars (Link)

(photo by Kate Hinds)

Commute by public transit? Your tax benefit is being reduced. Drive? You're getting a parking benefit increase. (Chicago Tribune)

Volkswagen's will limit employees' access to work email in an attempt to give them a break during non-work hours. (Marketplace)

An oil spill near the coast of Nigeria is likely the worst to hit those waters in a decade. (AP via NPR)

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo's requirement that NYC's entire taxi and livery fleet eventually become wheelchair-accessible is a stinging rejection of the mayor's non-accessible Taxi of Tomorrow. (Crain's New York Business)

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood said he won't back a proposal to prohibit drivers from talking on cellphones -- giving a boost to car makers and mobile-phone companies that stand to lose if regulators impose a ban. (Wall Street Journal; subscription)

President Barack Obama’s administration maintained an 11-hour limit on truck drivers’ hours today, scaling back a proposal to give them more rest... (Bloomberg)

...But some rules for drivers have changed. Learn more about the new regulations in Politico MT.

Can Amtrak afford to leave Penn Station for its new home in Moynihan Station? (Atlantic Cities)

Take a peek inside lower Manhattan's Fulton Transit Center, which is scheduled to open in 2014. (DNAInfo)

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Transportation Nation

TN MOVING STORIES: October Snow Snarls Northeast Transit, Massachusetts Judges Go Easy on Drunk Drivers

Monday, October 31, 2011

Top stories on TN:

A plan to expand managed toll lanes on highways around Florida has strong support. (Link)

There's no recession at the busy Port of Houston. (Link)

Downed utility pole on New York's Metro-North rail line following a rare October snowstorm (photo by John Wagner/Metropolitan Transportation Authority)

Massachusetts judges tend to go easy on drunk drivers. (Boston Globe)

The AP fact-checks Republican claims that $1 out of every $10 in transportation aid is spent wasteful projects. The verdict: "To make their case, lawmakers have exaggerated and misrepresented some projects that have received aid." (Link)

Union Pacific says California's planned high-speed rail project poses safety risks to its freight operations -- and disregards the company's property rights (Los Angeles Times). Meanwhile, the state releases its high-speed rail business plan tomorrow. (Mercury News)

NY Daily News: table the city's Taxi of Tomorrow until it's wheelchair-accessible. (Link)

Speaking of cabs: Taxi TV is making it easier to lower the volume -- or hit the mute button. (New York Times)

And: A NY Times editorial supports the city's crackdown on unnecessary honking.

Women are still sitting in the back on Brooklyn's B110 bus. (Wall Street Journal)

Qantas will resume flights after regulators ordered an end to work stoppages. (Marketplace)

Following a rare October snowstorm, two NJ Transit rail lines will be out of service Monday (MorristownGreen.com); there are also some disruptions on Metro-North (LoHud.com).

DC's Tourmobile is closing up shop. (WAMU)

And: Happy Halloween!

Halloween comes to the NYC subway (photo by Kate Hinds)

 

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Transportation Nation

Nissan Picked As NYC's "Taxi of Tomorrow"

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Nissan's design for NYC's Taxi of Tomorrow

WNYC's Kathleen Horan is reporting the Taxi of Tomorrow will be Nissan -- and already there are calls for an investigation of a conflict of interest in the contract-letting. Public Advocate Bill de Blasio, Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, and Assembly member Micah Kellner are calling for an investigation -- their letter to NYC Comptroller John Liu is after the jump.  Karsan -- one of the losing entrants (the other was Ford) had promised, if selected, to build its taxis in Brooklyn.  It had one of the most intriguing designs (moon roof, sleek lines), but city officials had expressed concerns about the Turkish company's ability to fulfill the contract.

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Transportation Nation

TN Moving Stories: Christie Says He Won't Repay ARC $, Taxi of Tomorrow Winner To Be Unveiled, and DC Bikers Battle Rough Roads

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

Christie said he won't repay ARC money: the NJ gov said the $271 million in federal funds that had been designated for the ARC tunnel “is not money that should be paid back to the federal government.” His decision may cost the state $52,000 a week in interest. No word yet on his next move. (Bloomberg)

The winning automaker in New York's "Taxi of Tomorrow" contest will be unveiled soon. (WNYC)

Queens residents and politicians are fed up with New York's #7 subway line, which has had 106 service disruptions since January. (Queens Courier)

Rep. John Mica is worried that Osama bin Laden supporters might target America's transit systems. (The Hill)

The Netherlands has sent three experts on “cycling as transportation’’ to Miami to help figure out how to make that city more bike-friendly. (McClatchy; hat tip to Good)

DC-area bicyclists not only battle cars, but the design of the roads. (WAMU)

Why yes, I would like to build a bicycle that also doubles as a pencil. (Instructables)

Pencil Bike (photo courtesy of instructables.com)

Toyota has sparked a controversy in Brazil for attempting to legally bar a media outlet that published spy shots of a new Corolla from ever mentioning the Toyota brand name again. (Jalopnik)

What happens to the neighborhood when a Borders disappears? Chicago wants to encourage smaller businesses, but parking remains a perpetual concern. (WBEZ)

Honda is recalling hundreds of thousands of vehicles over airbag concerns. (Detroit News)

Follow Transportation Nation on Twitter.

In case you missed it on Transportation Nation:

--DC's bikeshare gets a boost from a rally held in the wake of bin Laden's death (link)

--as gas prices rise, so does bus ridership (link)

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Transportation Nation

Taxis of Tomorrow To Be Built in Brooklyn?

Monday, April 25, 2011

(New York, NY -- Kathleen Horan, WNYC) One of the the three auto maker finalists in the running to be the taxi-provider for the next decade in New York City  is stepping up the competition by vowing to build the cars in Brooklyn if selected.  New York is currently holding a competition to replace the iconic Ford Crowne Victoria, which in turn replaced the iconic checker cab.

The Turkish automaker Karsan has informed New York city officials that they'd outfit a 250, 000 square foot space at the south Brooklyn marine terminal to produce thousands of vehicles if they're selected to be the "Taxi of Tomorrow" manufacturer.

Karsan USA President Bill Wachtel [WACT-tell] says since they're planning to partner with [the American company] Chrysler for the engines, transmissions and gear boxes, it's actually a better to assemble the vehicles here.

"It makes far more sense for us to build the car in Brooklyn than it does to send all these U.S. components to Turkey and ship it back," Karsan USA President Bill Wachtel says.  he says his proposal includes a partnership with Chrysler to build engines, transmissions, and gear boxes for the taxis.

Wachtel says the project could provide 2-300 local jobs at the outset.

The other competitors in the Taxi of Tomorrow project --Ford and Nissan are staying tight lipped about Karsan's proposal but a spokesman for the city's Taxi and Limousine Commission says the agency in the process of evaluating the 3 proposals from their finalists.

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Transportation Nation

New York's Taxi Riders: Credit Cards Yes, TV No

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

(Kate Hinds, Transportation Nation) They like the option to pay by credit card. But they hate the fare. Over 30% of riders also liked the ease of hailing cabs, and a similar number felt that they were faster than public transportation.  And they don't like Taxi TV, which earned disdain from a third of riders.

These were some of the opinions the New York Taxi and Limousine Commission gleaned from a survey of over 22,000 cab riders. The TLC wanted to learn passengers' likes and dislikes about cab riding--and also collect feedback to put to use in the Taxi of Tomorrow competition.

And when it comes to voting for the actual Taxi of Tomorrow -- the cab that the city will require owners to purchase, starting in 2014 -- the Karsan was the favorite.

You can see the results below.

Taxi of Tomorrow Survey Results 02-10-11

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Transportation Nation

A Look at a Contender For NYC's Taxi of Tomorrow

Thursday, February 03, 2011

(Kate Hinds, Transportation Nation) Karsan unveiled its prototype for New York's Taxi of Tomorrow. Built-in wheelchair ramp, doors that open to 90 degrees, 40 inches of legroom...plus a glass roof. What do you think, readers? Is Karsan taking an early lead?

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