It’s Not All Plain Sailing for Nissan's NYC Taxi of Tomorrow as Judge Rejects Program

I for one, was not particularly pleased to hear that NYC Ford Crown Vic (and classic sedan-shaped) taxi cabs were being phased out, being replaced with hybrid Nissan vans, as part of the Taxi of Tomorrow (ToT) project. Yes, the NV200 is very efficient, spacious and purpose-built for taxi duty, it just doesn’t look right with the romantic image of New York that people who have never been there have.

The plan was to have all old cabs replaced by the new Nissan ones by October 28, but it hit a snag in the form of a rejection by the Superme Court of Manhattan on Tuesday.

The Wall Street Journal says the magistrates “rejected Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s Taxi of Tomorrow program as an overreach of executive authority, potentially dooming a project to create a virtually uniform taxi fleet for the city”.

It all depends on who you ask, really, regarding uniformity as a general concept: some will say it’s the most efficient way to go and an integral part of the natural progression of things, while others will fight against it, convinced that diversity and freedom are the way forward.

That’s what the city’s Taxi and Limousine Commission tried to do – forcefully push the NV200 onto them, and make them buy only it for the next decade, as part of a grand plan thought up by Mayor Bloomberg. Now, the Greater New York Taxi Association has sued the NY institution, in the hopes of turning the decision around, and the prosecution did side with the plaintiffs on several cases, so it’s not a foregone conclusion just yet. Moreover, many of Mr. Bloomberg’s political rivals and those looking to take his place as mayor do not approve of ToT.

This will definitely cause additional problems, and the other party involved, Nissan, will definitely not be pleased about this at all, especially since production on the yellow NV200s has already begun in Mexico.

By Andrei Nedelea

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