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Commissioner’s Corner

June 2013

A little less than 24 hours ago, a state supreme court judge published an opinion that local law 19-533, which requires the TLC to provide a hybrid vehicle option for taxi owners, would and should represent a challenge to the Taxi of Tomorrow project.  As everyone reading this knows, that’s the exclusive arrangement between New York City and Nissan USA to provide the first-ever taxicab that is purpose-designed just for New York City taxi drivers and their passengers.  The interesting thing about this decision is that it was announced about 16 hours before the TLC was poised to approve a rule amendment that would have proactively addressed the court’s 19-533 issue.  In other words, we are in synch with the court’s opinion, and we’re ready to make it right…..taxi owners will have a hybrid option, even after the Taxi of Tomorrow hits the road in October, and the timetable will not be affected.  We are on-track for the Taxi of Tomorrow to hit the road in late October of this year.

So, what does this mean to you, the person reading this?  If you’re a driver who already knows about the Taxi of Tomorrow – and maybe you’re one of the many drivers who sat in on focus groups with Nissan and actually helped them design this cab with YOU in mind – the news is good: the NV200 is coming soon and you will LOVE it.

If you’re a driver who hasn’t yet had a look at the vehicle or heard about its features, and maybe you’re just hearing bits and pieces of fact and/or fiction about it, you are in for a treat.  From its ergonomic – and adjustable!! -- seats to its super-intuitive driver and passenger climate controls, and from its easy-to-clean and maintain interior to the super-clear partitions, it’s superior to anything you’ve ever driven.  But there’s lots more to talk about.  For one thing, the NV200 Taxi of Tomorrow will be the first taxicab ever crash-tested with all its taxi equipment already installed, so it will certainly be the safest taxicab you’ve ever driven.  It will also have a boatload of amenities for your passengers, like a panoramic roof so they can enjoy the skyline as much as they do the streetscape, and plug-ins to charge their phones with, plus a flat floor with enough legroom for them to comfortably stretch out a little.  Taxi driving 101 – a comfortable passenger is a happy passenger and we all like a happy passenger!  There’s more, but I think you get the idea.  The point I want to make here is that this cab is for YOU, and it will be on its way soon -- and don’t let anyone tell you different.

Lastly, if you’re one those who have their doubts about this taxi, let me say this.  A lot of cabs have voluntarily vanished from the market over the past 106 years as the Crown Victoria did, from Packards and Edsels to Plymouth Furys and Caprice Classics, all the way to the Checker itself – but never before have any of them been replaced by a taxi that was built for the New York City taxi industry, with critical input from every facet of that industry – from fleet owners to drivers to the passengers we all serve.  We’re fighting to bring that to you, and I promise you – you’re going to love it.

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