The New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) today announced that, following discussions with Nissan North America, it will begin phasing-in the Nissan NV200 – the Taxi of Tomorrow (ToT) -- beginning April 20, 2015. After that date, almost all taxi owners who choose not to buy a hybrid taxi will replace their existing vehicles with the ToT as they reach their normally-scheduled retirement date.
Among the key benefits achieved was a firm commitment to the manufacture of sufficient numbers of wheelchair accessible NV200s to help the City reach its stated goal of 50% wheelchair accessibility by the year 2020, over 7,000 accessible vehicles. Nissan also agreed to lower the vehicle sticker price over the life of the agreement, and end its right to exclusivity over hybrid taxis, which allows the TLC to offer taxi purchasers a variety of choices among an approved list of hybrid-electric vehicles.
Said TLC Commissioner/Chair Meera Joshi, “Passengers have already ridden and drivers have already driven over 8 million miles in the several hundred NV200s on the road today. The feedback from both is overwhelmingly positive. We are pleased to be able to offer this superior riding and driving experience to many more as they are phased-in over several years. And our partnership with Nissan gives us unparalleled and unprecedented input in future model years.”
Said Victor Calise, Commissioner of the Mayor's Office for People with Disabilities, "The City's commitment to proceeding with the Taxi of Tomorrow provides increased access for people with disabilities. We will continue to work with advocates to promote more accessibility throughout the TLC's regulated industries."
Said Paul Steely White, Executive Director of Transportation Alternatives, “As New York City streets change to improve safety, taxicabs need to be designed to ensure that passengers, drivers, bicyclists and pedestrians all have the safest possible travel experience. The Taxi of Tomorrow has design features to protect the most vulnerable users of our streets.
The sliding doors will prevent dooring, which is the leading cause of injury for cyclists. Exit lights will alert people on bikes and in approaching cars that a cab rider is disembarking. And in the worst-case scenario, when a collision can’t be avoided, the Taxi of Tomorrow’s sloped hood design will help reduce the severity of injury to a pedestrian or bicyclist who is hit.”
Said Bhairavi Desai, principal organizer for the NY Taxi Workers Alliance, “We fully support the TLC’s starting this program…..the majority of taxi vehicles are actually paid for and maintained by drivers, and with the warranty of the Taxi of Tomorrow, drivers will have the best economic protection that’s ever been offered for vehicle owners in this industry. It’s also the first taxi designed to be ergonomic for drivers, and given that 80% of drivers experience lower back pain, it’s very significant that this is the first taxi designed with drivers’ safety and health in mind.”
Said Michael O'Loughlin, Campaign Director, Cab Riders United, “All New Yorkers who pay for taxi service deserve a cab that meets the highest safety standards and provides the best possible passenger experience. This holiday season, cab riders can celebrate that Mayor de Blasio negotiated a deal that will put on our streets many more taxis with built-in safety features like passenger airbags, safety-tested partitions, and high-visibility seatbelts, plus amenities that range from legroom to anti-microbial seats to a roof with a view. Importantly, the deal will also bring these benefits to passengers in the city's growing fleet of wheelchair accessible taxis. We urge the mayor and TLC to resolve in the New Year ahead to require these same rigorous safety and passenger comfort standards of all vehicles used as NYC taxis.”
For further information please visit Taxi and Limousine Commission Web site at:
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