New York City board approves future taxi fleet

New York City commission approves city's future taxis, a fleet of Nissan NV200s

Associated Press

NEW YORK (AP) -- New York City's future yellow taxi has been chosen.

It'll be a fleet of Nissan NV200s with skylights and electronic charging plugs, plus retractable steps that make entering and exiting easier.

The new model was approved Thursday by the Taxi and Limousine Commission with a 5-2 vote.

With a boxy shape and painted a brighter yellow than the city's current taxis, the cab offers a different experience for riders — starting with a flat, hump-less floor that makes shifting from one side to the other a simple task. They'll also have more leg room and even odor-reducing and anti-microbial fabric to help deal with, well, you know, anything you might smell in the backseat of a cab.

The doors on the vehicles slide open, so no more risk of hitting a passing bicycle messenger, and they'll all come with a navigation system, so no more getting lost in the outer boroughs. There are floor lights, to help find anything that may have fallen to the floor, as well as overhead lights for reading. Luggage can go into the cargo space in the rear.

The Nissans will replace the more than 13,000 existing cabs as they age and are retired — based on a five-year schedule created by the TLC.

The model, which beat out proposals from Ford Motor Co. and Turkey's Karsan, will be phased in beginning in the fall of 2013.

The Japanese-made Nissan is not wheelchair accessible. But TLC officials say there are now about 200 accessible taxis dispatched upon request, and another 2,000 are to be added as the rest of the fleet hits the road.

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