It took more than four years for tomorrow to come for this long-awaited taxi, but the day has finally come. Starting today, the boxy Nissan NV200 is the city's standard yellow cab, and it will eventually make up 80 percent of the city's taxi fleet. The Times calls the vehicle a "survivor," and they are not wrong: "It won a competition to redesign New York City's taxi. It endured a pothole-marred course in Arizona meant to replicate the city's rugged streets. And it prevailed in a legal battle and overcame the election of a new mayor who had been a vocal opponent." (It also survived the drama of a sunroof shattering on passengers).
Currently, about 750 of the 13,000 yellow cabs are NV200s, but more will hit the streets soon. According to the Taxi and Limousine Commission, about 2,500 to 3,000 owners replace their cars each year. While most will start driving the NV200, some medallion holders will also be able to pick hybrid or wheelchair-accessible cars.
The minivan aesthetic isn't for everyone, but the NV200s do have some nice perks: cellphone-charging outlets, sliding doors, "low-annoyance horns," sunroofs, temperature controls, more comfortable driver seats, light-up "vacant" signs, filtered air, and anti-bacterial seats, which honestly, everyone should be on board with.
· Tomorrow Arrives for New York City's Yellow Cab Standard [NYT]
· Taxi of Tomorrow coverage [Curbed]