It’s official. New York City’s Taxi of Tomorrow is a minivan. In what has become a rather controversial competition, the Taxi and Limousine Commission has just announced that it chose the Nissan NV200 over the Karsan V1 and the Ford Transit Connect as the winning design for a more efficient cab. News leaked yesterday afternoon that the TLC had rejected the Karsan model, saying that the design was too high risk, even though it won the support of the public and many politicians.
The Nissan NV200 will become the city’s sole taxi cab design for the next ten years. It will phase out all 16 of the current models, including the ultra-efficient hybrids. No word yet on the new Nissan’s gas mileage. The models are expected to roll out in the next couple years, but political fighting could cause delays. As soon as the TLC announced its choice, Public Advocate Bill de Blasio and Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz sent a letter to Comptroller Liu asking him to investigate potential conflicts of interest between Ricardo, Inc. (the company whose report blasted the Karsan model for being too risky) and the TLC. The main point of contention is that Ricardo lists both Ford and Nissan as its clients. Gothamist has the full letter.
So who knows, perhaps the fan-favorite Karsan still has a chance.