NBC 4 New York
The new model of the New York City taxi, the Nissan NV 200, was approved Thursday by the Taxi and Limousine Commission with a 5-2 vote. Not everyone is pleased with the new fleet. Katherine Creag reports.
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.
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 new taxis will be on New York roads starting in the fall of 2013.
The Japanese-made Nissan is not wheelchair accessible, and other TLC commissioners argue it's less fuel-efficient than other cabs currently on the road, questioning its impact on the environment.
"The taxi of tomorrow is really a joke," said Guy Palumbo of Global Transportation Network Consultants, Inc. "It's retro, we're going back. It's gas-guzzling. We're just pumping more pollution into the city.
But drivers support it.
"I think it's great. The size and the way they're designed," said a driver named Jacques.
"They're strong. This car is better," said another driver, Jose.
TLC officials also say there are now about 200 wheelchair-accessible taxis dispatched upon request, and another 2,000 are to be added as the rest of the fleet hits the road.