On June 10 a four-judge New York state appeals court overturned a ban on the Bloomberg-inspired ‘Taxi of Tomorrow’-programme, replacing the present yellow cab fleet with the chosen Nissan NV200-vehicles. Judge David Saxe ruled that the programme was a “legally appropriate response to the agency’s statutory obligation to produce a 21st-century taxicab consistent with the broad interests and perspectives that the agency is charged with protecting.”
In October 2013, a state Supreme Court judge had rejected the programme and stated that the Taxi & Limousine Commission (TLC) did not have the authority to force the taxi industry to buy the Nissan cab.
However, the new mayor, Bill de Blasio, whose campaign was well-funded by New York’s taxi and FHV industry, remains opposed to the programme, criticising the approval process and the idea that the industry would have to buy a single vehicle instead of a choice of vehicles to use as yellow cabs. He also came back to his earlier statements mentioning the financial links between Nissan and the government of Iran and the lack of a vendor with a city-based manufacturing presence. Whilst the mayor is examining other legal steps, notably in the Court of Appeals, the Japanese carmaker has a 10-year contract with the city to supply the cabs. According to Crains New York it has invested $50 million in building the ‘Taxi of Tomorrow’. Cancelling the order would also lead to legal steps…. by Nissan.
• The Nissan NV200 for New York is produces in the company’s assembly plant in Cuernavaca, Mexico. Photo: Nissan.