Nissan’s NV200, or “Taxi of the Future,” is a slender vehicle that smacks of vast improvements when compared with the old, lumbering Crown Victoria cabs that have lined New York City streets for decades. It comes with passenger airbags, sliding doors, rear climate control and a dual intercom so passengers and drivers can communicate, but the convenient NV200 is coming at a mandatory cost for cab drivers, who are now required to purchase one of their own when they replace their current vehicles.
The taxi industry had long opposed homogenizing cabs, and it took a lengthy legal battle to finally formalize former mayor Michael Bloomberg’s suggestion of a standardized model. Last June, the “Taxi of the Future,” was announced as the official cab of New York City.
The news comes as a further blow for the embattled New York City taxi industry, which has faced innumerable setbacks in the face of rideshare services like Lyft and Uber. Mayor de Blasio had proposed a one-year moratorium on Uber specifically, but quickly backed away from the measure amid growing controversy and criticism from Uber advocates and a bunch of celebrities. The required purchase of this particular taxi exacerbates the sometimes astounding cost of working as a taxi driver in general, as “medallions,” or taxi licenses, sometimes costs individual drivers a gratuitous amount of money.
As per the new taxi legislation, the NV200 is set to hit streets today.
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