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November 16, 2010 6:50 AM   Subscribe

In 2007, City officials convened a group of stakeholders, including representatives of taxi drivers, owner and passengers, to create a set of goals for the next New York City taxi cab, a project called the Taxi of Tomorrow.
posted by Joe Beese (40 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
I still can't get over how Bladerunneresque that NYC logo looks. Any taxi cab looks futuristic with that logo.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 6:59 AM on November 16, 2010


Even more Bladrunneresque are the constant chattering videos and GPS maps in every. single. cab.

I hate those so much.
posted by The Whelk at 7:01 AM on November 16, 2010 [4 favorites]


I predict the Ford wins.
posted by smackfu at 7:04 AM on November 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


I still can't get over how Bladerunneresque that NYC logo looks

True! I eagerly await spinner cabs.

It's funny, I do find riding in each different make of NYC cab exciting. I grew up in the city back in the days when you could still hail a Checker (which was always a treat). I was agog when I first got an SUV cab, and when I first got a minivan cab. I look forward to the appearance of whichever new model ultimately starts cruising the streets. Now, if only they would integrate an RFID sensor that would allow the cab to track my extremely vehement preference for no television on in the back seat, I'd be in heaven.

Thanks for posting.
posted by Admiral Haddock at 7:06 AM on November 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


I still can't get over how Bladerunneresque that NYC logo looks.

"Bladerunneresque" in the sense of gas flares and street trash, not Sean Young.
posted by CaseyB at 7:08 AM on November 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


I assume all 3 proposals involve the driver handing out juice boxes.
posted by DU at 7:10 AM on November 16, 2010 [4 favorites]


I love the "NYC" logo on its own.

The shit they did to add the "Taxi" part with the circle around the T, which doesn't match at all, is the stupidest fucking thing ever, since a letter with a circle is the way the subways are marked. Doubly stupid is the fact that they are actively building the T subway line.
posted by Threeway Handshake at 7:12 AM on November 16, 2010 [2 favorites]


I want to win a year worth of taxi rides, hells yea! That'd be posh.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 7:16 AM on November 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


I was agog when I first got an SUV cab . . .

Me too. I was astonished that they could convert and SUV into a cab and somehow make it have substantially LESS legroom than an ordinary taxi. I understand that you have to encase the driver in a Popemobile-esque plastic box capable of withstanding the five megaton suitcase nuke carried by the average New York City Somali taxi pirate, but really can I just have some place to put my fucking knees?
posted by The Bellman at 7:20 AM on November 16, 2010 [11 favorites]


You know....instead of building something reasonable and classy (like a Hackney Cab), Ford is proposing a huge, ugly vehicle that is currently most popular amongst European painters. Like the cargo vans, it looks like most of the interior won't be finished (as in "bare metal")

There's no way that the Karsan vehicle would be safe, and Nissan's proposal is....a minivan.

3 kinds of FAIL.
posted by schmod at 7:22 AM on November 16, 2010


Alas, poor Travis; I knew him, Horatio.
posted by scratch at 7:23 AM on November 16, 2010


It's like butt ugly was a design requirement.
posted by milarepa at 7:26 AM on November 16, 2010 [5 favorites]


I can't decide whether to be pointlessly snarky about the lack of anti-aliasing in the .gif rollover images or to make some kind of lame Cash Cab joke.
posted by aught at 7:28 AM on November 16, 2010


RE: picture 5 on the Karsan design:

Yes let me just go sign into my Facebook account in the back of an NYC cab. What could possibly go wrong there?
posted by Riptor at 7:29 AM on November 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


a Popemobile-esque plastic box capable of withstanding the five megaton suitcase nuke carried by the average New York City Somali taxi pirate

In Toronto, at least, taxi drivers are 5 times more likely to be killed on the job than a cop.

Not sure what the NYC number is. But I strongly suspect that it's higher than 1.0.
posted by Joe Beese at 7:29 AM on November 16, 2010


Joe Beese (and everyone else): Please don't view my rant as a rant against taxi drivers -- it's a thankless and dangerous job and I'm incredibly grateful to the people who do it. I honestly just don't see why we can't keep them safe and still give their passengers a place to sit.
posted by The Bellman at 7:35 AM on November 16, 2010


Ford is proposing a huge, ugly vehicle that is currently most popular amongst European painters. Like the cargo vans, it looks like most of the interior won't be finished (as in "bare metal")

That wikipedia page you linked says "Not to be confused with Ford Transit Connect." The taxicab in question is the Transit Connect.
posted by smackfu at 7:36 AM on November 16, 2010


Like the cargo vans, it looks like most of the interior won't be finished (as in "bare metal")

Now, don't be a baby. You've had your tetanus shot, right?
posted by aught at 7:39 AM on November 16, 2010


The Karsan looks the best as far as interior design goes, but the Ford has the benefit of already being sold in volume in the US (it's the only one of the three that has actual pictures instead of renders), which probably means it'll be cheaper and also easier to get parts for.
posted by zsazsa at 7:42 AM on November 16, 2010


The Ford Transit Connect is already on the streets here as a delivery/service vehicle. I think they're a pretty sharp city transport option.
posted by djseafood at 7:47 AM on November 16, 2010


It's always exciting to go to NYC (from DC) and get a cab that was made after 1977...
posted by JoanArkham at 7:57 AM on November 16, 2010


The Ford Transit Connect is already on the streets here as a delivery/service vehicle. I think they're a pretty sharp city transport option.

As someone who generally cannot stand American cars, I completely agree. I do Red Cross disaster relief, and our chapter has one that I get to drive from time to time. It's got the storage of a decent-sized van but with the sightlines and drive-feel of a car. I like it very much, and I think you'll be seeing even more of them.
posted by rollbiz at 7:57 AM on November 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


With the logo and everything I think I'd feel a little tiny twinge of disappointment every time I got into one and it wasn't a Johnny Cab.
posted by FAMOUS MONSTER at 8:05 AM on November 16, 2010 [2 favorites]


wait

As of 2011, the Crown Vic won't be manufactured anymore...

.
posted by victors at 8:11 AM on November 16, 2010 [2 favorites]


i vote for the KARSAN but have never heard of the company. who are they?
posted by liza at 8:25 AM on November 16, 2010


What we used to have in NYC:
Checker cab -> tons of legroom. Jump seats!

What we have now on the streets of NYC

Crown Vic cab -> OK legroom with the security partition in place.
(very few) Minivan cabs outfitted for wheelchair access -> tons of legroom
Ford Explorer Hybrid cab -> virtually no legroom.
Toyota Prius cab -> you gotta be kidding me

The Turkish cab is the only one that looks set up correctly as a NYC cab. It actually has the legroom and jump seats that we've been missing.

Ford's offering is ugly and doesn't appear to give you any legroom. Nissan's offering also prioritizes luggage space at the expense of passenger comfort. FAIL on both counts.
posted by dudeman at 8:49 AM on November 16, 2010


Jumpseats kind of suck though. Not comfortable and you are knee to knee with someone. That cab is going to feel crowded with three passengers, where the current Crown Vic doesn't if someone sits in the front.
posted by smackfu at 8:55 AM on November 16, 2010


Complete with that future urine and vomit smell!
posted by wcfields at 9:10 AM on November 16, 2010


Based on my personal experience, it would seem that extra passenger capacity would be more useful more often than extra luggage room. There are plenty of times when I was with a group and it would have been wonderful to be able to get one additional person into the cab.
posted by snofoam at 9:13 AM on November 16, 2010


BTW I think the legroom figures quoted on the taxi site are BEFORE installation of the security partition. No way does the Ford Escape Hybrid have 35.5 inches of legroom, unless you start counting from the back of the trunk forward.
posted by dudeman at 9:15 AM on November 16, 2010


Buy the rights to the name Checker, build a copy of the Checker Cab with an aluminum chassis and plastic body panels, and fit it with a hybrid motor, cvt and a crapload of airbags. Throw in a Checker Cab for free with every cab medallion they sell. Done.
posted by Slap*Happy at 9:25 AM on November 16, 2010 [2 favorites]


And they're... all kind of terrible.
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 9:27 AM on November 16, 2010


I'm just worried the city will use this popular vote as justification to ignore the much needed wheelchair accessibility requirement desirable feature undue hardship.
posted by Soliloquy at 9:53 AM on November 16, 2010 [1 favorite]


Toyota Prius cab -> you gotta be kidding me

They have Prius cabs around here. I haven't had any issues with them. Seems like they'd be a pretty attractive option for the cab companies since they get triple the mileage of the Crown Vic.
posted by electroboy at 10:11 AM on November 16, 2010


The Karsan look to be the only one designed specifically for the role.

i like the dedicated luggage space inside the cab, so you'll not forget items in the trunk. also doesn't require the cab driver getting out of the cab to help you put things in the trunk. should speed pickup and drop off.

lots of legroom, separated seats.

the screens look interesting but probably unnecessary - save for a GPS based map display to tell the passengers where they are, where their destination is, and an interface for credit card payment. i see twitter and facebook icons on there, but if people want to do that stuff, mobile phones are the better bet.

on the other hand, i imagine many international travelers will be using these things and might appreciate those options without racking up massive data roaming fees.
posted by striatic at 10:17 AM on November 16, 2010


"There are plenty of times when I was with a group and it would have been wonderful to be able to get one additional person into the cab."

Has anyone else seen the ads for "How I Met Your Mother" on the subway where they seem to be sitting comfortably, four-abreast, in the back of a taxi? Where can we get those taxis?
posted by Eideteker at 11:08 AM on November 16, 2010


"Even more Bladrunneresque are the constant chattering videos and GPS maps in every. single. cab.

I hate those so much."


I don't mind the maps, but the video?

"Here's a look at our—"

*mute*

Ten seconds pass.

"Stay tuned for more—"

Hmm, I could have sworn I muted it last time.

*mute. again.*

Ten seconds elapse.

"SPEND A RELAXING WEEKEND AT OUR—"

Oh, a wiseguy, eh?

*mute, hide video/show map only*

Ten seconds later:

"And now an update on—"

I don't know what comes after that. I'm not allowed to ride in cabs anymore after I ripped the thing out of the seat and threw it out the window.

Best $750 I ever spent.
posted by Eideteker at 11:18 AM on November 16, 2010


I actually like the jumpseat in that Karsan. The old NYC Checker cabs used to have a jumpseat that you pulled up from the floor. And whenever the cabbie made a turn, you would go flying off the seat. Fun times if you were a kid.
posted by cazoo at 11:22 AM on November 16, 2010


Doesn't anyone remember Pratt Institute's Prattaxi from 1970? (Lower right hand corner. Use magnifying glass.)
posted by Faze at 1:16 PM on November 16, 2010


The taxi of tomorrow? The... taxi of ... tomorrow?

THE TAXI OF TOMORROW, IN MORTAL COMBAT WITH THE TAXI OF TODAY!
posted by Ghidorah at 7:36 PM on November 16, 2010


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