As we mentioned in our previous post, Mayor Michael Bloomberg is on a mission to transform New York City taxis. Back in December 2009, Mayor Bloomberg and the Taxi and Limousine Commission issued a "Request for Proposals" which invited auto makers to submit ideas for a new vehicle to serve as the New York City Taxi of Tomorrow. The winner was the Nissan NV200 minivan, the problem is that they’re not wheelchair accessible.
Well there must be a reason to screw over everyday Americans trying to get to work like the rest of us, right? Here are Mayor Bloomberg’s top five reasons:
- "[Wheelchair accessible vehicle] suspension is much worse, so the average person riding in them finds them really uncomfortable."
- Because, you know, when one thinks comfort, one thinks New York City Taxi Cab. Who wants to mess with that kind of luxury?
- "You just can’t take a wheelchair out into the street and try and hail a cab."
- They’re banning wheelchairs on streets now?!
- "A lot of drivers say the passengers sit too far away and so they can’t have a good dialogue and they get lower tips."
- So frig Penny over there getting soaked in the rain waiting for one of the 231 wheelchair accessible cabs to make an appearance. Louie De Palma here needs a new pair of shoes.
- "What happens, apparently is, No. 1, it’s more expensive. No. 2, it’s heavier, so it uses more gas and there’s more pollution and it’s more expensive to run. No. 3, if you stay on the seat, you really have to get up and reach way over to pay the driver, and that’s difficult for people who aren’t as mobile but still would be better with wheelchairs."
- Oh look a three-for-one!
- More money? Screw ‘em. But hey, let’s get us some features like a moon roof with optional shading for those nights when the moon is just a-blazing! And of course, what “average” person couldn’t go without those 12-volt outlets and USB ports for their cell phones and laptops?
- Heavier? Yeah. More pollution? That depends on the vehicle the CITY CHOOSES. But, you know, when you generalize your always right.
- The paying the driver thing? Really, Mayor Bloomberg? Really? You do realize that at some point you will have to exit the vehicle, right?
- Oh look a three-for-one!
- “I think you’re going to see suits about people getting up, trying to get to the front, across the divide. You know there’s so much more space between the backseat and the divider, you’re going to have people getting hurt."
- Oh dear god, taxi cab highjackers filing lawsuits! What’s next?! And god forbid they injure themselves on all that space. You know how sharp space can be. They should put signs out or something like “WARNING! Risk of Injury: Too much space here.” They do it for electrical boxes and hazardous materials; they should do it for space, too.
* Hey New Yorker’s voted for them in the Taxi of Tomorrow Survey (a whopping 17.8% rated moon roofs as “very important” while only a measly 46.3% rated them “not important”; and 19.9% rated outlets and ports as “very important” while only a meager 42.3% rated them “not important.” But in their defense there probably wasn’t an option on that poll for “Would you like a wheelchair lift you’re never going to use but that is essential for a decent standard of living for many of your fellow Americans?” No instead there was this question:
One major goal of the Taxi of Tomorrow project is universal accessibility for persons with disabilities. What other features are important to you?
Beyond universal accessibility, what features are important to you in the Taxi of Tomorrow?
- Environmentally friendly
- More comfortable for passengers
- Better safety features for passengers
- Iconic and attractive design
- Better taxi content (partition, meter, screen)
- Durability and ease of repair
Yep, our thoughts exactly.
Oh and BTW, New Yorkers overwhelming chose the wheelchair accessible Karsan with 65.5% of pollsters saying that they Liked It/Loved It, while the Nissan and Ford only garnered 42.4% and 38% respectively.
Bloomberg’s 3 Top Contenders for NYC Taxi of Tomorrow
All Hail the Taxi of Tomorrow
Karsan V1 Taxi of Tomorrow