New York City's post-Crown-Victoria future is becoming clearer. It was nearly a year ago that the selection of the future NYC yellow taxi was narrowed to three: the Nissan NV200, Ford Transit Connect Taxi and the Turkish entry, the Karsan V1. And although the Karsan was the people's choice, the Nissan NV200 was chosen as the official livery chariot for the next ten years.

Interestingly, even though the NV200 has 'official' status, the Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) can approve other vehicles for the fleet, and that's just what they've gone and done with the Transit Connect Taxi. That means that taxi companies can choose to add the yellow, 2.0-liter gas-powered van to their stables if they choose (and presumably their upcoming CNG and EV models as well). The approval opens another door to the Transit's by-the-mile transit victories, joining to Boston, Philadelphia and Orlando and California. Also of note is that it joins another Ford product that received the nod in New York – the Taurus.

There's a press release after the jump with more information. No word on whether the folks from Turkey can expect similar news anytime soon.
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New York City Approves Ford Transit Connect Taxi for Use; Versatile Cabs to Start Hitting Streets in Late Summer

- New York joins Boston, Chicago and Philadelphia on list of major cities to approve the Ford Transit Connect Taxi

- Ford ready to meet expected demand that comes with New York officials approving the Transit Connect Taxi for service

- Approximately 13,000 taxis service the nation's largest city; for decades, a majority of them have been Ford vehicles


NEW YORK, July 21, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- New York City officials named Ford Transit Connect a taxi of today this morning, green-lighting the nimble, fuel-efficient vehicle for use in the Big Apple.

The New York Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) approved the Ford Transit Connect Taxi for use at a regularly scheduled public hearing today. New York joins Boston, Chicago and Philadelphia on the list of big cities where officials have approved Transit Connect Taxi for use.

Transit Connects already are in service throughout the country. With today's approval, more purpose-built taxis are on their way to the nation's largest city to meet the demand expected among taxi owners.

"For decades, Ford has been synonymous with New York City taxis, and we are pleased residents and tourists now will benefit from our next-generation vehicle," said Mark Fields, Ford president of The Americas.

"We have Transit Connect Taxis in service across the country, and people tell us they love its spaciousness and its fuel efficiency."

Approval means the Ford Transit Connect Taxi has met the specifications set forth by the TLC. The Ford Taurus also was approved for use. The commission is responsible for regulation and licensing of all taxis in the city and is recognized as the largest and most active taxi and limousine regulatory body in the United States.

The approval in New York comes less than a month after the compressed natural gas (CNG) version of the Transit Connect Taxi was approved by the California Air Resources Board for use in California.

"Approval from the TLC is significant because it allows Ford the opportunity to offer New York City taxi operators and the riding public a taxi that is comfortable, durable, provides excellent fuel efficiency and delivers it all in a much smaller footprint that helps with congestion," said Kevin Koswick, director, Ford North American Fleet Operations.

The open architecture of the Transit Connect Taxi provides excellent interior headroom and passenger visibility.

With 6.5 inches of ground clearance, passengers step easily through the sliding doors. The rear door opening is 50.2 inches wide at the floor and has a height of 52.1 inches.

The Transit Connect Taxi is certified to Ford Light Commercial Vehicle Durability Standards, while suspension components and the underbody structure have passed requirements for potholes and curbs. The 39-foot turning diameter makes it easier to handle tight spots.

With its standard 2.0-liter four-cylinder gas engine and automatic transmission, the conventionally powered Transit Connect delivers a best-in-class 23 mpg combined, an estimated 30 percent improvement in fuel efficiency versus many of today's traditional taxis. Ford also offers engine prep packages that allow conversions to CNG and LPG (liquefied propane gas).

The first Transit Connect Taxi was delivered last December to a taxicab company in Boston. Since then, more than 100 have been sold to companies in Los Angeles, Chicago, Las Vegas, St. Louis and Orlando, Fla., to name a few.

"We applaud TLC Commissioner David Yassky and the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission for approving the only next-generation purpose-built taxicab currently available on the market, the highly reviewed and eagerly anticipated Ford Transit Connect Taxi," said Ron Sherman, president, Metropolitan Taxicab Board of Trade.

"This provides our 35 fleets with the opportunity to transition from one purpose-built commercial taxicab – the Crown Victoria – to the Transit Connect as early as this fall," he added. "Ford has been a great partner with the New York City taxi industry for decades, and this vehicle represents its commitment to the future of the taxi industry throughout the country."

Robert Gaye, CEO, Orlando-based Transtar Transportation Group, said he made the decision to add Transit Connect Taxis to his fleet earlier this year. The Transit Connect Taxis he bought service Orlando International Airport and the surrounding central Florida area under the Star Taxi name.

Gaye said that passengers and drivers are responding positively, praising the look of the vehicle, the fuel efficiency and the comfort level among other things.

"The response has been tremendous," said Gaye. "People will wait at taxi stands specifically for a Transit Connect Taxi. They just love them. I've had nothing but great reviews from both passengers and drivers."

About Ford Motor Company
Ford Motor Company (NYSE: F), a global automotive industry leader based in Dearborn, Mich., manufactures or distributes automobiles across six continents. With about 166,000 employees and about 70 plants worldwide, the company's automotive brands include Ford and Lincoln. The company provides financial services through Ford Motor Credit Company. For more information regarding Ford's products, please visit www.ford.com.


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    • 1 Second Ago
  • 39 Comments
      lne937s
      • 3 Years Ago
      This post is misleading. The Transit Connect has been approved for use during the transition period untill the the NV200 comes out. So has the Taurus, Impala and non-hybrid Altima. These are being added to other available taxi models. Taxi regulations require that the cars get replaced every regularly. The NV200 taxi doesn't come out till 2013, so these additional cars have been approved for the transition period untill then. Once the NV200 officially comes out, it will be the exclusive vehicle for the length of the 10 years. http://wheels.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/07/21/for-a-new-york-minute-ford-transit-connect-is-a-taxi-of-tomorrow/?smid=tw-nytimeswheels&seid=auto http://www.nissannews.com/pressrelease/2692/1/u.s-built-nissan-altima-approved-new-york-city%E2%80%99s
      Aylak
      • 3 Years Ago
      This is not fair at all. So the competition was just to eliminate the people's choice?
        Quen47
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Aylak
        The "People's Choice" was a pie-in-the-sky plan to build an a completely untested vehicle in the US from a small company that has never designed and built a car of their own, versus using proven designs from major manufacturers. Can't say I blame them.
          dzspleen
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Quen47
          Thank you. I'm tired of people talking about how awesome the Karsan is when it was never anything more than a CG rendering.
          Aylak
          • 3 Years Ago
          @Quen47
          I never said I'd choose Karsan but I don't live in NY and people of NY liked it. Also if this was not a one-winner competition why would you make it look like that anyway. Just tell the cab drivers "choose whichever you want from these". Bad one would become extinct in very short time.
      • 3 Years Ago
      [blocked]
        AM2
        • 3 Years Ago
        The Transit Connect is tried and tested since its been in commercial duty in Europe since 2002.
        Skicat
        • 3 Years Ago
        Everybody, try to be nice to Brian. He's 15 and knows everything he's learned about cars from his grandad.
      Justin Campanale
      • 3 Years Ago
      Sorry, but I'd take the Karsan or the Nissan over the Ford. The TC is about as aerodynamic as a brick, therefore it gets pretty lousy mileage.
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Justin Campanale
        [blocked]
      peakarach1
      • 3 Years Ago
      I think people of New York did make the right choice when they have choosen a better looking van Nissan instead of ugly van from Ford.
        Fixitfixitstop
        • 3 Years Ago
        @peakarach1
        You really think the Nissan is better-looking?
        mchlrus1
        • 3 Years Ago
        @peakarach1
        The peoples choice was the Carsan not Nissan. The officials chose the Nissan.
      Jac Zobel de Ayala
      • 3 Years Ago
      I will never ride a Turd Transit Connect Taxi.
        xmailboxcancerx
        • 3 Years Ago
        @Jac Zobel de Ayala
        Are you some kind of goddamn moron who hates everything from Ford? You're one of those? Tell you what, you'll have many more respectable comment posts once you realize that every automaker will make awesome AND terrible vehicles, instead of completely writing-off an entire manufacturer because you partake in some silly, asinine hate war against a manufacturer.
      rgee01
      • 3 Years Ago
      Why does the TLC have any authority over anything? Why aren't taxi drivers allowed to decide for themselves the vehicles they want to use? Do all taxi drivers work for the TLC? I'm not sure I understand what the exactly the authority of this body is. To me they sound like some sort of taxi cartel.
      founerra
      • 3 Years Ago
      I thought the Leaf won the Taxi Position?
        lne937s
        • 3 Years Ago
        @founerra
        6 LEAF's are being used as a test fleet to determine feasability and infrastructure needs for electric taxis. Pending the outcome of those tests, they will offer the planned electric version of the NV200 as an option to NYC taxi drivers.
          lne937s
          • 3 Years Ago
          @lne937s
          @redline The intention is not that it has to run all day but that it would run half a shift, quick charge for 20-30 minutes during lunch/bathroom break, then do the second half. The speed limit here is 30 mph, but with stoplights and traffic, average speeds are often half that or less in Manhattan. So a 4 hour shift would often be less than 60 miles- well within the capabilities of an EV.
          Redline
          • 3 Years Ago
          @lne937s
          Doesn't taxis need to have enough range to drive a whole day? Can the Leaf do that?
          who_the
          • 3 Years Ago
          @lne937s
          EV's simply don't have the range to be taxicabs. Most taxicabs are in service more than 23 hours a day. A 20 minute recharge in the middle of a shift? During summer with A/C? Or during winter with heat blasting? Please. The economics of the taxi business don't facilitate a taxicab that costs more than a normal one with much less potential service time. Forget it. Also, we can't use the Transit Connects here in San Francisco because ... They're too tall to enter the taxi parking garage at San Francisco Airport. LOL.
          • 3 Years Ago
          @lne937s
          [blocked]
      Jeremy Pennini
      • 3 Years Ago
      I thought the point of the competition was for the commission to pick one winner. Why is there a second winner?
      stclair5211
      • 3 Years Ago
      Karsan was NYC made with union labor too. Iwas sure that was going to be enough in that city.
      Randy
      • 3 Years Ago
      This is great news. I prefer a domestic product being chosen.
      tenspeeder
      • 3 Years Ago
      Boy did Karsan get screwed. So will the poor folks who get picked up in the Taurus and have to sit in the back seat..only average legroom for such a large vehicle and tall sides. Like sitting in a tub. (much better in the front seats though)
        • 3 Years Ago
        @tenspeeder
        [blocked]
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