Ford Transit Connect Taxi – Click above for high-res image gallery

A couple of years ago, the New York Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) announced that it was searching for a new, more efficient vehicle to replace the taxis of New York City. The TLC created a website to submit ideas for its so-called "Taxi of Tomorrow" program. Now, three finalists, including a minivan from Nissan, the Ford Transit Connect Taxi, and an entry from Turkish automaker Karsan Otomotiv, are the finalists to become the iconic taxi cab of the Big Apple.

In order to compete in NYC's "Taxi of Tomorrow" program, vehicles must adhere to these guidelines:
  • Meets highest safety standards
  • Superior passenger experience
  • Superior driver comfort and amenities
  • Appropriate purchase price and ongoing maintenance and repair costs
  • Smaller environmental footprint (lower emissions and improved fuel economy)
  • Smaller physical footprint (with more usable interior room)
  • Compliance with appropriate Americans with Disabilities Act requirements
  • Iconic design that will identify the new taxi with New York City
The winning entry, which will be announced in the first quarter of 2011, is expected to hit the roads of NYC within four years and will eventually replace a significant portion of the fleet of 13,237 cabs that currently service the metropolitan area.



[Source: Wall Street Journal]

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