Yesterday we reported to you that the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission had approved the use of the Ford Transit Connect and Taurus for hack duty in the five boroughs. In addition to the duo of Fords, the TLC has also approved two more cars, the Chevrolet Impala and Nissan Altima for interim yellow cab duty in the City of New York.
New Yorkers and frequent visitors to the city might be wondering how the Nissan Altima just got approved considering there’s (according to Nissan) about 300 of them roaming the city streets picking up fares. Well, the Altima cabs that were previously approved for cab duty were all hybrids and now its gasoline-powered (and American made) counterpart finally has approval for cab duty. The approval though, is a short one; just until October of 2013. That’s when Nissan’s Cab of Tomorrow, the ungainly NV-200 starts its 10 year contract as the City’s exclusive cab.
The Chevrolet Impala was the other car that the TLC approved for use as a cab. Like the Altima though, the Impala will only be able to be purchased and pressed into cab duty until October of 2013. So why has New York City all of a sudden announced the approval four new cabs? The reason is pretty simple. The current backbone of the City’s fleet, the venerable Ford Crown Victoria finally goes out of production this year and according to Nissan, the company is still doing preliminary engineering and production planning on the NV-200. That leaves a two year window where New York City’s cabbies no longer have a go-to model. What to do? The TLC threw them a bone, expanding its list of approved cabs and giving its drivers some much-needed options, right before they take them all away. The Altima, Impala, Transit Connect and Taurus will join a diverse list of 15 other models, including everything from the Toyota Prius and Ford Escape Hybrid, to the Mercedes-Benz E350 Bluetec and Audi Q7 TDI in the city’s cabbie fleet until 2013.