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Big Yellow Taxi

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

The DriveWrite Archives Topics:  Nissan NV200T

Big Yellow Taxi

Geoff Maxted
October 31, 2013

Nissan NV200T
The yellow New York taxi is something of an icon. From the earliest ‘Checker’ cabs through to the long-bonnet Ford Crown Victoria of the 1990’s the sight of these canary cabs is part of the history of NYC. During the 2000’s a different type of vehicle started to horn it’s way into the affections of New York’s holders of the official ‘medallion’ licence.

The Ford Escape Hybrid and even the Prius now sport the traditional colour but the latest vehicle to enter service moves the whole cab business into a new era in public transportation.

The first Nissan NV200T taxicab is now in service on the streets of New York City. The meter on the first NV200T fare officially kicked-off at JFK International Airport on October 23rd, dropping its inaugural passenger near 13th Street and 6th Avenue in Manhattan. Mr. Ranjit Singh, an owner/operator of Medallion No. 7F20, took delivery of his NV200T on October 18th.

Eight Nissan dealerships in the New York City region now have the NV200T available for purchase by NYC medallion owners. These major milestones mark the next phase in Nissan’s commitment to deliver the most innovative, custom-designed taxi experience ever to the more than 600,000 people who ride in the city’s taxicabs every day.

“The Nissan NV200T demonstrates the company’s leadership in advancing global mobility through modern vehicle design and technology,” said Andy Palmer, executive vice president for Nissan Motor Company. “From its fuel-efficient powertrain, to its space-saving design and passenger-centric interior, the Nissan taxi is a prime example of innovative spirit that goes into all Nissan vehicles. We are excited to see the NV200T now carrying passengers around Manhattan, and look forward to bringing the same NV200T experience to drivers and passengers in new markets outside New York.”

Drawing on insight from New York taxi drivers, medallion holders, fleets and passengers, the Nissan NV200T features more content tailored specifically to the unique needs of metropolitan cab service than ever before. One of the NV200T’s most dazzling design elements is the transparent roof that gives riders stunning views of city sights and skyscrapers.

Other new features include:

Ample room for four passengers and their luggage.
Sliding doors with entry step and grab handles, providing easy entry and exit.
Independently controlled rear air conditioning.
Active Carbon-lined headliner to help neutralize interior odours; Overhead reading lights for passengers and floor lighting to help locate belongings and mobile charging ports for passengers, including a 12-volt electrical outlet and two USB ports. The list goes on.
Other notable NV200T features focus on driver comfort, customer satisfaction and the environment. The taxi uses Nissan’s proven 2.0L 4-cylinder engine, engineered to enhance the emission performance and fuel efficiency of the taxi fleet. It comes with a 150,000 powertrain warranty. To minimise the sound of honking - surely one of the traditional background noises of NYC - a low-annoyance horn with exterior lights that indicate when the vehicle is honking, so the horn is used less frequently. Nothing’s sacred.

Safety was a big consideration when redesigning the all-new taxi. The NV200T features specially-designed dual sliding doors with entry steps and grab handles to provide easy entry and exit. Sliding doors and door-opening warning lamps also lessen the risk of pedestrians, cyclists and other motorists getting struck when doors open unexpectedly. In addition, the new cab is the first New York taxi to be crash-tested with taxi equipment installed, including the partition. The NV200T also features front and rear-seat occupant curtain airbags, and seat-mounted airbags for the front row along with standard traction control and Vehicle Dynamic Control.

So there you are. A sign of the times. It won’t be long now before the rumble of a Ford V8 Crown Victoria will be no more. And they call it progress.

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