Cab-pocalypse: Who chose the Nissan?
We have been following the “Taxi of Tomorrow” campaign with great anticipation for quite some time.
To our delight, the sleek design from Turkish company Karsan seemed to be the popular frontrunner for a while, gaining the support of politicians and the public alike.
The Karsan cab (or Kab, as they called it… points deducted for that crap, but anyway…) featured a skylight roof, kick seats, and wheelchair ramps.
And in a major boost to our sagging manufacturing economy, Karsan said the cars would be produced locally in Brooklyn. Cabs for New York, made in New York. Sounds perfect!
So, after all this anticipation and periodic fantasizing about what it would be like to have a huge taxi factory in Brooklyn (open for tours, of course!), imagine our shock that the city instead chose a boring Nissan model.
Not only is the car a hideous super minivan that most real New Yorkers wouldn’t be caught dead in, it isn’t even wheelchair accessible! People are already threatening to sue because it is not ADA compliant.
Sure, Karsan had it’s weasknesses— an “untested” manufacturer lacking a global support system— but whatever happened to giving the little guy a chance?
Nissan gets a 10 year exclusive contract, expected to bring in an estimated $1 billion in sales. Drivers will be required to buy the Nissan when their car is due for replacement.
Already there have been grumbles: Public Advocate Bill DeBlasio and Brooklyn BP Marky Markowitz have written a letter of protest; a group of elitist cabbies who drive Lexus cabs want an exemption from having to buy the Nissan….
And no doubt the list of detractors will grow.
4 notes, May 19, 2011