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NYC Celebrates 100-Year Anniversary of the Taxicab

NEW YORK — The Design Trust for Public Space and the New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission have released a new jointly developed "Taxi Master Plan" that calls for Big Apple cabs that are safer, more comfortable and better for the environment, and a number of taxi concepts showcase future possibilities.

taxi cabtaxi cab 2taxi cab 3This month marks the 100-year anniversary of the gasoline-powered taxi in New York, and the release of the Master Plan is part of Taxi 07, a special project of the Design Trust. The centennial will also be celebrated with a special exhibit at the 2007 New York Auto Show, which will include designs for new taxi stands as well as the taxis of the future.

A number of taxi prototypes will be displayed at the auto show, including one based on the 2007 Kia Rondo crossover. Design highlights in the Rondo taxi prototype include a backward-facing front passenger seat and a drop-down 10-inch widescreen touch-sensitive monitor for rear-seat passengers, which offers news and entertainment and a navigation map.

Standard Taxi, a new manufacturer that is the presenting sponsor of the Taxi 07 exhibit, is showing a prototype with an integrated recessed ramp that slides out of the vehicle to accommodate wheelchairs, motorized scooters, baby strollers and walkers. Specially designed to be compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act, it features a high roof, a low floor and a 56-inch door opening.

Other prototypes include a Ford Crown Victoria powered by compressed natural gas, presented by the New York State Energy and Development Authority, and a lithium battery-powered Chrysler PT Cruiser taxicab from Hybrid Technologies, which the Design Trust says is part of an upcoming New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) pilot program to determine the viability of such vehicles for taxicab service.

Besides the prototype vehicles, the Taxi 07 exhibit will showcase other taxi-related fare. Among these are scale models of taxi concepts and design concepts of "smart" taxi stands — by the New York architectural firm Weisz + Yoes — that would incorporate GPS and help match passengers to taxis.

The Taxi 07 centennial celebration will include New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg proclaiming the dates of the auto show to be Taxi Week and screenings of taxi-related cinema at the IFC Center on weekends in April.

In addition, the crown of the Empire State Building will be lit in "commemorative yellow lighting," as if it were the world's largest taxi.

© Source: article on insideline
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