Transit Connect Is The "Taxi Of Today"

Jack Baruth
by Jack Baruth
transit connect is the taxi of today

Sorry for the delay on this one… Eight days ago, the New York Taxi and Limousine Commission approved the Ford Transit Connect for immediate use within NYC. Taxi-conscious TTAC readers will remember that this board rather controversially approved the Nissan NV200 as the Taxi Of Tomorrow a few months back. At the time, a source within Ford told me that “the battle isn’t over yet,” and this appears to be proof.

It seems reasonable that a few New York taxi fleet operators will load up on Transit Connects between now and 2013, when the “Taxi Of Tomorrow” is standardized. The Transit Connect is already providing good service in a few other cities and Ford had a parts infrastructure for it in place now.

To appease the nice folks at Nissan, who no doubt have their noses a bit out of joint at the threat to their guaranteed monopoly two years from now, the TLC has also approved non-hybrid Altimas for use in the city. Surely everyone now understands that this whole ridiculous process of “approving” vehicles is unnecessary, unwanted, and probably corrupted beyond the possibility of rescue.

This Transit Connect approval, combined with the livery-spec MKT, gives Ford a one-two punch to replace the Panthers currently prowling around New York City. Not that it really matters all that much: I cannot find any estimates of taxi/”black car” numbers in New York that exceed 20,000. Of those, 13,000 are taxis. How vital is it to sell 13,000 vehicles over the next ten years? That’s a month’s worth of Fusion sales, or ten years’ worth of Acura ZDX sales. Hey, there’s an idea! Introducing the Taxi Of The Distant Future: The Acura ZDX.

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5 of 45 comments
  • Lorenzo Lorenzo on Jul 29, 2011

    Not to hijack the thread or anything, but it's about taxis, right? NYC taxis? And somebody mentioned Checker, the longtime NYC taxi. Well, I noticed the Checker logo on the Ford Transit photo, and though Checker Motors finally sold its headquarters last January, don't they, or their creditors, still own the logo? Or did Ford, or the people who painted the Transit, think it was just up for grabs?

  • Ciddyguy Ciddyguy on Jul 29, 2011

    Here in Seattle and its environs, I see late model Dodge Caravans, the last of the older bodies that date back to the early part of the last decade, Prii, lots of Crown Vics, yes, most being ex police interceptors and I'm sure I've seen the old Caprices still in some fashion and I think I've seen the occasional Montana as a taxi and who knows what else. While we have Yellow Cab here, we also have Orange Cab and a slew of other companies and I think there are regulations here to ensure proper service and safety and to ensure compliance to taxi rates and such.

  • Garak Garak on Jul 30, 2011

    It will be fun to follow the backlash against the Connects when they start falling apart. In my workplace TC's go to the scrapyard before they reach 150000 km.

    • Mr. K Mr. K on Jul 30, 2011

      93,000 miles? Where do you work? That sounds like a difficult environment!

  • Obruni Obruni on Jul 31, 2011

    given Bloomberg's constant attempts to make NYC greener, I'm surprised that the vehicle of choice isn't a hybrid. the Escape hybrid makes for a great taxi for NYC.