Canadians Using Cabs to Avoid Quarantine Restrictions

With Ontario embracing some of the strictest lockdown restrictions in the West and giving the police force carte blanche when it comes to enforcing public health, many Canadians have told us they’re not exactly enthralled with the idea of notifying their government that they’ve been out of the country. This is doubly true if they’ve just flown in by plane because the nation now requires a few days’ stay in a hotel as part of its mandatory 14-day quarantine for those traveling by air.

Due to the added time, cost, and general hassle of booking yourself into a hotel for 3 nights — awaiting the results of a mandatory COVID test before you’re technically allowed to go home to continue self-isolation — some travelers have opted to utilize ground transportation for the explicit purpose of avoiding restrictions. Rather than flying all the way into the Great White North, Canadians are flying into neighboring American airports and then hailing a taxi that will take them across the border.

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2012 Ford Escape Hybrid Taxi Review - 400,000 Miles of Cabbie Farts

Do not adjust your dial. Despite all appearances to the contrary, you have not been magically transported back in time to halfway through the Obama administration. Yes, we know the design of this venerable website hasn’t changed significantly since then, but you have to trust us on this one – it is indeed late 2019, and yet I’m driving a cab from 2012.

It’s the 2012 Ford Escape Hybrid Taxi, fresh from service on the mean streets of New York City, and with over four hundred thousand miles on the original hybrid powertrain. It’s been stripped of the meter and medallion, of course – can’t have shrimp-eating journalists trying to double-dip by hacking while being a hack – but otherwise is very close to how it rolled into Ford’s care a few months back.

It’s a marketing stunt, to be certain. Ford is using one of its oldest, highest-mileage hybrids to sell journalists and the general public on the durability of this solution to electrified motoring. I’m here to say that, while I was skeptical of this stunt, I’m now a believer.

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Uber to Launch Pet-based Pricing in Select Cities

Uber is testing pet pricing in North America to see if it can minimize surprise cancellations stemming from unexpected animal passengers while simultaneously hoping to make itself some money. The program, entitled Uber Pet, launches in select cities on October 16th and tacks on a small surcharge while giving drivers the right to refuse service in advance.

As difficult as it is to believe, not everyone loves animals — and even fewer like having strange ones making a mess of their personal vehicle. One of the most common complaints among Uber drivers is people bringing aboard pets unannounced.

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Cab, Forward: Ford Introduces Hybrid and Diesel Taxis

The next time you’re in a new town and decide to hail a cab instead of opening Uber or Lyft on your phone, there’s a chance you may find yourself in one of Ford’s new fleet offerings.

Two new options are now available through the Blue Oval: an EcoBlue-powered Transit Connect and a Fusion Hybrid Taxi. The latter is apparently purpose-built for livery service, and includes a few bits from the 2019 Police Responder Hybrid Sedan — news that’s sure to please Joliet Jake and Elwood Blues.

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For Uber, Are On-Demand Flying Cars the Next Frontier?

One of my favourite childhood cartoons was The Jetsons, an animated sitcom where technology had transformed the world into a futuristic utopia. The intro of every Jetsons episode features the family commuting in a flying car.

Last Thursday, Uber published a white paper promising flying cars in the next decade. After 60 years as a cartoon, are The Jetsons becoming a reality?

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Junkyard Find: 1986 Mercedes-Benz 560 SEL, Bubba's Cab Edition

The Mercedes-Benz W126 S-Class was the king of 1980s sedans and it sold very well in the United States. You’ll still see plenty of them on the street today and it’s rare that a California self-service wrecking yard doesn’t have at least one fully depreciated, high-mile example in stock. I haven’t paid much attention to these cars for this series, but that changed when I saw a 560SEL taxi in a San Francisco Bay Area wrecking yard.

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No Fixed Abode: The Uber/Taxi Diaries, Predatorial Fish Edition

For a guy who never goes on press trips, I’ve sure been in a lot of airports lately.

Last weekend, I was in Southern California, following up on a few weekdays spent in the Miami area. This weekend, I was in Las Vegas to hang out with my brother, do some electric karting, and one other thing that slips my mind right now but I’m sure I’ll remember later.

From Friday night to Sunday evening, I traveled by a diverse variety of conveyances, including but not restricted to: an Indian Chieftain, a Prius, a Prius V, two Altimas, a Jetta, and a white Lincoln Town Car. I met a former political prisoner who has witnessed three suicides, accidentally taunted the police, hit a wooden box on the freeway, and learned about predatorial fish.

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No Fixed Abode: Planes, Trains, Ubers, Taxis, And Supercars

I’ll start with this: Hannah, wherever you are, I do not apologize for stealing your car. You were a real b— … well, white men like myself aren’t allowed to use the “b-word” nowadays, it’s considered more harmful to womyn than all 359 of those sexual offences that happened in Cologne that we’ve all agreed to pretend didn’t really happen. Why don’t we just say that you’re a very mean person. I don’t apologize for that, or for stealing your car.

Now, where were we, to use three words in a row that start with “w” and end with “e”? Well, it’s like this:

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Junkyard Find: 2004 Ford Crown Victoria Police Interceptor, American Flag Option Package

Ford Panthers are easy to find in American self-service wrecking yards, to put it mildly, and the most common Panther of them all is the P71 Police Interceptor version of the Crown Victoria.

I daily-drove an ex-San Joaquin County Sheriff’s ’97 P71 for most of the 2000s and thought it was one of the best car-per-dollar-spent deals I’ve ever had. However, it takes a very special Crown Vic to stand out sufficiently from the junkyard crowd and get into this series.

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Nissan Exec: Uber, Not Tesla, a Bigger Threat

John Martin, Nissan North America’s senior vice president of manufacturing and supply chain management, had some harsh words for Tesla on Friday. According to him, Uber — not Tesla — is the real disruptor, and what Tesla is doing now is relatively easy, Automotive News reported.

“Lot’s of people are calling Tesla a disrupter. They are not,” he said while arguing that building a performance vehicle that’s priced over $100,000 is much easier than manufacturing an electric car for under $30,000.

And what about Apple and Google? Martin doesn’t foresee either of them getting into the auto manufacturing business anytime soon.

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QOTD: What's the Best Taxi?

I was driving around the other night in New York City and decided to see how many miles are on all the taxi cabs. This is something you can do with a $25-a-month subscription to the Carfax app. You just type in the taxi’s license plate number and — BOOM! — you have the entire Carfax report complete with mileage, service history and precise dates of all nine of each taxi’s accidents.

So I ran maybe 20 or 25 taxi cabs through Carfax and I discovered something: the Ford Crown Victorias aren’t the highest mileage cabs in New York. Not even close. In fact, I had trouble finding a Crown Vic with more than 200,000 miles on the odometer and more than three accidents, which is “just broken in” by New York City taxi standards.

It wasn’t the Toyotas, either. When you go to New York City now, the yellow cab fleet is dominated by Toyota Camrys of the two most recent generations, which seem to be a little zippier than the old Crown Vics. However, I didn’t find a Camry older than the 2012 model year, so I guess these haven’t been in service long enough to rack up the serious miles.

Same goes for the new Nissan NV200 van, the “taxi of tomorrow.” These are starting to get pretty common in Manhattan now, but they just haven’t been on the road long enough to rack up serious miles. I only ran one or two, and neither came back with more than 100,000 ticks on the odometer.

So the winner of the great What New York City Taxi Has The Most Miles On It competition? That would be…

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After Clearing Legal Hurdles, Taxi of Tomorrow Now Taxi of Today

The New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission finally cleared its last hurdle in making the Nissan NV200 the new official taxi for NYC, Car and Driver reports.

The commission installed the NV200 as the new official taxi back in 2011, but legal challenges have delayed that process until now. The city licenses more than 13,000 cabs.

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Uber Drops NYC Prices Below Yellow Cab Fares

An interesting development in the ongoing Uber vs. Taxi battle – an UberX now costs less than a standard yellow cab ride in the five boroughs.

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New York City Taxi Official Departs For Uber

In a major coup for car sharing service Uber, the start-up has poached Ashwini Chhabra, the deputy commissioner for policy and planning at New York’s Taxi and Limousine Commission.

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Morocco's Cash For Clunkers Means Discounted Dacias

Fans of the W123 Mercedes better book the next flight to Marrakech. If the Moroccan government has its way, the country’s ubiquitous fleet of W123 taxi cabs will be scrapped, in favor of Renault and Dacia minivans.

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  • John I had an 87 escort GT that was silver, it was a fun little car and got 35+ mpg average, one time I got 42 average on a turnpike trip.
  • Jho65697139 That's going to take a lot of buffing.
  • Corey Lewis No need for unique qualifications to care for this thing, it's just a Corolla with a different body on it.
  • Jeff S How's you Fiat doing?
  • Syke Had the exact same car, only difference is that the trim was the JDM bB rather than the American xB. Enjoyed the car immensely, originally bought it because it was excellent for transporting my then-invalid wife and her wheelchair around. Best thing about it? I also owned a Porsche 924S at the same time. I could go from the Porsche to the Scion and not feel disappointed by the difference in the way they drove.