Judge Schlomo S. Hagler of New York’s State Supreme Court sided with the Greater NY Taxi Association by putting the brakes on Mayor Bloomberg’s plans to modernize Manhattan’s taxi fleet with new Nissan NV200 minivans. The new fleet was scheduled to hit the streets by the end of this month.
While the minivans feature state-of-the art touch screens, panoramic glass roofs and indoor lights, they are neither electric-powered or hybrids, causing the Taxi Association to complain that the City did not give its members an “option to buy environmentally friendly vehicles.”
“To put it simply, the City’s Taxi and Limousine Commission over-stepped its authority when it mandated that the majority of the fleet be replaced with the ‘Taxi of Tomorrow’,” stated Hagler. “The power to contract and compel medallion owners to purchase the NV200 from Nissan for ten years does not exit in the City Charter.”
The judge’s ruling, however, has already been disputed by New York City’s corporation counsel Michael A. Cardozo, who called it “fundamentally wrong.”
“It is well within the Taxi & Limousine Commission’s authority to authorize the vehicles,” he stated, adding that he plans to appeal the ruling.