The famous New York City checker cabs will soon be joined by a new vehicle in the shape of the Ford Transit Connect, with the first examples going into service today, to be joined by hundreds more as orders rise for the versatile vehicle.
The initial Transit Connect Taxis are part of the first order for the vehicle in New York City following approval from the New York Taxi and Limousine Commission for its use in the Big Apple. The new units feature the iconic “NYC Taxi” painted in black on the front doors.
More than 400 Transit Connect Taxis are destined for New York City and the total orders for Transit Connect Taxis across the US are fast approaching 1000 in its first year. This is significant because the new taxi market in the US only averages about 6000 units per year.
“Taxi operators are realizing the Transit Connect Taxi is a great vehicle and there’s a good reason – they helped us develop it,” said Len Deluca from Ford. “During development, we visited cities across the US, speaking with taxi owners, operators, drivers and city officials on the key product attributes they wanted in a taxi.”
Cities where taxicab operators have ordered Transit Connect Taxis in addition to New York include Los Angeles, Chicago, Las Vegas, St Louis, Tampa, Orlando, , Hartford and West Haven.
In addition to being approved for use in New York, the Transit Connect has also been approved by governing agencies in Chicago, Philadelphia and Boston – cities that require taxis to meet certain requirements.
The vehicle also has been approved for use at Reagan National Airport and Dulles International Airport by the Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority and at San Francisco International Airport by the SFO Airport Commission. The open architecture of the Transit Connect Taxi provides excellent interior headroom and passenger visibility.
The standard Ford Transit Connect features a 2.0-liter i-4 engine that gets 22mpg in the city and 27mpg on the highway, an improvement of about 30 percent compared with traditional taxis.
Transit Connect Taxi is even available with an engine preparation package for conversion to compressed natural gas (CNG) and liquefied propane gas (LPG). Both CNG and LPG lower taxi fleet operating costs and are better for the environment.