BOSTON (CBS) – While Boston taxis are stuck in neutral, the next generation of cabs for New York City was announced this week.
As far as Boston cabs are concerned, the number of taxi medallions has remained at 1,825, which has not changed in 70 years. Give the industry credit, about 30 percent of the taxis on Boston streets are now Toyota Hybrids, replacing the Ford Crown Victoria model that is being phased out.
These vehicles are on the road 24 hours a day and driving one is no easy job. The number one place for taxi jobs is Logan Airport. On an average day, nearly 5,000 trips originate there. At peak times that number can jump as high as 10,000 taxi jobs.
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The problems for passengers taking a cab from the airport are not enough legroom in the back seat from current models and the fact that by the time you emerge from a downtown trip through a tunnel, the meter already reads almost $10 for a five-minute ride.
The latest effort to smooth out travel for arriving airport passengers came last month when Massport, which runs the airport, announced a new iPhone App to match taxi riders with destinations leaving Logan. The new app known as Gobicab will allow people to share cabs. Jut how popular this new system will be at the airport terminal cabstands, or with drivers, remains to be seen.
New York City announced this week that the Nissan NV200 had been selected as their next generation of taxis, which by the end of the decade could replace all of the 13,000 yellow colored cabs in the city.
Nissan beat out Ford and Karsen, a company in Turkey, for a contract that could be worth $1 billion. The cabs will be built in Mexico.
Compare the new cabs in New York to what we have in Boston. They will have twice the leg room of local cabs here, a glass roof for passengers to look upward at city views, power outlets and climate seat controls.
In perhaps the best innovation yet, the NissonNV200 will have something called a muted horn for those drivers who seem to blast away at every opportunity.
Calls to the Police Department Hackney Bureau for comment on future plans for Boston cabs were not returned. Whenever possible, I use my MBTA Charlie Card to get to Logan Airport.