The next time you hail a New York cab, you might find yourself in a Ford Transit Connect. But it's only a placeholder until a Nissan arrives in under two years.
Ford Transit Connects painted in a familiar bright yellow scheme will begin popping up across New York City later this summer now that the New York Taxi and Limousine Commission has approved the distinctive high-roof vehicles for use in the nation's largest city.
The Commission also approved use of the Ford Taurus, but Ford is more heavily promoting the Transit Connect. The Commission must approve any vehicle for taxi use before it can be granted a coveted medallion.
But the Transit Connect's stay in New York won't be long-lived. The Commission recently named the Nissan NV200 as its official taxi, but its 10-year contract won't begin until 2013. Since Ford is discontinuing production of its iconic Crown Victoria, a vehicle that makes up about 60 percent of New York's taxis, later this year, the Transit Connect will be one of several potential short-term replacements.
Transit Connects have served as taxis in a variety of other cities. While Ford says that the first taxi specific variants were deployed in Boston last December, Leftlane rode in several in Las Vegas last November at the SEMA show. Transit Connect Taxi models feature a few interior modifications and a factory upfit package that makes them more fare-ready than standard Transit Connects.