Thursday, December 2nd, 2010
Having redesigned almost everything else – from bike racks to sidewalk scaffolding – New York is now moving on to the redesign of its taxi. This is being done through, of course, another big competition. Due to the nature of the product, this one is among vehicle manufacturers rather than designers. They’ve even got a dedicated web site for the competition, where the public can provide its input and feedback on the three finalists. The idea is that the city will standardize on a single design for the next decade, signing an exclusive contract worth up to $1 billion.
Here are the entries. First, an adaption of an existing vehicle by Ford:
Next, one by Nissan:
Lastly, a ground up design from a Turkish company called Karsan. This is apparently the only one that is full accessible to the disabled at the moment, and also potentially supports wi-fi.
Personally, I think the styling on all of them leaves much to be desired. Too mini-vanish. Of course, I realize that functionality has to trump coolness. And although I appreciate classic design, I think the vehicle livery on this is definitely due for a refresh. That’s something that could be done in an open competition with artists and designers. The goal should be something classic, but which also has the potential to become iconic in its own right.
Whatever the case, New York shows yet again that it’s out pushing the envelope and and re-examining literally everything it does to make it more relevant to the 21st century global age. I’m not saying that any particular thing jumped out at me as awesome about these cabs. But it shows a mind set of taking a deliberate look at every aspect of city governance and services to figure out how to make it better and contribute to a more livable city.
You can read additional coverage in the New York Times.
More on New York:
New York’s Leadership in Transportation Design
Another Epic Public Space Win in New York
Janette Sadik-Khan on Changing the Transportation Game
New York’s Quality of Life Agenda
The High Line