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Judge Shuts Down City’s Taxi Of Tomorrow Project

Ruling Says City Exceeded Legal Authority; City Vows To Appeal
A Nissan NV200 "Taxi of Tomorrow" is seen on Thursday, June 20, 2013. (credit: Steve Sandberg/1010 WINS)

A Nissan NV200 “Taxi of Tomorrow” is seen on Thursday, June 20, 2013. (credit: Steve Sandberg/1010 WINS)

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The city has vowed to appeal, after the Taxi of Tomorrow project was shut down by a judge who said the city was going beyond its legal authority.

The Taxi of Tomorrow had been set to hit the streets later this month. But Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Schlomo Hagler ruled the Taxi and Limousine Commission was overstepping its legal authority by ordering that the owners buy the new taxis themselves, according to published reports.

The ruling followed a lawsuit by the Greater New York Taxi Association.

“We’re certainly objecting to a 10-year contract binding every owner of a medallion in New York to buy one car for 10 years,” Ethan Gerber, the association’s director, told WCBS 880′s Rich Lamb.

Gerber added that the idea of locking in one manufacturer for a decade would stifle competition and “tie our hands.”

City Corporation Counsel Michael Cardozo said in a statement that an appeal will be coming.

“We believe the Court’s decision is fundamentally wrong, and we intend to appeal immediately. It was well within the TLC’s authority to authorize the Taxi of Tomorrow,” Cardozo said in a statement.

TLC Commissioner David Yassky defended the project for offering state-of-the-art amenities and safety features.

“Aside from its being by far the safest taxicab ever designed, the NV200 has superior legroom, a panoramic roof and a host of other comforts and amenities; we remain committed to bringing it to the riding public,” he said in a statement.

The new Nissan NV2000 taxis were to feature all sorts of options for passengers to ride in comfort. They were to also have charging ports for electronic devices, sliding doors, anti-microbial back seats, and reading and foot lights.

The $29,000 cabs get 25 miles per gallon.

The TLC was already forced to come up with a new plan for the Taxi of Tomorrow after a judge ruled in May that the new Nissan NV200 cabs were illegal because they are not yet offered in a hybrid version.

The plan called for the new taxis to hit the streets this month, and for all current taxis to be off the streets by 2018.

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