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The one thing you shouldn’t do is try to tell a cab driver how to get somewhere.

The taxicabs of New York City are widely recognized icons of the city,[1] come in two varieties: yellow and green. Taxis painted canary yellow (medallion taxis) are able to pick up passengers anywhere in the five boroughs. Those painted apple green (street hail livery vehicles,[2] or commonly known as boro taxis),[3] which began to appear in August 2013, are allowed to pick up passengers in Upper Manhattan, the Bronx, Brooklyn, Queens (excluding LaGuardia Airport and John F. Kennedy International Airport), and Staten Island

As of March 14, 2014, in New York City, there are 51,398 men and women licensed to drive medallion taxicabs. There are currently 13,605 taxicab medallion licenses in existence, 368 of them having been auctioned by the City of New York between November 2013 and February 2014. Each of these new medallions is earmarked for use with a wheelchair-accessible vehicle, which will be introduced into service over the next several months. Taxicab vehicles, each of which must have a medallion to operate, are driven an average of 180 miles per shift; the average total number of annual taxi passengers is 241 million.[7] As of September 2012, there are around 7,990 hybrid taxi vehicles, representing almost 59% of the taxis in service – the most in any city in North America.[8][9] The Nissan NV200 won the city’s bid to become the “Taxi of Tomorrow” to replace most of the city’s taxi fleet, with its introduction scheduled for October 2012. Nevertheless, this decision has faced several lawsuits and criticism.[10][11] As of March 2014, 6,000 Street Hail Livery (SHL) permits have been issued, 20% of which must be used with wheelchair-accessible vehicles, with 4,478 Street Hail Livery vehicles already in use as of March 14, 2014 [12]

More about: Taxicabs of New York City

In 2005, New York introduced incentives to replace its current yellow cabs with electric hybrid vehicles such as the Toyota Prius and Ford Escape Hybrid.[34] In May 2007, New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg proposed a five-year plan to switch New York City’s taxicabs to more fuel-efficient hybrid vehicles as part of an agenda for New York City to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. However, the plan was dropped after Cab companies complained that the cost of maintaining the new hybrid vehicles vastly outweighed the tiny amount of fuel savings they got from going smaller.[citation needed] Proponents of the traditional Lincoln Town Car and Ford Crown Victoria say they were well suited to their task, while others said customers who cared for the environment preferred hybrids.[35] Not only that, but passenger safety also became an issue with the newer vehicles,[citation needed] and 6 months after the program took effect, it was dropped. Still, the proportion of the taxi fleet made up of Crown Victorias has dropped over time. In 2010, it stood at about 60% of yellow cabs, as the number of Ford Escape Hybrid and Toyota Sienna minivans kept rising.[35]

From September to December 2007, many of the taxis participated in a voluntary public art project called Garden in Transit in which flower decals painted by children were affixed to the hoods of taxis.

Several taxicab drivers objecting to the cost of the devices (estimated at between $3,000 and $5,000 each)[36] staged voluntary strikes on September 5 and 6 and October 22 in 2007. The city implemented a “zone pricing” structure during the days and the strikes had minimal impact on the city according to officials.[37]

Originally, before October 2007, NYC Yellow cabs displayed the fare stickers in the front doors and the Words “NYC Taxi” and the medallion number on the back doors. On September 30, 2007, all of the yellow cab decals were redesigned. The cabs were easily identified with the medallion number followed with a checker pattern on the left and right rear fenders, a futuristic fare panel on the rear doors, and a retro “NYC Taxi” logo on the front doors, with a yellow T in a black circle.[38] In August 2012, the TLC phased out the design in favor of one that drops the “axi,” leaving only the NYC logo and the circle-T. The detailed fare information on the rear doors was also replaced, replaced with a simple statement of a metered rate unless traveling to JFK Airport, where a flat fare is charged.[39]

The TLC also mandated that by the end of January 2008 all taxis should be equipped with a Passenger Information Monitor that is a screen in the backseat that can provide entertainment, a live GPS map of location, and be used to pay for rides by swiping a credit card. The drivers will have an electronic Driver Information Monitor in which messages can be sent to them informing them of traffic conditions and facilitating retrieving lost objects.[36]

As of February 2011, New York City had around 4,300 hybrid taxis, representing almost 33% of the 13,237 taxis in service, and about 6,000 by September 2012, representing 45% of the taxis in service. – the most in any city in North America.[8][9][40] By mid-2009, owners began retiring their original hybrid fleets after they accumulated between 300,000 and 350,000 miles per vehicle.[41][42] Two attempts by the Bloomberg administration to implement policies to force the replacement of all 13,000 New York taxis for hybrids by 2012 were blocked by court rulings,[43][44][45] and on February 28, 2011, the United States Supreme Court declined to consider an appeal by the city.

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