Wednesday, September 2, 2009

The Last Ford Explorer Taxi?

Well it's extremely rare I'll say that much. While I mostly drive the weekends during the day shift I've seen the Ford Explorer Taxi (not to be confused with the smaller Ford Escape Hybrid) only about 5 times in 4 years. I have seen more Lexus cabs, more Honda taxis, I've even seen more illegal yellow cabs impersonating NYC yellow cabs. This car is super rare, and I assume only one exists. And only one will exist until either the driver or the car retires.
Back when concerns first set in about the Ford Crown Victoria no longer being produced (although they still continue to make them) The Taxi and Limousine Commission started to allow other models in to the taxi mix, such as the Ford Explorer, the Honda Odyssey mini-van, and the Toyota Sienna mini-van. This was before the hype of the hybrid car had started, or before the hybrid car was even in mass-production. Other experiments came and went like the Mercedez E-class diesel, and the Lincoln Town Car.

Each cab has a 3 to 5 year life as a New York City cab before it is forced into retirement. The car purchased to replace the old cab, has to be either an extended Ford Crown Victoria, the wheelchair accessible adaptation of the Toyota Sienna mini-van, possibly the wheelchair version of the Dodge Caravan too but I've only seen the 2007 model, the Volkswagen Jetta diesel, or any of the most popular hybrids except for the Honda Insight. Hence we will soon have no more Ford Explorers, nor will we have any Honda Odysseys, or standard Toyota Siennas.


Cloudia said...

Really cool riding with you!

And your albums are awesome...

Aloha from Waikiki, and stay safe-

Comfort Spiral

manhattan self storage units said...

What a great photograph (and Ford Explorer Taxi)! It's a shame that these won't be on the road any longer, but I suppose New York may be better off for it as things become more green-inclined. Still though, I see a lot of things as a storage unit in Manhattan, but I don't think I have ever seen a Ford Explorer Taxi.

Thank you for the post and, especially, the photograph.

Anonymous said...

Production of the Crown Vic and Town Car will end in 2011.

NYC taxi photo said...

Ah thanks everybody for the comments, and anonymous for the facts, I wasn't sure about the date, it always seems to be changing, but I'm guessing you know your stuff, as I heard the crown vic's aren't even being sold in the states unless they're for taxis, police, fleets. I have real mixed feeling about the cars, It seems they had so much right going for them, all they needed was a clean diesel or a hybrid thing, oh well.

Gusgamashuq Abunoori said...

I've seen it a couple times in three years. I'm ready for it's extinction. What lousy vehicles. SUV: sorry, ugly vehicle

NYC taxi photo said...

Odd thing is, I bet our gas mileage in extended Crown Victorias are worse then even these gas guzzlers, and what's more the Explorers may take up less room on the road.

But I in know way support the idea of this gas only SUV, in fact lately all the taller taxis have been bothering me, I can't read their vacant roof-lights when I'm in their blind spot. And of course, if there were no more full size cars on the road all the traffic would flow so much better.