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06 April, 2012

Meet New York City’s Other Taxi of the Future

Meet New York City’s Other Taxi of the Future
by Peter Pachal on Mashable

We’ve already met New York City’s so-called taxi of the future, the Nissan NV200. However, there’s a dark horse contender for the position: VPG’s MV-1. The issue at hand: wheelchair accessibility.

A little background: The New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission decided last year that it was going with Nissan to build the next generation of taxis for the city. However, at the same time, widespread dissatisfaction with the city’s wheelchair-accessible taxis was boiling over because of stories like this one.

The city was sued over the scarcity of taxis for the disabled, and last December a judge ruled that the Commission failed to meet the requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in picking Nissan. The Commission now has to come up with a plan to address the needs of wheelchair users.

VPG wants the MV-1 to be the solution. The SUV-like vehicle prioritizes wheelchair access but still has enough room for four people and the driver in addition to a wheelchair passenger. A ramp extends from the side either manually or via motorized lift (see video below), letting wheelchair users ride in from the curb.

The first MV-1 hit the road in October. The City is currently testing a couple of dozen of them to see how they work in the fleet, company reps say. The MV-1 exceeds the requirements of the ADA, is still comfortable for everyday people, and offers a relatively green compressed natural gas fuel system as an option, so VPG has high hopes it could actually usurp Nissan as New York’s future taxi of choice.
That’s probably a long shot, but it does have the home-field advantage: VPG is based in Florida, and the cars are made in the U.S.A.

The multipurpose vehicle comes in two versions: The standard one with manual ramp that is the basis of the NYC cab ($39,950), and a luxury version with leather seats and the motorized ramp that’s targeted at individuals ($41,950).

Do you think the MV-1 should be New York’s taxi of the future? What about other cities? Sound off in the comments.

VPG says its VM-1 multipurpose vehicle exceeds requirements of the Americans with Disabilities Act and hopes it finds a place in New York City's next-generation taxi fleet.

Ramp Extended
The ramp only extends from the right side in the current version, but the company has a design in the works that will allow the ramp to extend from either side.

Side Door Open


Side, Doors Open

Passenger Side
The interior of the MV-1 can accommodate up to six people: a driver, a wheelchair passenger, and four other people.

Rear Seats


Luxury Version
The luxury MV-1 comes with a motorized ramp standard as well as leather seats.

Ramp in Use

Luxury Version, Passenger Side

Luxury Version, Interior

Luxury Version, Front Grille
Post Source: Mashable
By: Muhammad Usman Arshad

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