Jump to content

Recommended Posts

New York cabbies love old Ford Crown Victoria, not hybrids




By Robert Deutsch, USA TODAY


For New York City cabbies, the giant old Ford Crown Victoria may be going the way of the Checker, but they still love it. And for good reason: it's what passengers hail most.


No matter what they are driving now, New York cab drivers point to the venerable Crown Vic as the model that's most reliable and makes them the most money every shift.


For years, there has been a move to rid New York of the Crown Vic as its gas-guzzling, mainstay taxi in favor of hybrid models. Now USA TODAY reports today that it's on the way out for another reason: Ford will not be producing it anymore.


By the end of the year, the New York Taxi and Limousine Commission is expected to announce the results of its Taxi of Tomorrow competition. The winner will become the city's next ubiquitous taxi. By 2014, the Commission hopes to begin replacing the sixteen current taxi varieties, including the Crown Vic, with the one new, fuel efficient or alternative energy model.


But for now, the Crown Vic still comprises the majority of NYC's 13,401 licensed yellow taxicabs, and drivers and owners alike are sad to see it go.


Jana Stroe, originally from Romania, has been driving a Crown Vic for 20 years. "The car is good the way it is," she says. We don't want the hybrid. Hybrids have so many problems. We take a lot of customers from the small cars."


John Shaban, 27, who has driven a Crown Vic for five years, says "I don't like the hybrids." Why?:


"Mechanics charge an arm and a leg for them" to be fixed. He also claims to take fares from the drivers of smaller taxi models. "People wait for the Crown Vic because it's roomier," he says. "They're more likely to get in."


Sarbjeet Singh, 31, shown in the photo above right, drives one of the 81 hybrid taxis in the city. "Some would get into the Crown Vic over this if they had a choice of the two," he says. "Crown Vic is better."


For some, the yellow Crown Vic has become a symbol of the city, almost like the Checker cab of yesteryear. "This cab is specific to America, specific to New York," says Stroe.


But ultimately, the symbols of the city are the yellow taxis – embodied by their drivers – regardless of the model. And yellow taxis are not going anywhere.


"Who is the first person a visitor to this city sees?" asks Stroe. "A taxi driver." She answers her own question. "We are the ambassadors to New York."


--Benjamin Soloway/Drive On


Link to comment
Share on other sites

It is funny because in the early Nineties they had only Chevrolet Caprices and not Crowns, then GM stopped making the Caprice and the taxis were pissed!


Technically speaking the car seems poorly adapted as the engine is large and rather thirsty... BUT the car is very durable and reliable. For example the suspension design is very... "strong" and has only a few parts unlike other cars, with potholes and the like these parts don't wear out like normal cars. Example, CV joints, on a Crown there aren't any! Police forces love this car for the same reasons, when they jump a curb to run after a bad guy, it doesn't break anything.


If you save 10 dollars on fuel but need to replace a 7500 dollar battery that is not a good cost-benefit ratio.

Edited by Cyrus
Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's funny, you wouldn't think there were sixteen different cab models in New York city. Even though you can see they've been "diversifying" their fleet in recent years, I would've bet on 5 or 6 different kinds of cars, tops.


In my opinion, this just shows how if we had a specific mandatory paint job for our own fleet of taxis in Montreal, it would go a long way towards creating a unified look - even though car models could remain quite varied.


So, R.I.P. Crown Vic - I'm sure something good will come along. Alot of hybrid vehicules are especially capable in urban driving conditions, and it would only add to the city's already impressive energy efficiency record.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...