Former Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s Taxi of Tomorrow proposal has been revved up thanks to a state appeals court that ruled Tuesday the city could require the purchase of the modern Nissan vehicle.
The opinion from the panel of judges overturned a lower court ruling that blocked the plan on grounds that the Taxi and Limousine Commission overstepped its authority and onto the City Council’s turf.
The Taxi of Tomorrow is legal under the agency’s “assigned mission … to establish public transportation policy to develop and improve New York City taxi service,” wrote Justice David B. Saxe.
Bloomberg’s TLC put out a request for designing a new taxi cab for the city’s fleet to purchase; the Nissan won a 10-year contract for its NV200 model. Fleet owners opposed to the mandate to buy new cars sued to put the brakes on the program.
A spokesman for Mayor Bill de Blasio referred comment to the TLC, whose commissioner, Meera Joshi, said the administration is reviewing the ruling.
“Certainly, we are gratified by this latest decision upholding the TLC’s regulatory authority,” she said in a statement.
It is unclear if the Greater New York Taxi Association, which represents fleet owners and sued the city, will appeal to the state’s top court. The group’s executive director Ethan Gerber said the ruling means drivers will be forced to buy a taxi that is out of compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
“Fleet owners are now in the uncomfortable position of having to violate either local or federal law,” Gerber said in a statement.