Driving a cab in New York – Yes, anyone can! On the back seat, perhaps. But meekly once front links course, suddenly sees the most famous city in the world with different eyes. Especially, at the wheel of the taxi of tomorrow”.
I’m glad that most tourists arrive here by air. Because the hell is real drivers in New York City. Not for nothing, the vehicle density in Manhattan is less than anywhere else in the United States. Who somehow can afford the luxury, the leaves with your own car, the traffic is so thick, as long as the traffic jams and so annoying the way from downtown to Uptown. But the other Freud is of a suffering.
Because what is missing in Manhattan’s private car, which some 14,000 yellow cabs make up for: 50,000 taxi driver coils with them average nearly 500,000 trips a day and each circle the globe nearly three times in the year.
Until they are ready, they need to speak normally at least rudimentary English and have at least halfway in the city. And they need to invest around $500 in a test in which they must prove these minimum standards. That which can be very high, anyone who ever drove taxi in New York knows. And who wants to believe it, a look at the statistics which may help. Because Americans are only a fraction of the cabbies, and more than half come from Bangladesh, Pakistan or India. And many of them seem on the trip from airport to Manhattan as they had landed itself until five minutes before their passengers at JFK airport.
But I’m no rule without exception, and one of them. As for the taxi of tomorrow to drum, Nissan for a day as a cab driver at the wheel of the NV 200 in the jungles of New York sent me. The car has sorely needed good publicity. Because the Japanese have won the competition for the taxi monopoly in Manhattan 2011, there was just lots of trouble instead of applause. The courts have somewhat softened the rules on competition and pushed back other taxes in the approval, riders fight tooth and nail against the soulless box cars and the taxi of tomorrow only whole, prevails on the streets slowly.
The conversion is not quite so perfect, how’s CEO Carlos Ghosn had hoped. And quite as fast nor is it. But at the end of the roll within a decade still 25,000 yellow vans through the five boroughs and an erkleckliches sum in the checkout flush the Japanese at a price of around $30,000. Also, their use in Manhattan is a giant advertisement for the taxi, that is since the vote from America in London, Barcelona and many other cities.
In New York, after all, the first 500 Nissan’s are now yellow painted and in one of them I curve at the southern tip of the island to battery Park. While passengers enjoy back almost princely space, I feel between the windscreen and the partition wall of plexiglass as a far too large fish in a too-small Aquarium. And that the passengers through a large panoramic roof can enjoy the skyline, is just warm no matter to me.
Because I now have the look for the beauty of the city, and fight me through a traffic that never comes to rest. The ears are ringing from the eternal horns of colleagues, waving the senses of the sirens that always and everywhere and always on my track an ambulance or a fire truck breaks railway. The eyes run over in a sea of lights, traffic lights and neon signs that merge to a gigantic blaze around times square and bring the head to its maximum capacity.
After a few minutes, you lose at least the fear of the other cars: taxi driver, can be noticed already at the first intersection, have Narrenfreiheit in New York – or they take at least. Only still a bit hesitant and later with an almost thieving joy, as ruthlessly as suddenly changing the tracks, cuts at intersections without hesitation the whole line of the left, stops where you want and turns on the few roads without one-way control regardless of losses. , HUP but, in your humble SUV, throwing to the furious masterminds in the spirit and sends a compassionate smile afterwards: I’m finally vectorial and thus King of the road. And at all: how should you also pay attention to road signs and other cars, when you’re staring all the time at the side of the road whether someone there might just raise your hand and, call taxi?
Alone on the ride up to the times square I could have today a small fortune. However I would need to invest before a large fortune for the TLC Medal, that would make my Nissan to a real taxi. This is the official license of the authority, which proudly his medals on the hood carries each cab as a war veteran. And because the taxi and Limousine Commission of issues not even 14,000 piece, you can’t just buy this metal signs, but they must bid for currently around $800,000.
I’m glad that I me not have to deal with it. The fight with my Nissan and the miserable streets of the city enough. May be, that the four-cylinder booze barely half as much as the 4.6-litre V8 engine of the Crown Victoria and my colleagues pour so not more than 50, but only $20 per shift in the tank. But I must now come out with 188 nm and 131 HP and on top of that with a continuously variable automatic beat me around, which stifled every spark of driving pleasure in the bud. Scurry just before the traffic light red, depend on just a colleague or quickly into the gap on the Joe DiMaggio Highway shearing a – this is a real test of courage with this drive combination.
And even if the Nissan engineers specially have built a road from Manhattan for the suspension tuning on your test site and the steering is surprisingly direct acting, fighting the potholes and manhole covers in this city is futile. Not only the plastics in the car grind and Squeak on every kilometre, but also my bones. There, the six adjustable seat with the breathable synthetic leather upholstery is little consolation. And who the developers talked up merely that they should build a quieter Horn and instead set an additional flashing light? It is supported finally not the Colt a cowboy also.
But I have a good laugh. The bone hurt while, smokes the skull, ears ringing and except the ego grown to giant size as King of Manhattan, there is nothing more, what gives my battered body still hold to this day. But ends after six hours later outside the airport and no two hours after my shift I räkele me in a jumbo on his way back to Europe. But my colleagues must arrange at some point high day after day on the new ran and with their role on the yellow car.
But that will be it, even if every single one of his last car of course always raves and rants on his latest. That was the case when the checkers has ousted the Crown Victoria. And when the first hybrid came, taxi drivers have complained as well. But this time, it could run differently and they will be glad that they sit still in the cab. Because much more concerned than a yellow painted van of a Japanese manufacturer from a Mexican factory making them colorful limousines and SUV: the dispatcher uber has recently for the first time a large fleet on the road as the yellow cabs.