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Thursday, February 21, 2008

CREATING THE ROADMAP TO THE PERFECT TAXICAB

NEW YORK CITY -- The New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC)
today began the distribution of a Request for Information (RFI) to
seek information on ways to bring the next iconic taxi to the City's
streets. The RFI was authored by the TLC and the Mayor's Office in
consultation with Ricardo, Inc., a worldwide authority on automobile
manufacture and design, which was recently engaged by the TLC to work
on the project.

The "Taxi of Tomorrow" project brings together a number of Bloomberg
Administration agencies working toward the initiative's common goals,
including the Mayor's Office of Operations (Jeffrey Kay, Director),
the Mayor's Office for People with Disabilities (Matthew Sapolin,
Commissioner), and the Economic Development Corporation (Seth W.
Pinsky, President).

The RFI's goal is to gauge from the auto manufacturing industry the
possibility of creating vehicles that incorporate and balance the
different needs of a taxi operating within New York City. NYC intends
to use the information gained from this RFI to inform a process that
will create a blueprint and timeline for bringing new taxicab vehicles
to the streets. This vehicle would meet key elements that would allow
it to serve New Yorkers and visitors alike in every way they seek to
be served by a taxicab. The RFI's executive summary characterizes the
aforementioned elements being explored as:

* Meets highest safety standards
* Superior passenger experience
* Superior driver comfort and amenities
* Appropriate purchase price and ongoing maintenance and repair costs
* Smaller environmental footprint (lower emissions and improved fuel
economy)
* Smaller physical footprint (with more usable interior room)
* Compliance with appropriate Americans with Disabilities Act
requirements, and Iconic design that will identify the new taxi with
New York City

The City is working proactively with all its taxi stakeholders,
including passengers, drivers, and the automotive industry, to develop
a better vehicle," said TLC Commissioner and Chairman Matthew W. Daus.
"We are on the road to building the perfect taxicab and this RFI will
help us to craft the roadmap for the City's 'Taxi of Tomorrow'."

The RFI comes in several parts, a Main Section, which explains the
form that a response should take and specific topics being explored.

* Appendix 1 is a Vehicle Technical Specification that highlights the
technical realities of operating a vehicle as a taxi in NYC and
suggests guidelines to engineers.
* Appendix 2 is a design document that examines the different design
challenges that must be considered when making a vehicle to serve as a
taxicab.
* Appendix 3 explores the value of New York City and highlights
potential upside marketing and brand building associated with having a
presence in the NYC taxi fleet.

The RFI will be heavily distributed among the automotive manufacturing
community and available to the public at: URL
http://www.nyc.gov/html/tlc/html/news/taxi_of_tomorrow_intro.shtml.
(Click!)

Deadline for comment is 5 p.m. (EST) Friday, March 7, 2008. The
deadline for final response is 5 p.m. (EST) Monday, April 21, 2008.

The New York City Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) was created in
1971 and is the agency responsible for the regulation and licensing of
more than 150,000 vehicles and businesses, including 13,150 yellow
medallion taxicabs and more than 44,000 medallion taxicab drivers. It
is recognized as the largest and most active taxi and limousine
regulatory body in the United States.

To find out more about the TLC, or to review its rules, regulations
and procedures, we encourage you to visit our official web site at URL
http://www.nyc.gov/taxi (Click!) or call 311 in New York City or
212-NEW-YORK from outside of New York City.

For more information please contact:
Alan J. Fromberg, Deputy Commissioner for Public Affairs
40 Rector Street, 5th Floor
New York N.Y. 10006
Tel: (212) 676-1013
Fax: (212) 676-1101
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