Nissan showed a wheelchair-accessible version of its NV200 Taxi at the New York International Auto Show. Although New York City officially chose the NV200 Taxi as the city’s “Taxi of Tomorrow,” the vehicle’s selection faced criticism for its lack of wheelchair accessibility, prompting city officials and other groups to delay the vehicle’s official rollout onto the streets of New York City.
Nissan partnered with BraunAbility, an Indiana-based company that makes vehicles wheelchair accessible, for example by installing wheelchair lifts, to modify its NV200 Taxi. BraunAbility has installed a rear-entry ramp and a new restraint system that’s designed to secure a wheelchair. Nissan is now calling this van model the Nissan Mobility Taxi.
Inside, the NV200 Mobility Taxi has a release handle that folds the second-row seat forward. In the back, after the taxi operator opens the rear doors, he or she can pull out the fold-flat wheelchair ramp and then assist in loading the passenger. The wheelchair ramp is 30 inches wide, with a ramp angle of 8.6 degree, is 72 inches long, and has a load rating of 800 lbs. Nissan said these specifications exceed Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) regulations. The operator can secure the wheelchair with front and rear tie-down belts. The passenger also has a lap and shoulder belt.
Nissan said it has been working with the New York Taxi and Limousine Commission for two years on the Nissan NV200 Taxi project. The vehicle will be used as part of the group of roughly 13,000 taxis in New York City.