The first Ford Transit Connect Taxi in the United States will embark on its first fare tomorrow, Dec. 10. Boston Cab Dispatch received the keys to the Transit Connect Taxi last week at the New England International Auto Show and their CEO Brett Barenholtz is “eager to put it into service”.
In April, the Licensing Division of the Boston Police Department approved Transit Connect for taxi use, making Boston the first city in the country to do so. To be approved, the vehicle had to meet basic size requirements for passenger headroom, legroom and cargo space. “Transit Connect fits the bill,” said Mark Cohen, Licensing Division director. “The size, shape and configuration of this unique vehicle make it comfortable for both driver and passengers”.
The Transit Connect Taxi package adds comfort for the passenger with a repositioned second-row seat for more legroom, grab handles and rear air conditioning/heat vent with passenger controls. For the taxi driver, new features include rear view camera and back-up sensor, heavy-duty battery and a wiring block connector to power upfitted accessories. The taxi was outfitted by Creative Mobile Technologies of Long Island City, N.Y., which provided the equipment necessary for payment processing and passenger information systems in the taxi, including an 8.4-inch electronic infotainment and navigation screen that shows cab fares, news, weather, sports scores and stock ticker. The Transit will provide taxi companies up to a 30 percent fuel improvement in fuel economy verses traditional V-8 powered sedan-based taxis with the 2.0 I-4 engine that will receive 21 mpg in the city and 26 mpg on the highway. Furthermore, Transit Connect Taxi is available with an engine preparation package for conversion to compressed natural gas (CNG) and liquefied propane gas (LPG).
“We’re excited to see Transit Connect Taxi in service in Boston,” said Kevin Koswick, director of Ford’s North American Fleet Operations.