Wednesday, October 02, 2013

New taxi age rules agreed by Oxford city council, While New York Loses Ad Space.

Oxford city councillors have rubber-stamped plans to introduce an age limit for taxis and private hire vehicles in Oxford.

On Monday, a meeting of the city council endorsed a proposal to introduce rules that mean drivers will have to replace cars after 10 or 12 years, depending on what type they drive.

Currently, new licences are not issued to anyone driving a car more than five years old, but there is no limit on the age of cars driven by existing licence holders.

The new plans mean private hire vehicles will have to be replaced when they are 10 years old, and black cabs will have to be replaced once they are 12 years old.


Meanwhile....in New York

Bye bye rooftop taxi ads, hello "Taxi of Tomorrow"

It looks like Times Square could be losing a significant amount of available ad space. As will the streets of Soho, the Upper West Side and even the Bronx.

I spoke with Ethan Gerber, the Executive Director of the Greater New York Taxi Association (GNYTA), on Friday. We discussed how the iconic advertisementsthat rest above nearly all of NYC’s taxi fleet may be rendered extinct once the “Taxi of Tomorrow” is finally unleashed upon the city.

“Panoramic roofs are a bad idea on several levels,” Gerber told me in reference to theapproved design for the new universal vehicles which will soon be shuttling New Yorkers around the five boroughs.

One of the “levels”, Gerber is discussing is lost opportunity at revenue. “The rooftop advertising has become a steady source of income,” Gerber said. “(The panoramic roofs) not only killed the advertising for us, it also killed the advertising for (those looking to gain exposure).”

The revenue generated from rooftop ads have kept the GNYTA satisfied over the past 12 years while the fare rates have been frozen by the city. Due to the design of the soon-to-arrive taxis, the traditional advertisements will not have a spot atop the vehicles' roofs.

“I think there’s going to be enormous pressure now (to find) where that lost revenue is going to come from.” The ads were “a way of combating some of the costs without raising the rates for the customers,” Gerber told me.


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