Friday, February 11, 2011

Bronx Resident, Mr. Abdul Mohammed Wins a Year's Worth of Free Taxi Rides from NYC TLC and the Design Trust for Public Space

It's not only the Irish that are lucky. Congratulations to Bronx resident Abdul Mohammed with his sweet score winning a YEAR'S WORTH OF FREE TAXI RIDES, for his participating in the "Taxi of Tomorrow" survey. The contest was sponsored by the NYC Taxi and Limousine Commission and the Design Trust for Public Space. The web link for future surveys and possible similar prizes can be found below.


From left to right are Design Trust Executive Director Deborah Marton, contest winner Abdul Mohammed, and TLC Commissioner/Chair David Yassky
PRESS RELEASE February 10, 2011
For Immediate Release
The NYC Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) and the Design Trust for Public Space today congratulated Mr. Abdul Mohammed of the Bronx for winning the grand prize of a year’s worth of free taxicab rides in a contest that featured the participation of over 22,600 individuals in a survey designed to help the TLC collect feedback on the features that New Yorkers want to see in the “Taxi of Tomorrow” (TOT). The contest, sponsored by the Design Trust, helped further the City’s efforts to create the first-ever custom-built taxicab, specially-designed for New York City. Mr. Mohammed received a specially-coded credit card that will be accepted in each of the City’s 13,237 taxicabs for up to $5,000 worth of rides.

The TLC also unveiled the results of the extensive survey, which are available for public viewing at:

“The survey was an overwhelming success for us,” said TLC Commissioner and Chair David Yassky. “Aside from the data it provides about taxicab usage, and what features and amenities are important to the riding public, it also confirmed for us just how important the taxicab is on both the functional and cultural levels. Taxicabs are a crucial method of transportation in New York City, but they are also deeply intertwined with the City’s identity, and the survey shows this very clearly.”
"Congratulations to Mr. Mohammed, who was among the thousands of New Yorkers who responded with characteristic enthusiasm and moxie to the first-ever call for feedback," said Deborah Marton, executive director of the Design Trust for Public Space, and member of the TOT Stakeholder Committee. "Taxis are iconic symbols of our urban landscape and the Design Trust is delighted to have galvanized the historic Taxi of Tomorrow program. We look forward to seeing the expression of New Yorkers' ideas in the car itself."

“I’m thrilled about this,” said contest winner Abdul Mohammed, of The Bronx. “But aside from the cab rides, I’m glad I participated in the survey because I believe in the importance of public feedback for projects like this one. I’m grateful to the Design Trust and the TLC for the prize, and I appreciate their listening to what we all had to say on the survey.”

Mayor Bloomberg and Commissioner Yassky recently announced the three leading contenders to manufacture the “Taxi of Tomorrow”, culled from seven original proposers. These leading proposers are the Ford Motor Company, Karsan, and Nissan USA. The TLC is currently in the process of evaluating their “Best and Final Offers”, and anticipates a final decision in the near future.

Survey Highlights --
 Riders like that they can pay with a credit card in a cab (58%), that cabs are easy to hail when you need one (32%), and that taxis are faster than the subway or bus (30%).
 Most respondents take a taxi weekly (41%) or daily (25%).
 Overall, riders rate the taxi experience as average (52%), but many rate it as very good (31%) while some said it was poor (12%).
 When asked what they most dislike about cabs, respondents thought that cab service was too expensive (37%) and that the “Taxi TV” was annoying (31%).
 When rating those features most important in a cab, respondents had a range of responses. The most important features included a cab that is easier to get in and out of (84% said it was somewhat or very important), better passenger/driver communication (83%), and lights to alert road-users to opening taxi doors (81%).
 Those features rated the least important were better entertainment options (71% said it was not important), ramps to roll items in and out of cabs (52%), and more attractive exterior graphics/markings (50%).
 Of the visual designs featured in the three leading Taxi of Tomorrow proposals, Karsan’s was most popular (66% said they liked or loved it) followed by Nissan (43%) and Ford (38%). (FYI, as a corollary, only 25% of survey participants ranked “attractive/iconic design” as being an important feature.)
 Men (65%) overwhelmingly responded to the survey, as did people between ages 18 and 35 (53%).
 Many respondents had no vehicles in their household (42%) followed by those with one car (30%).
 Most respondents live in Manhattan (52%), Brooklyn (16%), or the Tri-State Area, not including New York City (10%).

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