The Taxi & Limousine Commission next month will likely decide against rooftop advertising on the so-called “Taxi of Tomorrow” — the new Nissan vehicle that will replace almost all the current cabs by 2018.
Sources tell The Post that the agency is leaning toward nixing the ads, since the NV200 model has a panoramic glass roof that shows off the Big Apple to it passengers.
A billboard ad would cover up these views — and the glass roof was the most popular feature of the new cab when the TLC surveyed riders.
“The taxi-top advertising does bring in revenue to the fleets, but it would be crazy to cover that over with an ad structure,” said TLC Commissioner David Yassky. “I’m not sure passengers would miss the gentlemen’s clubs ads too badly.”
A final decision has not been made — and the often tacky ads bring in about $100 to $115 a month to the owner. The owner pays $50 a year to the TLC for the ad permit.
About 9,000 yellow cabs currently have rooftop advertising, and four advertising companies in Queens and Manhattan handle the ads for those drivers.
“The TLC was happy to see extra revenue go to the fleet owners, as long as there was no big downside,” said Yassky.
“The loss to the passenger of the view out the roof is just too high.”
David Pollack, the executive director of the Committee for Taxi Safety, said that eliminating the ads would be outrageous, and that drivers rely on the cash that they add to their bottom line.
“How does taking away a much-needed revenue of advertising help small businesses in New York City?” asked Pollack.
“Where in the country is there less advertising? Only in Bloombergland.”
The agency is debating whether cabs in the older model can keep their ads until their leases expire, since they are already grandfathered in — but nothing has been decided yet, sources say.
Owners are required to buy the Taxi of Tomorrow when their leases run out.
The TLC will make the decision at the end of August, when the advertising permit deadline falls.
[New York Post Report]