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I don't know about you, but whenever I visited New York City, taking the subway quickly lost its luster after the upteenth time of nabbing the wrong train and getting lost in the system during a Service Disruption Jamboree, also known as every weekend. Sense of adventure be damned! But now that I live here, I can't really justify cabbing it all over town, especially when the city's newest gay hot spots – the steampunk-inspired Industry (355 W 52nd St., Industry-Bar.com) and Bedlam (40 Ave. C, BedlamNYC.com), a bi-curious take on a Victorian apothecary from one of Eastern Bloc's randy geniuses – are a Hell's Kitchen to far East Village trek (we're talking Avenue C here).
But no more. To help pick the Taxi of Tomorrow and tailor-fit it to riders needs, the NYC Taxi and Limousine Commission in conjunction with the Design Trust for Public Space is offering a painless two-minute survey. Grand prize: $5,000 worth of free taxi rides for a year!
Click here for the survey (enter by next Friday, December 17) and poke through the rest of the site for fun socio-historical facts of the iconic yellow cab and plenty of ye olde taxi porn. Below, check out images and details of the three finalists, culled from a one-year open call to auto manufacturers and industrial designers. Sweepstakes or not, consider it your gay duty to help pick the winner. Whichever one the city chooses will be your urban chariot for the next 10 years. Crown Vic, R.I.P.
Karsan USA – Our favorite. A relatively unknown Turkish automaker tweaks the cabbing experience into something akin to London's Black Cabs, offering a panoramic glass roof (tourist neck with no shame!) and space for five passengers, all without using the dreaded front seat.
Nissan – A compact van with a ton of trunk space and the roomiest interior of the three, although still only four passengers max, its main draw is an eco-friendly, fully electric version.
Ford – Based on its already award-winning Transit Connect van which was approved for taxi use in Boston last spring, our bets are on Ford since they've been NYC's preferred taxi provider since forever, even though the seating space looks mighty cramped.
For general trip-planning information, see our New York City Travel Guide.