“FUTURE cab?” the taxi driver, Arif, asked with a smile. He had pulled his battered Ford Crown Victoria alongside the gleaming new vehicle I was driving around Columbus Circle and took pictures with his cellphone camera as if he had spotted a celebrity on the street.
In a way, he had. I was driving a Ford Transit Connect, one of three finalists in the competition to become New York City’s next taxi. The Transit Connect, which Ford also sells as a hardy little delivery van, wore an aspirational yellow-and-black checkerboard paint job.