The Death of Rooftop Taxi Advertising

Taxi of Tomorrow - New YorkNew York’s streets may never look the same again, as Mayor Michael Bloomberg pursues his plan to replace existing cabs with the ‘Taxi of Tomorrow’ by 2018, thus driving the iconic rooftop advertising format to extinction.

Manufactured by Nissan, the new taxi model boasts an ad-free roof, which will mean that the 9,000 cabs currently sporting rooftop marketing will no longer be able to generate custom for their advertiser; companies dedicated to rooftop advertising will be out of business; fleet owners will no longer receive earnings from the platform.

Cab drivers will be required to purchase the Taxi of Tomorrow upon expiration of their existing lease, with Mayor Bloomberg hoping to have the new vehicle rolled out citywide to replace around 13,000 New York taxis within 5 years. The Nissan NV-200, flat-roofed taxi comes complete with a “low annoyance” hirn and extra legroom; however, drivers that pay $50 a year to the Taxi and Limo Commission for their rooftop advertising permit will no longer gain their welcome $100-per-month in revenue.

Ethen Gerber, executive director at the Greater New York Taxi Association, pointed out that the cash returned to them through displaying these adverts has meant frozen taxi prices for passengers for 12 years – if this is taken out of the equation, the GNYTA will be under “enormous pressure” to make up this lost revenue.