Ford Transit Connect Taxis for Windy City

By Ford Social Member

Residents of Chicago will spot a new arrival on their roads in March. Taxi Medallion Management has purchased 12 compressed natural gas (CNG) Ford Transit Connect Taxis, which will be affiliated with the Yellow Cab Chicago and sport its logo and color.

“We are adding vehicles with more fuel-efficient gasoline engines, as well as vehicles with alternative-fuel sources, to find a vehicle mix that best suits our customers, our drivers, the city at large and the environment,” said Michael Levine, CEO of Taxi Medallion Management. “We are excited about testing this new vehicle.” The purchase of the clean-burning vehicles is part of the company’s goal of reducing emissions by 25 percent.

The Ford dealership Packey Webb Ford of Downers Grove, Ill., will deliver the taxi units to Taxi Medallion Management with an engine preparation package for conversion to CNG.

Since introduced as a production vehicle last year, Transit Connect Taxi is gaining interest from taxi operators around the country. The first taxi was delivered to Boston Cab Dispatch in December 2010.

“During product development of this vehicle, we visited cities across the U.S. speaking with taxi owners, operators, drivers and city officials on the key product attributes they wanted in a taxi,” said Gerald Koss, Ford Fleet marketing manager. “Of course reliability and durability were key, but fuel-efficient powertrains and sustainable solutions also were high on their lists.”

The Transit Connect Taxi package adds comfort for the passenger with a repositioned second-row seat for more legroom, grab handles and a rear ventilation system with passenger controls. In addition to the comfortable driving environment, new features for the driver include a rearview camera and back-up sensor, heavy-duty battery and wiring block connector to power upfitted accessories. The taxis have a 39-foot turning radius that provides excellent driving dynamics and takes the hassle out of tight spots.

The standard Ford Transit Connect – 2010 North American Truck of the Year – features a 2.0-liter I-4 engine that gets EPA-estimated 21 mpg city and 26 mpg highway, an estimated 30 percent improvement in fuel economy compared with traditional taxis.

In addition to CNG, Transit Connect Taxi is available with an engine preparation package for conversion to liquefied propane gas (LPG). Both CNG and LPG lower taxi fleets’ operating costs and are better for the environment.

During its first full year of production, 27,405 Transit Connect vehicles were sold in the United States. Demand for Transit Connect continues to grow as evidenced by the 41 percent year-over-year increase in sales for December 2010.

In addition, several organizations with large fleets purchased Transit Connects including Best Buy, Edible Arrangements, ThyssenKrupp Elevator and DTE Energy.
Angela M 02/29/2012
What does it typically cost a consumer to convert a Transit Connect to CPG or LPG in California?
JK Kim 01/26/2011
C. Nicholson 01/26/2011
As other manufacturers produce vehicles with retro looks, why not Ford? I think an updated 1956 Ford pickup would be a top seller. By far the coolest truck ever made and 2012 would a great time to reveal it to celebrate 56 years after the 56 Ford. You all know how popular it would be. It could probably be built on the ranger platform without too much difficultly. PS.... I want a free one for the idea. C. Nicholson
Richard Andrews 01/25/2011
This new Ford Transit will make a really cool cab, i mean Ford made it.
obadias 01/24/2011
why do not you create a new version of the corcel? It would be really cool.
Tea Sea 01/24/2011
How does turbo diesel compare with compressed natural gas? Mileage? Being green? Cost per gal?
Jim Payne 01/23/2011
Small turbo diesel and I'll sign up
Gerald P. 01/21/2011
I'm gonna fly all the way back to Chicago just to take a Taxi now :-)
Nicholas Fortes 01/21/2011
Beat NYC to the punch! Haha New York!
Barry Ellington 01/21/2011
@Harrison - Thumbs up on the retro Gran Torino Sport - but this little vehicle is going to go places for Ford, too . . . with small business and in government and commercial fleetse that no other model can.
Eric Matthews 01/21/2011
I think the Transit is a pretty cool little car and would make a great cab
Brent Henry 01/21/2011
@Scott Dunne

Diesel is more fuel efficient and burns less fuel, who cares about the extra emissions! i would rather have better fuel economy over something supposedly deemed "Green" by a minority Kook fringe,
M Miller 01/21/2011
Brent Henry: Go look at one...they arent \\'super tall\\' as you put it...teh Ford Edge would not make a good taxi in my its kind of cost prohibitive for Taxi Cos to purchase---although ti is a great vehicle from Ford....Robert Johnson: You dont have a clue...go to a FORD dealer and check one out...but I do respect your opinion...its in teh eye of the beholder as they say....if FORD would jazz it up a bit Id get rid of my SUV and buy one...I need some space, but not all that a 9 passenger Expedition for 5 and luggage is all I need! Im just saying....GO FORD!
Scott Dunne 01/21/2011
why would it be better diesel? gas is cleaner and greaner.
Barry Ellington 01/21/2011
Next: Cash Cab! When Transit Connect breaks a certain minivan's grip on that market slot, it'll be GOLDEN!
Jay Grossman 01/21/2011
Be building the transit in kansas city soon!!!!
Mark Kongshaug 01/21/2011
They would be better with a diesel engine.
James P Mahoney 01/21/2011
They were looking at the Transit Connect here in NYC also as of yet I don't think any decision has been made. But they are all over the street of NYC being used by small and mid sized companies.
Steve Duffy 01/21/2011
Good Job Ford and CNG will help air quality.
Kimberly Reglein Rinaldi 01/21/2011
I've been working on this project for 3 years and it's great to see how it's catching in across the nation!
Joe Gruce 01/21/2011
Boston has approved this vehicle as well for use in their city. Go Ford!! Any change for an AWD version with a little more HP ;^)?
Mike Paradiso 01/21/2011
Transit. A hell of a concept that works for small business as well as other applications. Great job Ford. Keep it up.
Chris Upchurch 01/21/2011

Ford is making cars and trucks, crossovers,vans,to meet the needs of the American people and people of the world. Your doing a grate job ford. Keep it up.
Nestle Salcedo 01/21/2011
you know what...i think the Transit vans will be the next great taxi's in congested cities!
Josh Jones 01/21/2011
transit connects are fuel efficient and have lots of room for their small size, they are easy to get in and out of and can still hold luggage with 5 people. if you ask me thats perfect fo a taxi, who cares what they look like.
Chuck Schultz 01/21/2011
God I want a yellow Connect... (says the owner of a yellow 2001 Escape)
Josh Jones 01/21/2011
i dont think they would ever replace the e-series with something that small, though i could see them eventually using the transit.
Harrison Dearmin 01/21/2011
FMC why waste you time and resources on the ugly thing make a retro gran torino sport
Brent Henry 01/21/2011
I still think the Ford Flex would make a better Taxi than Transit Connect, we already have problems with Minivans and other taller vehicles obstructing peoples views, we don't need fleets of these super tall Transit connects obstructing peoples view in traffic even more! also even the C-max would also work as a Taxi
Kathy Kabara Schmidt 01/21/2011
Way to Go Chicago!
Tim Theodorou 01/21/2011
I heard its the TransitConnect is a replacement for the E-Series. Is this true? It may make an okay taxi, but not a good replacement for the E-Series.
Macario Rikkir Perez 01/21/2011
The TransitConnect makes a cute taxi and stands out from the rest.
Robert Johnson 01/21/2011
Ugly thing they can have it lol