Think Kermit the Kab.
The color of the city’s new taxi for boroughs outside Manhattan was unveiled Sunday by Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, and in the mayor’s eyes the hue was an “apple green.”
Standing before a Prius painted in the bright green hue, Mr. Bloomberg held up a green apple and declared that apple green would be “the official name for this color.”
“We think ‘apple green’ is attractive and distinctive,” he said at a news conference at City Hall. “It’s easy on the eyes and easy to pick out from a distance in traffic.”
Four months after Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo signed legislation enabling the city to start selling licenses for taxis that could respond to street hails in the boroughs outside Manhattan, and 10 days after the Taxi and Limousine Commission adopted rules governing the new fleet, the major outstanding mystery about the new taxis was the color.
In recent months, word leaked that the color would most likely be some variety of green, because the new taxis had to be distinct from yellow cabs as well as from the city’s emergency vehicles. But the taxi and limousine commissioner, David S. Yassky, who was wearing a sea-foam-colored tie for the unveiling ceremony, said the final decision was made “very recently.”
The commission chose the color in consultation with a design firm, Smart Design, and the city’s tourism arm, NYC & Company, Mr. Bloomberg said.
The city will start accepting applications on May 29 for the first 6,000 licenses; it will offer 12,000 additional licenses in the following two years. Individuals can buy only one license, unless they purchase licenses for wheelchair-accessible cars, in which case they can buy up to five. Under the law, 20 percent of the new taxis must be wheelchair-accessible.
Although the car on display at the news conference was a Toyota Prius — it was in fact one of the taxi commission’s enforcement cars — the new taxis can be any make of car. A spokesman for the commission, Allan J. Fromberg, said many auto shops around town would be able to paint licensed cars in the new color.
Not everyone agreed that the color evoked an apple.
“Mint,” pronounced Metka Hovnik, 22, a college student from Slovenia, looking at a picture of the car.
Even one of the mayor’s aides suggested that a better comparison might be pistachio ice cream.
Thomas Boskett, a professor at Parsons The New School for Design and an expert in color theory, called the color “a warm wasabi.”
“I love the robustness,” he said. “It’s actually nice that they’re picking a color that seems kind of intense.”
At the same time, the apple reference highlighted for him what was lacking in the car’s color: namely, complexity and variation.
“If you’re going to reference an apple, then reference an apple, and give it some humanity — don’t design something that’s like a plastic toilet brush,” Professor Boskett said.
“Give it some subtlety; give it some nuance,” he continued. “This just looks like they covered it in one big, pasty green.”