How Long Do NYC Taxicabs Last?

I have been argueing with a friend, over the (alleged) longevity of Mercedes-Benz diesel engine cars. He thinks these things are wonderful, and go for 300,000 miles without any trouble.
My point is that longevity in cars is all about maintainence-you can make a Ford last as long as you want, if you maintain it properly.
So how long do the owners of NYC taxicabs keep them? NYC cabs must face some of the worts conditions for an automobile-potholes, frequent stop/go traffic, and extensive idling. I have heard that these cars regularly go 250,000-300,000 miles before being scrapped-anybody know?

Regardless of mileage, all cabs must be retired after 3-5 years.

According to the NYC TLC (warning: PDF):

As I read this, cabs must be taken off the road after three years (if the car is driven ‘double-shift’, or two drivers, two shifts, in the same day) and after five years for a single-shift. (But given that this is government writing, I may be mistaken.)

Cab retirement was a controversial issue a few years ago when it was implemented. Before that, there were any number of barely operable vehicles on the streets of NYC.

I have ridden in a Parisian taxicab (privately owned) Some midsize Mercedes sporting Mercedes medals starting at 400 000km every 100 000 up to… 1 000 000km ( over 620 000 mi.!), I must add thet it was also one of the cleanest taxis I have ever taken, anywhere.
Though I doubt this is anything but an exception, and you could only guess at total cost, when I was a kid I worked for a while as an upkeep mecanic in a private bus company. Most of those big slow diesels ran 600 000km easy, and were then often sold to houseboat owners who put more years on them, under less load.
Here in France, most small to midsize (for here) cars will run up to about 250-300 000km before falling (quite literally) apart at the seams, exceptions made for some quite famous models (Citroen DS, Volvo 745, Citroen 2cv, VW Beetle(old), etc)

Just long enough for a round of “Cash Cab!”

Don’t know about NY taxis, but I own and drive an Orange County, Ca. taxi. It’s a 2003 Ford Crown Vic with 320,600 miles on it. Seems to run fine, although I will be replacing an alternator pulley tomorrow. It’s had the transmission replaced twice, but the engine is original.

As far as retirement goes, my county regs say I can keep it in service for 10 years from it’s model year. In other words, until my registration date in 2013. During this time the taxi must pass an inspection done by the county once a year.

Note that the regulation say “from the time it is hacked up”. Not all cabs are new. About 1/3 of them started out as police cars. This probably is diminishing somewhat due to the mandate that a significant percentage of them now have to be hybrids.

In the spirit of the OP’s “how long do they last”: in my neighborhood right outside of NYC one of my neighbors owns a former NYC Cab. All of the stuff (the medallion, the door stickers with the prices, the on duty light on top) are removed but it is definitely that weird shade of orangey yellow that only an NYC taxicab is.

We have on street parking so I’m not sure who owns it, but it’s been parked in various places on my block for many years now. So, no hard numbers but once they’re retired obviously they can last quite a while (with, one assumes, regular maintenance).

Here in Houston Texas a taxicab can be in service for 5 years before it must retired. It is not unusual to see retired taxis and police cars on the roads for years after being sold to private owners.

Used to drive a NYC cab and one’s that are owned by a fleet get over 200k while individual medallion owners often go over 300k.