Sara Kugler, Associated Press
Published: Tuesday, May 22, 2007
NEW YORK - The city's yellow taxi fleet will go entirely hybrid within five years, Mayor Michael Bloomberg announced Tuesday.
"There's an awful lot of taxicabs on the streets of New York City," Bloomberg said. "These cars just sit there in traffic sometimes, belching fumes.
"It's a lot better for all of us," he said of the hybrid plan.
Nearly 400 fuel-efficient hybrids have been tested in New york City's taxi fleet over the last 18 months, with models including the Toyota Prius, the Toyota Highlander Hybrid, the Lexus RX 400h and the Ford Escape.
Under Bloomberg's plan, that number will increase to 1,000 by October 2008, then will grow by about 20 per cent each year until 2012, when every yellow cab - currently numbering 13,000 - will be a hybrid.
Hybrid vehicles run on a combination of gasoline and electricity, emitting less exhaust and achieving higher gas mileage.
The standard yellow cab vehicle, the Ford Crown Victoria, uses 16.7 litres per 100 kilometres. In contrast, the Ford Escape taxis use only 6.5 litres per 100 kilometres.
In addition to making the yellow cab brigade entirely green within five years, the city will require all new vehicles entering the fleet after October 2008 to achieve a minimum of 9.3 litres per 100 kilometres. A year later, all new vehicles must achieve at least 7.8 litres and be hybrid.
Hybrid vehicles are typically more expensive, but the city said the increase in fuel efficiency will save taxi operators more than US$10,000 a year. Shifting the taxi fleet to hybrids is part of Bloomberg's wider sustainability plan for the city, which includes a goal of a 30 per cent reduction in carbon emissions by 2030.
Mayor Aims for Hybrid Taxi Fleet
by Lisa Chow
NEW YORK, NY May 23, 2007 —As part of his plan to tackle climate change, Mayor Bloomberg wants to replace all 13,000 taxicabs with more fuel-efficient hybrid vehicles in the next 5 years. The New York Taxi Workers Alliance says drivers will feel the costs. WNYC's Lisa Chow reports.
REPORTER: The mayor says hybrid taxis are a win-win. They're good for the environment and they'll save cab drivers $10,000 a year in fuel costs. The executive director of the New York Taxi Workers Alliance Bhairavi Desai disagrees. She says any savings the drivers make, they'll be paying in higher leasing fees to the owners of the cars or the garages. In other words, she says, drivers don't win from this plan.
DESAI: It should be about an economic equity as well as an environmental justice. In the taxi industry, in order for that to happen, we need to protect drivers from bearing the costs of the vehicles.
REPORTER: The mayor said the city will not help cab drivers purchase the more expensive hybrid cars, that he'd rather reduce taxpayers bills than send more money to private groups. For WNYC, I'm Lisa Chow.