Ford Transit Connect taxis to hit the streets of Chicago powered with
Ford Transit Connect Taxis will begin winding
through the streets of the Windy City in March when a fleet of
the alternative-fuel vehicles joins Yellow Cab Chicago.
Taxi Medallion Management purchased the 12 clean-burning compressed
natural gas (CNG) Transit Connect Taxis for its fleet. The cabs
will be affiliated with Yellow Cab Chicago and bear the company’s
logo and color.
The purchase is part of the company’s goal of reducing emissions
by 25 percent, said Michael Levine, CEO of Taxi Medallion Management.
According to the United States Environmental Protection Agency
(EPA), CNG is less expensive and burns cleaner than gasoline,
resulting in 30 to 40 percent less greenhouse gas emissions.
“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 Levine.
The Ford dealership, Packey Webb Ford, of Downers Grove, Illinois,
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
“During product development of this vehicle, we visited cities
across the United States 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
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. For the
driver, in addition to the comfortable driving environment, new
features include rear view 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.