New Yorkers hail fuel-efficient cab of the future
New York, NY— The greening
of the iconic New York yellow taxi officially began as New Yorkers
met the first mini-fleet of hybrid taxicabs – six Ford Escape
The historic occasion was marked
by a ceremony in New York, where officials from government, advocacy
groups and industry gathered to send off the hybrid taxis in midtown
Since 1907, only gasoline-powered
taxis have worked New York City streets. Thanks to the “Clean
Air Taxis Act” and new TLC regulations implemented this
past summer, New York’s cab drivers are now free to choose
from seven gas-electric hybrid models.
Hybrid vehicles pollute less
and can achieve twice the city gas mileage of the current standard
New York cab. The two-wheel-drive version of the Escape Hybrid
achieves 36 miles per gallon in city driving, close to 500 miles
per tank of gas, allowing cabbies to go an entire shift without
The change in city policy was
prompted by public concern over New York’s air quality -
ranked as the third worst in the country.
Seven out of 10 New Yorkers in
a poll conducted by CAST last summer said New York taxis should
be converted to hybrids sooner than later.
According to the New York City
Taxi and Limousine Commission, each New York taxi averages nearly
100,000 miles of driving annually. So, the fuel savings for drivers
and operators could reach the thousands of dollars every year.
“It’s a no-brainer,”
says Evgeny Friedman, the co-owner of Taxi Club Management Inc.,
in Brooklyn. Friedman purchased 18 of the first 27 hybrid medallions
auctioned last October by the New York City Taxi and Limousine