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Neo

Ban taxis that aren't hybrids?

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New York recently tried to ban taxis that weren't hybrids but the move was blocked by a judge. This is probably not the best climate to require taxi companies to convert their fleet over to hybrids, but I'm not opposed to the idea of requiring it by a certain date. This would certainly be good for the environment in places like NYC that have so many taxis roaming the streets all day and all night.

Outside of an outright ban on non-hybrid taxis, what else could be done to reduce the carbon footprint of taxis in our cities?

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Outside of an outright ban on non-hybrid taxis, what else could be done to reduce the carbon footprint of taxis in our cities?

Most taxis in the south seem to be recycled police cruisers with over 150K on them or used minivans. They are not always maintained well and visibly spout pollution out the tailpipe. However, most taxi companies here are barely profitable I do wish we had stringent inspections above and beyond the state requirements (if any.)

I have seen some companies move to mid-size front weel drive models which would get better gas mileage. That may be the better answer in the short-term.

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Hmmm. Interesting idea, not sure about it though. I must say though, I have been seeing more of the Prius hybrids in this area being used as taxis. In fact, far more now are not the classic American car. I've seen several Priuses (Prions?), Camry's, even some Honda Accords being used as taxis. At least some companies/owners are aiming for better mileage.

Certainly some incentives could be offered for converting to hybrids or natural gas-powered vehicles (or maybe they are already doing this in places?). I know there is a federal tax credit for hybrids. One problem though is cars like the Prius don't have the cargo capacity of a Crown Vic, so one becomes more limited with who/what they can carry.

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I was pretty disappointed by the NY ruling. Born and raised in NYC, I happen to prefer the subway, it's much, much quicker to get around town.Suburban George3 commented that most taxi's in the south are second hand cop cruisers, but NYC and other bigger metropolitan cities in NE seem to swap in brand new vehicles for their fleets from time to time. I have seen Prius cabs in NYC and other hybrids - so obviously it's happening but should probably be a mandate rather than a choice. I'm assuming (hoping) that as the auto industry ramps up production to the numbers we need, we will eventually see all non-hybrids go the way of the dodo...

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If the taxi companies are forced to invest in new vehicles all at once, they will have to increase fares considerably in order to pay for the investment. How many residents will this push over the edge as the cost of living in NYC is already so high? How many may move out of the city to where they would be driving personal automobiles, hence negating the carbon reductions? How about the impact of potential loss of employment as a result to taxi and local businesses? Personally, I do not support such restrictions but if done so they really need a reasonable time-frame or they will ultimately cause more harm than good.

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