The city of Cambridge is getting a gift from Whole Foods Market. By donating $30,000, the supermarket chain is helping the town switch taxicabs to hybrid cars.
This may be a great move for the local License Commission and may be a template for other cities and towns to follow. By gaining corporate sponsorship, Cambridge has avoided the biggest problem with switching taxis to hybrids, the upfront cost.
When a Crown Victoria cab, fully outfitted for taxi service can cost 1/3 to 1/2 less than a fully equipped hybrid, it's not hard to understand why taxi cab owners are reluctant to switch over. The drivers may love the savings in fuel, but the owners still have to pay that up front cost.
It's also not hard to understand why Whole Foods would want their name attached to an environmental initiative like this.
The City of Cambridge will also be issuing grants of $10,000 each, from the sale of two medallions, to hackney owners who convert to hybrid vehicles.Photo by That Other Paper from Flickr.
Ambassador Brattle owns five of the six hybrid cabs in Cambridge and will have them on display in front of City Hall during a press conference to announce this new plan ... Classic Cab, which owns the sixth hybrid cab, will also be present.