have agreed to ensure 300 hybrid vehicles are available each month for New York companies to purchase for use as taxis. With NY City mandating hybrid technology in all the cabs, the fleet owners were complaining not enough hybrid cars were available.
Officials dealt with their complaints by ensuring 50 Ford Escape Hybrids, 50 Chevy Malibu Hybrids and 200 Nissan Altima Hybrids were available. Taxi cab owners would have preferred Ford Escape Hybrids, because they are roomier and you can fit in more luggage, but Ford was concerned about the high demand. They're having trouble enough keeping up with the customers who want the Escape Hybrid in the first place.
The Taxi and Limousine Commission estimated 210 hybrids would need to be available each month to make a successful transition. Fleet owners are required to replace their cabs every three years, while individuals have to flip their car every five years.
According to Daus, the Commission's chairman, the hybrid taxi's are saving drivers $6,500 a year and they have better rates of passing inspection.
In a response to the announcement, Bhairavi Desai, the executive director of the New York Taxi Workers Alliance, stated the savings to drivers go in one hand and out the other as fleet owners charge more for hybrid rentals. Also, Desai wanted a fuel surcharge put in place to make up for the extra cost in gasoline.
Photo from flickr by lucky 327.