NYC Tries Incentives to Convince Taxi Fleet Owners to Use Hybrids ~ Hybrid Car Review
Hybrid Car Review: NYC Tries Incentives to Convince Taxi Fleet Owners to Use Hybrids

Monday, November 17, 2008

NYC Tries Incentives to Convince Taxi Fleet Owners to Use Hybrids

NYC is struggling with how to implement a hybrid changeover for their taxi cabs after a court ruling against the city.

The Metropolitan Taxicab Board of Trade (MTBOT) filed a lawsuit to stop NYC from implementing their hybrid taxi plan, which would have switched all taxis in the city to hybrid powered vehicles. Citing safety concerns, the group cited an engineering report in which it was claimed the partitions, which are after market modifications, were untested and possibly unsafe in use.

A judge, feeling that the MTBOT would eventually win the lawsuit, granted a preliminary injunction stopping the city's plans.

Instead of continuing the fight in courty, Mayor Bloomberg is now pushing for financial incentives for the fleet owners. Since he can't force them to switch, Bloomberg is now offering to allow owners to charge $3 more per shift for using a hybrid.  That may not seem like a lot, but it adds up to $2,000 more per year. 

They are also planning on lowering the amount fleet owners can charge drivers for non-hybrid use.

Owners don't really benefit from hybrids fuel sipping ways.  Drivers pay to lease the vehicle, and have to pay for the fuel.  It is estimated that drivers can save $15 per shift in gasoline costs.  But that's not the only savings.  For more details on how hybrids save money over tradtional taxis, follow the link.

The MTBOT 'dismissed the new financial incentives as an "end run" around last month's court ruling.'

"Today's attempt to buy off taxi operators and to use backdoor methods to force safe, proven commercial vehicles off the road is wrong and highly challengeable," Ron Sherman, the group's president said.

I've seen estimates of hybrid taxis costing twice as much as their traditional crown victoria taxis.  But I've also seen reports that hybrid taxis can 'pay for themselves' after just 14 months.

Get Four Free Price Quotes From Yahoo! Autos Hybrid Research and Pricing at

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