New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg recently announced that the Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC) will set new emissions and mileage standards for the city’s famous yellow taxicabs. The new standards will lead to the largest, cleanest fleet of taxis on the planet and is expected to be a 100 percent hybrid fleet by 2012. By implementing these new standards, the city hopes to reduce carbon emissions by 50 percent during the next decade and save individual operators $10,000 annually in fuel costs. The taxicab initiative comes as part of a series of 127 proposals, known as PlaNYC, targeted at helping the city meet the challenges of adding almost 1 million new residents to the city’s population by 2030, while also heavily focusing on reducing the city’s greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent.
Mayor Bloomberg was joined by TLC Commissioner Matthew W. Daus to make the announcement as well as Councilmember David Yassky, Yahoo! Network Division Vice President of Marketing Patrick Crane, American Lung Association President Louise Vetter, and other industry and regulatory leaders. Internet powerhouse Yahoo! donated ten hybrid taxicabs to the city to help jumpstart the city’s plans to reduce emissions.
“In PlaNYC, we set aggressive goals for the taxicab industry, and today we’re going to begin meeting those goals,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “Implementing tougher standards for the more than 13,000 taxis in this city will provide the same clean air benefits as removing 32,000 privately-owned cars from our streets, which will significantly reduce the air pollution that causes childhood asthma. This will also decrease fuel costs for taxi drivers, making this a win for the public and operators alike. I’d like to thank Yahoo! for their commitment to the environment and for recognizing our efforts in addressing global warming by donating these cabs.”
Currently there are only 375 hybrid vehicles in the city’s entire fleet; however, by the end of October 2008, that number is expected to triple. After October 2009, the number of yellow hybrid taxicabs will be 4,000 or 30 percent of the fleet. By 2010, the number will increase to 7,000 or 53 percent, and by 2012, the city expects the yellow taxicab fleet to be 100 percent hybrid.
“We expect these new standards will save 22 million gallons of fuel in the first year, and that is only the beginning of what we will be able to accomplish,” said TLC Commissioner Daus. “Thanks to Mayor Bloomberg’s bold vision laid out in PlaNYC, the New York City taxi fleet’s carbon footprint will be lighter than at any point in its 100-year history. The environmental meter is running, and our efforts are paying the fare for a healthier tomorrow. We appreciate Yahoo!’s support and their gift of ten clean, green taxicabs.”
“Yahoo! applauds Mayor Bloomberg’s aggressive PlaNYC initiative to build a greener, greater New York City,” said Patrick Crane, vice president of marketing, Yahoo! Network Division. “As a company focused on protecting the environment, we found it only fitting to award New York with a fleet of hybrid taxis as part of our ‘Be a Better Planet’ campaign, which gives people across the country specific ways to take green actions in their hometowns. We challenge other cities across America to follow New York’s example as Yahoo! searches for the greenest city in America.”