David Yassky has been a New York City Council member for five years. That means he is a 21st century politician. He is willing to go tilting after windmills that other, older politicians might be afraid to touch. One such area is New York Taxi Industry, 13,000 taxis mostly owned by fleet operators who rent their vehicles to drivers each day. New York taxis have been dominated by old technology for decades – the Chevy Caprice until it went out of production, and the Ford Crown Victoria, a car designed before many of you were born. David asked "How about hybrid taxis?" about five years ago. Up went the barricades: "We like the way things are now!" Passengers will lose 2 inches of legroom." "What about our CNG taxicabs? Don't switch horses in midstream."

It took time but as AutoblogGreen readers remember, in May, the City announced that the transition to hybrid taxicabs would begin and by 2012, New York will have an all-hybrid taxi fleet. Since drivers have to pay for fuel, they won't complain. New York is an ideal place for a vehicle that operates best in stop-go traffic. There are more hybrid choices now: Toyotas, Hondas, Fords, Saturns. Technicians will need retraining but they can handle it.

It is hard to kill a good idea. It can be slowed down, It can be replaced by an even better idea. Right now, other cities are asking New York just how they did their hybrid taxi initiative. Maybe, just maybe, we are getting on a greener path.

[Source: David Yassky]



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