Boston taxi fleet to be hybrid by 2015

Following the examples set down by New York and San Francisco, Boston is now requiring that all its taxis be hybrids by the year 2015. The fleet currently boasts about 50 of the gas saving cars but most of the rest of the fleet of 1825 people movers are Crown Victorias. Although the hybrids can save owners $1,000 a month in fuel costs and halve emissions, change is not always welcomed and there is some resistance to switching over. The upfront cost of hybrids approach $30,000 when outfitted with the complete taxi kit while the old rear-wheel drive guzzlers might be less than half of that when picked up second hand from city auctions. Of course, we might argue that brand new Ford Escape hybrids and Priuses would be twice as nice to drive and ride in as previously ragged-out police cars but perhaps we're biased. In any case, the decision has been made and so hybrids it will be...eventually. The seven year grace period is supposed to help out the owner-operators compete with large cab company fleets while the transition is made.

[Source: The Boston Globe]

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