A Great Big City

Green Taxis Act makes a comeback

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Photo via Edward Reed / NYC Mayor’s Office

Today, Mayor Bloomberg announced that he has teamed up with David Yassky of the TLC, Senator Gillibrand, and Congressman Nadler to introduce the Green Taxis Act of 2011, which aims to increase the fuel economy of yellow cabs and impose regulations on taxi emissions. Sound familiar? Let’s take a trip back to 2007, when Bloomberg and Yassky were on the Today Show, announcing a five-year plan to convert all the city’s taxis to hybrids:

That plan was later shot down by lawsuits claiming that hybrids could not handle the 24-hour workload required of a New York taxi.

So, what has changed in the the last four years? Well, now the conversion would save the emissions equivalent to taking 35,000 cars off the street, up from 32,000 cars in 2007! Not much else has changed, however, and it can’t be sitting well with the city’s taxi and limo companies that the local government is pushing legislation that would increase control over the vehicles and impose strict emissions requirements.

Read the full press release from the Mayor’s Office

The “Green Taxis Act” was introduced in 2009 – track its progress on OpenCongress.org