Bloomberg Hails Green Taxis

As part of my continuing video series on "things I could barely imagine just a few few months ago", is Mayor Bloomberg's overnight conversion on Councilmember David Yassky's hybrid taxi proposal. Last Summer I handed out flyers at LaGuardia airport trying to convince taxi drivers to buy the Prius or Camry hybrid models that get 60 and 40 mpg respectively, compared to the 13-17 mpg that the current Crown Victoria model gets. Many of them were interested and agreed that they needed to save money on gas since it was their #1 variable cost of $30-50/shift. But they feared taking the plunge alone. That all changed with Bloomberg's announcement that all new taxis will be required to get over 30mpg by 2012.

Hybrid taxis in Urban areas make tremendous sense. Hybrids get their best mileage differential in Urban areas and taxis are a perfect off hour / odd trip complement to dense areas with good mass transit and walking. See Mayor Bloomberg announce this on the Today show with CM Yassky who went on to support the Mayor's congestion pricing plan a few days later in a great "I'll support your green proposal if you support mine" deal. I hope more City Council and State legislators ask for similar quid pro quos...

All hail the green taxi...sorry, I couldn't help myself.