Hybrid Taxis Are Coming

[editor's note, by ianqui] Important news from Peak Oil NYC...

Just to follow up on a post from yesterday about the two proposals to aid taxi drivers while gas prices are high, the TLC has approved the use of 6 hybrid taxi models for use in NYC, but denied the proposal to create a fuel surcharge of $1-2 on all trips.

However, those taking Amtrak may face a huge increase (up to 50%) in train fares this fall. I guess I might have to rethink my calculations on train vs. car on my next trip to DC or Boston.

Update [2005-9-9 11:7:1 by ianqui]: According to this CBS news report, the fare hike will only affect monthly commuters, not people buying single tickets.
Commuters are being asked to bear the brunt of the hike according to Amtrak officials because they haven’t been hit with previous fare increases.

A monthly pass between Trenton and New York City right now costs $522 but with a planned 50 percent hike it would be over $780 a month.

This has some commuters saying they’ll take New Jersey Transit instead or get back in their cars.

The NY Times fills in an important gap that CBS leaves out: About 18,000 people buy monthly passes to ride Amtrak in the corridor between Washington and Boston. If most people start to take NJ Transit (or Metro North, in NY and CT), then we're doing OK. But at a time when we seriously need to reduce our oil dependency, we should be worried about a policy that will force more people into their cars. Indeed, Representative Robert E. Andrews, a Democrat from Haddon Heights, N.J, is quoted in the article as saying the same thing.
"This is a consequence of the starvation of Amtrak," Mr. Andrews said. "What's foolish about it is it will further reduce revenue. You're taking one of the most effective ways people can conserve petroleum, which is to ride the train, and making it more expensive. That's enough to put someone back in their car even if gas prices are sky-high."

If I get the energy, I forsee another letter to my senators coming up...

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What is a taxi?
Rob Andrews is my Congressman.  Nice guy, but the guys along the NE Corridor alwasys pander for Amtrak. The truth is it is completely unnecessary.

Why subsidize the upper middle class to keep them having having to share a train with the lower middle class?

SEPTA, NJ Transit, MARC, and all the others do a fine job.  The price increases, to the extent they are matched by the increase in fuel costs for driving, shouldn't push anyone back into their car.

It just might force the businessmen to share seats with the proletariat a little more.

Have to say that in my home town a Prius seems the most popular new taxi purchase.  No subsidy, AFAIK.