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New York Mayor Demands Federal Hybrid Taxi Law

Bloomberg and other city bosses angered by federal ruling limiting their control over taxi fleets.

by on Jul.30, 2010

Though a federal court has blocked rules requiring the switch to greener vehicles, more than a quarter of NY cabs are already hybrid-powered.

With New York’s never-shy Michael Bloomberg taking point, a coalition of American mayors is pressing Congress to give them permission to green their taxi fleets.

The Big Apple is just one of the cities that had been trying to force taxi operators to switch from conventional gasoline vehicles to cleaner alternatives, such as hybrids – but a federal court has blocked such efforts ruling that power resides solely with the federal government.

So, unless the ruling by the U.S. Court of Appeals is overturned, Bloomberg and his counterparts in five other cities are pressing lawmakers on Capitol Hill to revise the rules.

The goal, they declared, in a letter to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), is to “ensure that taxicabs and other for-hire vehicles in our cities are fuel efficient.”  The mayoral coalition suggested that by greening the vehicles in their cities 50 million gallons of fuel could be saved annually.  The move would also have a significant impact on the emission of CO2 and other pollutants.

Clean and Green!

Bloomberg has been campaigning for cleaner taxis for more than three years.  He has even tried encouraging the development of vehicles specifically to serve as greener taxis, though in many cities, the push has simply been to adopt hybrid technology or other alternatives, such as compressed natural gas.