On yesterday's "Today" show, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg announced a five-year plan to 'green' New York City's yellow cab fleet. Although the fleet will retain its emblematic yellow color, the ubiquitous Ford Crown Victoria will be replaced by more fuel-efficient hybrid vehicles. Under the proposed plan, the city would triple the number of hybrid cabs from its current count of 375 by October 2008. The number of hybrid vehicles would subsequently increase by 20 percent each year after that. The Mayor's proposal will require that all new vehicles entering the fleet beginning in October 2008 get at least 25 miles per gallon. While cars entering the fleet in 2009, will be required to achieve 30 miles per gallon. According to city officials, the only vehicles that meet these fuel standards and the Mayor's emissions standards are hybrids. If approved by the city's Taxi and Limousine Commission, the plan will likely mark the end of the familiar Ford Crown Victoria. Despite horrendous gas mileage of 10 to 15 miles to the gallon, the Crown Vic currently accounts for more than 90 percent of the city's 13,000 yellow cabs.
The new fleets would cut carbon dioxide emissions by an estimated 215,000 metric tons a year, a small percentage of the city's 58.3 million metric tons. However, this effort marks an important and achievable step toward achieving the mayor's PlaNYC program to reduce the city's greenhouse gas emissions by 30 percent by 2030. See also ::Bloomberg Proposes Congestion Pricing for Manhattan and ::More Hybrid Taxis Coming to NYC