New York's Famous Yellow Cabs Go Green

This afternoon, Mayor Michael Bloomberg of New York pledged that the emblematic yellow taxicabs of his city will completely switch over to hybrid vehicles within five years. Looking to lead a wave of changes in environmental policies concerning the city's government supervised operations, Bloomberg said in a press conference outside City Hall that the hybrid taxi effort is part of an overall sustainability plan for the Big Apple that would see a 30 percent reduction in carbon emissions by the year 2030.

"There's an awful lot of taxicabs on the streets of New York City," Bloomberg said of the plan. "These cars just sit there in traffic sometimes, belching fumes. This does a lot less. It's a lot better for all of us."

With one of the largest taxi fleets in the world, the New York City program could become a model for other big cities looking to reduce pollution from greenhouse gases. Over the past 18 months, New York's Taxi and Limousine Commission has been testing some 400 hybrid vehicles--using mostly Ford and Toyota models--on its congested streets. Now, those numbers will begin to jump dramatically.

Bloomberg's plan calls for that number to increase to 1000 by October 2008 and regularly grow by 20 percent until 2012, when the entire fleet of 13 000 licensed cabs will consist of hybrids.

During his press conference, Bloomberg made special mention of the contribution Yahoo! is making toward getting the project kick-started. The search engine firm immediately donated 10 yellow hybrid Ford Escapes for the launch.

Last week, Yahoo! announced its own metropolitan pollution-reduction campaign, called the Greenest City in America Challenge, with a promise to supply a fleet of hybrid taxis to the U.S. city that it judges to have made the most intensive effort to improve its environmental conditions. Yahoo! will determine the winning city at another event planned for 8 June.

"We want to make it easy for consumers to do something, as well as help them build enduring habits that can truly make a difference," Yahoo! co-founder David Filo said at the 14 May presentation, which took place in New York' traffic-snarled Times Square. "We believe many small individual actions can add up to significant change."

We'll understand if the word fleet has a different meaning for Filo than it does for Bloomberg. After all, should the Big Apple turn out to be the winning city, 13 000 hybrid vehicles could be a very tall order to fill.

This afternoon, Mayor Michael Bloomberg of New York pledged that the emblematic yellow taxicabs of his city will completely switch over to hybrid vehicles within five years. Looking to lead a wave of changes in environmental policies concerning the city's government supervised operations, Bloomberg said in a press conference outside City Hall that the hybrid taxi effort is part of an overall sustainability plan for the Big Apple that would see a 30 percent reduction in carbon emissions by the year 2030.

"There's an awful lot of taxicabs on the streets of New York City," Bloomberg said of the plan. "These cars just sit there in traffic sometimes, belching fumes. This does a lot less. It's a lot better for all of us."

With one of the largest taxi fleets in the world, the New York City program could become a model for other big cities looking to reduce pollution from greenhouse gases. Over the past 18 months, New York's Taxi and Limousine Commission has been testing some 400 hybrid vehicles--using mostly Ford and Toyota models--on its congested streets. Now, those numbers will begin to jump dramatically.

Bloomberg's plan calls for that number to increase to 1000 by October 2008 and regularly grow by 20 percent until 2012, when the entire fleet of 13 000 licensed cabs will consist of hybrids.

During his press conference, Bloomberg made special mention of the contribution Yahoo! is making toward getting the project kick-started. The search engine firm immediately donated 10 yellow hybrid Ford Escapes for the launch.

Last week, Yahoo! announced its own metropolitan pollution-reduction campaign, called the Greenest City in America Challenge, with a promise to supply a fleet of hybrid taxis to the U.S. city that it judges to have made the most intensive effort to improve its environmental conditions. Yahoo! will determine the winning city at another event planned for 8 June.

"We want to make it easy for consumers to do something, as well as help them build enduring habits that can truly make a difference," Yahoo! co-founder David Filo said at the 14 May presentation, which took place in New York' traffic-snarled Times Square. "We believe many small individual actions can add up to significant change."

We'll understand if the word fleet has a different meaning for Filo than it does for Bloomberg. After all, should the Big Apple turn out to be the winning city, 13 000 hybrid vehicles could be a very tall order to fill.

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