For Immediate Release
September 22, 2006
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Mayor Menino Announces First Hybrid Taxi in Boston
Mayor Thomas M. Menino announced today that the City of Boston has a new accomplishment to add to its list of sustainability initiatives — Boston CleanAir Cabs, a program to replace ordinary taxis with cleaner vehicle technology. Mayor Menino made the announcement as he kicked-off the Alt Wheels Festival on City Hall Plaza, which runs Friday, September 22nd and Saturday, September 23rd from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Meanwhile, Boston's first Hybrid Taxi, a hybrid electric Toyota Camry vehicle owned by Boston Cab Association, took to the streets of Boston.
"This is yet another example of how we can partner with an important industry serving Boston's residents and visitors to reduce impacts on public health and the environment," said Mayor Menino. "We are constantly examining ways to reduce the effect of vehicle emissions have on our air quality, and the associated health impacts for Boston's children and elderly people."
Boston taxi owners can now replace ordinary vehicles with hybrid-electric or alternative fuel vehicles. In addition to the public benefit of reduced tailpipe emissions, the fuel savings and resulting cost savings provide a financial benefit to the drivers of these vehicles. The Boston Police Department's Hackney Division has committed to allow three pre-approved vehicle models to be used as taxis for the Boston CleanAir Cabs program: the hybrid Toyota Camry, the hybrid Ford Escape and the CNG Ford Crown Victoria. Boston CleanAir Cabs will have a unique green stripe on the vehicle, indicating that the taxi is cleaner for the environment and reduces public health impacts.
Boston Cab Association has already placed one hybrid Toyota Camry into service as a taxi in Boston, with an eye towards using more. MassPort, a project partner on Boston CleanAir Cabs, has committed to develop incentives such as reduced airport access fees and reduced queuing time for drivers at Logan Airport.
"The use of alternative, clean fuels plays a big part in Massport's environmental management plans," said Massport CEO and Executive Director Thomas J. Kinton, Jr. "The introduction of clean vehicle taxis to the city's fleet is a landmark initiative and one that we look forward to promoting at Boston Logan International Airport."
The Boston CleanAir Cabs program is the most recent demonstration of Mayor Menino's commitment to sustainable transportation. Recently, the City of Boston reached a benchmark in its use of biodiesel by the diesel engine fleet—250,000 blended gallons of ultra low sulfur diesel (ULSD) the cleanest petroleum-based diesel available mixed with biodiesel (B5). Other initiatives include Mayor Menino's choice to use a dedicated compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicle and his amendment of the city's vehicle procurement policy to require new purchases to be alternative fuel vehicles, hybrid-electric vehicles, or vehicles of higher fuel economy.
"This is yet another example of how Mayor Menino is helping make Boston the most sustainable city in the U.S.," said James W. Hunt, III, Chief of Environment and Energy for the City of Boston. "This is an exciting public-private partnership where the taxi industry is stepping up to the plate to reduce impacts on our environment and public health, while at the same time introducing passengers to the importance of sustainability."
These announcements were made in conjunction with Mayor Menino's proclamation of September 18–24 as "Sustainable Transportation Week" in Boston. The Alt Wheels Festival on City Hall Plaza runs Friday, September 22nd and Saturday, September 23rd from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.