Seeking to neutralize criticism of its combustion-engine Taxi of Tomorrow program, the city on Monday announced that it was launchign an electric-taxi pilot program.(1)
Taxi drivers will no longer have to give up their hybrid cabs in exchange for combustion-engine Taxis of Tomorrow, according to new rules released today.
“We’re gonna have all of our cabs be hybrid.”
So said Mayor Michael Bloomberg to Matt Lauer on the “Today” show in 2007, as they stood in front of a hybrid yellow cab donated by Yahoo! and emblazoned with its logo.
The mayor gestured toward a thin man in glasses to his left: “This is city councilman David Yassky, who has been leading the environmental fight here in the city.”
Today, Yassky is Bloomberg’s taxi commissioner. And 2012, the year by which the taxi’s fleet was to go hybrid, has come, and is now nearly gone.
In the meantime, not only has the city’s powerful taxi lobby defeated the mayor’s plan in federal court, but the city is now taking steps that will actually reduce the number of hybrids on city streets.