Last month when I was in New York City I caught a cab from the airport to my hotel. As we were sitting in traffic I noticed how quiet the engine was and momentarily wondered if the driver had turned the car off. It then occurred to be that I might be in a hybrid taxi. I looked around to see if there was anything telling me I was in a hybrid, but no luck. It wasn't until I was out of the cab and getting my bags from the trunk that I saw the "Hybrid" logo on the Ford Escape. These hybrid taxis actually arrived in New York City in 2005.
Mayor Bloomberg has recently proposed a 5-year plan for an all-hybrid taxi fleet. The new fleet of hybrid vehicles in NYC should cut about 215,000 metric tons a year of carbon dioxide. This will be an important step in the city's plan to cut greenhouse gas emission 30% by 2030. The hybrid fleet only consists of 375 vehicles out of the 13,000 on New York City street. This number is scheduled to grow to 1,000 in the next year.
While I must admit it is pretty convenient to hop in a cab, the folks at Transportation Alternatives found that it is not the quickest way to get around.