From: Jonathan Lemire, Daily News
Published July 28, 2005 12:00 AM

Hybrid Cabs Get a Look from New York City

NEW YORK, N.Y. — Yellow cabs are going green -- and the new air-friendly models could be on the road this fall.

The city Taxi and Limousine Commission gave its tentative approval yesterday to six makes of hybrid cars -- which run on a combination of electricity and gasoline -- to join its cab fleet after hearings in September.

"Within months, we could have anywhere from a handful to a thousand on the road," said TLC Chairman Matthew Daus.

Hybrid cars would provide less legroom than the Crown Victorias that currently make up most of the TLC's fleet. But Daus said the benefits of the hybrids, particularly with fuel costs skyrocketing, outweighed comfort.

The hybrids -- which range from about $19,000 for a Honda Civic to $40,000 for a Lexus RX 400H, as opposed to $27,000 for a Crown Victoria -- normally get double the gas mileage of traditional taxis and spew much less pollution.

If the plan goes through, New York would become the first U.S. city with significant numbers of hybrid cabs. San Francisco has just 10 vehicles as part of a pilot program.

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Source: Knight Ridder/tribune Business News

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