NYC's Taxi Fleets in Race for Hybrids

Fall mandate means a rush to replace 3,000 taxis a year.
By Victoria Floethe,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 20, 2008 6:10 AM CDT
NYC's Taxi Fleets in Race for Hybrids
Come October 1, 2008, fleets will replace 3000 retired cabs a year with hybrids.    (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II, File)

The Big Apple's unprecedented plan to turn its famous yellow cabs green could run into an old-fashioned supply-and-demand problem this fall, USA Today reports. Starting in October, the city is requiring that any new replacement cabs be hybrids. But the transition may be difficult because gas prices have triggered a fever-pitch demand for the fuel-efficient cars. "Consumers have been on waiting lists for months, and even they can't get one," said one analyst.

Buying replacement parts is also a concern. "Our industry moves a million people a day. I don't know what we're going to do if we can't get them in time," a fleet owner said.  Nissan, Ford and GM have pledged to help the city, but the taxi industry will still have to get savvy. "Have faith and be proactive," advised the taxi commissioner. "Get the best deal you can— but do it now." (More green stories.)

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