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NYC To Penalize ‘Non-Hybrid’ Taxi Cabs

Buried in the back pages of the New York Times:

Panel Enacts Incentives for Hybrids in Cab Fleets

Published: March 26, 2009

The Bloomberg administration moved forward on Thursday with its latest attempt to get taxicab owners to replace their old gas guzzlers with hybrid or other low-emission vehicles.

Toward that end, the Taxi and Limousine Commission enacted a set of incentives that allows taxi fleet owners to charge drivers more to drive hybrid or clean diesel cabs.

The new rules, which take effect May 1, will also penalize fleet owners by lowering the amount they can charge to lease cabs that use more fuel and pollute more, like the Ford Crown Victoria, the most common type of taxi.

“Taxi fleet owners will have more reason to purchase cleaner vehicles,” Mr. Bloomberg said in a statement after the commission’s vote. “The result will be more clean taxis on city streets.”

Mr. Bloomberg proposed the incentives last fall, after an earlier set of rules mandating fuel-efficient cabs was blocked by opponents in federal court.

On Thursday, those opponents said the new plan was unfair, in part because it included penalty charges that would apply to thousands of cabs that are already on the road, rather than only to newly purchased vehicles.

“That’s unconscionable,” said Michael Woloz, a spokesman for the Metropolitan Taxicab Board of Trade, the group that filed the lawsuit. He said fleet owners had bought their vehicles with the understanding that the amount they can charge drivers, known as a lease cap, would not be reduced.

Under the new rules, fleet owners will be allowed to charge drivers an additional $3 per 12-hour shift for a hybrid or clean diesel vehicle.

The rules also decrease, by $4 per shift, the maximum that an owner can charge for less fuel-efficient vehicles. The rules call for that deduction to grow to $8 per shift after a year and $12 per shift in the third year.

The lease caps now range from $105 for day shifts to $129 for night shifts. The city said drivers would not be hurt by the higher hybrid leasing fees because those cars use less gas.

The mayor’s previous attempt to force taxi owners to change to more environmentally friendly cabs foundered because it set fuel efficiency standards, which opponents said only the federal government could set. A federal court ruled that the opponents’ argument was likely to succeed.

Of the 13,237 cabs in the city, 2,019 are hybrids and 12 are clean diesel vehicles. Most the remaining cabs are Crown Victorias. About one quarter of cabs are managed in fleets and it is primarily those that would be affected by the new incentives.

Don’t you love how these draconian measures are always described as “incentives”?

On Thursday, those opponents said the new plan was unfair, in part because it included penalty charges that would apply to thousands of cabs that are already on the road, rather than only to newly purchased vehicles.

Another day, another unconstitutional ex poste facto law.

But the Constitution seldom applies to “green initiatives.” Or, for that matter, to New York City.

As the article notes, even the earlier attempt by the city along these lines was struck down because it encroached upon the federal government’s powers.

Not because it was outrageously unconstitutional.

Meanwhile, these self-same hybrid cabs might not even be safe, having not been designed to be taxi cabs – let alone taxi cabs in New York City:

NYC Hybrid Taxis Unfit and Unsafe

September 9, 2008

Taxi Industry Demands Ford, Nissan, GM and Other Automakers Prove Crashworthiness of Hybrid Taxis Danger to Public Safety.

A new report by a well-known automotive engineer, who previously consulted for the City of New York and several major automakers, exposes the risks and dangers of riding in New York City’s hybrid yellow taxicabs. The report is the result of several months of analysis and concludes that hybrid taxis are unsafe and incompatible with the rigorous demands of New York City taxicabs that operate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Hybrids will start to replace the stretch Ford Crown Victoria, a purpose-built taxi, and other taxis on October 1, 2008 if a City mandate requiring that all new taxis have a minimum city rating of 25 mpg is not halted. Citing public endangerment, the city’s largest taxi advocacy group urged a federal court on Monday to intervene.

According to the report’s author, C. Bruce Gambardella, P.E., “from an engineering standpoint, vehicles have to be designed for the duty cycle they are likely to encounter and cannot feature modifications that will compromise their safety systems.” Hybrids strike out on both counts, over and over again in virtually every category analyzed in the 43-page report…

But when has human safety ever been a concern for the Gaia worshippers?

Oh, by the way, New York City has also just boosted its public transportation fees (subways and buses) from $2.00 to $2.50.

Speaking of their overweening concern for the little guy.

This article was posted by Steve on Friday, March 27th, 2009. Comments are currently closed.

17 Responses to “NYC To Penalize ‘Non-Hybrid’ Taxi Cabs”

  1. proreason says:

    The only way green technology can be forced down the throats of Americans is by penalizing efficient technologies.

    We should slap huge taxes on every word that a politician says. That would do infinitely more good than the direction these criminal politicians are headed.

  2. Right of the People says:

    Wait until the first fatal accident when a Prius is squashed by an SUV. That is a lawsuit waiting to happen. When is Bloomberg’s term up? It can’t be too soon. PR, we need to put on both a hot air tax and BS tax on Congress. It would bankrupt them in days.

    • Bloomberg got the council to overturn term limits right? so when IS his term up?

      Also the SUV would be blamed for being too big, not the Prius for being less safe than a beer can on a drunken college student’s forehead.

  3. Colonel1961 says:

    A gallon of gas is the equivalent of 125,000 BTUs of energy. Incredible! Has there ever been anything more efficient, abundant, safe, and cheap?

    Even burning liberals wouldn’t be as efficient. Although far more entertaining. Can we do Olbermann first?

    • proreason says:

      it’s a gift from the gods….and we are learning how to use it more efficiently as well.

      But you forgot the most important factor of all, and the one that makes oil and gasoline indispensable to modern life….it’s portable. Can you carry solar energy around in a safe container? Wind? Nuclear? Ocean currents?

      A child with a moment’s thought can understand the miraculous value of oil.

    • Colonel1961 says:

      You are absolutely right. Thanks!

    • U NO HOO says:

      We convert delicious corn into motor fuel.

      Then what do we do with that icky stuff that oozed into Jed Clampet’s corn field? Maybe Mikey will like it. Y’all know if we don’t buy oil from Saudi Arabia and Iraq we are in fact anti Mormon, I mean anti Muslim.

      Nyuk, nyuk…

  4. 12 Gauge Rage says:

    Bloomberg is a blooming idiot. But hey, what can you expect from New York?

  5. canary says:

    The big bad cars will wear down in a couple of years anyways, and so how will the little cab drivers be able to afford the more expensive ones, if they are financially penalized now along with higher gas.

  6. TwilightZoned says:

    Anybody want to wager how long it will be before anyone driving anything that doesn’t get at least 30 mpg gets penalized?

  7. 12 Gauge Rage says:

    If that ever happens it’ll most likely originate from either California or New York. Just out of pure interesting trivia, years ago, an overnight stocker for Wal-Mart showed me boxes of toy cap pistols that he’d just opened. On the top of each box was a slip of paper that read: Toy pistol. Not for sale in New York. My first reaction was ‘Is their gun control so strict that they’re now going after toy pistols too?’ Maybe I was interpreting it all wrong.

    • canary says:

      12 Gauge, California was ready to outlaw black cars (they absorb heat) and Rush got them to back off that. Now they are looking to put in law reflective windows on cars. I don’t think they understand the heat will still be there, and the shine will bounce of and blind. As far as the toy pistols, if they look authenic possibly, but there are some peace-niks like the pinkies that won’t allow their children to play.

    • Squito says:

      “As far as the toy pistols, if they look authenic possibly, but there are some peace-niks like the pinkies that won’t allow their children to play.”

      Heck, it’s a bit farther than that here. My friend wore a T-shirt to school that had a gun off to the side and said something along the lines of, “Would anyone like it if we used this instead of a scalpel? Same result.” It was a pro-life t-shirt, but the principal flipped out about the gun.

      “Now they are looking to put in law reflective windows on cars. I don’t think they understand the heat will still be there, and the shine will bounce of and blind.”

      Idiocracy here we come!

    • Professor_Repulso says:

      Toy pistols, eh?
      “How you raise your children matters, too. Make sure they not only play with toy guns but that they do it publicly. And it helps if they audibly say things such as ‘Bang, bang, you’re dead!’ Liberals view this the way a normal person would view the exposure of a child to pornography. This is especially effective with the subspecies of liberals known as the suburban soccer mom.
      “You see, liberals hate guns. They feel guns are scary. They feel that guns ‘teach violence’. They just plain feel. They seem to worry that letting their son play with guns will turn him into a murderer, even though they never wonder if allowing him to play with trains will turn him into a conductor.
      “To ensure this technique has maximum impact, you must choose the correct toy guns. Vintage is the word, because the guns you find in stores today look like they were designed by Michael Jackson’s effeminate twin. They sometimes come in Barbie doll colors and, at best, have at least a little red piece at the end of the barrel. This toy-land abomination arose because undisciplined liberal children started pointing realistic-looking toy guns at police officers. Somehow liberals don’t view this as Darwinian natural selection.
      “I also should mention that you needn’t fear liberals’ self-righteous, didactic proclamations. Should they choose to say something to you, it only provides you the opportunity to put the icing on the cake. If, for instance, they ask, ‘Do you really think it’s a good idea to let your son play with toy guns?!’ just respond, ‘Are you crazy? He’s way too young to have a real one.’ This upsets liberals intensely.”

      Selwyn Duke

  8. U NO HOO says:

    Rihanna has a pistol tattoo!

  9. 12 Gauge Rage says:

    Sorry SG, I didn’t mean to hijack the thread with my off the wall comment regarding toy guns. But it’s obviously touched a nerve on the over reacting behavior of libs. My last humorous comment on this is kids having back alley war/cops and robbers games with toy pistols where they’ve been banned. If the libs ban toy guns from kids then they’ll simply point their fingers at one another and say bang!bang! So what will the libs do then? Cut off little Johnny’s fingers to make him stop? Sometimes I think these moonbats I.Q.’s start at the bottom and they work it on down from there.

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