Effort to Create Hybrid Taxi Fleet Gets New Legislative Boost

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(Image: CC by Flickr user bearclau)

(New York -- Brian Zumhagen, WNYC) New York City's effort to create a fuel-efficient taxi fleet is getting a new legislative boost. The City's plan to require new taxi's to be  hybrids was struck down by a federal appeals court. Now, members of New York's congressional delegation are looking to change the federal law to allow cities to set their own fuel-efficiency standards for taxis. U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand says the Green Taxis Act will be re-introduced in both houses of Congress this week.

"This is a common-sense proposal that would update antiquated laws and give New York the authority, and other cities around the country the authority, to set their own fuel emissions standards," she said.

Under current law, only federal officials can regulate those standards, and that was the reason a federal appeals court rejected New York City's policy last summer. The U.S. Supreme Court declined to consider the city's appeal last month.

Gillibrand and Congressman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) originally introduced their bill in 2009.

The Metropolitan Taxicab Board of Trade issued a statement saying the city can improve fuel efficiency without the legislation, if officials simply work with the taxi industry and permit owners to purchase next generation commercially-built taxis.


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