Greening the Fleet

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

David Yassky, City Council Member from the 33rd District in Brooklyn, joins us in studio to talk about the Bloomberg Administration's latest effort to make NYC taxis fuel efficient and environmentally friendly.


David Yassky

Comments [23]

Francis Mekinda from bronx

Great in the Capitalism Mecca of the world, brian lehrer listeners agree that politicians should actually run what is essentially a private enterprise.
It quite ironic that the previous guest spoke about the difficulties of getting credit to buy a car in this challenging economic times but nobody notice.
The airplanes landing in area airport in nyc on a single day produce more pollution than the entire fleet of yellow cab in a year. But I did not hear the politician claiming that the airlines should go green or else.
I guess the fact that 99.99% cab drivers are foreign born who get no health benefits, no pension, no 401k goes a long way explaining the cluelessness of Brian and his listener.
Please google hybrid car and find any scientific evidence that crown vics pollute more that ford escape and we will gladly buy them. But don' t tell us that if we suffer from cancer we should buy a placebo(hybrid) because it makes us feel good.

Nov. 19 2008 11:01 PM
Marc Naimark from Paris

If the fuel economy advantage is truly that advantageous for hybrids, I would imagine that cab owners would be making that choice all on their own. Why aren't they?

Nov. 19 2008 07:59 AM
debbie from brooklyn

Since the ecomomy started to crumble there have been a satuaration of cab drivers flocking to the roads. It is dreadfully competative. I am a cab driver and have been having difficulty leasing a cab at my garage because of the mass amount of drivers worried about these ecomomic hard times. And then there is the fat competition out there on the roads.

Instead of the city focusing on the change to hybrids, they should focus on getting more professional drivers. They should require drivers to follow common courtesy rules and exams. They should at least have an eye/vision exam along with the allocation of hack licenses. (With each renewal of a hack license there is not one vision/eye exam?) The physical and mental make-up of the drivers is just as important as the engines that they are driving. Get the blind clowns off the road and leave room for the professional cab drivers. That would make for a greener New York.

Nov. 18 2008 08:41 PM
hjs from 11211

you caught me, but i only get in a cab when i'm coming from the airport. other than that i use the subway/bus, which works great for me.
i won't waste money on a cab (ok when i was young and wasteful back in the 90's i took more cabs)
cab drivers want to charge more, the city won't let them. if the rate was raised fewer people would take them, greener NYC

Nov. 18 2008 11:52 AM
Glenn in Bogotá from Bogotá, Colombia

The taxi fleet here in Bogotá, Colombia has some cabs that run on Natural Gas. With the US being RICH in natural gas, why is no one talking about having cars running on natural gas? It's clean and really CHEAP! Also, the Crown Victoria car is TOO BIG! It's time to downsize the cabs to be more fuel efficient. We are SPOILED. More people need to travel abroad to see how spoiled we are!

Nov. 18 2008 11:31 AM
Ivana from Yorkville

Council Member Yassky:

I would greatly appreciate it if you would STOP misquoting Ralph Nader. He never said there’s no difference between Democrats and Republicans or Bush and Gore.

What he originally said was there is only a marginal difference and the Dems are unwilling to fight for that difference. That is the essence of what he said which is quite different from your facile misinterpretation, as common as it is.

The evidence of Democrat support for key issues like the Iraq war and voting in both houses makes it quite clear that Nader was right—as he usually is.

Nov. 18 2008 11:31 AM
Jamison from NYC

Would the bag tax be charged to ever one or only the people that us the stores bags?
I can see the stores just adding it in to the price and we all "get it" in the end.

Nov. 18 2008 10:51 AM
Josh from Brooklyn

HJS at #3. Everybody takes cabs? Have you never ever taken a cab in you life? If no one takes cabs, why is it so hard to get one? Why do people like Yassky vote to increase the number of cabs? You have to regulate the price of cabs or they can rip anyone off they want. Its not like you have a choice of which cabs pulls over for you. What are you going to do? Wait 10 minutes for one, but if you don't like his price, wait another 10 minutes? How many cabs do you go through? I've lived in a city that does not regulate the price, but with lame public transport, you're bound to get screwed. True, the answer is not more cabs. But we still have to green the fleet.

Nov. 18 2008 10:51 AM
georgia from ramsey, new jersey

In Italy I drove a Passat that got well over 40 mpg. It turned out to be a deisel. It was peppy and not smelly. I was told that in the USA deisel is not refined the same way. Does anyone know if this is true?
It seems that the oil companies discourage US auto makers from making high mileage cars, because it can be done.

Nov. 18 2008 10:49 AM
Max Z.

Cancel the rebate, cut spending. We are in deep pile of ...... here. People need to start understanding this and tell our legislature to wake up.

Nov. 18 2008 10:49 AM
Chris from Manhattan

Councilman Yassky, thank you for your advocacy of this bill! And good luck with your comptroller run!

Nov. 18 2008 10:49 AM
richard sloat from east village

Why not make a new a new type of taxi , a green electric taxi that only runs in Manhattan ? Since Nyc Issues licenses just make a new type, green!

Nov. 18 2008 10:48 AM
soren from manhattan

are most cab drivers against the hybrid automobiles? if so why?

Nov. 18 2008 10:46 AM
georgia from ramsey, new jersey

I drove a Passat in Itlay that got well over 40 miles to the gallon. It turned out to be a deisel! You would never have known, no smell and peppy. I was told that in the USA we don't refine our deisel the same way (less poluting, better mileage). Does anyone know if this is true?
It seems to me that the oil companies discourage the American car makers from making cars that get better mileage with regular gas because we know it can be done.

Nov. 18 2008 10:43 AM
Steve (the other one) from Manhattan

Brian - ask him if the court decision means the owners will start buying those gas-guzzling Crown Vics again.

Nov. 18 2008 10:43 AM
Leo from Queens

Councilman Yassky, IF you are so concerned about air quality, WHY did you and the mayor increase the number of cab licenses several years ago? -You knew the fuel efficiency of these vehicles.
Have you ever looked down a crowded Manhattan or outerborough commercial street? - At least have the vehicles are cabs or livery cabs - Hmmmmmm, I wonder who granted them licenses to operate? I wonder who those brainless people could have been?

Nov. 18 2008 10:42 AM
Kate from NYC

Not to be a naysayer, but I heard that people with disabilities will have a difficult time using the hybrid cabs. Is there any truth to this?

Nov. 18 2008 10:40 AM
Robert from NYC

Well that excludes me, I neither drive a taxi nor breathe in air here. At least by the smell of it, it ain't air!

Nov. 18 2008 10:40 AM
Leo Queens from Queens

Let me get this straight? The mayor in his past 7 years has expanded the # of licenses of cabs and delivery cabs so he could make money on the licensing fees. Now he is asking these people who have invested a lot of money to replace their vehicles with more efficient and expensive vehicles? - Fair enough - I'm all for greening the City. but WHY increase the number of cabs? Why not restrict the number of licenses in order to reduce congestion and force people in Manhattan to take the subway.
Why not implement a law to restrict 10% of cabs from driving in Manhattan from 6am-6Pm on a daily rotation - It will reduce congestion; increase services in the outer boroughs and increase subway and bus ridership

Nov. 18 2008 10:34 AM
reggie from brooklyn

lets talk about the auto makers needing to give back fuel efficient cars for the bail out money.
ridiculous they have not made more energy-savvy cars by now.

Nov. 18 2008 10:28 AM
hjs from 11211

who takes cabs anyway.
let the drivers raise the fares to where they want them and even fewer people will be in cabs, greener NYC.

Nov. 18 2008 10:24 AM
Jen from Chatham, NJ

Quick note that ties in with yesterday's auto discussion - when we tried to lease a Ford Escape Hybrid about a year ago we were put on a 4 month waiting list due, in part, to NY's order of Escape Hybrids for their taxi fleet. Four mos. then stretched even longer b/c apparently the batteries for all hybrids are made by an outside manufacturer so Ford's hybrid production was trickling as they waited for their allotment of batteries. It's great that NYC has these in their fleet, but we ended up canceling our order b/c we needed a car and the dealer couldn't even give us an estimate on when we'd get it, that's how backed up they were. Anyway, that's one reason why you might not not see more Ford hybrids like this on the road - they don't yet own that battery technology.

Nov. 18 2008 07:38 AM
j from nyc

2 things:
1. the fleet cars run their engines constantly while waiting for their clients, sometimes with their windows open.
2. i've seen several cabs on any given evening, even when the weather is nice [t-shirt weather], with their windows open, cabbies sitting talking on the phone/eating, with the engine running. I saw this even when they were protesting the high gas prices a couple of months ago.
Don't cabbies have better options, such as blinking tail lights, if they have to stop for several minutes while remaining in the cab? And can't clients call down to a fleet car before they have to come down, so the car can be ready when they get down there? White Plains, i think, just started enforcing the idling law atleast for trucks - why not here? A lot of that tailpipe pollution comes into our windows, our homes, and yes, it smells bad. Even with air conditioners, because most of them pull in outdoor air for the fan part of the motor, and the filters don't get everything. And for the technical record, if you have to stay in place for more than 3 minutes, you'll actually save more gas by turning off the engine. Traffic jams, you're on your own.

Nov. 18 2008 04:56 AM

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