skip to content

Hail Down a N.Y. Green Cab

Hail Down a N.Y. Green Cab

Hybrid Ford Escape is the yellow cab of choice nowadays.

October 22, 2007 —

Anybody’s who been to New York City or seen one of zillions of movies filmed there is familiar with the yellow cabs prowling and jostling down the streets. There is literally an army of these cabs: 13,000, making them the most seen thing in Manhattan. And they are among The Big Apple’s biggest polluters—in a city that already has ozone and particulate matter pollutants at very unhealthy levels, and one of the highest rates of child and adult asthma in the country. The classic NY yellow cab is an American battleship type clunker called a Crown Victoria. Ten miles to the gallon is their top performance and their exhaust outgases is pretty much 19th century industrial London vintage.

They were also illegal to change, as in get a new brand of car for the yellow cabs, as entrepreneur Jack Hidary learned when he and a NY City Council member teamed up to get green hybrid cars into the yellow cab pool. Old-book laws protected those Crown Vics like an endangered species. Hidary got around the old laws by preaching and pitching the health and safety angle to the commission governing cabs. The commission voted 50 to 0 to allow the hybrids to come in—Ford Escapes, Honda Hybrids and Toyota Priuses. The idea caught on with the cab companies. Mayor Bloomburg mandated that all yellow cabs convert to green hybrids by 2012.

The choice now is obvious: hail down a gas-guzzling polluting Crown Vic or wait a few minutes or call and catch a nice green Ford Escape, still in the famous yellow color. Pick a cab company that has a large fleet of hybrids or are just starting out building their fleet. Either way you’re helping everybody there, including the cab drivers.

Comment on this article:

Buy It

Don't Buy It

  • Weapons-maker. Multiple environmental offender.
  • Processed meat sold as 'natural' food. Union-buster.
  • Maker of violent anti-social video games
  • World's largest oil company--human rights, oil spills and misinformation about climate change
  • Numerous ethical problems with largest maker of household products in U.S.