Yellow Cab Goes Green
Dave Reid bought his first hybrid cab in June 2008, when gas prices were around $4 a gallon. Reid, the president of Yellow Cab's parent company, SelectRide, has kept buying them ever since. He wants two-thirds of his fleet to be hybrids by the end of next year.
SelectRide's nineteen-vehicle green fleet includes Ford Escape, Toyota Highlander, and Camry hybrids, as well as a van that runs on compressed natural gas and a Mercedes that burns biodiesel. But Reid's especially enamored of his Prius cabs. He says they get about forty miles to the gallon in combined city and highway driving. Since a traditional cab--typically a Ford Crown Victoria or Mercury Marquis--averages thirteen to seventeen miles per gallon, "we save a lot of dollars on fossil fuels."
True, you can fit four passengers with luggage into a Crown Vic--an impossible squeeze in a Prius. But Reid says the Prius's sleek lines make it look smaller than it really is. One handicapped passenger, Umar Abdul Aziz, says he finds it easier to get out of the taxi and into his wheelchair from the Prius.