Last night, the Transportation/Public Safety committee extended the $1 taxi fuel surcharge (item # to come) for another six months. In the related discussion, two interesting issues came up:
- Drivers' inefficient driving behavior
- Hybrid taxis and other green technologies
Aldercritter Linsky inquired about hybrid taxis and other technologies. NS&S says that an effort to encourage hybrid taxis in Newton is a waste.
Taxis are green. Even a big ol' Crown Vic is practically efficient because the availability of taxi service reduces the number of cars and the volume of traffic. Taxis connect people to public transportation. Plus, the number of taxis in Newton is so small, the payoff of some sort of technology initiative would be low.
Coincidentally, there was an item today in the New York Daily News about hybrid taxis.
You could address both issues with one initiative: require taxi owners to install chips that de-tune the engines for better fuel economy at the expense of power.