Saturday, March 30, 2013

Big Setback For the Nissan Taxi in New York.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg's Taxi and Limousine Commission has reversed itself, again, on hybrid cabs.

According to new, proposed rules issued today, cabbies will still be able to drive hybrid taxis on New York City streets, even after the Taxi of Tomorrow, which runs on an old-fashioned combustion engine, hits the road this Halloween.

"We’ve heard from some taxi operators that they’d like a hybrid option until the Taxi of Tomorrow is available as a hybrid, and these proposed rules enable that, while ensuring that any hybrid taxi is spacious enough to comfortably accommodate passengers and luggage," said TLC commissioner David Yassky, in a statement.

In 2005, comptroller John Liu and Yassky, then councilmembers, introduced legislation requiring that the city approve hybrid vehicles for use as taxicabs.

They succeeded.

Two years later, Yassky joined Bloomberg on the "Today" show, where the mayor announced that, "We’re gonna have all of our cabs be hybrid."

The target date for the transformation of the taxi fleet to all-hybrid vehicles was 2012.

Then an industry group representing wealthy taxi medallion owners put the kibosh on that initiative, when it argued successfully in court that only the federal government could institute fuel efficiency standards.

But even if the city could not mandate an all-hybrid taxi fleet, many medallion owners, recognizing the cost-saving benefits of fuel efficiency, moved in that direction on their own.

By September of last year, 6,500 cabs, or 49 percent of the city's fleet, were hybrid.

The Bloomberg administration, however, was at the same time charting a course away from the hybrid taxis it had once championed.

Last year, the city's taxi commission approved the Taxi of Tomorrow program, which starting on Halloween, will require that medallions owners buy only specially deisgned, Nissan NV200s for use as taxis.

Those NV200s have a lot going for them, as far as passenger and driver amenities are concerned, but they run on combustion engines, not hybrid ones.

Following a lawsuit by the Greater New York Taxi Association challenging the Taxi of Tomorrow program for, among other things, its omission of hybrid vehicles, the city is again changing course.

According to the proposed rules released today, medallion owners will now be able to choose between either an NV200 or a TLC-approved hybrid vehicle.

But only until Nissan comes up with a hybrid NV200 version of its own.

A hearing on the proposed rules will be held on May 16.

The rules, it should be noted, will also reduce the number of hybrid vehicle models for use as taxis, which Greater New York Taxi Association executive director Ethan Gerber said means that "virtually no hybrid models qualify."

"This is just a cynical and last ditch effort to bypass our law suit," Gerber emailed me. "It is not a serious proposal."


Take Your Own Medicine First said...

Your stat counter confirms that you are getting the hits... Can you explain the lack of comments Jim ?

I'll give you a clue... (Gagging Clause)

Can you explain why the RMT website sits dormant month after month ?

I'll give you a clue... (Gagging Clause)

The same for the UCG website and paper...

I'll give you a clue... (Gagging Clause)

I read the Helen Chapman paper and the fortnightly advertiser that comes out twice a monthly both wonderfully censored just like your blog !

If you are not prepared to ask the right questions and write the truth... why bother ? - this makes you part of the problem and not the cure. This isn't journalism; its censoring the truth... There's no point in getting angry and as much as it sticks in your throat you are going to have to accept that you have all been rumbled!

Anonymous said...

Perhaps it will be worth waiting to see if the Nissan launch in London produces a hybrid engine

Your Blog or Mine said...

Now invite committee members from the RMT and UCG to openly confirm on your blog whether they are actively engaged with TfL in a gagging, or engagement policy, verbal or otherwise ?

If you have nothing to hide, this shouldn't be a problem !

Taxi Leaks said...

There is no censor ship on this blog
Comments may be subject to moderating as we don't allow profanity, unjustified personal attacks or unconfirmable allegations. Probably why so few of yours get posted Mark.

As for the RMT and the UCG, you will have to ask them as this blog doesn't speak for them.

My Blog or Yours said...

Thanks for the last comment, just what I needed for my article... You should know that I don't faff around when I blog and you won't like what will happen next.

You refuse to ask the question put to RMT/UCG committee members because you already know the answer - and now you are implicated in a cover up... You ain't to bright are you.

There was no profanity or personal attack in any of my comments posted here today and you know it ! You are willfully trying to obfuscate the issue with childish personal attacks. My comments today have been censored and your Taxi Leaks disclaimer comment is a lie. So lets just stick to the politics and who's involved with keeping their members in the dark. No gutter fight is going to be had, so you have had it !

There's corruption within our own ranks and you are willfully hiding the facts and trying to side step the issue !

Get ready to be exposed. AGAIN !

Taxi Leaks said...

Not my place to ask question for you, the email addresses of both orgs are available to you, so ask away. Or perhaps you can't want them to know who you are. Get others to do your dirty work for you while you troll away.

This is not a forum it is just a news blog.

Please try to keep queries to the subject matter

As far as I'm aware you have one comment that never made it today, which contained a profanity.

RMT London Taxi Branch said...

Happy to receive any queries on all matters.

Anonymous said...

can anyone tell me please when nissan taxi come avalble