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Green is the New Black for New York Limos

by Joshua Liberles on March 4, 2008

NYC_GreenBlack Green is the New Black for New York Limos
Wealthy New York executives will get a greener ride under Mayor Bloomberg’s plan to make the city’s black limousines more eco-friendly. Most millionaires wouldn’t be caught dead taking the subway or—heaven forbid—a public bus, but we’re all better off if they forego driving their Bentley and take a shared limo or car service, instead. If they park their own hot wheels at home—whether it’s a waterfront mansion in Connecticut or a Park Avenue apartment—and opt for a shared chauffeur, execs contribute less to city congestion, reduce carbon emissions, and, meanwhile, can enjoy the bucket of chilled champagne in the backseat.

The New York Times revealed Bloomberg’s plan in detail:


Under the plan, the entire fleet of roughly 10,000 limousines, mostly black, that are used by businesses ranging from Lehman Brothers to Condé Nast, would be required to meet fuel-efficiency standards, attainable only with hybrid vehicles, of 25 miles a gallon in 2009 and 30 miles a gallon in 2010. Currently the cars average 12 to 15 miles a gallon and add 272,000 tons of heat-trapping gases to the air each year, or about 2 percent of the city’s transportation-related emissions, according to the city.

Officials expect the new standards to cut emissions in half, in part because the more fuel-efficient hybrid vehicles switch to battery power when they idle.

Bloomberg told the Times that he’s targeting so-called “black cabs” because they “spend a decent amount of time just sitting and waiting for their client to come out,” unlike yellow cabs, which are constantly on the move. Under the Mayor’s plan, all of the city’s limos will meet new, green standards by the year 2013. The greening of the city’s limos is already underway.

The Times reports:

The city has already begun phasing hybrids into its fleet of 13,000 yellow cabs, and Mayor Bloomberg said officials were working to devise a plan for the roughly 40,000 livery cabs that serve neighborhoods, especially outside Manhattan, where other taxis are scarce.

Mayor Bloomberg said he expected drivers to support the proposal because it would bring them more business and save them thousands of dollars in fuel costs each year. Increasingly, he said, the companies that use the cars, which are summoned to specific locations rather than being hailed in the street, are demanding the greener vehicles.

Limo and car service drivers don’t typically enjoy the excessive cash flow of their executive passengers, so Bloomberg is offering tax incentives and low-cost financing options to get them to buy into his plan. Thus far, the Mayor’s plan looks rich with promise.

Photo via flickr by Shuggy & laurence.thurion.


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{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

1 P May 14, 2008 at 1:20 pm

This is great, but when they came to Washington DC they chose one of the few venues that is inaccessible by public transportation. Then because of a torrential storm half the audience spent three to five hours driving around the Nissan Pavilion. Although I applaud Radiohead efforts, I wish they would show more commitment to follow their rhetoric.


2 Rob May 14, 2008 at 3:37 pm

I think that has less to do with them and more to do with their promoter Live Nation. I think Radiohead was probably under the impression that Nissan pavillion is close enough to DC for their to be public transportation.

I went to the show, and radiohead was AMAZING (as always) but the experience surrounding the show (spending 3 hours in the car, should have only been an hour, missed the first 6 songs, flooding) was horrid.

There is currently a petition going around to get radiohead to play the verizon center in DC, since that is on the red line and there are ample public transportation options.

the point is, focus your ire at Live Nation, and hopefully with enough prodding radiohead will re-evaluate that relationship.


3 Dagny McKinley May 14, 2008 at 3:48 pm

I was reading another blog about bands broadcasting shows instead of playing live. I think that cuts out the energy and connection an audience can have with a band. Not only that, but it tends to isolate us even more. If I can’t see Radiohead live, then why not watch it alone in my house? Why ever leave my house?

I commend bands that want to reduce emissions and there are many ways to do so, but what creates fans is the intimate interaction with a following.

Dagny McKinley
organic apparel


4 Josh May 14, 2008 at 4:42 pm

Dagny - For sure live shows are not the target. The energy and connection you mention are a magical part of music. But for a variety TV show, like Conan O’Brien, where the audience is predominantly at home anyhow, why not encourage this sort of telecommute?


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