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.
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