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Judge Terminates Boston’s Green Taxi Mandate

toyotapriusA federal judge recently ruled that a year-old mandate that requires cab owners in Boston, Massachusetts, to buy new hybrid cars by 2015 violated an act of Congress, reports The Boston Globe. Despite the ruling, Boston cab owners are in favor of a green fleet. Similarly, taxi companies in the UK support the use of hybrid vehicles to help them cut both fuel consumption and carbon emissions.

Raphael Ophir, a Jamaica Plain plaintiff in the lawsuit, told the Boston Globe that he and other cab drivers favor a green fleet, but they objected to a rule that they had to buy new hybrids, instead of used ones, and that other fuel-efficient cars were unacceptable.

U.S. District Court Judge William G. Young agreed with taxi owners who said that the mandate to green the entire fleet of 1,825 licensed cabs would cost them thousands of dollars and put many out of business.

Young said the city infringed on the Energy Policy and Conservation Act of 1975, which establishes fuel economy standards for vehicles and prohibits local officials from setting up their own standards, according to The Boston Globe.

The 17-page ruling mirrored a recent decision by a federal judge in New York halting the city’s plan for hybrid cabs, reports the newspaper.

In the UK, cab companies are already making moves to green their fleets. In Scotland, as an example, Calder Cabs became the first in the country to purchase a fleet of hybrid cabs, reports Scotsman.com News.

Calder Cabs, which purchased six Toyota Prius hybrids, said the Prius offers a 104g/km CO2 emissions rate and 65/67mpg fuel efficiency, according to Energy Saving Trust.

Scotland’s Ministers recently announced plans for all public sector vehicles to be electric or have low-carbon emissions by 2020, to help meet the country’s climate change targets, according to Scotsman.com News.

London recently announced that it wants to be the world’s greenest city by 2012, and part of the city’s plan calls for replacing diesel taxis with electric cars.

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One thought on “Judge Terminates Boston’s Green Taxi Mandate

  1. If you read this it will give you a better idea of the situation this mandate left us with here in Boston
    As usual Mr. Moore only knows part of the story but feels the need to give his opinion as if it were fact. While I appreciate his concern for the environment we in the taxi industry have come to think of him as an angry little kid burning ants with a magnifying glass.

    The gas savings figures Mr. Moore offers both in gallons and money are to say the least overstated. The hybrid taxis I have driven used roughly 60% of the gas I would have burned through when driving a Ford Crown Victoria. Mr. Moore also refuses to acknowledge now or when I have spoken to him in the past that taxi owners who have converted to hybrids have passed that conversion cost fully onto the backs of the men and women who rent their cabs. Taxi owners are now allowed to charge $18.00 extra per shift to the driver and most if not all force drivers to purchase a collision damage waiver for an addition $5.00 per shift completely offsetting any savings in gas to the driver. Further most of the hybrids that have been deployed as Boston Taxis lack the luggage space and seating capacity of a Ford Crown Victoria. I can honestly say that the nights I drove a hybrid it cost me a few trips because I was unable to accommodate the needs of the passengers.

    Mr. Moore goes onto laud the Tutunjian family (owners of Boston Cab) for aggressively purchasing as many hybrids as they can. What Mr. Moore again leaves out is the dollars and cents Sir do you understand the buying power a fleet owner with 300 cabs has VS. a single cab owner or a man who merely leases a medallion? You are comparing a man with 300 taxis millions of dollars in real estate and a vineyard in South America with a man like myself who rents a medallion an apartment. Mr. Moore goes on to champion the Tutnjian family for the 100 more hybrids they will place into service this coming fall. Sir do you have any concept what this has done to the price of a hybrid? Toyota only manufactures so many and an even smaller number are shipped to Massachusetts, I invite you sir go try and buy one and get it this week. You simply can`t Tutunjian has them all already. Mr. Moore further ignores the money aspect by neglecting to mention that taxi insurance when deploying a hybrid is roughly $9,000 a year and large fleets like Boston Cab are reportedly self insured. I ask you again sir,as I asked you in person last summer,Where do we get the money?

    The smart move sir would be for you to stick to placing windmills on ski chalets for the ultra rich and put away that magnifying glass… you have burned this ant to a crisp with your elitist meddling.

    Michael J. Carter
    In case anyone is wondering I have been a driver in Boston for ten years and unlike Mr. Moore actually have a clue.



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