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Toyota Prius hybrids from Iowa City's Black and Gold Cab Company
Cities across the U.S. are making a fashion statement that seems to be catching on—green is the new yellow. Taxis in many major cities are becoming more environmentally friendly by switching to low-emission vehicles. By taking this leap, taxis, which are the ultimate offenders of continuous stop-and-go traffic, will vastly decrease their contribution of carbon emissions on the road.
After reading a post from our friends at Inhabitat about Boston taxis recently taking the initiative to go green, we decided to see what other cities were making the same effort to decrease their carbon tire track. What we found was a spread of cities and individuals offering green transportation to those in need, including locals and travelers abroad.
Arlington, VA - Introduced to the greater Washington area as “the first carbon-neutral [taxi] fleet in the U.S.” earlier this year, EnviroCab offers only environmentally friendly vehicles to its customers. They even go the extra mile by offsetting their carbon emissions and then some in an effort to be the first carbon-negative taxi service in the world.
Boston - A major part of the overall plan to improve the city’s taxi system, Boston Mayor Thomas Menino calls for all taxis to be replaced by hybrids within seven years. Along with these efforts to go green, the plan also requires drivers to install credit card machines and bars the wearing of sweatpants and T-shirts on the job (which isn't exactly green, but hey, it's something).
Chicago - Here, the transition to hybrids started with the help of a little green friend, Kermit the Frog. In an energy campaign launched by Ford Motor Company, a fleet of Ford Escape Hybrids, featuring the car's spokesfrog Kermit, are providing green taxi services in Chicago.
Denver - Metro Taxi, Denver’s largest taxi service, offers a number of Toyota Prius hybrids to its customers. Taking the term quite literally, these taxis are identifiable by their green paint jobs. But you shouldn't take the green for granted, as more recently, the Yellow Cab Company of Denver also started to
offer hybrid cabs.