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Model – Green Taxis in Cities

Posted in Models, Movements, Visions by fedwards on December 5th, 2007

According to the Australian ABC News, http://www.abc.net.au/news/stories/2007/11/28/2103832.htm, the New South Wales Government has recently given its approval for companies to use hybrid cars as taxis and hire vehicles. The story reports that:

“A Sydney company has been trialing a hybrid cab for the past 12 months to assess if they are commercially viable. Transport Minister John Watkins says more of the environmentally-friendly taxis should start appearing on Sydney’s streets soon. But he says taxi companies are still assessing their cost-effectiveness. “There are some other issues about maintenance and the costing of a vehicle over the length of its life,” he said. “Those figures will become clear through the test that is currently under way, but this is good news for people who want to see a better environmental outcome.”

Alternatively, SKY News, Australia, reports that this environmental shift may not be quite as simple as stated above. As evidenced by Russel Howarthe, a taxi driver who “is trying to sanction a new Lexus Hybrid, which is runs half on petrol and half on electricity, but is having trouble getting a licence. ‘This business was predicated on just trying to do a little bit for the environment, we have had a phenomenal response and I am concerned as to why the state government wouldn’t be interested,’ Mr Howarthe said.” The report from SKY News continues, “An official from the Ministry of Transport knocked Russel back due to the fact that the car is not long enough. ‘I’m advised that the current vehicle does not meet the regulations’, NSW Transport Minister John Watkins said. Despite the setback, Mr Howarthe is stopping at taxi ranks and carrying passengers for free.”

At the very least these news stories show that an interest in greening taxis – a shared resource – is becoming a public issue of interest. Do any readers of Sustainable Cities Network know of other models around the world that have implemented “greener” taxis? If so, Sustainable Cities would welcome your input. Please place any comments in the comment box below. Alternatively, email Ferne Edwards at fedwards @unimelb.edu.au.

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