Sunday, May 04, 2008

Hybrid taxis, not higher taxi fares

An open letter to Mayor David Miller and Councillor Howard Moscoe:

Dear Mayor Miller and Councillor Moscoe,

I heard on the news last week that the taxi companies are demanding that fares be raised in order to compensate for higher gas costs.

As a tax-paying, air-breathing citizen of Toronto, I would like to express my extreme opposition to this.

Every day I see taxis parked with their engines idling outside my work, outside my condo, outside union station... everywhere.
A couple of months ago I even saw a cab sitting idling with NOBODY IN IT for at least half an hour, while the driver was inside a coffee shop playing cards with his friends. I took a picture and will be sending this to your idling reports division.

My point is that cabs seem to think wasting gas is fine. They also aren't converting to hybrids. I've seen maybe two hybrid cabs all year.

I believe you've implemented some kind of green taxi plan. But I'm not sure how that's going and it hasn't seemed to have any effect yet. The increase in gas prices should be a good incentive for cabs to convert to a hybrid fleet. Hybrid cabs would save thousands of dollars a year in gas costs. I've read about hybrid cabs in Vancouver that have done just that. You should push the cabs to make the change quicker if they are really concerned about rising gas prices. You should crack down on idling. And, if you must, give them more incentives to switch to green cars.

But to simply let them charge more money to make up for rising gas prices would be missing a once-in-a-lifetime golden opportunity to green Toronto's cabs, clean the air for all of us and let cab drivers save thousands a year.

I know the entire city would be behind me on this one.

As you can read by clicking here, the cabs of New York City are enjoying huge gas savings thanks to going hybrid. So should Toronto's cabs.

Please let me know what you think of this idea and let me know if myself and my friends could do anything to help make this happen.
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