Here’s the best of countless NYC citizens’ retorts:
“…If safety is a concern, one would consider the air quality and respiratory health of all.
Furthermore…taxi drivers would be required to drive a hell of a lot safer…Let’s be real people.
— Paulie Puddlez
Here’s an excerpt of the Bad News:
…Dealing a sharp blow to the Bloomberg administration’s attempt to reduce air pollution and greenhouse-gas emissions, a federal judge on Friday blocked New York City from requiring owners and operators of yellow taxicabs to switch to more fuel-efficient hybrid vehicles that operate on a mixture of gasoline and electricity.
The 26-page ruling [pdf], by JudgePaul A. Crotty, bars the city from implementing the hybrid-cab requirement, which was to take effect on Saturday and would have resulted in a virtually all-hybrid fleet by 2012. Taxi owners had maintained that fuel economy and vehicle emissions standards were the principal purview of the federal government.
The hybrid requirement was a centerpiece of Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg’s PlaNYC 2030 package of environmental initiatives. In a statement on Friday, he said, “We are very disappointed in the decision and we are exploring our appellate options.”
The mayor made clear that he strongly disagreed with the ruling, which he said could cripple efforts by other cities to combat air pollution. “The decision is not a ruling against hybrid cabs, rather a ruling that archaic Washington regulations are applicable and therefore New York City, and all other cities, are prevented from choosing to create cleaner air and a healthier place to live,” Mr. Bloomberg said.
The city has 13,237 yellow taxicabs. Nearly 1,500 of them are already hybrids as a result of voluntary efforts…The hybrid-taxi rule has been bitterly fought by taxi owners. Earlier this year, Ron Sherman, president of the Metropolitan Taxicab Board of Trade, said in a statement that “small, light passenger hybrids should not be used as New York City taxicabs, which clock upwards of 100,000 miles a year each and often run 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.” He argued that the Taxi and Limousine Commission “has ignored the laws of physics, which dictates that the larger the vehicle’s interior space, the safer the vehicle’s occupants are in an accident.”
Here’s the whole article.