Windy City to have natural gas taxis

Jan. 22, 2011 at 2:30 PM
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CHICAGO, Jan. 22 (UPI) -- Taxi Affiliation Services in Chicago said 12 of its cabs this spring will no longer be filling up at traditional gas stations.

The company that operates Yellow Cab Chicago said by March it will have 12 new Ford Transit Connect vehicles on the road, which run on compressed natural gas, the Chicago Tribune reported Saturday.

In time, the company will also convert 100 of its taxis to natural gas and set up two CNG refilling stations that will be open to public use.

Mike Levine, chief executive officer of Taxi Medallion Management, said the object of the program is "to get more fares," but the company will also benefit from lower fuel costs and city residents will benefit from taxis that discharge 30 percent less greenhouse gases than traditional cars.

The new Ford Transit Connect taxis cost about $20,000, while converting a gasoline-powered car to a natural gas vehicle costs about $13,000, the newspaper said.

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