Federal Court Blocks Implementation of NYC Fuel-Efficient Taxi Program

Jose Michael

Reuters. US District Judge Paul Crotty has granted a preliminary injunction against the implementation of New York City’s rules for more fuel efficient taxis. Approved in December 2007, the regulation required all taxicabs coming into service (with the exception of accessible taxicabs) after 1 October 2008 be capable of achieving a city mileage rating of 25 miles per gallon (mpg). As of October 2009, all new taxicabs vehicles were to have a 30 mpg city rating.

Judge Crotty ruled that regulation of fuel emissions standards falls under federal, not city, authority, and that implementation of the regulations now would be costly to the taxi industry. The original lawsuit, filed in September in Manhattan federal court, also argued that the rules had been rushed out without adequate concern for safety and cost.

Mayor Bloomberg responded to the ruling:

We are very disappointed in the decision and we are exploring our appellate options. The decision is not a ruling against hybrids 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. The sad irony here is the laws being relied on by the plaintiff, the Clean Air Act and the Energy Policy and Conservation Act were designed to reduce air pollution and reduce our dependence on foreign oil—which is exactly what moving to fuel efficient cabs will do.

The courts are not the only way we can reach our goal of a cleaner fleet of taxi cabs. I've instructed the TLC to develop a program with strong incentives for the use of fuel efficient vehicles and heavy disincentives for use of the inefficient vehicles of a past generation. Additionally, we will be working with our Congressional delegation to produce legislation to update the outdated laws, originally written in the 1970s, to reflect the current realities of environmental stewardship. Greening the taxi fleet is a major priority and we are going to use every mechanism at our disposal to make New York a cleaner, healthier city. Taxis are a part of our public transportation system. They must be part of the solution to air pollution, not a contributing cause of the problem.

New York has also adopted similar fuel efficiency requirements for the black car limousine fleet. Beginning 1 January 2009, all black car vehicles coming into service must be capable of achieving a city mileage rating of 25 mpg, and 20 mpg as of 1 January 2010. The city’s approximately 10,000 black cars service corporate clientele. (Earlier post.)

0 Responses to "Federal Court Blocks Implementation of NYC Fuel-Efficient Taxi Program"

Post a Comment