Hybrid Cities Revolutionize the Streets

As the Feds scoff at the Kyoto Protocol, local and state
governments have been meeting climate change face-to-face with a
host of pollution-reducing programs, including increasing the
number of hybrid-electric vehicles on the streets.

Many US cities have featured at least one natural gas-powered
bus for quite some years, but it is only recently that they’ve
begun integrating hybrid-electric vehicles into their public
transportation systems. New York City brought hybrid busses onto
its streets in 1998; currently, there are 180 of them in the

city’s ever-expanding fleet of green vehicles
.

While Vancouver’s semi-celebrity cab driver

Andrew Grant may have been the world’s first hybrid cabbie
, New
York taxi companies don’t want to be left behind. The city, which
boasts nearly 13,000 taxis, approved the use of hybrid cabs this
summer when it passed the ‘Clean Air Taxis Act,’ according to

The Nation
and
The New York Times. San Francisco has

added hybrids to its taxi fleet
as well, while cities like
Charlotte, Denver, and Seattle are letting off the gas by
greening
their municipal fleets
. County governments are doing their
part, too. Virginia’s

Albemarle County is accelerating its hybrid vehicle use
and has
added a few Ford Escape hybrids to its fleet, with plans to bring
more hybrids on board in the near future.

State and local governments are taking the hybrid message to
their constituents as well. They know Americans love to drive their
own cars, so they’re developing incentives to encourage individuals
to go hybrid. Last September, California passed a law that would
allow up to 75,000 hybrid car drivers to use carpool lanes with or
without passengers, if federal regulations are changed. Arizona,
Connecticut, and Georgia are developing similar legislation, the
Associated
Press
reports
. Meanwhile, Eugene, Oregon, is following in
the footsteps of Aspen, Colorado, by considering offering hybrid
owners parking perks in city and residential areas, according to
the
Eugene
Weekly
.

Go there >>

MTA: About New York City Transit

Go there too >>
Sweet
Victory: NYC Makes Way for Hybrids

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