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New Ford Transit Taxi Runs On Natural Gas

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On: Tue, Jan 25, 2011 at 1:33PM | By: Sherry Christiansen

New Ford Transit Taxi Runs On Natural Gas

In many major metropolitan centers, taxis are the lifeblood of the transportation system. Without them, many folks would be stranded. If you really want to know what’s going on in a town, ask a cabbie! It’s also a lot of fun when you’ve got an enthusiastic cabbie who is willing to share his/her stories with you. Over in the Windy City of Chicago, there’re going to be some welcome new additions to their cab fleet in the form of the Ford Transit Connect Taxis. These are the alternative-fuel cars that are getting rave reviews from passengers, drivers, and citizens alike.

In each major city, the Taxi Medallion Management runs the cab fleet and gets to say who drives what. The Chicago version of the Medallion Management branch ordered up 12 of the clean-burning compressed natural gas or CNG for their fleet. These new taxis will fly the banner of the Yellow Cab Chicago.

All of this came about because of the city’s commitment to reduce carbon emissions by 25%. Naturally, it makes sense to put city managed vehicles on the front line of this battle. The EPA says that the CNG actually releases up to 30 to 40% less of those greenhouse gas emissions that your typical street model puts out. You might think that’s a drop in the bucket compared to all the cars on the road in Chicago, but you’ve got to start somewhere!

“We are adding vehicles with more fuel-efficient gasoline engines, as well as vehicles with alternative-fuel sources, to find a vehicle mix that best suits our customers, our drivers, the city at large and the environment,” said Michael Levine, CEO of Taxi Medallion Management. “We are excited about testing this new vehicle.”

The shiny new Ford taxis will make their way to Chi-town by way of Packey Webb Ford of Downers Grove, Illinois. This won’t be the first time the Ford Transit Connect Taxis have hit the road. The initial fleet was launched in Boston back in December.

“During product development of this vehicle, we visited cities across the U.S. speaking with taxi owners, operators, drivers and city officials on the key product attributes they wanted in a taxi,” said Gerald Koss, Ford Fleet marketing manager. “Of course, reliability and durability were key, but fuel-efficient powertrains and sustainable solutions also were high on their lists.”

Passengers can expect plenty of legroom and personal ventilation controls. Drivers get a rear view camera and back-up sensor. A welcome addition for any taxi!


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