MESA, AZ — An Arizona company began operating today what it is calling the nation's second carbon neutral taxicab service.
Clean Air Cabs is comprised of 26 Toyota Prius hybrids, with plans to increase the fleet to more than 200 hybrids instead of the conventional Crown Victoria models used in many taxicab fleets.
The company will offset resulting emissions from its operations with carbon credits, in addition to subsidizing tree planting in Brazilian rain forests.
The company follows in the footsteps of EnviroCab of Arlington, Va., which billed itself last year as the country's first all-hybrid taxicab fleet. The company also offsets the emissions generated by its fleet of 50 hybrids, as well as the emissions of 100 non-hybrid taxis in service in the greater Washington, D.C. area.
A number of taxicab companies in the U.S. sport hybrids, including San Francisco's Green Cab, which launched in 2007 with a single Prius, to Boston Cab, where 200 of its 500 vehicles are hybrids.
As far back as 2005, Yellow Cab and Luxor Cabs, both of San Francisco, added hybrid SUVs to their fleets.
The hybrid taxicab movement promises to gain significant steam in the coming years due to potential federal action. The Kerry-Boxer climate change bill before the Senate includes a provision that would allow cities to mandate hybrid taxis. Boston, New York and Seattle have tried to introduce the requirements but failed following legal challenges.