New York is going GREEN, bit by bit.
Recently, it was announced that the New York cab fleet will be made up of hybrids by 2012. Mayor Bloomberg has finally gotten behind the plan of Councilman David Yassky, who has been pushing environmental measures since arriving on the Council. Despite some initial skepticism from New York Taxi Workers Alliance, due to the higher cost of hybrids (although this should be offset by lower fuel costs), reactions have been very positive. Yassky wrote to supporters:
Some of you may remember that I first introduced a “Clean Air Cabs” bill five years ago, soon after joining the City Council. Since then, we got a pilot program for clean-fuel cabs implemented in 2003, and we got incentives for hybrid cabs enacted in last year – but until today, the taxi lobby had been able to block a more comprehensive requirement.
And he describes another environmental project for NYC:
I want to tell you about a new initiative that is moving forward rapidly. Last month, I joined with Environmental Defense, the League of Conservation Voters and the American Lung Association to propose legislation mandating increased use of biofuels in heating oil. The idea is to replace some of the highly polluting diesel fuel that is now used to heat homes and offices with cleaner fuel made from soy or palm plants. This is technologically achievable right now – as with taxis, the only impediment is an industry used to the old ways of doing things.
Yassky has decided to get behind Bloomberg’s congestion pricing proposal, as well. Governor Spitzer seems open to the proposal, if not immediately enthusiastic. He may be holding out to gain more control over upcoming projects in the city.
All of this seems to be a good start to making NYC a sustainable city. The congestion pricing has it’s detractors. Will it actually decrease traffic? Make the areas outside the pay zone a parking lot? Meetings have been scheduled to discuss.
Columbia is even cooperating! Amazing.