North America’s oldest and largest taxicab fleet recently announced that it is going green! Yellow Cab’s parent company, Yellow Group, runs about 3,000 taxis in the Chicago area, and they just unveiled plans to add 100 new compressed natural gas (CNG) taxis to the fleet, with plans to add more in the future.
Yellow Group has awarded Clean Energy Fuels with a 10-year contract to construct two CNG fueling stations that will be used by the taxis and will also be available to the public. CEF is the leading provider of compress natural gas and liquefied natural gas for transportation in North America. They currently have 195 fueling stations nationwide that service almost 18,000 service vehicles.
Chicago is not the first city to have CNG-powered taxis, but the timing has a lot to do with the local government supporting this greener vehicle project. The partnering companies are receiving $1.5 million in grant funding from the City of Chicago and the Department of Energy for the taxis and fueling stations.
CNG isn’t a zero emission technology, but according to the Environmental Protection Agency, it emits 80 percent fewer ozone precursors and over 95 percent fewer particulates than conventional gasoline-powered vehicles. In addition to being cleaner, compressed natural gas is also 30 to 40 percent cheaper than gasoline or diesel on a mileage basis.
Chairman of Yellow Group, Michael Levine says that “new, growing CNG taxi fleets will provide benefits not only to the drivers and passengers in the form of lower fuel costs and clean, green performance, but to the City of Chicago at large, as greenhouse gas emissions are significantly reduced.”