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Report: Los Angeles Green Taxicab Program Making Progress

taxicab
Los Angeles’ taxicab industry is apparently making progress toward having a more fuel-efficient fleet in the City and region. (Thinkstock)

An initiative aiming to have at least 80 percent of taxicabs within the City of Los Angeles be “green” by the end of 2015 is apparently making progress toward its goal, a report from the Board of Taxicab Commissioners to council members stated.

The Green Taxicab Program established in 2010 and implemented in 2011 required City Hall to meet certain annual requirements for more fuel efficient taxis operating in Los Angeles is currently in front of council members for review.

City Hall scheduled the council to receive and file the progress report for the 2013 calendar year on April 25. However, the receiving and filing of the report has been put off until the council’s May 9 meeting.

As part of the Green Taxicab Program, at least 1,703 non-wheelchair accessible taxis in Los Angeles must be fuel efficient – or “green” – by Dec. 31, 2015.

According to the Board of Taxicab Commissioners report, there were 988 non-wheelchair accessible taxis meeting the “green” requirement as of Dec. 31, 2013.

The local taxicab industry is apparently making progress in 2014, as well, the Board of Taxicab Commissioners reported. As of the Feb. 10 report, the total “green” vehicle count was 1,450, about 253 short of the program’s goal and a little less than 20 months remaining to fill the gap.

“It is anticipated that the Los Angeles Taxicab Industry will achieve the goal of replacing 80 percent of the non-wheelchair vehicle fleet as green taxis as early as June 30, 2014,” the report authored Jon Kirk Mukri, general manager of the City’s Dept. of Transportation, stated. “It is anticipated that at least 85 percent of the non-wheelchair accessible fleet will be considered as green taxis by Dec. 31, 2015.”

Mukri’s report added the “green” taxis – which include a fleet of Toyota Prius models, Toyota Camry hybrid sedans, and Ford Escape hybrid SUVs – added to the fleet and replacing non-green taxicabs have significantly reduced its contributions to smog pollutions and greenhouse emissions.

“Compared to the normal taxicab fleet that would have otherwise been placed into service from 2011 through 2013 (the first three years of the Green Taxi Program), the taxicab industry has achieved an approximate 72 percent reduction in smog pollution and a 56 percent reduction in green-house gas emission (when comparing the emissions from the 1,450 green vehicles inserted into taxicab service as of December 31,2013),” the report, which was addressed to Councilman Mike Bonin, stated.

Council members approved in 2010 a five-year extension of franchise agreements with taxicab operators in Los Angeles on the condition at least 80 percent of their respective fleets be more fuel efficient, by the end of 2015.

Bonin, who represents Brentwood, Mar Vista, Palms, Venice, and other communities on the City Council, serves as chair of the Transportation Committee.

WestsideToday.com will update this story as the council votes on this report.

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