The city of San Francisco recently celebrated
becoming the "Greenest Taxi City in America." Since 2008, the city's taxis have reduced gas consumption by 2.9
million gallons per year and lowered greenhouse gas emissions by 35,000
tons annually, according to numbers released by the city, the state of California, and Ford Motors.
"Cutting global carbon dioxide emissions is one of the most crucial
issues of our time," former city Taxi Commission President Paul Gillespie said at a recent event, "The San Francisco taxi
experience has shown that taking aggressive, collaborative action at the
local level can be both profitable and effective."
San Francisco has, in recent years, switch many of its taxis to vehicles powered by compressed natural gas (CNG) or liquefied propane gas (LPG). It has also acquired efficient vehicles from Ford, which represent 67% of the taxi fleet in the city.
California's Green Taxi Law, which was enacted in 2008, calls forgas consumption and
greenhouse gas emissions to be reduced 20% by this year. "When I announced this goal, many people didn?t think it could be
done,? said California Lt. Gov. Gavin Newsom. "The clean taxi program has shown that aggressive
action is possible at the local level to make major reductions in carbon
emissions, reduce our dependence on fossil fuels and accelerate a new
green economy. Now we are here today recognizing San Francisco as the 'Greenest Taxi City in America.'"
Things are apparently only going to get better: even more CNG and LPG vehicles are due to hit the streets soon. While they aren't the hybrid or all-electric vehicles most people think of when going green, they are greener than gas-powered vehicles, and a great step toward making the city greener.