Hybrid taxis to hit the streets of New York City this fall

Six different hybrid models will debut in New York City’s taxi fleet this fall, thanks to a recent vote by the city’s Taxi and Limousine Commission. Some commissioners had previously expressed reservations about the leg room (or lack thereof) in hybrids, but after test drives, one termed Toyota’s Prius and Highlander “surprisingly roomy.” The commission didn’t have much of a choice — Mayor Mike Bloomberg forced its hand by signing a bill last week that gave it 90 days to approve hybrids — but commission chair Matthew Daus seems converted to curbing gasoline use, saying, “Pardon the pun, but I think bigger cars need to take a back seat.” Allowing six different models into the fleet will enable the commission to learn which hybrids stand up best to the beating they’re likely to take on the streets of the Big Apple.