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Chicago Will Pay Cab Companies to Go Green

By Soyoung Kwak in News on Apr 24, 2011 4:00PM

Photo by nssf04
In order to reach the carbon emission goals laid out in the Chicago Climate Action Plan, Chicago just unveiled a new program where it could help taxi companies around the city purchase hybrid and "alternative fuel" vehicles, excluding electric cars.

This environmentally-conscious program will use funding from a Clean Cities grant gained through a federal stimulus program. What are the exact benefits to buying environmentally-friendly vehicles? Lower fuel costs and cleaner air, for starters:

The new program "provides an incentive to the taxi industry to reduce carbon emissions," Norma Reyes, department commissioner, said in the release. "Alternative fuel and hybrid taxis provide numerous benefits including lower fuel costs for drivers and improved air quality."

Although hybrid cars can only be reimbursed up to $2,000 of the total cost, CNG (compressed natural gas) or propane-powered cars can be reimbursed up to $14,000. It's not really clear how many cab companies will be drawn to this program, but it definitely doesn't seem like a bad idea.