The cab drivers of Boston are up in arms over new regulations that say that the city’s entire taxi fleet has to be converted to hybrid models by 2015. The city’s “green” initiative has them worried about where the money will come from.
Since a new Prius hybrid would be estimated to cost almost $23,000, while a used Crown Vic (the city’s current standard for their taxis) generally costs less than $7,500, cabbies think that they will be the ones who end up footing the bill.
Many drivers fear that they won’t be able to make ends meet when so much of their fares will have to go into paying off the price of the new hybrids.
Boston’s cab drivers aren’t alone, though. Major cities across the country are taking similar steps. New York’s massive fleet of taxis has to be converted to hybrid models by 2012; and San Francisco’s taxis have to cut their emissions by 50 percent in less time than that.
It may be true that the fate of the world depends on saving the environment, but in order to do so, plenty of cabbies may be left wondering whether their next paycheck will be enough.