Yellow Cab Featured in Hartford Courant

February 7, 2012 Media

State’s Oldest Taxi Firm Converting to Compressed Natural Gas — Again

February 06, 2012
By Janice Posada, The Hartford Courant

BLOOMFIELD — Driving a taxi powered by compressed natural gas not only cuts fuel consumption but for at least one driver, it may reduce aspirin intake.When Marco Henry, owner of The Yellow Cab Co. in Bloomfield, recently began replacing the company’s entire fleet of gasoline-powered taxis with new CNG-powered vehicles, a longtime driver told Henry the switch had eliminated his need to pop four or five aspirins a day.”He thought it was because he wasn’t breathing carbon monoxide fumes all day,” said Henry, who bought Yellow Cab, the state’s oldest taxicab company, in 1991 after selling the Springfield, Mass. cab company he had owned and operated since 1981.

Driving a compressed natural gas taxi may or may or may not reduce driver headaches (we’ll leave that one to researchers) but according to experts, CNG vehicles emit 30 percent to 40 percent less greenhouse gases. While their upfront costs are higher — they are usually priced at 25 to 30 percent higher than similar gas-powered vehicles, they are, in the long run, cheaper to operate.

“They require less maintenance and fewer oil changes,” Henry said. The fuel costs for a CNG-powered vehicle are currently the equivalent of $2.90 per gallon. Cab drivers, who lease their vehicles from the company and pay for their own fuel, save $100 to $250 a week at the pump, Henry said.

Yellow Cab, which was founded in 1898 — when the term horsepower referred to the actual number of horses pulling the hackney — may be the first taxi company in the United States whose entire fleet is powered by compressed natural gas.

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