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Brewfest Summer 2014

June 10, 2014 MediaYC Cares

The Yellow Cab Company supported the Rising Pint Brew Festival held in East Hartford at Rentschler Field Stadium. Proceeds of the 4th Annual event benefitted the Folds of Honor Foundation. The event was held on May 10 from 1 to 5 pm.  YCC has provided transportation banners for 4 years.

 

Yellow Cab Parking Lot gets a GREEN Boost!

September 4, 2013 AwardsMedia

The Yellow Cab Company took part in a Connecticut Light and Power Energy Savings program in 2013. The company went through an inspection and evaluation of current operational procedures including the lighting of the parking lot.  Older equipment in the parking lot will be replaced with newer, more energy efficient equipment. The move not only improved the operating effiency of the facility, it enhances the bottom line of facility operating costs and it is good for the environment.  The estimated lifetime energy savings impact in terms of dollars ($$$$) by replacing the lighting at the YCC facility is estimated to be over $82,000.00 in addition to eliminating CO2, (a greehouse gas) SO2 and NOx (causes of acid rain).

Before pictures of our Parking Lot:

Photos from the Grand Opening

December 12, 2011

To read more about The Yellow Cab Company’s new compressed natural gas Fueling Station, please click here.

Compressed Natural Gas Fueling Station Grand Opening

December 12, 2011

The Yellow Cab Company serving 35 towns in the greater Hartford region celebrated the completion of it’s state-of-the-art compressed natural gas fueling station on December 9, 2011. Nearly 200 we in attendance at the historic ribbon cutting event.

“We are re-positioning our legacy to lead Connecticut’s clean energy solution in the transportation sector,” according to company president Marco Henry. An award-winning, innovative leader in the taxi business, The Yellow Cab Company’s Henry pioneered green taxi fleet technology in 1998. He was the first taxi fleet owner in the nation to convert Honda Civics to CNG through a federal/DOE Clean Cities grant.

As Henry celebrates a 20-year milestone as the company’s president, he looks to the future with promise. In addition to the CNG Honda Civics and CNG Ford Transit Connects he welcomes to his service fleet, Henry will soon provide Greater Hartford’s first wheelchair-accessible taxi rides. The company will debut a fleet of purpose- built, wheelchair- friendly, ADA compliant, low emission taxis known as the “MV-1” ready to serve the Disability Community.

“Universally accessible 24-hour, on-demand, alternative fuel transport can and should play a strategic role in building the transportation infrastructure of Connecticut. Our CNG-powered taxis will reduce overhead fuel costs, significantly lessen harmful emissions for the environment and reduce our overall dependency on foreign oil,” Henry added.

The new fuel station will serve anyone in the public operating a CNG vehicle. Throughout early 2012, The Yellow Cab Company will deploy 110 new CNG taxis as part of this ambitious project.

DOT Permit Denied!

November 1, 2011 Media

November 1, 2011
By Arielle Levin Becker, The CT Mirror

The state Department of Transportation has denied the requests of two taxi companies for permits to add 70 wheelchair-accessible cabs to each of their fleets, ruling that the companies had not demonstrated the need for new permits and could instead replace existing vehicles with accessible ones.

The proposals by Metro Taxi of West Haven and The Yellow Cab Company of Bloomfield had drawn strong support from people with disabilities, who said there are few, if any, wheelchair-accessible options for on-demand transportation in the state. One man who uses a wheelchair spoke of having to scramble to find a ride to see his dying mother in the hospital on short notice, ultimately having to call a medical transport service.

But other cab companies opposed the proposal, arguing that while people with disabilities could use more transportation options, the companies did not need to increase the size of their fleets to provide them. Gregory S. Kimmel, an attorney for Casino Cab Company of Bridgeport, which opposed Metro Taxi’s application, said earlier this year that the proposal represented “an end-around way for them to try and get additional permits.”

In denying the applications, DOT Staff Attorney Laila A. Mandour noted that there is nothing preventing either company from replacing cabs in their existing fleets with wheelchair-accessible vehicles, which can serve people with or without disabilities. The owners of both companies said their fleets were already operating at capacity, but Mandour wrote that the evidence presented suggested that they could provide more rides.

“There is no dispute that access to transportation should be made available to all citizens of the State,” she wrote in the decision on Metro Taxi’s application. “However, an application for 70 vehicles to be added to the taxicab market is not the way to achieve the results that the witnesses spoke in favor of at the hearing”

Mandour also wrote that adding 70 cabs could destabilize the market. But she encouraged Metro Taxi and Yellow Cab to put accessible vehicles into service through their existing permits.

Both Metro Taxi and Yellow Cab had planned to buy vehicles known as MV-1s that run on compressed natural gas and cost between $40,000 and $45,000, significantly more than most standard cabs. They had expected to cover part of the cost through a federal grant that would pay for the incremental cost of having natural-gas vehicles.

But Bill Scalzi, president of Metro Taxi and president and CEO of its affiliate Metro Access, said that if the vehicles are not purchased by January, “the State of Connecticut loses this one-time opportunity to expand wheelchair-accessible taxi service throughout Connecticut.”

Scalzi said he was “shocked and deeply disheartened” by the department’s decision.

He called the testimony during hearings in March compelling. “Individuals with mobility disabilities spoke of isolation, frustration, depression, loneliness, separateness, injustice, inequality–a keen sense of being cut off from society and the vital pulse of life’s spontaneous pleasures,” Scalzi said in a statement. “We heard descriptions of people getting stranded and having no way to get home, people hoping to get a job if they had taxi service, having to take an ambulance to attend a parent’s funeral, or an elderly man who hadn’t been out of his house for six months at a time.”

He noted that demographic data suggests that more than 170,000 state residents have a mobility disability, and said that when Metro Access introduced its first wheelchair-accessible taxi in 2009, “That one taxi unleashed pent-up demand of seismic proportion.”

“How much more ‘need and necessity’ must the DOT see?” he added.

Michelle M. Duprey, director of New Haven’s department of services for persons with disabilities, said she and other people in the disability community will meet Tuesday to discuss their options, which include legal action.

“Everybody that has been involved in this process and this project and heard about the taxis is just stunned,” she said, adding that she thought the hearings demonstrated a significant need and an opportunity to expand options for people with disabilities.

“If it had been a different community getting up and having dozens of people testify that they need it, they probably would’ve gotten the permits,” she said.

Duprey noted that even if Metro Taxi appeals the ruling, there won’t be a decision before the expiration of the federal grant that would have funded a portion of the vehicles.

“It’s a shame to see government stymie creativity of private organizations that are trying to serve an underserved community,” she said.

There are currently a handful of wheelchair-accessible taxis operating in the state, including three operated by Metro Access. People who use wheelchairs can get rides from paratransit services, but they typically only go within ¾ mile of a bus route. Dial-a-ride services go to more locations, but they usually must be booked at least a day in advance and typically only travel within a town or region. There are other transportation-for-hire services, but they can cost hundreds of dollars to go between towns.

Many people testified at the hearings about the need for more wheelchair-accessible transportation options, but in the ruling on the Metro Taxi application, Mandour noted that several people who testified did not have knowledge of whether the existing service meets the needs of the general population of the area.

She also took issue with the calculations used by Metro Taxi to project the need for additional vehicles. Mandour wrote that the company extrapolated based on statistics on the population with mobility disabilities in New Haven and Connecticut to show demand for more than 1,500 additional trips per day, but did not provide direct evidence to support the calculation. To show a need for new cab service, she wrote, the applicants would have to demonstrate a need in terms of public convenience and necessity, such as by showing that existing cab services are poor, or that people faced excessive wait times or were unable to get services at all.

“While there was testimony from the numerous witnesses that they are in favor and support accessible taxicab services throughout the state, there were only a handful of witnesses who actually stated that they would use taxicab service,” Mandour wrote.

In denying Yellow Cab’s request for permits, Mandour wrote that owner Marco Henry had submitted inaccurate information to document the number of trips his cabs made during each shift. He testified that his fleet is at capacity making 14 trips per shift, but Mandour said the standard for full utilization is 20 trips, leaving room in the existing fleet to accommodate increased demand.

“The issue comes down to the current taxicab companies’ business decision of using accessible vehicles to provide taxicab service, not whether they should be available or if there is a need,” Mandour wrote.

Henry did not respond to a call for comment Monday.

For People in Wheelchairs, Calling a Cab is Not an Easy Option

July 19, 2011

July 19, 2011
By Arielle Levin Becker, The Connecticut Mirror

When Charles Smyth’s sister called to say that their mother was dying and he should get to her bedside quickly, Smyth had another problem to deal with first: How to get to the hospital. Smyth is paralyzed and uses a wheelchair. He regularly takes a paratransit service for people with disabilities, but it must be booked at least a day in advance. On that day, he called to see if the company would make an exception. It wouldn’t. He scoured the Yellow Pages for an alternative.

“That was the first time that I really experienced a complete feeling of hopelessness, helplessness,” said Smyth, who lives in Orange. “Here I was, the father, the breadwinner, the guy that took care of everybody’s problems, and I couldn’t even get down to see my own mother.”

Finally, someone he called referred him to a medical transport service, which took him to the hospital. The ride was less than 7 miles, but cost $75 each way.

“It’s very, very confining to be in a wheelchair and know that you want to get someplace and you just can’t get there,” he said.

Smyth is one of many wheelchair users awaiting a decision from the state Department of Transportation on requests by two cab companies hoping to get 140 wheelchair-accessible taxis. There’s only a handful in the state now, and people who use wheelchairs say their transportation options are limited.

Paratransit services, like the one Smyth uses, give rides in areas served by bus lines, but typically only go within ¾ mile of a bus route. There are dial-a-ride services that aren’t constrained by bus routes, but they usually must be booked at least a day in advance and typically only travel within a town or region; in some areas, people going to medical appointments or other services get priority in scheduling rides. Other transportation-for-hire services can cost hundreds of dollars to go between towns.

The ability to call a cab at any time “just seems like such an amazing thing to be able to do,” said Jade Vail, who has cerebral palsy and uses a wheelchair. She takes a paratransit bus to and from work, scheduling her rides in advance, but worries what she would do if a family member had an emergency. If she gets sick at work, she’s likely to have to wait until her usual departure time for a ride home, and going out with little notice is almost impossible.

“My friends say, ‘How ’bout we go to a movie?'” Vail said. “And I say, ‘Well, you know, I can’t because I don’t have transportation to get there.'”

The proposals by Metro Taxi of West Haven and The Yellow Cab Company of Bloomfield to get 70 wheelchair-accessible taxis each involve federal funding and alternative fuel, and have the support of many people with disabilities. But they’re not a sure thing.

The vehicles they’re hoping to get, called MV-1s, run on compressed natural gas and cost between $40,000 and $45,000–more than most standard cabs. Metro Taxi President Bill Scalzi said the cost can be made up in part from the reduced fueling costs, and in part by a federal grant that will cover the incremental cost of having a vehicle fueled by natural gas. To get the federal money, Scalzi said, the vehicles must be on the road by the end of January.

Metro Taxi and Yellow Cab are seeking permits to operate additional vehicles, which has drawn opposition from other companies. In addition, Metro Taxi is seeking to expand its territory.

For the full story please click here.

Yellow Cab Adds GREEN to its Yellow Fleet!

April 25, 2011

The Yellow Cab Company of Hartford, the region’s largest cab company took delivery of 20 new Ford Transit Connect Vehicles. The taxis are engineered to run on Compressed Natural Gas. According to Peter Casarella of Connecticut’s Yankee Gas Company, the concept of running a taxi fleet on CNG is a trend first brought to this country by Yellow Cab Company president Marco Henry in the late 1990’s when taxi cabs running on CNG were unheard of.

According to a Popular Mechanics article written by Erik Sofge, “this could be a major turning point for the use of CNG in the United States, and the inevitable fracturing of the domestic fuel market into something closer to what’s seen in other parts of the world.” He goes on to explain “In South America and Southeast Asia, millions of cars already run on CNG. Other countries, such as Turkey, Italy and Sweden, have tens of thousands of CNG-powered vehicles, with varying amounts of refueling stations. The benefits of CNG are pretty clear–it burns cleaner than gas, producing some 30 percent less in emissions, and it tends to be cheaper.

Also, we get some 80 percent of our CNG domestically.”

According to the Department of Energy’s most recent estimate, the average price for the gas equivalent for fuel versus CNG was $1.86 per gallon.

That means The Yellow Cab Company of Greater Hartford is not only green from an environmental stand point and helping to reduce our dependency on foreign fuel, the company will save some green in the process.

For the Popular Mechanics article, please click here.

“Care Cabs” to be Provided by The Yellow Cab Company!

December 1, 2010

The Yellow Cab Company supports local initiatives to advance the safety of those on our roads. In 2010 The Yellow Cab Company will partner with AAA to provide FREE rides on New Year’s Eve to drivers that have had too much to drink and should not be behind the wheel.

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