NYC's Hybrid Taxis Stay On The Road As Sandy Gas Shortages Hit

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Ford Escape Hybrid New York Taxi. Image by Flickr user Jason Tabarias

Ford Escape Hybrid New York Taxi. Image by Flickr user Jason Tabarias

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As the U.S. East coast copes with the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, and New York City breathes life back into its flooded 105-year old subway system, public transit is currently in short supply.

News images of huge queues for gas, people queuing around the block for buses and tens of thousands walking to work illustrate the mayhem.

Those gas shortages are causing problems for NYC's cabs too--and it's quite a relief to those driving hybrids.

High gas prices and huge queues are making things difficult for NYC's cab drivers, but cars like the Ford Escape Hybrids allow several shifts to be completed on one tank--so drivers are less likely to spend hours waiting for gas.

Cars are assigned on a first come, first serve basis to the drivers, and currently many are hoping for hybrids.

Speaking to Business Insider, NYC driver Samba Gueye says things are difficult with the more traditional Crown Vics--the car will barely have enough gas to complete another shift after his.

And drivers are unlikely to be reimbursed for any losses made while queueing hours for fuel.

The Crown Vics which still make up a majority of NYC's yellow cab fleet average around 12 mpg as they pound the streets.

By contrast, an Escape Hybrid manages around 34 mpg in service. Even Nissan's Taxi of Tomorrow will only average around 25 mpg.

Taxi fleets will be worked hard over the next few weeks as NYC returns to normal--and until it does, the hybrid cabs are more important than ever.


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