Airport visitors could soon be getting a breath of fresh air in the form of cleaner, greener, less-polluting taxicabs after the San Diego County Board of Supervisors approved a $360,000 program Wednesday. The pilot project will give taxi owners $4,000 rebates to scrap their older, gasoline-powered taxis and buy newer, hybrid electric, CNG, or alternative-fuel vehicles that generate less pollution.
According to Supervisor Greg Cox, who brought the idea to the Board, the program could mean cleaner air for everyone: taxi passengers at San Diego International Airport, people living in surrounding neighborhoods and the entire region. “We could see a reduction of three to five tons of harmful air pollutants each and every year,” he said. He also noted that the program was intended to complete the effort that San Diego County Regional Airport Authority started several years ago to convert the airport taxi fleet to greener vehicles.
Officials from the County’s Air Pollution Control District (APCD), which will oversee the rebate program, said 271 of the estimated 354 taxis that regularly serve the airport have already converted to cleaner vehicles, but that 83 remained older model, gasoline cars and vans. They also commented converting taxicabs to cleaner vehicles can significantly improve air quality because taxis often rack up more than 100,000 miles of travel every year.
The rebate program will be paid for with money that the Department of Motor Vehicles collects from a $4 annual fee on vehicle registrations and gives to local governments to pay for motor vehicle related projects.
In this positive and promising scenario, L-NGV2015 San Diego will take place next June 17-20 at the San Diego Convention Center in California. The theme of this event is “Natural Gas and Other Clean Fuels for All Applications”. It is hosted by the San Diego MTS (Metropolitan Transit System), endorsed by NGVAmerica and the San Diego Regional Clean Cities Coalition as well as NGV Global and NGVA Europe, under Sempra Energy/SoCalGas Gold Sponsorship, and organized by NGV Communications Group. For more information, please visit the official website.
Source: San Diego County.