The city keeps trying to get cabs to go hybrid, and the taxi owners keep pushing back. The Taxi and Limousine Commission’s most recent plan included incentives to please the owners — for instance, they would be authorized to charge drivers more for use of the hybrids — and the drivers were told the hybrids would save enough on gas to more than make up for it. Despite these assurances, the Metropolitan Taxicab Board of Trade, an owners’ group. took it back to court.
They drew the same judge, Paul Crotty, who had nixed an earlier hybridization plan, and today he did the same to this one. Crotty said that rules and regulations regarding car emissions and mileage were for the federal government to decide, and could not be circumvented by local ordinances, even to make them more restrictive.
Crotty said he liked the general idea, though, and invited the city to restrict new medallions to hybrid cars instead. The city’s counsel isn’t satisfied with that, thinks the judge misread the intent of the federal law, and says New York is “exploring our legal options.”