when replacing older, gasoline-powered taxis or adding new cars to their
"This regulation will benefit the entire breathing public," agency
spokesman Sam Atwood said.
Airports are one of the largest sources of emissions because they
include airplanes, ground equipment and passenger vehicles, Atwood said.
City Cab is the only Burbank Airport operator, with 53 taxis serving
the facility. The company already has 12 low-emission cars and expects to
have replaced the other 41 within two years.
Customers should not see any fare increase as a result of the change.
"There will be brand new cars so we actually expect some business to
increase," City Cab owner Scott Shaffer said. "Therefore, fares should
not go up at all."
The natural gas models pose challenges to his business as well.
"The environmental goals are extraordinary, but the practical everyday
business applications of implementing them are extraordinarily
difficult," Shaffer said.
The cars hold enough fuel to run for 145 miles, where gas models can
run for 260, Shaffer said.
At this point, the specialized fuel is only available locally at
stations in Van Nuys and Glendale. A station is scheduled to open in
Burbank in August.
"But there's no guarantee that the prices will be competitive,"
Shaffer said. Taxi companies will be subsidized by the clean-air agency
with $9,543 per car. The agency projects costs to operators will run
$10,000 per car, with remaining costs to be covered by manufacturer
incentives and government buy-down programs.
"Even with the generous subsidies, we pay twice the capital costs to
buy these cars," Shaffer said.