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New Taxi in Town

Twelve CNG-powered Ford Transit Connect taxis hit the streets of Chicago. More are expected througho...

There was a time that the Checker cab was the prototypical taxi across the country. In recent years, however, the Ford Crown Victoria took over that role. Now, a new Ford vehicle -- the Transit Connect -- might become the taxi of today. Chicago and Los Angeles are the first two cities to roll out Ford Transit Connect taxis fueled by compressed natural gas (CNG).

In Chicago, Taxi Medallion Management put 12 Ford Transit Connect taxis into service as part of an event celebrating the increased presence of CNG in Chicago. The event also included the opening of a new Clean Energy CNG filling station. Ford also announced that two Los Angeles-area cab companies have ordered nearly 120 Ford Transit Connect CNG taxis, adding the nation’s second-largest city to the growing list of large urban areas that are quickly adopting the versatile vehicle.

“The Transit Connect taxi was developed using market research we conducted with the taxi industry to better understand what customers wanted in a future vehicle,” says Gerald Koss, marketing manager, Ford fleet operations. “The more conversations we had, the more interest we saw in a taxi with the flexibility of offering a compressed natural gas version.”

Los Angeles and Chicago aren’t the only cities jumping on the CNG taxi bandwagon. In Connecticut, Metro Taxi of West Haven and Yellow Cab Company of Hartford have ordered a total of 70 Transit Connect taxis that will be powered by CNG and in service by the end of summer. Other cities where CNG Transit Connect taxis have been ordered include Las Vegas, St. Louis and Philadelphia. Ford offers engine packages that allow conversions to CNG and liquefied propane gas (LPG). Both CNG and LPG lower taxi fleets’ operating costs and are better for the environment.



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