Driven to Save
Inspired by lower operating costs and consumer enthusiasm, metro taxi in denver is switching its entire fleet of 420 cars to hybrid vehicles. It has already replaced 37 standard sedans—mostly Ford Crown Victorias, rated at 19 miles per gallon by the Environmental Protection Agency—with the Toyota Prius, rated at 46 mpg. After the fleet is fully converted, which will take up to eight years, the company says it will save 2.6 million gallons of gasoline annually, or $5.2 million at $2 a gallon. The change has created some public buzz, too. “A lot of customers now call specifically for the Prius,” says Brian Horvath, fleet manager. “They like the comfort and the quietness and the whole green idea.”
Metro Taxi has also replaced the old furnaces at its large maintenance shop with two units made by Clean Burn in Leola, Pa., which consume used motor oil from the many oil changes. “We just drain it from the vehicle and pump it into a storage tank,” Horvath says. “We’re no longer paying disposal fees” or buying hundreds of gallons of heating fuel a month during the winter.
Note: This article was originally printed with the title, "Role Model."