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Commissioner’s Corner

May 2013

I don’t think there’s anyone reading this column who has not been deeply affected by the horrific happenings at last Monday’s Boston Marathon.  The loss of life was terribly tragic, and the sheer scope of the injuries inflicted by the terrorists was simply unspeakable.  And who among us was not particularly moved by eight-year-old victim Martin Richard’s very wise, but chillingly apt rebuke of violence “No more hurting people…..Peace.”

It makes me wonder how many times we’ll have to be reminded by tragedy that we all have far more in common than we typically think and feel.

Our hearts and prayers are with our sisters and brothers in Boston.  I’m sure I speak for us all in pledging our continued support to their recovery from this heinous crime.


So, by the time you read this, you will have probably heard that Mayor Bloomberg and I celebrated Earth Day by launching the Nissan Electric Vehicle Pilot Program, a one-year experiment that will help us to see how the vehicles’ charging dynamic will fit into the typical 24/7 day-to-day business model of the taxi industry.  In keeping with Mayor Bloomberg’s State of the City address pledge to see a full one-third of the taxi industry electrified by 2020, this program will help us to determine how best to lay the foundation for that achievement.

So, for all of the reasons enumerated above, this program is historic and innovative, and each of the six recruited drivers will certainly be pioneers, but best of all, I think…..it’s fun and exciting!  The drivers are truly pumped about it, and to be honest with you, so am I.  While Mayor Bloomberg was officially the first true passenger on April 22, I had an opportunity to ride in the cab this week and I have to say, I think people are going to love it!  In all seriousness, though, as I said in the announcing press release, our next steps on the road to a more environmentally-responsible and fuel-efficient future for the taxi industry are crucial ones, and these all-electric LEAF taxicabs will help us determine the best way to seamlessly integrate electric vehicles into the taxi industry’s 24/7 business and operational models.  It’s an investment that will pay great dividends for everyone involved, from the driver who saves on maintenance and fuel costs to the passengers who have to breathe the air, and who truly care about our environment.  It looks pretty snazzy, too!

Until next time, take care and be well!

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