Boston turns taxis green, too

As part of the city's long-term plan to implement sustainable public transportation, Boston Mayor Thomas Menino kicked off Boston CleanAir Cabs on Friday, an initiative to replace Boston's old taxis with hybrid electric or alternative-fuel vehicles.

The first vehicle put in service was a hybrid electric Toyota Camry owned by the Boston Cab Association. And the Boston Police Department's Hackney Division has approved use of the hybrid Ford Escape and CNG Ford Crown Victoria.

Responding to a push from the mayor, Boston officials have been working on several programs to make the city more environmentally responsible. Programs include a new city vehicle procurement policy that requires new vehicles to be hybrid electric, run on alternative fuel or offer better fuel economy. For example, many Boston vehicles run on ultra-low sulfur diesel (ULSD), a petroleum-based diesel mixed with biodiesel (B5).

Boston taxis are not the only things being made greener.

The city began installing green trash bins in July. The hold five times more trash because of their compacting capabilities, require less maintenance and need to be emptied less frequently.

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