The Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT) has announced plans to help deploy as many as 120 alternative fuel vehicles on city streets through the new Drive Clean Taxi voucher program.
The CDOT has partnered with clean-transportation nonprofit CALSTART to launch the initiative, which is open to taxicab owners and other public-passenger vehicle fleets. The department says that unlike grant or rebate programs, Drive Clean Taxi will enable fleets to purchase or lease cleaner vehicles at a reduced cost at the point of sale.
The program is now accepting applications from vendors that want to participate. Later this year, approved vendors will offer vouchers of up to $10,000 toward each electric or compressed natural gas (CNG) vehicle supplied to taxi, livery or other public-passenger fleets.
Vouchers will be available on a first-come, first-served basis once the CDOT and CALSTART have approved a list of eligible vehicles and vendors.
The Drive Clean Taxi program is part of the city's larger Drive Clean Chicago program, which is funded through the federal Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement Program and also previously launched the Drive Clean Truck program in 2014.
“CDOT is very excited to be able to step up our support for sustainable fleet efficiency through the Drive Clean Chicago and Drive Clean Taxi programs,” says CDOT Commissioner Rebekah Scheinfeld. “These green vehicles will help improve air quality, reduce petroleum use and build a cleaner transportation network for the city of Chicago.”
More information about the Drive Clean Chicago program is available here.