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In Louisville, Yellow Hybrid Taxis Hit the Streets

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One of Louisville’s largest taxi companies is adding hybrid vehicles to its fleet.Procarent operates Yellow Cab of Louisville. President Steve Coston said starting today, the company’s fleet will include eight Toyota Prius hybrid vehicles. That’s a small amount for a fleet of about 220 taxicabs at any given time, but Coston said this will likely be the beginning of a larger switch to hybrids.“I think in general from a sedan standpoint we’re going to look at this as more as the beginning of the rollout, versus a true trial,” he said.Coston said he’s convinced that the hybrids will be attractive for Louisville taxi riders who are looking for more sustainable options.“We’ve looked at it for at least the last two or three years and really believe that the public really wants a greener footprint,” he said. “And this is our attempt to help drive that.”And Coston said those benefits should outweigh any concerns about the slightly smaller size of the Prius.“We really believe that what we save from a fuel footprint standpoint is going to be well worth the minor inconvenience at times, potentially, from a consumer standpoint, with the size of the vehicle,” he said.And in a business where taxi drivers are usually independent contractors responsible for paying for their own fuel, hybrids are an attractive option for them, too.Another Louisville taxi company—Green & Orange Cab of Louisville—touts their eco-friendly cars on its website. No one answered phone inquiries, but it seems some of that company’s fleet is fueled by ethanol.

Erica Peterson is WFPL's Director of News and Programming.