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It’s no secret that Ford‘s Transit Connect, the small delivery van built in Turkey has been making waves among fleet operators since its arrival on these shores last year. In particular, the vehicle’s exterior dimensions, turning radius and interior capacity relative to its size have caught the eyes of taxi companies. An operator in Boston recently became the first to purchase an order of Transit Connects and now, Yellow Cab of California is following suit.
Tim Conlon, President of Yellow Cab in the Golden State, was also attracted to the Transit because of Ford’s alternative fuel prep package. Many local municipalities in California are mandating the adoption of standards for cleaner, low carbon fuels for commercial vehicle fleets, so for Conlon, purchasing Transit Connects for Yellow’s Santa Ana fleet and having them converted to run on Compressed Natural Gas seemed like a no brainer.
“California Yellow Cab started to use natural gas in 2002 before there were many refueling stations,” Conlon stated. “Now that the infrastructure has built up, we’ll be able to help protect Orange County’s air quality even more with the Transit Connect. It’s a perfect fit for our drivers, and its roomy, easy-to-access interior will appeal to our customers as well.”
Because of the Transit Connect”s interior configuration and packaging, a natural gas tank can be installed, while still leaving ample room for passengers and luggage, yet emissions can be reduced by as much as 40 percent over comparable gasoline fueled vehicles. Making the idea even more favorable for taxi companies like Yellow, is the fact that around 87 percent of natural gas in the United States is domestically produced, reducing overseas dependence on fuel sources for vehicles.
With the acquisition of the Transit Connect CNG taxis, Yellow will become the first cab company in Southern California with 50 percent of its vehicle fleet running on alternative fuels.