Los Angeles, Chicago Hail Natural-Gas Powered 2012 Ford Transit Connect for Taxi Needs

By Jacob Brown | June 17, 2011
Chicago’s Taxi Medallion Management christened 12 natural gas-powered Ford Transit Connects for the road this week while two major taxi companies in Los Angeles have ordered a total of 119 CNG Ford Transit Connect taxis. In an effort to clean up taxi emissions, the California Air Resourced Board recently approved the CNG models for fleet use. The first 50 taxis shipped for use in Los Angeles and Orange County will arrive within the next two months, and the 79 remaining vans are expected by the end of the year. In a similar move, Chicago’s Medallion Management’s CEO, Michael Levine says the company adopted the Transit Connect CNG in an effort to reduce its greenhouse emissions by 25 percent. Compressed natural gas burns cleaner than gasoline and is a cheaper fuel source. “We are adding CNG-powered vehicles to our fleet in order to reduce the effective cost of fuel for our drivers, and to introduce cleaner vehicles for the environment,” Levine said in a statement. Los Angeles and Chicago taxicab operators follow the lead of the Metro Taxi of West Haven, Connecticut, and The Yellow Cab Company of Bloomfield, Connecticut, which together ordered 40 CNG-fueled Transit Connects in December. Ford’s fleet success with its small van comes just weeks after New York City opted to award an exclusive 10-year contract to Nissan for 13,000 Nissan NV200 vans as its “Taxi of Tomorrow” to replace the discontinued Ford Crown Victoria sedan. At the time, it looked as though Nissan scored a major blow to Ford’s dominance of the taxi market, but with the Transit Connect scoring one major contract after another in large metropolitan areas, it may be the boys at the blue oval who have the last laugh. Source: Ford