Queue jumping privileges for CNG-fueled taxis in Dallas

Michael Giberson

Dallas has implemented a policy giving natural gas-fueled taxis rights to jump to the head of the queue at the city’s Love Field Airport. Independent cab drivers in the city are protesting. (They also filed a lawsuit. A judge has denied the drivers a temporary injunction while the case it litigated.)

The privilege is intended to reduce air pollution in the city, and it probably will reduce air pollution a tiny bit.  Likely it will motivate the use of additional CNG taxis at Love Field.  Still, it seems like an awkward attempt at cleaning the air.

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4 thoughts on “Queue jumping privileges for CNG-fueled taxis in Dallas

  1. Michael,

    The awkwardness of this response is almost certainly due to the successful litigation brought by taxi cab owners and others in Southern California and NYC to block so-called fleet purchase rules implemented under the Clean Air Act. These rules would have forced vehicle fleet owners to buy hybrid or alternative fuel (natural gas in most cases) vehicles. These regulations (by CARB and NYC) were struck down as violating the “two car” rule at the heart of the CAA mobile source approach. See 541 US 246, available at, http://ftp.resource.org/courts.gov/c/US/541/541.US.246.02-1343.html. Local governments that want to go after emissions from vehicle fleets, other than those owned by government, have been left with little recourse.

    Now I’m not saying that this is the most efficient way to go after emissions from mobile sources. But the CAA is what we’re stuck with apparently and so here we are. Awkward? Yes. Inefficient use of societal resources? Yes. Less effective than directly taxing the pollutants/externalities at issue? Of course.

    But the AQ districts still face a legal obligation to meet the NAAQS and so this is the kind of thing that we get…

  2. Very awkward… if the goal is to create an incentive for clean taxis, why focus on CNG and not hybrids? Sounds like this law is more the result of successful lobbying by T. Boone Pickens than anything else.

  3. Perhaps the new NAAQS for CO2 required by the EPA endangerment finding last December will resolve some of these conflicts. Hope springs eternal.

  4. so why “head of the line previlage”? cab drivers, having good trust on the city councel, have invested a lot of money in buying the regular gas cabs. Now Mayor tom leppert is forcing them to get out of the business. it isn’t market competion that is hurting these cab drivers, but it is deliberate inhuman decision by the city of dallas. i thought the city councel is a council of all the residents of dallas. it needs only a loyal mind to think of all the options and select the best to promote the idea of using natural gas. it is one sided decision and against the country’s free market competion principle. By the way, the city ordinance concerning the “Head of the line previlage” mentions, as the main spring board for the city councel’s decision, data published by EPA 7 years ago in 2004, while there decision is made in April 2010. i couldn’t get it. i don’t think things are going on the right way.

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