Thursday, September 8, 2011

Ford Transit Connect taxis growing more popular

 The Ford Transit Connect vans are making inroads in taxi fleets around the U.S  The first Ford Transit Connect Taxis have already gone into service in New York City and Transit Connect taxis running on compressed natural gas are entering service in Southern California.
  Order and interest for the versatile vehicle are soaring, Ford official said.
More than 400 Transit Connect Taxis are destined for New York City. Total orders for Transit Connect Taxis across the United States are fast approaching 1,000 in its first year on the market. The new taxi market in the U.S. averages about 6,000 units annually.
“Taxi operators are realizing the Transit Connect Taxi is a great vehicle and there’s a good reason – they helped us develop it,” said Len Deluca, director, Ford Commercial Trucks. “During product development, we visited cities across the U.S. speaking with taxi owners, operators, drivers and city officials on the key product attributes they wanted in a taxi,” he said.
 California’s first compressed natural gas (CNG)-powered Ford Transit Connect Taxis hit the greater Los Angeles area this week, giving taxi owners, drivers and passengers a chance to help the environment one small trip at a time.
California Yellow Cab of Orange County put its first 10 Transit Connect Taxis into service – marked by an event celebrating the increased presence of CNG use in California. Clean Energy, which owns and operates CNG filling stations, also participated in the event.
The first 10 Transit Connect Taxis are part of an order for 50 units that California Yellow Cab plans to put into service by 2012. In addition, Yellow Cab of Anaheim also ordered 69 units, bringing the total number of CNG Transit Connect Taxis that will soon be servicing Southern California to more than 100.
“Our goal is to convert our entire fleet to alternative fuels, so bringing the CNG Transit Connect Taxis into service is an exciting step in that direction,” said  Tim Conlon, president and general manager of California Yellow Cab. “The drivers are excited too. They have been lining up to be among the first to get behind the wheel of a CNG-powered taxi,” Conlon said.
CNG-powered Transit Connect Taxis are becoming more popular in other parts of the country as well, servicing places such as Las Vegas and St. Louis. Chicago is another city where CNG-powered Transit Connect Taxis are in service already.  By Joseph Szczesny


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