Clean Energy Fuels Corp. opened two public access compressed natural gas (CNG) fueling stations in Chicago. Part of a planned Chicago land network, the new natural gas stations will support growing fleets of taxis, paratransit vehicles, service vans, refuse trucks and shuttle buses.
Chicago's Taxi Medallion Management (TMM) operates over 800 vehicles in Chicago. They currently have vehicles in both Yellow and Checker taxi affiliations.
Michael Levine, the owner of TMM and chairman of both Taxi Affiliation Services LLC and American United Taxi Affiliation Inc., entered into two 15-year contracts with Clean Energy to build and operate the two CNG fueling station, and supply fuel to the initial TMM CNG fleet of up to 100 vehicles. Included are Ford Transit Connect and Chevy Impala taxis as well as MV-1 paratransit vehicles. In addition to serving the TMM fleet, the stations are open 24/7 for public access.
Supporting the local deployment of alternative-fueled cabs, the City of Chicago's Department of Environment has implemented a Green Taxi program, which reimburses taxi companies that purchase vehicles powered by alternative fuels or hybrid vehicles. Chicago cab companies receive from $9,000 to $14,000 for purchasing a CNG car, and $2,000 for purchasing a hybrid car.
The program operates on a first-come, first-serve basis and continues until Dec. 31, 2011.