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Baltimore Taxi Co. Combats High Gas Prices With Propane-Fueled Cabs

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BALTIMORE (WJZ)– With $4 gas not far behind us and summer prices at the pump looming large, Maryland drivers brace for the worst. And one Baltimore taxi company is fighting back.

Kai Jackson explains how they’re avoiding gasoline altogether.

Propane taxis could be a big step in alternative energy for public transportation.

High gas prices in Maryland and around the country have many drivers clutching their wallets and their hearts.

Jackson: “How much did you pay today per gallon?”
Julia Niederman, Roland Park resident: “$3.59 and 9/10ths of a cent.”
Jackson: “How is that in your book? Good or bad?”
Niederman: “That is bad. It is bad.”

AAA Mid-Atlantic says this the time of year, gas prices normally rise.

“Typically, we do see prices rise until about July 4 and then we start to see a decline for the remainder of the summer,” Christine Delise said.

Yet in an effort to fight back, Veolia Transportation in Baltimore has launched a fleet of propane yellow taxis.

“It’s fuel-efficient, friendly for the environment. Long term, it just sustains our workforce and creates jobs and things like that,” Navin Dass of Veolia Transportation said.

The propane is in a big white tank in the trunk of the cabs. The cars are called propane autogas because they use gas until the engine gets warm. After that, the vehicles run on the propane.

The price of gas has drivers trying to save money anyway they can. Some tell WJZ any alternative source of fuel, including propane, is a good thing.

“Anything that would reduce the use of gas in this area is probably a good thing,” Dr. Sammy Zakaria, a driver, said.

Yet even AAA admits prices right now are lower because crude oil is lower.

“We should continue to see declines at the pump or at least stable prices through summer,” Delise said.

“Well, they’ve been going higher but of late, it’s been coming down a little bit. But this is definitely a step in the right direction,” Dass said. “It’s efficient on fuel, it’s efficient on your wallet if you’re an owner-operator driving a taxi cab.”

Veolia Transportation has installed an autogas station in the Baltimore area to service a total of 50 taxis.

Veolia operates several transportation services in the Baltimore area.

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