People, Environment

Hybrid Cabs Join Tehran Fleet

Hybrid Cabs Join Tehran Fleet
Hybrid Cabs Join Tehran Fleet

At a ceremony on Sunday evening, 50 hybrid taxis were unveiled and added to Tehran’s public transportation fleet.

“This is a historic day for the capital’s public transport system,” Seyyed Jafar Tashakori Hashemi, deputy for traffic and transportation affairs at Tehran Municipality, said at the ceremony, Asr-e Khodro reported.

The taxis are said to be equipped with POS systems, to facilitate payment of fares.

Hashemi said the sprawling capital’s taxi fleet is littered with decrepit vehicles which emit a staggering 240 tons of pollutants every day.

In Tehran, where clunkers are said to be responsible for 80% of the air pollution, one person dies every two hours due to dangerously high concentrations of air pollutants.

Taxis, which hardly account for 2% of the public transportation fleet in the capital, contribute a whopping 18% to the air pollution.

He said the municipality will begin sending old taxis to the junkyard from mid-February.

“By late April, we expect to have removed 15,000 decrepit cabs from the fleet.”

Hashemi said the goal is to renovate almost 20% of Tehran’s aging taxi fleet by the end of spring (June 20), “which will have an enormous impact on reducing air pollution.”

 Three banks — Parsian, Mellat and Tejarat — will start offering loans worth 200 million rials ($5,400) to cabbies at 16% interest rate, to be paid back in 48 months, in an effort to help taxi drivers upgrade their old, polluting vehicles.

This is while Hashemi said last week that Bank Shahr (city bank) would also offer loans to cabbies.