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Talk of the Day: Big apple's yellow cabs are going green

By TIMES WIRES
Published May 23, 2007


NEW YORK

Every yellow cab in the Big Apple will be a fuel-efficient hybrid by 2012, and stricter emissions and gas mileage standards for taxis will be phased in starting next year, Mayor Michael Bloomberg said Tuesday. There are now 375 hybrid vehicles among the 13, 000 taxis rolling on New York City streets. Under Bloomberg's plan, that number will increase to 1, 000 by October 2008 and will grow by about 20 percent each year until 2012. "There's an awful lot of taxicabs on the streets of New York City, " Bloomberg said. "These cars just sit there in traffic sometimes, belching fumes." Hybrid vehicles run on a combination of gasoline and electricity, emitting less exhaust and achieving higher gas mileage per gallon. Hybrid models tested include the Toyota Prius, the Toyota Highlander Hybrid, the Lexus RX 400h and the Ford Escape. Automakers said hybrids are uniquely well-suited to be taxis. Many of them, like the Ford Escape, run solely on battery power while stopped or at low speeds, so they don't cough exhaust while navigating through city traffic.

CINCINNATI

P&G doing its bit with laundry jugs

Procter & Gamble Co., the largest U.S. consumer-goods maker, will double the concentration of Tide and other liquid laundry detergents as the company produces smaller containers to meet customer demand. Switching to half-size jugs in North America starting in September will cut transportation and warehouse costs and reduce plastic that goes into landfills, Cincinnati-based P&G said today in a statement. P&G expects to complete the rollout of the new formula in the United States, Puerto Rico and Canada by April 2008. A container of the concentrated detergents provides the same number of washing-machine loads as the old formulas and requires less water, P&G said.

LITTLE ROCK, Ark.

Alltel adds location to its caller ID tool

Alltel Corp. announced Tuesday the launch of an enhanced caller ID function that will give city and state information for the person who is calling. Alltel, which will sell the service for $1.99 per month, is initially making the service available on one phone, the LG AX275. The company says the service, called City ID, will be expanded to other phones later.

SINGAPORE

And you thought Carillon was pricey

Hong Kong's high-end apartments are the world's most expensive to rent, followed by Tokyo and New York, reflecting high living costs in those cities, a survey on expatriate accommodation showed Tuesday. An executive three-bedroom apartment in Hong Kong costs more than $8, 500 a month to rent, according to the survey by human resources consultancy ECA International, based in the United Kingdom. Rents for typical expatriate apartments in Hong Kong rose an average 10 percent last year and 15 percent in 2005, said Lee Quane, general manager of ECA International Hong Kong.