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Ford Transit Connect CNG Enters More Taxi Fleets

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New England Cab Company Improves Global Footprint by Adding 35 CNG-Powered Ford Transit Connect Taxis


Metro Taxi of West Haven, Conn. adds 35 compressed natural gas (CNG)-powered Ford Transit Connect Taxis to its cab fleet

West Haven joins growing list of cities to offer CNG-powered Transit Connect Taxis that also includes Los Angeles, Chicago, St. Louis and Las Vegas

CNG burns cleaner than gasoline and can result in 30 percent less greenhouse gas emissions

FordTransitConnectForum.com - The global footprint of a New England cab company is a few sizes smaller after it put 35 compressed natural gas (CNG)-powered Ford Transit Connect Taxis into service.

Metro Taxi of West Haven, Conn. added 35 Ford Transit Connect Taxis to its fleet as part of its efforts to reduce reliance on gasoline and greenhouse gas emissions. The cabs are the first CNG-powered Transit Connect Taxis in New England.

The addition of the Transit Connect Taxis to the Metro Taxi fleet is being celebrated as part of an event in West Haven today coinciding with the opening of a Clean Energy-owned CNG fueling station in the city.

A few weeks ago the first CNG Transit Connect Taxis began servicing West Haven, which is near Hartford and about 80 miles northeast of New York City. Bill Scalzi, president of Metro Taxi, said there is already a waiting list of drivers who want Transit Connect Taxis.

“The CNG Transit Connect Taxis have been a tremendous hit all around,” said Scalzi, who was named 2010 Taxicab Operator of the Year by the Taxicab, Limousine & Paratransit Association.

“The drivers love the fuel savings that come with CNG along with the overall roominess and the reliability of the Transit Connect taxis,” said Scalzi. “Passengers also love the fact that the new taxis are much easier to get in and out of than traditional car-styled taxis. We are really, really pleased with this new venture of ours.”

Gerry Koss, marketing manager, Ford Fleet, said Scalzi’s comments are echoed around the country. CNG-powered Transit Connect Taxis are already servicing places such as Chicago, Las Vegas, St. Louis and California’s Orange County.

The addition of CNG Transit Connect Taxis to Metro Taxi’s fleet comes less than a month after California Yellow Cab put California’s first CNG Transit Connect Taxis into service.

“I’ve talked to Transit Connect Taxi drivers in places like Orange County and the response to these greener, cleaner vehicles has been phenomenal,” said Koss. “From a driving standpoint, taxi drivers tell me they love the maneuverability and comfort. Passengers are saying they can’t believe how much room and cargo space there is.”

The standard Ford Transit Connect – 2010 North American Truck of the Year – features a 2.0-liter I-4 engine that gets 22 mpg in the city and 27 mpg on the highway, an estimated 30 percent improvement in fuel economy compared with traditional taxis. Transit Connect Taxi is available with engine preparation packages for conversion to liquefied propane gas (LPG) or CNG.

CNG is used in traditional gasoline internal combustion engines that have been modified to operate on CNG. Dallas-based BAF Technologies, a Clean Energy-owned company, has been certified by Ford as a Quality Vehicle Modifier to convert standard Transit Connect Taxis into CNG-powered cabs.

The fuel cost savings and environmental impact of CNG-powered cars and trucks are two benefits of alternative fuel-powered taxis like the Transit Connect Taxi.

The estimated fuel economy of a CNG-powered Transit Connect Taxi is the same as the standard gasoline version. However, operating costs are lower because the cost of a gasoline gallon equivalent of CNG is much less than a gallon of gasoline. The current national average cost per gasoline gallon equivalent is about $2. According to the U.S. Department of Energy, the price per gallon of gasoline has ranged from just over $1 a gallon in early 2002 to nearly $4 a gallon this year. During the same period, however, CNG generally has stayed between $1 and $2 per gasoline gallon equivalent, peaking at a high of $2.34 in July 2008.

Clean Energy, which owns and operates more than 250 CNG stations, said the Ford Transit Connect Taxi fits in with its own mission.

“We are bringing the many benefits of natural gas fuel for transportation to West Haven and the state of Connecticut,” said Andrew J. Littlefair, president and CEO, Clean Energy. “Ford’s CNG Transit Connect Taxis will help measurably in this goal by lowering petroleum use and reducing greenhouse gas emissions up to 30 percent compared to traditional gas vehicles.”

CNG is a nontoxic, extremely clean-burning fuel and significantly reduces CO, CO2 and NOx compared with gasoline. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, use of CNG can result in 30 percent less greenhouse gas emissions. Use is increasing, too. Clean Energy alone, for example, has plans for another 100 stations.

Ford has invested billions in researching and developing new fuel-efficient engines, transmissions and electrified vehicles, even during the depths of the economic downturn when competitors dialed back product spending. Today Ford has 12 vehicles with best-in-class fuel economy and four models with at least 40 mpg – claims no other full-line automaker can match.

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Well I bought a transit connect van like taxi because has white out and yellow in, is a CNG and I didn't know was it I am disabled and I did not checked at all and the man did not tell me it was in chicago 3 hours from home and when I wanted to put gas in my town I was surprised that was CNG, I checked carfax before to buy and do not state that was used for taxi or something like this so now I'm stuck with this and the gas station more close is 40 minutes from home and the worse I bought with a bank loan, and I wonder if I can convert in gasoline engine??

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I am in charge of 130 Ford CNG Transit connects.  They cannot hold valves in them for long.  Anyone have any luck with them?

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If  the engines are set up for CNG  the valves should last . Not sure if the Gen 1's had the option. The gen 2's had to be ordered with the Propane Cng Head option.  Hard  Valve seats and up rated valves. The 1.6  Turbo had the valve and valve seat up grade. 

Have you thought of putting a top cylinder oiler on the Fleet cars?

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St. Louis has bad air pollution.  So it's good to see that the CNG's are in use here.  St. Louis is one of two independent cities in the nation (not part of a larger county).  Although that served them well during their golden age, it is now a burden.  Given that many industries have moved out of the city, and the old homes are too expensive to repair for many residents, too many homes are being abandoned or losing value lessening the cities tax revenues.  Once the homes are abandoned they are quickly stripped of any value by drug users.  The cities crime rate has increased so badly, 12 shootings last weekend, and some shot on highways for no apparent reason, that non-city dwellers are reluctant to go there anymore, and businesses are suffering.  So although it's a small thing, it's good to see that the Ford TC CNG's are in use there.  Every bit of good news is welcome in St. Louis as the city struggles for continued viability. 

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1 hour ago, Loafer said:

St. Louis is one of two independent cities in the nation (not part of a larger county).  Although that served them well during their golden age, it is now a burden.

How so?  It would seem to be a benefit  -  Taxes collected by the city don't have to be shared with a county, as is the case with most cities

Truthfully, I did not know there was such a thing as an 'independent city' but reading up on the subject, it seems there are many  -  38 in Virginia alone plus Carson City, Baltimore and St Louis in the United States, not to mention dozens in other countries.  The concept seems to work OK elsewhere, what's so different about St Louis that makes it a burden there and not elsewhere?

Many large cities are dying  -  Due to many thousands of automotive jobs eliminated over the years, Detroit has exactly what you describe, with inner city housing sitting vacant and looted, burned and being torn down, eliminating lots of tax base.  What's different about St Louis and how are more CNG vehicles going to help the situation?  I would think more EV's would help even more, if reducing smog will somehow increase the tax base


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The City of St. Louis has been lobbying to join St. Louis County.  St. Louis County does not want the City of St Louis because of the added expense.  There is City/County cooperation regarding the St. Louis Zoo and the Art Museum with respect to revenue sharing.  The question of the viability of the City of St. Louis is openly debated.  A study done several years back indicated that St. Louis could not survive in the long run because of ageing infrastructure, primarily sewers and roads.  Currently there is new building using the old infrastructure.  That seems backwards in the long run.  The schools have failed there and were on provisional status for years.  Recently they have improved.  Crime is rampant with shootings on the rise.  The police chief told the people that he could not protect them with the force he has.  The State legislature refused to generate more money for additional police officers.  Missouri is an agricultural State and the legislature is agriculturally oriented.  Many have questioned the use of tax funds to build a new ballpark for the Cardinals which they did.  The same was true for the football stadium a few years back, it too was funded, and now the Rams are gone because of inadequate revenues.  A new tax funded soccer stadium was recently defeated even though St. Louis is a legendary soccer town.  The north side of the city has seen property values drop consistently. Crime there is out of control.  There are a few pockets on the south side that are rising in value.  When the Chevrolet plant moved out of the City to an exurb, the city suffered.  The Ford and Chrysler plants also moved out of the area leaving a dent in revenues.  When the fighter jets built here were moved to Houston Texas under President Bush, McDonnell Douglas became Boeing but the fighter business was gone.  Granite City Steel laid off large numbers of people as well.  Many city business owners, bars and restaurants and other entertainment venues are complaining about the lack of revenues.  They blame the revenue drop on the ascent of serious crimes, robbery and shootings. Small businesses are closing their doors or leaving the city as well.  So when I said that the Ford TC CNG's were being used here were a good thing, I meant in lieu of all the bad news.  It's a small bright spot but any bright spot is good for a city in decline. 

With respect to independent cities, I have always heard via media that there were only two cities that were independent and St. Louis was one of them.  Perhaps they meant two major cities.  I grew up there but no longer live there, I live in an adjacent county but consider myself a St. Louisan.  St. Louis has many fine institutions, buildings, parks and organizations working for it.  It is a budding tech center and the broader area leads in biotech.  Passenger planes are still built here.  Fighter trainers may be built here if St. Louis wins the contract.  The city does have a metro link rail system but the crime keeps the ridership limited.  A recently elected new mayor may help.  It's interesting to watch Beta Don.  I was building in the City but moved my business out because of the corruption regarding pay offs to move plan approvals and construction along.  I didn't mind playing hard ball but didn't want to play dirty ball.  So St. Louis' survival is an open question and there are very serious areas of decline.  Given the makeup of the State legislature it's unlikely the city can look to the state for help.  It plays out every night on the evening news.  The St. Louis Hockey Blues are now looking for a new stadium as well.  Kansas City has one available and empty, so who knows.  It's an adventure....LOL.  :banghead:

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