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Chicago Launches $1 Million Alternative Fuel Taxi Program

The City’s Drive Clean Chicago program announced plans to deploy as many as 120 clean vehicles on Chicago’s streets through the new Drive Clean Taxi program. Drive Clean Chicago, an arm of the Chicago Department of Transportation (CDOT), is partnering with CALSTART, a non-profit organization dedicated to accelerating the growth of clean transportation alternatives.

The Drive Clean Taxi program is now accepting applications from vendors who want to participate in the program made possible through a federal clean air grant. Later this year, vendors will offer discounts of up to $10,000 towards each CNG or electric vehicle supplied to taxi, livery or other public passenger fleets. Drive Clean Chicago previously launched the Drive Clean Truck program in 2014.

Drive Clean Taxi is open to taxi cab owners and other public passenger vehicle fleets in good standing with the City’s Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection (BACP).

Unlike grant or rebate programs, the City’s innovative Drive Clean Taxi voucher program will enable taxi and other public passenger vehicle fleets to purchase or lease cleaner vehicles at a reduced cost at the point of sale. Drive Clean Chicago is funded through the federal Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality Improvement (CMAQ) Program. Vouchers will cover 80 percent, up to $10,000, of the incremental or conversion costs of CNG and electric vehicles serving in taxi and public passenger vehicle fleets.

Vouchers will be available on a first-come, first-served basis once the City of Chicago and CALSTART have approved a list of eligible vehicles and vendors, which is expected by this summer. Interested vehicle manufacturers, dealerships and conversion system providers are invited to visit Drive Clean Chicago’s website at www.DriveCleanChicago.com for more information on how to participate.