In August 2011, the Chicago Department of Aviation
(CDA) launched a Green Taxi Pilot Program that provides compressed
natural gas (CNG) taxi cabs with preferential access to terminals at
O'Hare and Midway International Airports, encouraging the use of CNG
taxi cabs instead of traditionally-fueled vehicles.
The CDA's program allows CNG taxis to use the "short trip" lanes that
are typically used for wheelchair-accessible vehicles, reducing wait
times for CNG taxis to pick up fares. The CDA's program complements the
City of Chicago's Green Taxi Incremental Cost Allowance Program ("Green Taxi Program") launched in April 2011 by the Department of Business Affairs and Consumer Protection (BACP).
to the BACP's leadership and guidance, the CDA's pilot program has been
a tremendous success. Each month, the number of trips in CNG cabs has
increased. The CNG taxis have
traditional car engines that have been converted to run 100 percent on
CNG, which is a cleaner fuel than traditional gasoline.
The CDA's program supports the City's goal to achieve the greenhouse gas emissions reduction goals outlined in the Chicago Climate Action Plan.
Purchasing CNG instead of gasoline or diesel fuel also reduces
dependence on foreign oil, generally costs around 15 percent less, has a
more stable price, requires fewer oil changes, and is less toxic.
The CDA has also followed the BACP's initiative to educate taxi
drivers about "EcoDriving" practices to reduce emissions and save
drivers up to $2,200 per year in fuel costs. EcoDriving signs and
brochures are posted around the airport to provide insight on idling,
weight, air conditioning use, cruise control, proper tire inflation and
To be eligible for short trip lane access, CNG cabs need to display the official City of Chicago "Green Taxi Chicago Compressed Natural Gas Vehicle" sticker, which can be obtained at the Public Vehicle Inspection Facility at 2420 West Pershing Road.
Questions about the program can be sent to BACPPV@cityofchicago.org or by calling the Public Vehicle Operations Division at (312) 746-4300.