City’s Lengthy Push for Hybrid-Engine Taxicabs Hits a Legal Dead End
By MICHAEL M. GRYNBAUM
The Bloomberg administration has banned cars from parts of Broadway, prohibited smoking in public parks and cracked down on fats and salts in restaurants. But City Hall’s march toward better living, whether its citizens want it or not, may have finally met a yellow-hued Waterloo.
The United States Supreme Court on Monday declined to consider an appeal by the city on its longstanding effort to mandate fuel emissions standards in New York City’s taxicabs, using up the legal options for a policy that had twice been struck down by lower courts.
The city’s plan, which would have penalized taxi owners who did not use hybrid cars, had been rejected by lower-court judges as a de facto regulation of emissions standards — a power that, under existing laws, belongs to the federal government. A group of taxi owners brought the original suit against the plan in 2008.