Phoenix, AZ (PressExposure) April 20, 2009 -- Discount Cab is celebrating Earth Day by donating one dollar for every cab ride it makes on April 22 to a local environmental cause.The stateâs largest taxi company, Discount Cab officials say they expect to log 6,000 to 8,000 trips on Earth Day.
Each dollar donated from the Earth Day event will go toward a Habitat for Humanity environmental initiative.âItâs our way of helping our customers make a difference on Earth Day,â said Discount Cab CEO Craig Hughes.
Earth Day also marks the one-year anniversary of the companyâs Toyota Prius taxi fleet, which the company introduced in 2008 as a way to reduce its carbon footprint. There are now 80 Toyota Prius taxis on the road, the most in service by any cab company in the United States.
In the year since the introduction of the Prius taxi, Discount Cab has reduced its carbon dioxide emissions by 800 tons while saving 80,000 gallons of gas. The company expects to reduce emissions by 4,000 tons and save at least 400,000 gallons of gas this year.
The hybrid car, which company officials find gets an estimated 50 miles to the gallon on the streets of Phoenix, releases less than 20 pounds of carbon dioxide. By comparison, a traditional cab manages only 15 miles to the gallon and releases 60 pounds of carbon dioxide over the same distance.
Hughes said the overall response to the program has exceeded the companyâs expectations.âWhen we started the program, we knew weâd being helping the environment but we had no idea the way it would resonate with our customers,â he said. âThe feedback has been tremendous. âWeâre constantly fielding calls from people who want to ride in a Prius taxi. We also hear from customers who say they chose us simply because weâre making a commitment to the environment.â
Now in its 25th year, Discount Cabâs commitment to the environment goes beyond its line of Prius taxis though. Its Glendale headquarters was built to be energy efficient and sensitive to the environment. The company also subsidizes the cost of bus passes for its employees.
The Earth Day charitable contribution is also part of a larger vision of community involvement. The company estimates that through its âFree Ride Backâ program, which helps remove inebriated drivers from the road, that it has donated more than $100,000 in free cab rides. âWeâre committed these programs because we feel an obligation to give back to our community,â Hughes said. âItâs the right thing to do.â