Lately, Cheapflights has been chronicling the tale of green taxicabs from coast to coast, how airport authorities are encouraging the use of hybrids, electrics, and natural gas powered vehicle to cut CO2. From that front, this news from Chicago O’Hare International, this country’s second-busiest airport. The Chicago Department of Aviation is encouraging cab companies to employ compresses natural gas (CNG) to power their taxis. In a pilot program that began in August, 29 cabs have done precisely that. They’ve made some 3,100 trips to ORD. Estimates are converting to CNG can save about $2,200 per year in fuel costs. Before they can do that, however, taxis have to be refitted to run on CNG – and that costs between $9,000 and $14,000. Chicago’s Green Taxi Program can reimburse operators to make the changeover.
Meanwhile, down in the heart of Texas, Austin-Bergstrom International has opened a taxi waiting area. From there, cabbies can wait for their turn to pick up passengers at the terminal. It’s more comfortable for the drivers, and more efficient for fliers.
Speaking of efficiency, Cleveland Hopkins International has reopened an expanded Security Checkpoint A, and they did it just in time for the Thanksgiving rush. The move means the A checkpoint can now handle more than 360 passengers per hour – more than double the capacity of the previous set up.
With a trio of entry portals Checkpoint A’s added capacity will be especially welcome from 5 a.m. to 7 a.m., and from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m., the airport’s busiest periods. Concourse A primarily serves American Eagle, US Airways, USA3000 and international flights.
What’s the most glaring need at your local airport, the one that needs fixing fastest? Tell us.
Story by Jerry Chandler
(Image: Robert S. Donovan)Jerry Chandler