A couple of days back, a Friend of Unfair Park asked, via e-mail: "Have you noticed the number of cabs in Dallas recently? We drove home last night from Cole and Armstrong to the Lakewood area and counted 20 cabs. It looked like NYC. Super Bowl-related influx?" Not sure about that. But Chris Heinbaugh, Mayor Tom's chief of staff, says in The Wall Street Journal this morning that Dallas has "an excess capacity" of drivers, which is why he and City Hall aren't concerned one bit about some cabbies' call for a boycott of the Super Bowl -- which they threatened back in September, after the city voted to allow compressed natural gas-powered taxis hop to the front of the line at Love Field.
Of course, the cabbies also stayed home New Year's Eve. Which didn't seem to bother too many folks. There are some other items of note in the WSJ piece. Let's skip ahead:
The natural-gas program was created to help Dallas meet federal air-quality standards it had violated for years and displace foreign oil at the same time, all without the city spending a dime, Mr. Leppert said in a recent interview. "It is almost a renewable source of energy," he said of the nation's abundant supply of natural gas, some of it trapped right under the Dallas metropolitan area.
Mr. Leppert admits that the 87 natural-gas cabs registered so far -- out of the 1,840 taxis permitted by the city and the 1.9 million vehicles registered in Dallas County -- won't make much of a difference at first. But he hopes to start a trend.
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