BALTIMORE – Baltimore’s first propane autogas taxi fleet was launched May 11 at a special ceremony at the Mid-Atlantic headquarters of Veolia Transportation, the largest private provider of multiple modes of transportation in North America.

Veolia Transportation is Baltimore City’s largest operator of taxicab services, operating under the names Yellow, Checker, and Sun Cabs in Baltimore City, and Jimmy’s Cab in Baltimore County. The company currently serves approximately 5 million people annually with a fleet of nearly 700 vehicles and is converting 300 of its taxis nationwide from gasoline to propane autogas. Veolia has also installed an autogas fueling station in Baltimore to serve 50 Checker and Yellow taxis.

“With the price of propane autogas averaging $1 per gallon less than gasoline, vehicle conversions and fueling infrastructure are particularly cost-effective for fleets such as ours at Veolia,” said Mark Joseph, CEO and vice chairman of Veolia Transportation.

Veolia Transportation’s propane autogas vehicle conversions are being completed under the Southeast Propane Autogas Development Program (SPADP). Under the public-private partnership, Program fleets are converting more than 1,200 autogas vehicles and implementing more than 30 autogas fueling stations throughout the southeastern U.S., Pittsburgh and Denver.

“We’re excited to help these fleets shift to an environmentally friendly, affordable fuel like propane autogas,” said Alleyn Harned of Virginia Clean Cities, the lead Program administrator. “As these vehicle conversions are completed, we will be educating local communities about the benefits of this domestic fuel. Clean and cost-effective for fleets, propane autogas reduces greenhouse gas emissions and our dependence on imported oil.”

In addition to the 50 Checker Yellow taxis in Baltimore by the end of 2012, Veolia Transportation will convert more than 250 of the taxis it operates in Pittsburgh, Jacksonville and Denver to run on propane autogas.

Veolia Transdev currently operates in 28 countries and provides 2.63 billion passenger trips per year. In the U.S. and Canada alone, Veolia Transportation operates service in 200 contracts with 18,000 employees. The company manages multiple modes of public transportation, including bus, rail, paratransit, taxi and shuttle services, in both urban and regional areas.

Veolia Transportation is the North American business unit of Veolia Transdev, a global passenger transportation services provider.

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