SAN FRANCISCO – A taxi fleet of 15 hybrid Ford Escape SUVs was introduced at San Francisco's Civic Center Plaza by Mayor Gavin Newsom and a handful of taxi commissioners, as reported by the San Francisco Chronicle.

Alan Gochberg, a cab driver who is leasing one of the hybrids, said that his daily fuel bill for his shift had dropped from nearly $25 to $9. San Francisco has become the first city in the U.S. to create a fleet of hybrid SUV cabs. Five of the cabs belong to Luxor Cab Co. and the other 10 belong to the Yellow Cab Cooperative.

The idea came about due to the fact that many of the taxis are Ford Crown Victorias that require frequent trips to the gas station because of their low gas mileage. San Francisco currently has 1,381 taxis.