NEW YORK – Solar cabs die during monster snowstorm!
New York’s TLC Commissioner David Yassky’s much heralded launch of solar cabs earlier this week met with an end as fiery as the sun meant to fuel the planned fleet.
The eco-friendly cab, piloted by its owner Vinay Roy, erupted into flames shortly after the morning snowy rush hour. No one was hurt in the incident, including a Manhattan mother and her 15-year old son who were on route to a nearby private high school.
The cause of the fire is still under investigation. Solar cab experts believe the fire was likely triggered as the vehicle’s electric engine was over burdened by the extreme weight of its solar absorption skin and the poor traction of the snow-covered road.
Mr. Roy was selected among 2,500 New York Taxi medallion owners for the honor of driving the world’s first solar cab. His four-minute music video, replete with a five person traditional Hindu band and one Bollywood-style dance routine, netted him the honor and the envy of fellow drivers at his Brooklyn garage.
The TLC’s solar cab program was launched in late March 2010 and marked a bold first phase in Yassky’s “New Deal” for NYC transport. After 10 months of development, on 1/1/11 – a date revered for its unique binary uniformity
– the first solar was put into service. But for a few overcast days when the solar system became depleted, “the cab has driven like an angel sent from the heavens,” commented Mr. Roy.
In response to his good fortune and the absence of any fuel costs, Mr. Roy has steadfastly refused all gratuities from his passengers, and generally takes the most direct routes to his passengers destinations.
But Mr. Roy’s 15 minutes of fame came crashing down as his beloved cab, means of livelihood and dreams for a future of clean air in his native country, went up in flames. Adding insult to injury, his passengers refused to pay the fare as Mr. Roy was neither able to verify the fare amount nor provide a valid receipt. While trying valiantly to access the burning console and
taxi meter to secure a receipt, a vile of cinnamon air freshener exploded violently on the dashboard. The sound and barrage of flying brown clear plastic sent Mr. Roy’s passengers on hasty retreat down nearby side street.
They have not been identified.
Though the initial results from the solar cab trail have been disappointing, Commissioner Yassky is undaunted in his quest for a city full of solar cabs.
“I’ve learned from my career in politics, that you can’t let a minor setback hold you back from your dreams.” To honor Mr. Yassky’s passion, the New York City Council is considering a bill to enshrine the burnt cab in a curtain of glass, right where it rests in the middle of Flatbush avenue.”
Speaker Christine Quinn, commented, what better message can we send to the world than to turn that lemon cab into a monument to lemonade?!”
Meanwhile, Mr. Roy has had to pick up the pieces of his life and seek employment as a Pedi-cab driver in midtown. “I’d prefer to let the sun do the work, but all I’ve got now are my legs – so I will start there.”