Metro Taxi of Delray unveils first hybrid vehicle in reaction to high gas prices

BOCA RATON, Fla. - Every pizza delivered should mean that Joseph Violette makes more money. But gas has gone up fifty cents a gallon in about the last two months.

Violette - a delivery driver for Dean Anthony's Pizza in Boca - is spending thirty bucks a day in gas.

"Half the time I'm just making the money on my delivery just to put gas back in my car," said Violette. "Especially if no one gives you a tip, you drove out there for nothing.

But there's a dark knight for people who depend on gas.

"Hybrids get about 45 miles to the gallon, versus our other vehicles which get about fifteen," said Brock Rosayn, the owner of Metro Taxi of Delray Beach.

He spent $23,000 this Jan. to put on the road Palm Beach County's first hybrid taxi.

It's about four times more than he normally spends for a new vehicle.

But he says he had to do something to stop drivers from quitting because they couldn't afford to pay for gas.

"We've lost at least two to three drivers, saying that the fuel impacted them so much that they were having a hard time making a living," said Rosayn.

Unfortunately, gas feels like it's going up so fast that a new hybrid here and there won't help all their drivers make a living.

More immediate moves may have to be made - that could affect you.

"Today is the first day it hit $4 (a gallon). We're really going to have to think in the near future about having to put a fuel surcharge on so our drivers can feed their families, it's important, " said Rosayn.

The county says that Metro Taxi hybrid is the only one out of 638 taxis countywide that is a hybrid.

The county also says another cab company told them today they're seriously considering buying a bunch of them to replace their aging gas guzzlers.

Violette says he has no plans yet to get a hybrid to make his deliveries.

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