(October 15, 2004 – Bronx, NY) News 12 The Bronx is the first local television news organization in the country to swap out its entire active crew car fleet with environmentally friendly, hybrid gas/electric powered vehicles. Starting this month, News 12 the Bronx reporters are using the Toyota, Prius for the station's daily newsgathering operation. The Prius offers unparalleled fuel economy and creates substantially less air pollution than gas powered cars.
According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Trends Report, the 2004 Toyota hybrid vehicles achieve the best average car fuel economy, capable of delivering an impressive 60 miles per gallon in city driving.
News 12 the Bronx made the decision to replace its entire active fleet of news cars with the hybrid vehicles due to environmental concerns regarding the borough. The Bronx is greatly affected by air pollution, and a recent study conducted by the New York City Health Department indicated that the Bronx has among the highest percentile of asthma rates in the country.
"News 12 the Bronx is a news organization committed to serving our borough and covering environmental issues in the Bronx", said Camilo Pombo-Sàenz, News 12 the Bronx News Director. "Through our reporting, we are all too aware of the air pollution problem and the staggering asthma rates in our borough. We decided to do our part to make a difference by choosing vehicles that were the least-polluting models available, which we found in this terrifically efficient hybrid vehicle."
"Let me say, congratulations to Cablevision and News 12 The Bronx for doing this", said Bronx Borough President, Adolfo Carrión, Jr. "It's important to lead by example, and this station provides an important and essential service to our borough. These hybrid vehicles can reduce emissions in a borough that has such a high asthma rate. That's an excellent idea!"
"We commend News 12 for taking the lead by moving to a much cleaner vehicle", said Bob Muldoon, Associate Regional Representative of the Sierra Club. "The Toyota Prius is a full hybrid car that combines a gas and electric engine to achieve dramatic fuel efficiency. The result is a car that has very low emissions, saves money at the pump and makes us less dependent on foreign oil. Lowering emissions is critical for the Bronx, which has high levels of air pollution and high asthma rates, especially among children. News 12 is making a good choice for people in the Bronx and a cost-effective decision in managing its fleet."
News 12 the Bronx received the Toyota Prius cars the week of October 11th, 2004 and rolled them out completely the week of October 20th, 2004.
News 12 the Bronx is part of News 12 Networks, the country's first, largest, and most watched 24-hour local television news network. The Network is made up of 5 individual local news channels serving the areas of Long Island, New Jersey, Southwestern Connecticut, Westchester County, and the Bronx. News 12 Networks is a cable exclusive service, reaching approximately 3.3 million households in the New York market. News 12 Networks is owned and operated by Cablevision Systems Corporation. Cablevision is one of the nation's leading entertainment and telecommunications companies. Its cable television operations serve 3 million households located in the New York metropolitan area. Cablevision owns a controlling interest and operates Madison Square Garden and its sports teams including the Knicks and Rangers. The company also operates New York's famed Radio City Music Hall and owns and operates Clearview Cinemas in the New York metropolitan area.