Report shows public transit use saves time, fuel and cuts congestion costs

Haste makes waste and gridlock does the same. But gridlock is worse: it also causes delays. Out is a new report called the 2012 Urban Mobility Report, published by the Texas A&M Transportation Institute or TTI. In a press release, the TTI writes: “Rankings of the nation’s most congested cities vary slightly from year to … Read more

Study looks at ozone in the western U.S. sourced from overseas

From information provided by the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory in a news release, I learned that “Floating in the air and invisible to the eye, airborne particles known as secondary organic aerosols live and die. Born from carbon-based molecules given off by trees, vegetation, and fossil fuel burning, these airborne SOA particles travel the currents and … Read more

Court upholds California big rig and bus rule: Cleaner air forthcoming

The Public Policy Institute of California in its report: “Planning for a Better Future: California 2025: 2010 Update (Transportation),” revealed based on California Environmental Protection Agency Air Resources Board data, in California in 1975, and within the transportation sector, smog-forming emissions generated via passenger vehicles accounted for a full 70 percent with the remainder being released from heavy duty … Read more

eMission control – Focus: Seaways

Based on my reading of “California ships required to use cleaner fuel benefits public health,” written by Melissa Lin Perrella with the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), it is my understanding a federal district court on Nov. 16, 2012 agreed to reject a lawsuit having to do with the Pacific Merchant Shipping Association’s (PMSA) challenge of a California regulation that requires … Read more

In over our heads in polluted San Joaquin Valley air – nothing complicated about it

This is not complicated. California’s 27,000-square-mile San Joaquin Valley, which is better than 250 miles long by approximately 80 miles wide, is a hotbed of air pollution activity. That air here is frequently polluted is troubling. It is also unhealthful. Coming from a variety of sources – mobile and stationary alike, it’s both all-enveloping and persistent, … Read more

The renewables challenge: Fifty percent reliance by 2050?

PBS’ America Revealed series presenter Yul Kwon, in 2012 remarking on Thomas Edison in “ELECTRIC NATION,” in no uncertain terms, said: “In 1931, Thomas Edison confided to his friend Henry Ford. ‘We are like tenant farmers, chopping down the fence around our house for fuel, when we should be using nature’s inexhaustible sources of energy: … Read more

With renewables, what’s not to like?

Estimates are America has nearly 250 million vehicles, the bulk of which are fossil-fuel-driven. That’s a lot of cars, buses, motorcycles, trucks, etc. To keep not only these vehicles on the go, but the bevy of stationary internal-combustion-engine-powered motorized machines, too, takes fuel – and lots of it. While it’s no surprise the fuel available for … Read more

CATS: Diesel-electric versus pure electric train operations – pros and cons

Number 10 in the Clean Air Technologies Series. When it comes to powering a locomotive, electricity wins hands down, or does it? Before going any farther, a brief review of 20th century U.S. transportation history is in order. I was born in the age of the diesel loco. Steam as locomotive propulsion power, although reaching a zenith right around … Read more

Pain at the pump: Top off that tank, kiss gas (and money) goodbye

In America a half-century ago, transportation ate up approximately 10 percent of household income. Those days and times are gone for good, but, then again … At any rate, according to renowned architect, a founding member of Congress for the New Urbanism and book author Peter Calthorpe in “The New Transit Town: Best Practices in Transit-Oriented … Read more