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Clean Transportation Link Drop

Some of the best or biggest clean transportation news from the past week (other than what we covered):

Road Trains

This is actually an idea my dad had a few years ago. I figured at that time someone was probably working on it, but had never heard of such a plan.

‘Road trains’ can improve fuel efficiency—and driver downtime—by turning cars into conga lines

It’s 2011, where’s your self-driving car? With “road train” technology, now in development by Volvo, it could be the car you already own. Road trains, or platoons, create semi-autonomous conga lines of cars following one leader vehicle with a professional driver. Volvo’s calling the project SARTRE — Safe Road Trains for the Environment. (You can exit, though — cars can leave the train at any time.) But what are the real environmental effects?…

Public Transit

Public transit saves us money, whether we ride it or not… but more savings to those who ride it.

Rising Gas Prices Allow Public Transit Riders to Ring in the New Year with an Average Savings of $805 This Month and $9,656 Annually

Washington, DC- 2011 begins with rising gas prices and predictions they will go even higher as we move further into the new year. These predictions coupled with the release of The American Public Transportation Association’s (APTA) monthly “Transit Savings Report” highlight the increasing benefits of switching from driving to riding public transportation. The report notes that riding public transportation saves individuals, on average $9,656 annually, and up to $805 per month based on the January 5, 2011 average national gas price ($3.08 per gallon-reported by AAA) and the national unreserved monthly parking rate….

Public Transportation Relieves Traffic Congestion

The Texas Transportation Institute (TTI) today released its highly regarded congestion report, 2010 Urban Mobility Report, which looked at road congestion in 439 United States urban areas. As in past years, the data overwhelmingly shows the importance of public transportation in relieving congestion. In fact, the report’s improved methodology indicates that public transportation has an even greater role in reducing congestion than previously thought.

The 2010 Urban Mobility Report makes clear that without public transportation services, travelers would have suffered an additional 785 million hours of delay and consumed 640 million more gallons of fuel. Had there been no public transportation service available in the 439 urban areas studied, congestion costs for 2009 would have risen by nearly $19 billion from $115 to $134 billion. (See the table below for the top 36 urban areas.)…

High-Speed Rail & Intercity Bus Lines

Some in-depth articles on why high-speed rail is good as well as other news.

VISION: Can a New High-Speed Rail System Save the American Dream?

Crippled by economic depression and environmental catastrophe, the American dream is dead in the water. And with peak oil hot on its hyperconsuming heels, America is looking for solutions, and it may have found a good one in the form of an ambitious national high-speed rail network that would connect its metropoles and mid-size cities together in green solidarity. Better late than never….

California’s high-speed rail project is on the right track

The Jan. 12 editorial “Hit the brakes,” criticizing California’s high-speed rail plan, was shortsighted and parochial. If President Dwight D. Eisenhower had waited until he had all the cash on hand, all the lines drawn on a map and all the naysayers on board, America wouldn’t have an interstate highway system. We stand at a similar crossroads today when it comes to high-speed rail….

Hating on the California High-Speed Rail Haters

California has secured billions in federal funding for its statewide network of high-speed rail corridors. Late last year it scooped up an extra $624 million from the unwanted rail projects in Ohio and Wisconsin. By next year construction will begin on the first segment, a 65-mile stretch running from Madera to Bakersfield through Fresno. So everything is golden in the golden state, right?

Not if you live in Burlingame, where officials are furious that current plans call for the rail to ride above ground, rather than through tunnels. And not if you live in Corcoran, either, where the New York Times reports the same fear holds true, according to city manager Ronald W. Hoggard:…

Turkey to build nearly 100 high-speed train stations

Nearly 100 high-speed train stations will be built across Turkey for accommodation of high-speed trains.

The train stations will be presented to auction with build-operate-transfer model….

America’s Fastest Growing Form of Transit: The Intercity Bus

For the third year in a row, “intercity bus service was the fastest growing mode of intercity transportation, outpacing air and rail transportation,” says a report released by DePaul University, called “The Intercity Bus: America’s Fastest Growing Transportation Mode,” by Joseph P. Schwieterman and Lauren Fischer….

Clean Cars

D.C. Area Boasts Residential Electric Car Charging Station

A new development, owned by Equity Residential, in the Mount Vernon Triangle neighborhood of Washington, D.C. will now have an electric car charging station in its garage.  Launched in conjunction with Car Charging Inc. the location appears to be “the first such charging station in a residential building parking garage in the area,” says District blogger Richard Layman of Rebuilding Place In The Urban Space. The location is 425 Massachusetts Ave. in Northwest Washington….

Grants driving customers towards electric cars

Survey finds 53 per cent of motorists considering electric or hybrid car as next purchase….

Report: China working on plan to install 10 million charging stations by 2020

Recently, a slew of reports have surfaced suggesting that many of China’s automakers are scaling back development of alternative energy vehicles. Specifically, reports indicate that weak consumer interest is forcing Chinese automakers to ditch plans to manufacture electric vehicles. With that in mind, it’s surprising, at least to some degree, to stumble upon news indicating that China is forging forward with plans to install perhaps millions of plug-in vehicle charging stations within the next decade….

Chrysler battery-less hybrids announced

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) — Chrysler Group is working on a new hybrid minivan that doesn’t use batteries or electric motors to drive it, the automaker announced with the Environmental Protection Agency on Wednesday….

Toyota Developing Electric Motors that Don’t Need Rare Earth Metals

On the surface electric cars seem simple, but the motors and batteries are actually made from rare earth elements subject to supply disruption. But Toyota is working on an electric motor that doesn’t use these rare metals….

Clean Transport City

Not on your list of places to see? Maybe it should be!

2011 Sustainable Transport Award Winner: Guangzhou, China

The city of Guangzhou, China today won the 2011 Sustainable Transport Award for its new world-class bus rapid transit (BRT) system that integrates with bike lanes, bike share and metro stations. The annual award created by the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy goes to a city that made the most progress over the year to increase mobility, while reducing transportation greenhouse and air pollution emissions and improving safety and access for cyclists and pedestrians….

Photo Credit: caribb

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