Archive for the ‘sustainable transportation’ Category

I-GO begins suburban expansion

July 14, 2009

We have officially kicked off our suburban expansion program with the addition of two new cars in Oak Park and Evanston. We also added two new cars in Chicago: one in Streeterville and one in Pilsen. Three of these four cars are brand spankin’ new 2010 Honda Insights. Haven’t seen one yet? Make sure to check it out!

Evanston: 1800 Maple Ave
2010 Red Honda Insight; Car #4427

Are these convenient locations for you? Post below and make your opinion heard!

Stay on the lookout for more I-GO cars in Skokie, Oak Park, and Evanston as we continue the first phase of suburban expansion.

Bike Sharing

April 26, 2009

“The fact is, we already have a zero-emission, efficient, great way to get around and it’s called the bicycle and we just need to start providing for it,”
-Paul Steely White, Executive Director of Transportation Alternatives

You’ve heard of car sharing but have you heard of bike sharing? There are already successful bike sharing programs in Paris, Barcelona, London, Stockholm, Milan, Berlin, Munich, Vienna & Copenhagen- to name just a few. Hopefully it is only a matter of time before bike sharing starts spreading throughout the U.S. as well!

Below you can listen to a very interesting interview on last Friday’s Brian Lehrer Show. Paul Steely White, Executive Director of Transportation Alternatives, discusses the possibility of introducing a bike sharing program in New York City.

Would you utilize a bike sharing service in Chicago? If not, why not? What would need to change in order to get you biking?

Emissions Accomplished?

March 11, 2009

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is currently considering reversing a Bush administration decision which prevented California (along with 13 other states) from enacting stricter air-pollution standards for motor vehicles. This is great news, not only because of the positive environmental effects the stricter rules would bring about, but simply because it might actually happen!

California has been leading the fight to enact these stricter CO2 regulations for years now and has seen little help from the federal government. However, that was under the Bush administration. Things seem to be changing since Obama took office.

On January 21, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger sent a letter to President Obama requesting that he review the EPA’s denial of California’s waiver request, stating, “California and a growing number of farsighted states have sought to enforce a common-sense policy to reduce global-warming pollution from passenger vehicles, which are the source of 20 percent of our nation’s greenhouse gas emissions. Regulation will not only reduce these emissions, but will also save drivers money and reduce our nation’s dependence on foriegn oil… Your administration has a unique opportunity to both support the pioneering leadership of these states and move America toward global leadership on addressing climate change.”

A mere five days after Governor Schwarzenegger sent this letter, President Obama directed federal regulators to review California’s and 13 other states’ request to set automobile emissions and fuel efficency standards. According to the Clean Air Act Section 209 – State Standards, the EPA must grant the waiver unless it finds that California:

-was arbitrary & capricious in its finding that its standards are, in the aggregate, at least as protective of public health and welfare as applicable federal standards;

-does not need such standards to meet compelling and extraordinary conditions; or

-has proposed standards not consistent with Section 202(a) of the Clean Air Act

The 13 other states joining California in this fight are: Arizona, Connecticut, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont and Washington.

Help make this happen – sign the petition urging the EPA to grant the waiver!

Eco-friendly bamboo bikes

March 8, 2009

As car sales continue to fall and gas prices remain above the $2/gallon mark, it seems like more and more people are taking up a common childhood activity – biking. Biking is a great way to get around the city- you don’t have to deal with parking, gas, tickets, insurance, or traffic – AND you get some exercise along the way!

If you’re thinking about buying a bike, check out the bamboo bikes from Calfee Design. Calfee Design claims that their bamboo bikes have the lowest carbon footprint of any bike on the market today. Moreover, Calfee Bamboo bikes have won awards for Best Road Bike, Best Off-Road Bike and Peoples’ Choice Award at the American Handmade Bicycle Show.

High-speed trains: The cure for what rails us?

February 19, 2009

The ginormous economic stimulus package signed, sealed and about to be delivered by President Obama and a grudgingly bipartisan congress dedicates serious greenbacks to science and technology. That includes, of course, alternative energy research and sustainable mass transit. Most of the talk is about cars, given that the Big Three are currently on a life-support system with a near-flatlining EKG.

Something that doesn’t talked about much is high-speed rail. Lack of investment in rail, reports Jamble, an online magazine covering green travel, has left the U.S. decades behind Europe and Japan in modern rail infrastructure. Jamble wonders whether the funds going to improve our rail system will go to mod futuristic projects like the “Texas T-Bone” or a magnetic-levitation train from Las Vegas to Anaheim that claims potential speeds of 300mph (resulting in an 86-minute journey between the cities) or to, more realistically, improving Amtrak.

Americans like their cars, they like to fly, but not many of us bother with Amtrak, which isn’t that much cheaper than flying, a sloth compared to high-speed rail, has a lousy track record in terms of accidents (like the train that recently plowed into a garbage truck outside St. Louis) caused by poor maintenance and human error, and doesn’t boast an extensive enough network of lines and connections to make it a convenient option.

Otherwise known as the National Railroad Passenger Corporation, Amtrak is hardly a source of national pride. Which is a shame, really. It promises lower emissions, further independence from foreign oil, faster travel times than cars offer, business investment and tourism revenue, and a nostalgic way of reconnecting with the American landscape—something we’ve utterly lost in the evolution from horse-and-buggy to 727s and expressways. Toss in the modern equivalent of a Pullman car, the glamour of the old streamliners like the Super Chief, and we’ll book a berth tomorrow.