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Tagged : mass-transit


The gas price blame game won’t ease pain at the pump

April 4th, 2012

Every year when gas prices rise, politicians and pundits like to play the blame game. On Fox & Friends, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal blamed the Obama administration’s “radical environmental ideology” for high gas prices.


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Illinois passenger rail from Chicago to Quad Cities ready to go

September 16th, 2011

Across the country, Americans are finding ways to build a greener future and create immediate employment for workers who desperately need good jobs.

One such project, ready to move from the drawing board to execution is the Chicago-Quad Cities-Iowa City passenger rail line, slated to be funded with $230 million in federal grant money

What High Speed Midwest Rail could look like, if states join regional plans that have won federal funding (red) and complete other routes (blue).


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15 American metro areas with transportation bragging rights

February 23rd, 2011

New York City, the nation’s best networked metro area, provides the full course of transportation options. Here you can easily hop a plane, train, bus or taxi. You can live car-free (if you don’t count that taxi) and conduct a low-carbon commute, or even reside a walk away from where you work. You can fly in, you can fly out. You can commute to Boston, if you’re dedicated.

Lincoln residents enjoy an accessible bus service.

So it’s little surprise that NYC — where households average just 9,920 miles of car travel in a year — tops a new list of 15 cities that are providing residents with greener transportation systems.

The list, the result of a study the Natural Resources Defense Council’s Smart Cities project and the Center for Neighborhood Technology, was released today.


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10 ways that Super Bowl XLV will be green…and not green

January 28th, 2011

Super Bowl XLV, being played in the nearly new ginormous 80,000-seat Cowboys Stadium, which expands to a capacity of 110,000 counting standing-room spots, will be the biggest ever in terms of on-site audience.

This mega event — counting the Feb. 6 game and official hotel and related activities — will suck up enough energy to power 1,500 homes for a year, according to Just Energy.

The Toronto-based energy retailer is helping the National Football League buy green power to offset the energy that will be expended on all the hoopla and bright lights.

The NFL, which has a long history of making Super Bowls successively greener, bought offsets for last year’s match up, too. But this year’s offset purchase has grown to cover the expanding size of the event and more venues for a longer period of time, making this not just the Uber-of-All Super Bowls in terms of on-site audience, but “the greenest ever” as well, according to Just Energy.


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Obama’s green State of the Union address

January 26th, 2011

Climate action is so far off the agenda in Washington it may as well be floating on an island of melting sea ice. With dozens of lawmakers expressing doubts about whether climate change is real or is some zany idea cooked up by 10,000 scientists, issues like cap-and-trade have been iced. Even environmentalists now speak about amorphous “pollution” instead of those off-putting greenhouse gases.

Thankfully, though, clean energy, electric cars and high-speed rail – the nuts-and-bolts improvements that could help America build muscle in manufacturing and technology sectors, salvage its remaining natural spaces and reduce “pollution” (wink, wink) — remain firmly on the table.

At least that’s where the president has placed them.

In what may have been his most pointedly green national speech, President Barak Obama called out ambitious, explicit green energy goals in last night’s State of the Union Address. Obama wants a transformed America to be:

  • The first nation to put 1 million electric cars on the ground


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Playing chicken with high speed trains in Wisconsin

November 8th, 2010

Last week, Ohio and Wisconsin both elected new governors who campaigned to clamp down on federal spending, including ending high speed rail projects being queued up with stimulus money in their states.

Almost immediately the pro- and anti-train forces chugged into action. In Wisconsin sitting Gov. Jim Doyle, a big supporter of high speed rail, called a temporary halt to the project, throwing into question 400 construction jobs and the promise of perhaps ten times as many later on.

Across the Great Lakes, in New York, Gov.-elect Andrew Cuomo reacted by quickly raising his hand for the $823 million in federal train funds that could become available if Wisconsin spurns the project.


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Lester Brown: Reclaiming the Streets

May 20th, 2010

strong>By Lester R. Brown

Lester Brown

Lester Brown founded the Earth Policy Institute and Worldwatch Institute

Cars promise mobility, and in a largely rural setting they provide it. But in an urbanizing world, where more than half of us live in cities, there is an inherent conflict between the automobile and the city. After a point, as their numbers multiply, automobiles provide not mobility but immobility, as well as increased air pollution and the health problems that come with it. Urban transport systems based on a combination of rail lines, bus lines, bicycle pathways, and pedestrian walkways offer the best of all possible worlds in providing mobility, low-cost transportation, and a healthy urban environment.


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Illinois creates Midwest High Speed Rail Commission

May 7th, 2010

From Green Right Now Reports

The Illinois Senate today voted unanimously to create the Illinois and Midwest High Speed Rail Commission to help guide the development of high speed trains in Illinois and neighboring states. The vote by this one body is sufficient to create the commission, which will recommend the best government-private structure for designing, building, financing, operating and maintaining a high speed rail system.

The new passenger rail, which is being seeded by stimulus money, is expected to first connect Chicago with St. Louis, with trains that could go up to 220 miles per hour. At that speed, the travel time between the two cities would be just under two hours, making train travel a much more competitive option.


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U.S. car fever waning after a century of growth

February 22nd, 2010

(This article, originally entitled U.S. Car Fleet Shrank by Four Million in 2009 – After a Century of Growth, U.S. Fleet Entering Era of Decline ran on the Earth Policy Institute website in January. Its author, Lester R. Brown is president of the EPI and author of Plan B 4.0: Mobilizing to Save Civilization.)

By Lester R. Brown

America’s century-old love affair with the automobile may be coming to an end. The U.S. fleet has apparently peaked and started to decline. In 2009, the 14 million cars scrapped exceeded the 10 million new cars sold, shrinking the U.S. fleet by 4 million, or nearly 2 percent in one year. While this is widely associated with the recession, it is in fact caused by several converging forces.

Future U.S. fleet size will be determined by the relationship between two trends: new car sales and cars scrapped. Cars scrapped exceeded new car sales in 2009 for the first time since World War II, shrinking the U.S. vehicle fleet from the all-time high of 250 million to 246 million. It now appears that this new trend of scrappage exceeding sales could continue through at least 2020. (See data.)


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Recession fuels frugal green behaviors, according to Harris Poll

February 16th, 2010

Green Right Now Reports

A new Harris Poll finds that Americans are still acting cautiously when it comes to weathering the sour economy.

And some of the money-saving steps they are taking qualify as green behaviors, though whether or not this has been intentional was not addressed in the poll of 2,576 adults surveyed online between January 18 and 25, 2010 by Harris Interactive.

The poll found, for instance, that:

  • 34 percent of Americans polled said they had switched to using refillable water bottles instead of purchasing pre-bottled water.
  • 22 percent said they had cut down on dry cleaning
  • 14 percent said they had begun carpooling or using mass transit


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Beyond green buildings: Sustainable communities

February 15th, 2010

By Barbara Kessler
Green Right Now

If you had the money and connections, you could build a snappy green house these days. Sink a geothermal heat pump to tap Mother Earth’s energy, slap up some solar panels, finish it out with non-toxic drywall, cork floors, denim insulation, recycled glass countertops and floors made from sunken ship decking.

Green house (Image: Axepin/dreamstime.com)

Green house (Image: Axepin/dreamstime.com)

But does a green house a green home make? The answer to that is….of course not. Green builders, and those who live in green houses, soon bump up against what some land planners have known all along: It takes a village to bring green to its fullest expression.


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More Americans riding public transit

March 10th, 2009

By Barbara Kessler
Green Right Now

While the vast majority of Americans are car bound, rising numbers are getting on board with public transit, commuter and light rail, trolleys and buses.

Those riding the rails and buses took 10.7 billion trips on public transportation in 2008, a 4 percent increase over the number of trips taken in 2007, according to a ridership report by the American Public Transportation Association.

During the same period, the number of vehicle miles traveled on roadways declined by 3.6 percent, the group reported, citing the U.S. Department of Transportation.


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