Sunday, March 15, 2009

Incentivizing Clean Energy Consumption

I was reading Jim's post on public utilities providing a push to build more solar.
What a great idea: incentivize ( I hate the 'word,' but it's descriptive) consumers to install wind and solar power equipment by paying them a premium for the power generated.
It got me to thinking, what if the FTA incentivized cleaner transit such as trolley buses making the replacement cost to transit agencies lower if they or the utility build the infrastructure. It seems to me that allowing transit agencies just to replace with diesel buses because they are a bit cheaper is looking only at the short term benefits instead of the long term. Anyways, just thoughts.

5 comments:

James said...

Connecticut has a program where the state will pay the difference between the price of an alternative fuel vehicle and a conventional vehicle for use in municipal fleets. Are you sure the FTA doesn't have something similar? There are agencies like Houston METRO and New York MTA that are only buying hybrid buses, and I would be surprised if it were totally on their own dimes.

jon said...

A poster on Seattle Transit Blog mentioned that in 2005 Skoda offered to pay for overhead in New Orleans if they replaced their Katrina ravaged fleet with ETBs. Unfortunately NORTA never took them up on the offer...

http://www.urbanconservancy.org/letters/skoda-letter-to-rta

I think if any city reintroduces ETBs it will be Portland... lots of hydro power, reintroduced the classic streetcar for non-tourists, eco-conscious, innovative with transit, etc. I am a huge streetcar advocate but in my opinion ETBs make more sense as a mode than streetcars for Portland's proposed citywide streetcar plan.

Pantograph Trolleypole said...

Wonder who that poster was :)

http://seattletransitblog.com/2009/03/02/crosscut-trolleybuses-not-streetcars/

jon said...

wow, i feel like a doofus

and i always make note of posts by names i recognize and especially with a memorable post like that.

i'm very sorry.

correction...
Pantograph Trolleypole mentioned that in 2005 Skoda offered to pay for overhead in New Orleans if they replaced their Katrina ravaged fleet with ETBs. Unfortunately NORTA never took them up on the offer...



thats an interest offer made by skoda, its too bad their offer didnt stand for other cities. my guess in NO had so much on their plate after katrina especially with loss of ridership, getting some bus service back up asap, and restoring streetcar service that it was just easier to stick with more diesel buses than plan a huge new fixed guideway network in a city that had just experienced radical changes to its built form over the course of several days.

Pantograph Trolleypole said...

It seems to me that they probably didn't know how they would get money to pay for the new buses. But they really should have taken them up on it. It would have taken a while to get the electric infrastructure up and would have provided some great jobs for folks. Alas it didn't work. It would be interesting if Skoda tried to do this with another city.