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Sustainable Transportation Success Stories

Transit-Oriented Design
Encouraging Alternative Modes of Transportation
Improving Transportation Technologies
Trip Reduction Techniques
Collections of Transportation Success Stories

Transit-oriented Design 

The Crossings is an exemplary transit-oriented project designed by Peter Calthorpe and Associates in Mountain View, California. It converts a shopping mall built in the1960s into a pedestrian-oriented mixed-use development within easy walking distance of the new CalTrain commuter station.

Fruitvale Transit-Oriented Village offers a transit-based development revitalization story of a Hispanic and Asian community along the BART line in Oakland, California. 

Village Homes Sustainable Community is an innovative housing development in Davis, California where there are more bike and pedestrian paths than roads.  

Sustainable Urban Transportation Planning in Curitiba, Brazil serves as an international model of a city that is successfully integrating transport and land-use planning.

Encouraging Alternative Modes of Transportation

Context Sensitive Design is being implemented by the Michigan Department of Transportation on a directive from the state's governor. The project planning process invites public officials and groups to provide input on the process of developing transportation projects for specific locations.

Neighborhood ECO-Pass is a program in Boulder, Colorado that encourages people to use the Denver metro area transit system by offering passes at reduced cost to neighborhoods that agree to participate. 

New Century Transportation, Inc. is a transportation company that specializes in high-speed and high-capacity transportation. The company is planning Phase 1 of a 165 mile long monorail system from downtown Denver, Colorado along interstate highway I-70 to the ski areas west of Denver.

Ride Arrangers Program is a commuter-assistance program of the Denver, Colorado Regional Council of Government that encourages alternative forms of transportation, including car/vanpools, bikepools and schoolpools.

San Diego Trolley in San Diego, California, is one of the most successful public transportation programs using trolleys. This is its homepage, including fares, maps and tourist information.  

Seattle Central Link light-rail Line is a 14-mile line running from the center of the city to near the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. Sound Transit, which serves the three-county region around Puget Sound, expects the rail project to carry 42,500 riders each day by 2020. Sound Transit's first light rail project, a 1.6-mile line in downtown Tacoma, started operating in late August 2003, and was exceeding all expectations for ridership by early September.

Transportation Management Association of San Francisco offers information on car-sharing, ride-sharing, bicycle use, telecommuting, public transit and air quality, as well as alternative commute ideas.

Tri-Met furnishes public transit service for Portland, Oregon, and provides other options for getting around while helping preserve communities. Tri-Met's website provides information on biking, carpooling, and carsharing in Portland. Also in Portland, Community Cycling Center raises awareness among area youth about energy efficiency, ecology and community sustainability through bicycling.  

Improving Transportation Technologies

Alternative-fueled floats were used in the 2003 Mardi Gras celebration in New Orleans. Diesel-fueled floats were offered a chance to use clean-burning biodiesel during the parades. About 1,400 gallons of biodiesel were provided for free by biodiesel marketer Peter Cremer North America, Proctor & Gamble Chemicals, and the Greater New Orleans Clean Cities Coalition.

Countrymark Co-op is offering metered blending of biodiesel at a fuel terminal in Jolietville, Indiana, perhaps marking the first step in a wider acceptance of this fuel among farmers and consumers.

FedEx Express, a subsidiary of FedEx Corporation, unveiled a fuel-efficient hybrid-electric-diesel delivery vehicle in May 2003 that could become a standard delivery truck for the FedEx Express fleet. The FedEx OptiFleet E700 hybrid electric vehicle increases fuel efficiency by 50 percent while decreasing particulate emissions by 90 percent and reducing smog-causing emissions by 75 percent.

UPS has place three fuel-cell-powered delivery trucks in service in California and Michigan. The vehicles are a fuel-cell version of the Dodge Sprinter delivery truck, and have a range of about 155 miles and accelerate as well as current UPS vehicles. And thanks to housing the fuel-cell system in the floor, the vehicles also boast a 10 percent increase in cargo capacity compared to the diesel-powered version of the Sprinter.

Green Book, a site hosted by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy (ACEEE), provides information on the best and worst rated automobiles by vehicle class.

King County, Washington, purchased 235 hybrid diesel-electric buses in May 2004. King County Metro Transit will operate 213 of the buses—making it the country's largest hybrid bus fleet—while Sound Transit Regional Express will operate the remaining 22 buses.

The U.S. Postal Service in Los Angeles is home the largest fleet of electric vehicles in the country. U.S.P.S. rolled out its new 400-vehicle fleet of delivery vehicles in September 2002. The L.A. Department of Water helped pay for the vehicles, which increase the Postal Service's total number of electric vehicles to nearly 600 nationwide.

Electric Bus Development is an innovative public-private partnership to develop, build, test and operate electric transit vehicles and systems in Chattanooga, Tennessee. 

The Electric Bus Initiative describes Chattanooga, Tennessee's electric bus development program and downtown shuttle system. 

Clark County Alternative Fuel Strategy is a program in Las Vegas, Nevada that is designed to improve air quality in the Las Vegas Valley by using compressed natural gas as a clean-burning motor vehicle fuel. 

Clean Cities Program Awards for 2002 were announced by the U.S. Department of Energy. The awards honor those who have made significant, long-term contributions to advance the use of alternative fuels in cars and trucks. This year's eight winners included a public transit agency, local governments, a nonprofit organization and a utility.

The hybrid-electric Toyotal Prius was named by Motor Trend magazine as its 2004 Car of the Year. After weeks of exhaustive testing, the Motor Trend editors found the Toyota Prius to be "a user-friendly gas/electric hybrid capable of delivering an impressive 60 miles per gallon in city driving."

The University of Idaho took first place in the Society of Automotive Engineers' (SAE) Clean Snowmobile Challenge, held in March 2003. The annual event marked its fourth year of challenging university students to produce a snowmobile that is cleaner, more fuel efficient, and quieter than existing models, while still being fun to ride. The University of Idaho took first place in the event's major categories -- emissions, noise, and fuel economy -- while also performing well in the performance categories. The team used a BMW four-stroke motorcycle engine to achieve its impressive win.

Trip Reduction Techniques  

ZipCar is a car rental service in Boston, Massachusetts that rents cars on an hourly basis for those that drive infrequently. Fuel, maintenance and off-street parking are part of the service. Environmental benefits include reducing the number of cars on the roads and ensuring that the cars being rented are up to the highest emissions standards.

Go Green is a project developed in British Columbia, Canada to provide alternatives to single-occupancy vehicle transportation and to help create a cleaner environment. This program was the first of its type to be started in Canada.

Telecommuting and Trip-reduction Policies are being instituted for city employees in Redmond, Washington.  Also in Washington, the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center has a program to reduce vehicle miles traveled, encourage alternative transportation, and reduce the need for parking on their campus. This effort is funded by Washington's Commute Trip Reduction Program.

Transportation Solutions-Trip Reduction Grant Recipients details programs that were awarded grants by the International Council for Local Environmental Initiatives Sustainable Transportation Program. 

Collections of Transportation Success Stories  

Traveling with Success: How Local Governments Use Intelligent Transportation Systems profiles 31 successful projects in which local governments utilize intelligent transportation system technology.

Community Empowerment Program:  Nurturing Public Involvement in the Transportation Planning Process offers studies of five communities chosen for a pilot Community Empowerment Program by the Surface Transportation Policy Project (STPP) and the Federal Transit Administration (FTA). The purpose of this project was to move each community from a basic level of understanding to active participation in the transportation decision-making process. 

Megalinks to success stories on other sites provide links to success stories on a wide variety of sustainable development topics, including transportation.

Last updated: November 4, 2004

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