Monday, August 17, 2009

“Hybrid” Grants: A Small Step

Check out the article here. I certainly can't fault the concept, I just wish we could get more, and dare I say, I have some opinions on doling out the money. The Port Authority along with CSX, U.S. Steel, and Constructors Association of Western Pennsylvania are getting federal money to invest in hybrid/pollution reducing technology.

The Port Authority will replacing two internal combustion buses with two Diesel Hybrid buses. Additionally, nine buses will be given new engines to bring them up to 2007 EPA standards. CSX will upgrade 1 single engine, U.S. Steel will be placing filters on some of its dump trucks, and the Contractors association of Western PA will place filters on some of its construction vehicles.

I think that is great, however it is just a drop in the bucket, and I am curious if the actual impact will be as great as the estimates quoted in the article.

Here's an alternative solution: Take the grant, give it to one entity, and make them a "poster child" for the greening of Pittsburgh/ Allegheny County. For example, instead of giving the Port Authority $875,000, give them the $3.49 million and let them go to town. That would get them 8 hybrid buses and 36 upgraded, more emission friendly buses.

I think arguments could be made for all the entities, but the Port Authority makes the most P.R. sense. Think about it, Pittsburgh and the region are already getting great publicity as a leader in green. 8 hybrid buses and 36 upgraded buses would make a pretty big splash nationally, better so than 2 buses, 1 locomotive, and a bunch of dump trucks.

No comments: