Greening the MTA: The MTA is convening an 18-member Sustainability Commission.
While green roofs are a proven eclogical benefit since they cut down on heating and cooling requirements and provide greenery which absorbs carbon monoxide, this story from Treehugger about the NY MTA putting green roofs on its bus depots seems just a little...like greenwashing. MTA buses could benefit mightily from being greened, either alternative fuel technology (some do,) hybrid propulsion or other means, but these would be very expensive.
The nation's largest mass-transit system is looking at ways it could become more environmentally friendly. Rooftop gardens on bus depots and windmills at rail yards are just a couple of the ideas being batted around by a member of panel experts formed by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to develop a "green master plan" for the New York City's system of subways and buses."The issue of global warming is arguably the most significant challenge our generation faces and it's important that the MTA do its part," said Elliot Sander, the executive director of the authority
Another idea, windmills, may be equally a show rather than substance; windmills need to be in open space to really work, and inner NY city environment is not windy enough.
But these and other, better, ideas such as LED lighting, re-using stom water are at least indicative of MTA thinking in the right direction.
Harvard Transit is going bio-diesel:
The Harvard campus got a little greener last week, and it has nothing to do with the coming of spring. Rather, the University's Transportation Services opened its own biodiesel filling station in Allston, allowing Harvard's 25 diesel vehicles - shuttle buses, maintenance and mail trucks, and dining services' vehicles - to run on cleaner-burning biodiesel. Harvard is the first Ivy League school to use biodiesel as the primary fuel for its entire diesel fleet.
"Biodiesel was the clear-cut winner," says [student interns] Thompson. "It produces a dramatic reduction in urban air pollutants, and from a greenhouse-gas perspective, it's almost perfect."
On the other hand, if you want un-green transport, buy a Bentley (which does not meet EU CO2 standards and gives 12mpg):
Franz-Josef Paefgen, the head of the VW luxury brand Bentley, told the financial daily Handelsblatt in Frankfurt that his company is thinking how to make cars that are a bit more environmentally friendly and get closer to proposed EU limits on CO2 emissions. "We are currently forming a view on the matter, for instance by talking to politicians in England," Paefgen told the Handelsblatt. "And when the view is complete, we will decide in spring 2008 what to do." ---a definitive statement indeed!