The Transportation SWATeam had it's first meeting of the year. They discussed progress on the Transportation iCAP objectives, the status of related projects and proposals, and their priorities for the year.
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Decrease Emissions from UI Fleet (In Progress)
Reduce Business Travel Emissions
- Decrease Emissions from UI Fleet
- Encourage Telecommuting in place of Business Trips
- Encourage Train Travel for Business Trips
- Offset Emissions from Plane Trips
- Encourage Ride-Sharing for Business Trips
The 2015 iCAP, chapter 4, objective 2, is "Reduce emissions from the Urbana-Champaign campus fleet by 20% for departmentally-owned and carpool vehicles by FY20." The UI Fleet includes hundreds of motor vehicles, used for a variety of purposes. These include large construction vehicles, trucks, sedans, and some individual mobility vehicles. The UI fleet emissions can be reduced through a reduction in trips, increased gasoline miles per gallon, reduced idling, and the integration of electric vehicles.
The campus fleet includes departmentally-owned vehicles, the car and truck pool vehicles, and the heavy equipment pool. The vehicular fleet is primarily cars and vans, while the heavy equipment pool is generally diesel-fueled large construction equipment, such as backhoes.
Campus could increase the number of low-emission vehicles by 20% in the vehicular fleet. To reach this goal, campus can use the ways below.
1. Install equipment to upgrade the trucks, and thus reduce the emissions.
The campus could require and activate anti-idling equipment for all new class 6 and above trucks (with gross vehicle weight rating of over 19,500 lbs), and install idling-tracking equipment on all vehicles in the fleet.
2. Replace the high-emission cars with environmental-friendly ones.
We could increase the use of biodiesel blends in fleet vehicles. Campus could increase the use of electric vehicles and departmental bicycles (including electric bicycles) with cargo trailers to move individuals and small tools and equipment across campus.
3. Incentive units to reduce the fleet emissions.
To encourage the reduction of fleet emissions, campus could provide incentives to departments or individuals who replace a departmental vehicle with a low-emission alternative.
Sometimes being environmentally friendly is a cost savings, such as when several researchers use the same vehicle to attend an out-of-town conference. Other times being environmentally friendly costs extra, such as using a more energy efficient vehicle like a hybrid or EV. To solve the dilemma and take full advantages of the win-win solutions, staff in Automotive and Transportation Services try their best and they are doing very well under the circumstances.