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iCAP Forum notes for Transportation

Posted by Morgan White on October 22, 2014

Transportation SWAT Team Feedback
The first bit of feedback given by a member of the audience was about electric vehicles. These are not specifically talked about in the summary of the report. An infrastructure would be needed in order for these to work well. It is something that could be looked into in future meetings. Along with this, it was noted that the University is currently developing five stations for type two charging with plans for type one charging to be active within the next week. It cannot be ignored how the energy is generated as well. Emissions are still produced by generating electricity to power the vehicles. Another audience member gave an idea about having a parking incentive to people who are driving from a distance and parking at a station. There are people currently on campus who park at a charging station and take a shuttle the rest of the way. It was suggested that the parking rate could be reduced for these people who are commuting with electric cars and taking a shuttle further to promote this practice.

It was inquired about the fact that all types of fuel has hydrocarbons in them and all will affect the environment. The answer to this is that there are different amounts of environmental impacts based on what molecule is the byproduct of the fuel source. The topic of offsets was discussed and what ways were being considered for keeping them local. Currently, the team has not come up with a lot of ideas of how to do this but in the coming months a more comprehensive strategy will be developed to start this process. Traditional offsets would apply to this like having more plant matter and renovating buildings to be more efficient.

Air travel was the final topic of discussion during the forum. It was commented on about how air travel is a function of the global reach as a campus and the more air travel that there is, the more global reach the campus has. A suggestion along with this was to have a carbon tax on air travel that could be used for offset funding. The estimations for projects can include this carbon tax and allow for the campus to improve, get more funding, and travel more while still offsetting the carbon emissions. Wotjek mentioned to the forum that the team would like air travel to broken down from absolute air travel into departmental. This would allow departments to see their own progress and account for fluctuating numbers in a department. Also, this can be used to provide incentives for efficiency of air travel on a departmental basis.