Hosted by UVM Transportation Research Center
eNewsletter 07.28.08
Your clearinghouse for news, programs, and funding related to
reducing  the consumption of petroleum for transportation in Vermont

Events & Jobs

  • "Healthy Air Walk Kick-Off" ECHO Center, Burlington. Thursday August 7. More info
  • "CNG or LNG Vehicle Safety Training" Downey, CA. August 20-22. More info
  • "Association for Commuter Transportation (ACT) 2008 International Conference" Atlanta, GA. August 24-27. More info
  • "Northeast Renewable Energy Conference" Penn Stater Hotel and Conference Center, Pennsylvania, Tuesday-Thursday August 26 - 28, 2008. More Info
  •  "Best Practices in Telework: How Technology Enables Government Telework" Free Webcast, Wednesday September 17, 2008 1:00-2:00. More Info

Interactive Vermont Clean Cities Blog Here
In This Issue
Alternative Fuels
Alternative Modes
In Other Vermont Transportation News
Quick Links
High speed rail progressHigh speed rail train
Both houses of Congress have passed transportation bills pledging over $10 billion for Amtrak and high speed rail connecting New York City and Washington D.C. The Senate and House are now in conference regarding the details of the final bill. [Summary of the bill here.]

Vermont completed Phase I of a Boston to Montreal high-speed rail study in 2003, which found that there would be enough demand to support such a service. Phase II suffered a setback when New Hampshire decided to withdraw from the project. It is now back underway with Massachusetts as the partner; the current plans have the corridor passing through Springfield, Mass. to get into Vermont. Charlie Miller, Rail Planning Coordinator at VTrans, anticipates that a consultant for the Phase II study will be selected this fall. [View Phase I report here.]

Meanwhile, New Hampshire high-speed rail advocates are gathering public support to continue the Phase II route as originally planned through New Hampshire.

[Sources: Library of Congress Thomas database, Asbury Park Press,, House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, Boston Globe, Foster's Daily Democrat]


Schools try to adjust to energy pricesgas in car
The Springfield School Board is considering changes to its bus routes to save on transportation energy costs, while balancing their statutory responsibility to provide transportation to those who need it. They're not alone. Other schools are balancing transportation and school meal program budgets (Dodge City, KS), school choice programs (Cape Coral, FL), field trip programs (San Jose, CA; Clute, TX), athletic events (Wilkes County, NC).

Some schools have been able to take action, like purchasing propane buses (San Antonio), plug in hybrid electric-diesel buses (Austin Independent School District), and more efficient routing (Northfield, MN) and asking students to walk further to bus stops (Seattle, WA).

[Sources: Rutland Herald, Dodge Globe, The Houston Chronicle, The Daily Texan,
ABC San Francisco, Wilkes Journal-Patriot, Northfield News,, LA Times]

Fleets feeling the pinch, take actiondiesel fleet
Haulers and other fleets around the country are taking action to reduce fuel costs and benefitting the environment at the same time. Choosing smaller or alternatively fueled fleet vehicles, making use of electrified truck stops, using GPS to streamline dispatching, and educating drivers about idling reduction are among the best practices.

[Sources: St. Petersburg Times, York Daily Record, PECO Exelon Corporation]

Hybrids for heavy dieselsPeterbilt hybrid diesel
Freightliner LLC, Navistar International Corp., Kenowrth Truck Co., and Peterbilt Motors are developing or producing larger hybrid diesel-electric trucks. They are expensive but save 30-60% on fuel costs, depending on how they are used. The technology makes sense for delivery and garbage trucks, buses and other stop-and-go vehicles. Hybrid utility vehicles and others that need auxiliary power also can save on fuel.

In Vermont, Casella Waste Systems and Central Vermont Public Service pioneers.

[Source: Arizona Republic]

Alternative fuels

The diesels are cominggas in car

Diesel engines are 30-40% more fuel efficient than gas engines. Manchester, VT recently played host to the global launch and test drive of three new diesel SUVs from Mercedes: the 2009 ML 320, GL 320, and R320 BlueTec. All three are clean enough to be sold in Vermont, certified as Bin 5 Ultra Low Emission Vehicles. Volkswagen and Audi are both releasing similar technology diesels: VW's Jetta TDI models are due this August and Audi's Q7 SUV is scheduled for early 2009 launch.

According to a study conducted by Kelley's Blue Book, U.S. consumers are much more likely to think that hybrids, hydrogen fuel cells, and ethanol mix vehicle technologies are more likely to go mainstream than diesels.

[Source: The Globe and Mail]

Alternative Modes
Vermonters save money withgas in car two-wheelers
Commuters are turning to scooters, motorcycles, and bicycles to save gas money. The motorized two-wheelers can get 70 miles per gallon of gas.

[Source: WCAX, Autobloggreen]

Best Practicesteleworker
The 2008 Telework Exchange awards showcased six best practice employers that support telework, or telecommuting. Award winners had programs that helped mobile workers skip office commutes, regular surveys to test program performance, an in-house telework committee to act as oversight, a web-based application process, a call center telework program, and dedicated program promotion staff.

[Source: Telework Exchange]

Do You Know...

In Other Vermont Transportation News...

VTrans vanpool program projected to create up to 100 vanpools by the end of the fiscal year. [Brattleboro Reformer]

Transportation Research center event on gas prices and consumer behavior sparks productive discussion. [Burlington Free Press]

Springfield has started its long-awaited downtown sidewalk reconstruction. [Rutland Herald]

A Glimpse into Transportation at Large...
There are 31 E85 stations in 11 northeastern states. Compare to Iowa alone which has 90. How many do other states have? [Ethanol Producer]

Hong Kong is likely to implement to ban engine idling within a year, at the risk of a HK$320 (US $41) fine. [The Standard]

Iowa Senator asks President to limit federal vehicle idling

New York state woman walks car-to-car at her neighborhood train station encouraging waiting drivers to turn off their engines. [The Journal News]

Crude prices
Experts discuss reasons behind swings in crude oil prices. [Yahoo! News]

Germany's largest automoakers Volkswagen, Daimler and BMW want to launch electric cars. [Agence France-Presse]

A Florida man successfully converts his pickup to run on electricity. [News Chief]

BMW has a demonstration fleet of hydrogen passenger vehicles running in New York City. [NY Times]
Guest Contributor
Become a Vermont Clean Cities Guest Contributor!

Send us your article with sources!
Best regards,

Elaine Wang, Graduate Assistant
Vermont Clean Cities Coalition,
University of Vermont Transportation Research Center

Closing date

Coverage, description, eligibility.






Federal: Bioidesel fuel education. Private institutions of higher education eligible.
Federal: Research, Development, and Demonstration of Fuel Cell Technologies for Automotive, Stationary, and Portable Power Applications

Regional: New England Grassroots Environment Fund Small Grants

Federal: Clean diesels emerging technologies program

Federal: Capital Assistance to States - Intercity Passenger Rail Service

Federal: Economic Development Assistance Programs

                          Gas at the Pump, VT               Crude Oil Futures

This Week    
(Jul 20-26)             $4.047/gallon                       $126.436/barrel

Last Week
(Jul 13-19)             $4.070/gallon                       $135.516/barrel

This Week             $2.935/gallon
Last Year 
Sources: Gas VT, Crude Oil

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