Local News: Transportation
Below are sustainability-related news items throughout the Western Washington University and Bellingham-area. These items correspond to Transportation.
Western brings electric vehicles to campus for testing
Due to the large number of vehicles used on Western’s campus, Facilities Management has been considering alternative-fuel vehicles for years, to help reduce fossil fuel consumption on campus, Krabbenhoft said. “The entire campus is a classroom and everyone who is working and learning here is contributing to the development of others, whether it is directly or indirectly,” Krabbenhoft said in a Facilities Management press release. “We are looking for what types of applications and uses will make sense [and] where we are able to accomplish the job and at the same time reduce the carbon footprint.”
WTA test drives electric bus, not ready to transition
For one week, the public was open to ride one of these all-electric buses with no charge, according to a WTA press release. This gave WTA the opportunity to test what BYD is promoting as the first environmentally-friendly bus technology. “Environmentally speaking, these are a whole lot cleaner than anything that burns diesel,” McCarthy said. “[However], it’s much more expensive to purchase. ... It definitely costs a lot more than a standard diesel bus.”
New fare boxes but same payment options on WTA buses
New fare boxes will be installed in the entire fleet from Friday to Sunday, but most payment options will remain the same. The exception is that WTA will no longer accept free ride coupons, which must be used by Sunday, April 13.
Late Night Shuttle route may be expanded for 2014-15
Associated Students Vice President for Student Life Robby Eckroth expects the route to be incorporated during fall 2014 if the neighborhoods accept the plan, he said.
Spring quarter bus passes now available
How to purchase:
- Employees who are eligible for payroll deduction may submit a "Viking Xpress Bus Pass Payroll Authorization" esign form, found on the Sustainable Transportation website. Passes purchased through this method will be delivered via campus mail.
- Employees also may purchase a pass in person at Viking Commons Room 25 or by mailing a bus pass request form to Sustainable Transportation at mailstop 9197. Employees not eligible for payroll deduction will have a charge put on their account. Once payment is then made with the Student Business Office or online, the Sustainable Transportation Office will arrange for delivery or pickup of the bus pass.
Zipcars coming to Western: how to rent your next ride
As a car-sharing service, the integration of Zipcar is “another piece of the picture” in Western’s continuous efforts to offer alternative transportation methods and become more sustainable, said Carol Berry, Western’s campus conservation and sustainable transportation program manager.
Western starts Zipcar program on campus
Zipcar is a membership-based car-sharing program that offers sustainable transportation for communities & individuals with the goal to reduce pollution & the amount of cars on the road.
Brave icy roads: How to winterize your bike
Campaign aims to make cyclists visible on road
The two-day giveaway was part of the See and Be Seen campaign which aims to make cyclists more visible and drivers more aware of riders. Western Washington University's Sustainable Transportation Office partnered with the City of Bellingham and everybodyBIKE, a program that promotes biking for daily transportation, handed out the lights last week.
Upcoming events help cyclists be seen in dark weather
Zipcars come to Western
Zipcar will station two Ford Fusions on campus parked in lot 11G, which is located behind the Performing Arts Center. Zipcar will pay a fee of about $800 each year to the university to rent the parking spots, said Associated Students Vice President for Student Life Robby Eckroth.
Whatcom Transportation Authority fares stable for next year
WTA Director of Finance Pat Dunn gave a presentation to board members outlining and explaining the budget in detail.
South campus could get a lift
Eckroth, who was the Associated Students alternative transportation coordinator last year, said he received several comments about the late-night shuttle and its lack of service to south campus.
Prizes up for grabs for smart commuters
Whatcom Smart Trips, Western Washington University and many other local businesses have put together an amazing list of prizes for the Smart Trips Fall Prize Campaign – and your chances of winning are really good! This is a special promotional campaign just for the employees of Smart Trips Employer Partners. So every one of these prizes will be won by someone right here in Whatcom County.
Students seek alternatives to shuttle during summer
Students taking summer quarter at Western Washington University do not have the advantage of having the Western Student Shuttle service at night. During other quarters, the shuttle operates until 3 a.m. every day.
Bike to School day returns to Whatcom County
May is a great month for people to get back into cycling because there are a lot of other cyclists out on the road, said Andrea Osborn, program assistant for sustainable transportation at Western Washington University.
Tuesday's accident sparks conversation about bike safety
The student hit by the car, Kiva Stevens, could not be reached for comment, and the driver of the car declined to comment. "It was quite scary," Berry said in regard to the accident Tuesday. She pointed out she was not a direct witness to the incident.
Simplici-tea: Nomadic tea specialist brews up good feeling at Western
The bus is also built with an eye for sustainability, running on a waste vegetable oil system. Spadafora takes unused oil from restaurants he comes across, and utilizes it as a free and clean power source. By outfitting the bus with a secondary fuel system, the oil is spun in a device to separate it from unneeded food particles. The engine wakes up with biodiesel, and then transfers to the vegetable oil as the secondary power kicks in.
WTA's Hybrid Bus Fleet
"I think it's a great push for alternative fuels," said Robby Eckroth, Associated Students' Alternative Transportation coordinator at Western. "I think that since the buses have alternative fuels, maybe it will push [the] community, when purchasing their next vehicle, [to] consider getting a hybrid."
Hybrid buses roll into Bellingham
The buses offer 40 percent higher fuel economy, a 30 percent reduction in maintenance costs and a 40 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, according to the WTA website.
380 employees registered smart transportation trips during October campaign
Those 380 employees succeeded in reducing carbon dioxide emissions by over 100,000 pounds.
Bellingham awarded for being bicycle friendly
A key factor in achieving this status was the repaving of Indian Street and the addition of "shared lane markings" along the street to alert motorists of the presence of bicyclists.
Bolting to Seattle by bus
Western's new formula racecar
Student shuttle begins service Sept. 23
Shuttle operation will begin Sunday, Sept. 23. Hours are Monday through Saturday from 11 p.m. to 3 a.m. and Sunday from 9 p.m. to 3 a.m. The student shuttle does not operate during summer quarter, Thanksgiving vacation or intersession breaks. For text alerts when severe weather cancels service, text "follow wwushuttle" to 40404 or follow @wwushuttle on Twitter.
Employee bus passes for 2012-13 now for sale
The employee cost for an academic year pass is $58. These passes are valid Sept. 24 to June 23. The employee cost for a fall quarter pass is $23. Fall passes are valid Sept. 24 to Jan. 6.
Bellingham approves $46M spending plan for sidewalks, pedestrian crossings
City Council has approved a plan that will guide future spending on pedestrian crossings and sidewalks. The plan is the city's first that focuses on one method of transportation. Next up: a plan for bicycling.
Input needed on campus cycling facilities
Anyone who cycles on, to or from the Western campus is invited to participate.
Latest newsletter from Sustainable Transportation is online
Students approve renewal of fee that funds bus passes
Students also passed initiatives that call for banning the sale of plastic water bottles on campus, greater transparency in dealings with the Higher One Card, and the formation of a sustainable print quota system on campus to replace the old quota system no longer in use.
WWU students approve fee for bus pass program
The program charges students $25 each term. That pays for a Whatcom Transportation Authority bus pass for each student. It also funds a shuttle providing late-night transportation to areas surrounding campus. About 84 percent of voting students cast ballots in favor of the program, extending it for five more years.
Building a hybrid bus from the ground up
Commute Trip Reduction survey complete with nearly 80-percent response rate
The Sustainable Transportation office at Western thanks the Western employees who responded to the 2012 survey, helping yield the highest response rate yet at the university.
Alternative Transportation Fee referendum
Students to vote on bus pass renewal
Faculty, staff asked to record commute trips to campus
On April 16, faculty and staff will receive a link to the Commute Trip Reduction survey, where they'll enter information about how they reached work during the week of April 9 to 13.
Latest issue of Sustainable Transportation News is online
WTA approves extension of WWU student bus pass contract
The board on Thursday, Feb. 9, voted 9-0 to approve the five-year contract extension. The deal is still contingent on WWU student voters approving a fee to continue purchasing thousands of passes in bulk. Student elections will be held in April.
WTA to consider five-year bulk student pass deal with WWU
WTA's board on Thursday, Feb. 9, will consider approving an extension of the contract with WWU. More than half the WTA board members, sitting as the board's executive committee, have already recommended approving the extension.
Relaunched rideshare program starts Dec. 3
The rideshare program allows users to search through postings by specifying rides offered or needed, departure and arrival locations, dates, times and costs, said Western senior Kelsey Heyd, co-creator of the new rideshare program.
"We've made it a very simple list format," Heyd said. "All posts are uniform, so students can immediately see what they're trying to get out of the rideshare."
Bellingham to spend more money on bus service
Fall Wheel Options offers extra incentives for traveling sustainably to work
With Fall Wheel Options under way (it began on Oct. 16 and runs through Oct. 29), those who use sustainable transportation to get to work may win a few extra prizes. To participate, ride the bus, bike, walk or carpool to work twice by Oct. 29. Then, log the non-drive-alone trips you made between Oct. 16 and 29 at www.WhatcomSmartTrips.org by Nov. 4. All employees who participate and log at least two non-drive-alone trips to work will receive an Amtrak Companion Fare coupon as well as automatic entry into random prize drawings. Paper entry forms are available upon request from Sustainable Transportation.
WTA receives $2.8 million for five hybrid buses
Commute Smart Awards celebrates 20 years
The City of Bellingham recieved a Commute Smart Employer Champion Award in the large employer category. The City's program includes subsidized bus passes; bicycles for work-related trips; and a teleworking option for exempt employees. The City's commitment to sustainabile transportation has led to one of the highest participation rates in Whatcom Smart Trips. Since the beginning of the program in 2006, their employees have traveled nearly one million miles by walking, bicycling, sharing rides and riding the bus.
Bikers to ride from WWU downtown Saturday as part of climate change rally
Lauren Squires, of Western Washington University's Office of Sustainability, will speak at the event to share what Western is doing to lower its carbon footprint.
Student bus pass to become operational Sept. 12
Summer Viking Xpress bus passes for faculty and staff will be available June 6
Alaska Airlines Magazine: Creative Challenges
WWU alumnus wins prestigious transportation fellowship from Federal Highway Administration
Gas prices rise in county
In Blaine, a Chevron station just a few blocks south of the Canadian border is asking $3.89 per gallon of regular unleaded gas.
You don't have to drive to get around
According to data gathered by the Office of Survey Research, in 2010 two-thirds of students had a car available for use in Bellingham, while 17 percent of students said they drove alone to school at least three times a week.
Creating the future of transportation
Western senior Adrian Eissinger adjusts his protective eye wear just before he peers into the engine. He is not a professional engineer with years of experience under his belt. He is a vehicle engineering technology major and part of the Hybrid Bus Project Team.
With federal earmark, WWU students develop high-tech bus
Photo contest accepts images of environmentally friendly commutes
WWU awarded $730,000 federal grant for design of hybrid bus
Partners with WWU in the project include Transition Composites, Janicki Industries, Kitsap Transit, Whatcom Transportation Authority, the Port and Airtech.
WWU employees save $3,880 during Wheel Options promotion
Total Dedication: WWU students make a tenacious run for the X-PRIZE
The longtime auto racing guru is staring at Viking 45, Western Washington University's ultra-fuel-efficient entry in the Progressive Automotive X PRIZE competition, and he's perplexed.
"What I saw was a wad of wires on top of some structure that I couldn't understand," Hayward would later recount. "I frankly thought that this car was not appropriate for this competition."
WWU works to decrease car commuting to campus
The office has been encouraging Western Washington University employees and students to do the same for years. A large part of the staff members' work is in conjunction with the Commute Trip Reduction program.
The Pros and Cons of One Transportation Choice - Natural Gas
I Heart Bellingham, WA
WWU employees who reduce driving this month can get Amtrak coupons, win travel prizes
Every WWU staff or faculty employee who participates by logging at least two non-drive-alone trips to work between Oct. 18 and 31 will receive a two-for-one Amtrak Cascades coupon to use through next May.
WWU to Work with Kitsap Transit on New Hybrid Passenger-Bus Design
The prototype will be used to construct a fleet of up to six buses that will be purchased by Kitsap Transit.
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