SemaConnect Blog


November 7, 2014

Getting Charged Up Over Public Transportation

Image CC by Vayon Green Power Group
 
For me, moving away from home and coming to Washington, DC was an adventure I couldn’t wait to take on – until I experienced driving here. Annette Benning wasn’t kidding when she warned Michael Douglas’ character to “stay away from Dupont Circle,” in the movie The American President – Washington was listed as eighth in line for worst traffic in the US. Terrible traffic along with the city’s quadrant pattern that is so confusing it has conspiracy theorists buzzing was a good enough case to keep the car parked at home and take public transportation. Certainly not a bad choice in a city with amazing (and free!) museums to visit, but limited public parking options. The DC MetroRail was my usual public transportation choice, but doesn’t extend to all popular reaches of the city. For those, MetroBus or taxi cabs were the way to go.


I don’t know about you, but there always seems to be something distasteful about riding in a vehicle that spews heavy black clouds of smoke and has exhaust fumes that, if you are stuck behind it in your car, you desperately reach to close your vents and turn on the air circulation before too much of it creeps in. Kind of negates the environmental benefits of carpooling, doesn’t it? Taxi cabs are another option, but the 2011 gas spike added a fuel surcharge fee to every ride you took – while that was rescinded when fuel prices evened out, the option to put that policy back into effect if they spike that quickly again is still on the table.


Luckily, cities around the globe are taking notice; Rather than leaving our economy and our environment to chance, they’re jumping on the EV bandwagon with battery powered busses and have added EV’s to their taxi fleets. Even public transportation can face range anxiety, but to combat that, green tech company Opbrid is helping to keep electrified city busses running around the clock with their Busbaar V3. To combat London’s poor air quality, mayor Boris Johnson has instituted a plan for all London taxi cabs to be zero emission capable by 2018. In fact, Nissan is already ahead of the curve in London, planning to unveil their e-Taxi for that city in 2015, while also being involved with e-taxi projects in Barcelona, Tokyo and New York. And if you’re like me and can’t possibly think of transporting all of your groceries home on the bus, self service e-car sharing programs like Autolib are all the rage in Paris, with plans to expand globally.  


As the new Editor of the SemaConnect blog, I look forward to sharing and discussing more topics on Electric Vehicles, Electric Vehicle Charging Stations and sustainability in general.  In the coming months, we plan to redesign and revamp the blog for your reading pleasure, and zero in on topics that both educate and inform on the latest trends in the green transportation industry.  I hope you’ll join us on this new journey!


Want to learn more about these initiatives? Continue to check our blog this month to learn more about the future of public transportation. It promises to be….electrifying.
 
 
Lauren Demko serves as Marketing Associate at SemaConnect and the Editor of the SemaConnect blog.  After earning her B.A. in electronic media from The George Washington University, Lauren spent the next decade working in science and media education while working towards her MFA in environmental documentary film making from American University. An award-winning filmmaker and photographer, Lauren is passionate about spending time in nature, especially with her rescue cane corso, Riley.
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