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Tuesday, December 23, 2008

London Unveils Sleek Zero-Emission Double Decker Buses

Recently the London Transportation Department held a contest to redesign the iconic Double Decker bus, and we’re excited to announce the winning entry by renowned architects Foster + Partners! They’ve created a zero-emissions, super accessible, and environmentally innovative double decker bus that heralds a new era of sustainable public transportation for London.

 London Unveils Sleek Zero-Emission Double Decker Buses

It's refreshing to see modern design embracing classic styles and familiar heritages. What would London be without the red double decker buses? Does this mean we might see a resurgence of the trolley car in San Francisco? I could see a push to make trolley cars that embrace the nostalgia of old San Francisco with the latest green technology.

Of course, this leads the discussion to the bigger question. What is the future of rail service in the United States? If we pumped as much money into high speed rail as we have to the airline industry, we could be the world leader in mass transit and a model of how to tackle greenhouse gasses. The measure of success could be measured by the number of vehicles you remove from the road in a day. Imagine how much you could reduce the number of long haul trucks with a dedicated high speed freight rail system.

The new rail service could be powered by alternative energy sources placed along the routes. The power options could be decided by local folks at the state level. If NY wants to build a nuclear power plant for their share of the system. That's great. If California wanted to use solar and Pennsylvania wanted to use gas or clean coal, more power to them. Pun intended...

We can't let ourselves be lulled into thinking the problem has been solved because the price of gas is lower. This whole rise and fall should be a reminder to us all just how dependent we are on fossil fuels. If we had headed the warnings from the last energy crisis in the 70's, we'd be a lot better off. As I recall, we heard back then that the technology was 15 to 20 years away and we would be less dependent on oil. Here we are 30 years later and we're hearing the same old crap.
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