On September 24, Congress approved a $25 billion bailout for GM, Ford, and Chrysler.Congress would do well to have some national goals for the $50 billion, not goals set by auto lobbyists. Goals include America’s need to become competitive with the world if we hope to create more jobs and end this recession. Workers need help by either keeping their jobs or by getting new jobs. Americans need cars that cost less at the pump and better alternatives to always using a car. America needs to be energy secure, not desperately dependent on oil.
California is moving ahead with an 800-mile high-speed train system serving Los Angeles, the San Francisco Bay Area, Sacramento, the Central Valley, the Inland Empire, Orange County and San Diego. High-speed trains will be capable of maximum speeds of 220 miles per hour, covering San Francisco to Los Angeles in 2 hours and 40 minutes. The system is forecast to carry over 100 million passengers per year by 2030.
Public transportation and corporate commute programs have helped America finally reduce its dependency on oil, with vehicle miles traveled reduced for the first time. Now, our financial crisis is putting this in jeopardy. Although public transportation is rescuing Americans, will Americans rescue public transportation? This Tuesday votes in 33 states will make decisions about the fate of transit funding.
Solar is powering more vehicles. American’s have reduced their use of petroleum 5 percent this year. So far, petroleum reduction is the result of fewer miles traveled solo as people cut travel to deal with high gas prices and a slowing economy. At the Solar Power International conference, one notable area of growth is solar covered parking structures with vehicle charging – a cool solution for a planet that is getting hotter.
The key to FedEx’s future is continued improvements in efficiency. Customers look to FedEx to handle shipment, logistics and delivery better than competitive alternatives. One challenge for FedEx is controlling fuel costs including jet fuel, diesel and gasoline.
A record number of Americans are saving thousands per year by using public transportation from one day per week to living car free. In 2007, a 50-year record of 10.3 billion trips per year, saving over 4 billion gallons of car gasoline use. 2008 will set a new record that may approach 11 billion trips. 15,000 who run global transportation systems convened in San Diego examine a range of strategic issues and to review 800 exhibitors at the American Public Transportation Association Expo.
Fiona Ma was nervous about getting on a train that was about to set a world speed record. Just before Easter 2007 in the countryside outside Paris, she saw the people lining the green and flowered route. The French were flying flags, waving, and cheering. Less reassuring were those of faith who crossed themselves as the new train accelerated past 200 miles per hour. The people blurred into a collage of spring time colors. The train vibrated much as when a jet plane roars down the runway and starts to ascend. Fiona hoped that this train would not leave the tracks.
Chrysler builds on the success of its 38,000 GEM EVs that are currently on the road in the U.S. with new battery-electric vehicle and plug-in hybrid announcements. Chrysler announced 3 freeway-speed electric vehicles – Dodge EV, Jeep EV and Chrysler EV – and announced the GEM Peapod.
On September 11, 2001, thanks to heroes like Avel Villanueva the hundreds of people working for Sun Microsystems in Two World Trade Center all quickly evacuated the building and survived. When Avel saw the damage and fire at One World Trade Center, he paged everyone at Sun to leave Two World Trade Center as quickly, “Please, with calmness, go to the nearest exit. This is not a drill. Get out.”
After bicycling for 152 miles in 6 hours and 23 minutes in Beijing’s smoggy air, the gold medal was determined by a fraction of a second. Spain’s Samuel Sanchez willed a supreme effort to out-sprint the world’s great riders like David Rebellin and Fabian Cancellara. Although Sanchez could ignore pain and exhaustion during the 152 miles, he could not hold back his tears while listening to Spain’s national anthem being played in recognition for his gold medal victory.