The fleets being recognized for their innovation and commitment come from all six New England states and New York. Each fleet demonstrated a deep commitment to the goals of the Clean Cities program through use of alternative fuels, alternative fuel vehicle purchasing, and petroleum reduction practices.
The highest recognition, as a Northern Star, required that the fleets be a stakeholder in their local Clean Cities Coalitions and that they meet a list of criteria showing their commitment to Clean Cities goals and initiatives. Awardees are models for other fleets in their efforts to use alternative fuels in their fleets and document that use, advance internal policies that support ongoing efforts to promote emission reduction technologies, contribute to building out the alternative fuel infrastructure in their operating area and support educational and outreach activities to other stakeholders. This year’s Northern Stars of the Northeast include:
All-Star Transportation, Waterbury, CT Capital District Transportation Authority, Albany, NY
Downeast Transportation, Trenton, ME Easter Seals, Norwich, CT
Eastern Propane, Claremont, NH V. Garolfalo & Sons Carting, Brentwood, NY
Norwich Public Utilities, Norwich, CT
A great example of this type of leadership is demonstrated by Capital District Transportation Authority (CDTA) in Albany, NY. The (CDTA) is the NY Capital Region’s leader in green transportation. Not only is ridership at its all-time record high, but CDTA’s 77 hybrid-electric buses displace over 400,000 gallons of petroleum and 5,100 tons of greenhouse gas emissions annually.
All-Star Transportation under the leadership of John R. Dufour has blazed the way for the introduction of propane Autogas school buses in Connecticut. He did all the research, worked the various funding sources and deployed the first hundred buses in two school districts in the state. His example has led to two hundred more buses being deployed in two more school districts in the next two years with the potential for more to come.
Downeast Transportation provides year-round public transportation services to a number of towns in and around Hancock County Maine, and also operates the Island Explorer, a fare-free, seasonal, propane-powered bus system that runs through Acadia National Park and its surrounding gateway communities. Downeast Transportation’s 34 propane-powered vehicles displace nearly 160,000 gallons of petroleum and 62 tons of greenhouse gas emissions annually.
Rising Stars demonstrate all the same commitment and enterprise but have not advanced the use of alternative fuels in their fleet to as high a level. Their work and aspirations are similarly important in the ongoing transformational work in reducing the impact of our transportation system. 2016 Rising Stars of the Northeast include:
Green Mountain Power, Colchester, VT Town of Scarborough, ME
Town of New Bedford, MA Yale University, New Haven, CT
RI Department of Environmental Management, Providence, RI University of New Hampshire, Durham, NH
These fleets demonstrate leadership in many ways. Rhode Island’s award goes to the Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management (RI DEM) which added ten new Ford C-Max Energis’ to the fleet and four dual-port charging stations through multi-agency coordination, increasing the total fleet plug-in vehicles to 12. RI DEM employees are trained on how to use the stations and vehicles. Under the leadership of Scott Durkee, the Town of New Bedford’s Energy Director, has converted 19 of the Towns’ sedans to Battery electric vehicles moving to Zero emission vehicles earns the community the Clean Cities rising star award. The University Of New Hampshire (UNH) owns dozens of CNG buses and the diesels in its transit fleet use B20 biodiesel year-round. Propane and electric round out the mix and UNH has iron-clad policies on idle reduction, ridesharing and vehicles on campus. Yale University through the efforts of Ronald Gitelman and George Longyear are leading the university’s effort to establish an alternative fuel vehicle fleet that takes advantage of technology that demonstrates the most efficient fuels and vehicles to reduce Yale’s greenhouse gas profile.
The Northern Stars of the Northeast program is funded through a U.S. Department of Energy. There are nearly one hundred Clean Cities Coalitions around the country whose purpose is to help reduce the use of petroleum, cut emissions, and promote alternative fuel options. The Northern Stars program was first developed by the five Northern New England Clean Cities Coalitions and has now expanded to include coalitions and fleets across the northeastern states. The awards are just one of the ways that these coalitions promote the use of alternative fuels in fleets.
Regional Contact: Wendy Lucht, Ocean State Clean Cities, (401) 874-2792, firstname.lastname@example.org
Rita Ebert, Greater Long Island Clean Cities, (516) 492-4795, email@example.com
Lee Grannis, Greater New Haven Clean Cities, (203) 627-3715, firstname.lastname@example.org
Ben Lake, Maine Clean Communities, (207) 774-9891, email@example.com