Bus lines get a financial boost from the DOT, are tougher fuel economy standards on the horizon, and the world’s first Smarter Planet game, you definitely don’t want to miss the latest installment of your Daily Energy Report.
Thanks to a $776 million allocation from the Department of Transportation, 45 states and Washington DC will begin to upgrade their urban and rural bus fleets with more reliable and fuel efficient vehicles. DOT Secretary Ray LaHood announced today that a “State of Good Repair” discretionary grant program will go to 152 projects. While the $776 million might seem like a large number, the DOT has released a report stating that almost $78 billion dollars is needed to bring the 40% of the country’s rail and bus transit systems to adequate levels.
The Department of Transportation is also making the country aware of plans to toughen fuel economy standards. The DOT and Environmental Protection Agency jointly announced a “notice of intent” in that they will be promoting 47 to 62 mpg fuel economy from trucks and cars by 2017-2025. The tougher standards are an effort to lower greenhouse gas, create jobs and lessen the reliance on foreign sources of fuel. Currently, legislation is in place that requires a vehicle fleet average of 35.5 mpg by 2016 which is 40% higher than existing legislation.
Businesses now have a chance to simulate city and industry energy issues through an interactive game that’s been developed by IBM. Called CityOne, the simulation is the world’s first Smarter Planet game. In CityOne the player must weight the city’s financial, environmental and sociological issues while they try to tackle such issue like reducing traffic congestion, saving energy and water and effectively building supply chains for alternative energy sources. Think SimCity but better. Those interested in learning more about CityOne or if you really want to play, you can visit http://www.ibm.com/cityone.