Clean vehicles can save rural drivers the most Roanoke (VA) Times (opinion), April 26, 2019. “As the only southern state participating in the 12-state Transportation and Climate Initiative (TCI), Virginia made a bold policy commitment in December to implement a carbon pricing plan by the end of 2019 that will help fund investments in regional clean transportation strategies.
Clean vehicles can save rural drivers the most Roanoke (VA) Times (opinion), April 26, 2019. “As the only southern state participating in the 12-state Transportation and Climate Initiative (TCI), Virginia made a bold policy commitment in December to implement a carbon pricing plan by the end of 2019 that will help fund investments in regional clean transportation strategies. While this may seem like an ambitious timeline to some, finding solutions to curb the growing air pollution and climate impact of vehicle emissions have become more critical issues for state lawmakers. Emissions from transportation in the Commonwealth now constitute nearly 45 percent of total statewide, and traffic congestion and public transportation are equal concerns.”
MTA’s two-decade plan for all-electric fleet lacks details, transit advocates say New York Daily News, April 26, 2019. “If the MTA needs 21 years to make its bus fleet fully electric, it ought to have a detailed plan, transit advocates said Thursday. The Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s present plan would replace around 10% of the 5,700 buses in its fleet — barely scratching the surface of the task of going all-electric by 2040. Nick Sifuentes, executive director of the Tri-State Transportation Campaign, said: “It’s not enough. We’re calling on the MTA to make sure that they live up to the timeline and commitment that they made. The MTA could be a heavyweight in a national push for electric buses. The agency buys about 10% of all the buses sold in North America every year, and converting to a fully electric fleet may prompt other cities to do the same… I think New Yorkers are actually going to want charging stations on their corners. If we make sure that charging stations are not just accessible to buses, but to average electric vehicles as well, we might actually see them be incredibly popular.”
Baker says transit effort will pay off State House News Service, April 25, 2019. “BOSTON -- Facing blame from Democrats for mounting public frustration with clogged roads and public transit problems, Gov. Charlie Baker touted his administration's plan to pour more money into transportation over the next five years than "in any five-year period outside of the Big Dig," but said the state doesn't need to raise taxes to confront the congestion problems. The governor's defense of his administration's approach to the state's transportation system woes came after new polling data was released showing that the vast majority of Massachusetts workers experience some level of frustration and anger with their daily commutes. 80 percent said they support the general idea of the state raising new money to spend on roads, bridges and public transit. A solid majority support Baker's pursuit of a regional transportation climate initiative to curb greenhouse gas emissions and raise money for transportation investment (68 percent), as well as the idea of allowing regional ballot questions to raise taxes for specific regional improvement projects (55 percent).”
Ford investing $500 million in electric vehicle startup The Hill, April 24, 2019. “Ford announced Wednesday it is investing $500 million in electric vehicle startup Rivian. Ford will become a minority partner in the company and work with the startup on a new Ford electric vehicle based on Rivian underpinnings. …Rivian, based outside of Detroit, released an electric pickup truck recently and will start selling an SUV late next year. Ford has already invested $11 billion in electric vehicles and is set to roll out a Mustang-inspired crossover in 2020 and a zero-emissions version of the best-selling F-150 pickup.”
Maryland may expand electric vehicle tax credits Baltimore Sun, March 28, 2019. “Due to of a shortage of funding for electric vehicle tax credits in 2017, this legislation is intended to provide enough money to incentivize more Marylanders to purchase zero-emission vehicles,” Fraser-Hidalgo said. This bill would allow the Maryland Department of Transportation Motor Vehicle Administration to raise the total amount of tax credits to be awarded in total for fiscal year 2020 to $6 million, an increase from the $3 million set aside annually for tax credits by the Clean Cars Act of 2017.
RESOURCES / ANNOUNCEMENTS
Northeast and Mid-Atlantic Green-light Clean Transportation Natural Resources Defense Council (blog) April 1, 2019. “Over the next several months, Transportation & Climate Initiative member states will hold a series of workshops together to solicit input from stakeholders, including residents, businesses, transportation experts, public health professionals, advocates, and others, on the development of a regional policy. These conversations will build on public listening sessions the states held last year in which hundreds of stakeholders from around the region expressed strong support for a regional policy effort.
The workshops will kick off later this month and will cover a variety of topics. More details are in today's announcement. The first three workshops will be as follows:
- Tomorrow, April 30, in Boston, MA: Technical Workshop: Regional Cap and Invest for Transportation, Key Design Elements
- May 15 in Newark, NJ: Workshop and Roundtable Discussion: Transportation Equity, Addressing Concerns and Creating Opportunities for All Communities
- Date and Location TBA: Technical Workshop: Low-Carbon Transportation Investments, Strategies and Outcomes.”