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Allegro high-speed train has got its millionth passenger

September 18, 2013 in Electric Vehicles, EV News, Trains

Allegro High-Speed Train Photo courtesy of Alstom

Allegro High-Speed Train
Photo courtesy of Alstom

RZD press office announced that they had sold a millionth ticket for Allegro, a high-speed train by Alstom running between St. Petersburg and Helsinki. The ride is planned for the 20th September, 2013.

Allegro did its first ride from Helsinki to St. Petersburg on the 12 December 2010. With a commercial speed of 220 km per hour, the trains link Helsinki to St Petersburg in three and a half hours compared to five and a half hours previously. As Allegro made the two cities with deep historical, business and cultural ties become really closer, it was a big success straight away.

Allegro sets a new level of passenger comfort. It has 342 seats and is suited for disabled people. The 1st and 2nd class cars are equipped with adjustable arm-chairs, folding tables, pockets for newspapers and magazines, foot rests and electric sockets for computers and mobile phones.

Allegro’s tilting technologies allow it to significantly increase the speed at the curves, preserving the safety and comfort at the same time.

Depending on the intended commercial speed, Allegro could be offered for the Russian high-speed line project.

This article is a repost, credit: Alstom.

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Congress Signs Off On $189 Million Advancing Rail And 2003 Referendum

August 14, 2013 in Electric Vehicles, EV News, Light Rail

Houston (8-12-13)

METRO light rail Photo courtesy of Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County

METRO light rail
Photo courtesy of Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County

Congress has again given the green light for METRO Rail expansion – allowing the Authority to fulfill the goals of Houston’s 2003 referendum with the  appropriation of $94.5 million for the North/Red Line extension and another $94.5 million for the Southeast/Purple Line. The funds are part of the $900 million Full Funding Grant Agreements signed by federal officials in November of 2011.

METRO Board Chairman Gilbert Garcia said, “This is another key development in our progress towards building light rail for Houston. We want to extend thanks to our congressional delegation and the many people who have supported efforts to improve the METRO transit system.”

METRO has already received $523.7 million of the Full Funding Grant Agreements. The transit agency expects to begin receiving this latest $189 million appropriation within the next 30 days and will spend the money completing the 5.3 mile North/Red Line extension which is a continuation of the current Main  Street Line as well as the 6.6 mile-Southeast Line. The Southeast/Purple Line will tie into the Main Street Line, providing Texas Southern University, and the University of Houston Central Campus with new transit options. The remaining $187.3 million of the FFGA is expected to be appropriated in 2014.

Tom Lambert, METRO interim president & CEO said, “This action allows us to finish the work the people of Houston voted for. Congress is giving us a critical tool with this funding, and we are taking every step we can to make sure these are dollars well spent. Our staff and the north side community are looking forward to the opening of the North/Red Line in December of this year. Meanwhile work continues on the Southeast/Purple Line and the locally-funded East  End/Green Line, which will open later in 2014.”

About METRO 

The Metropolitan Transit Authority of Harris County (METRO) is the region’s largest public transit provider, offering safe, reliable and affordable transportation services about 370,000 times per day. Besides operating more than 1,200 buses, METRO is currently expanding its 7.5-mile light-rail line (Red Line), with three new lines under construction. METRO’s services also include: STAR Vanpool, METRO Lift, HOV lanes, HOT lanes, Bikes-on-Buses/Trains program, Park & Ride and road improvement projects.

This article is a repost, credit: The Metropolitan Transit Authority,

Hyperloop Elon Musk California Governor Brown And ET3 Daryl Oster

July 23, 2013 in Environment, ET3, EV News, Hyperloop, Tesla

Image courtesy of Federal Railroad Administration

Image courtesy of Federal Railroad Administration

Tesla CEO Elon Musk does not like the California high-speed rail plan, and he is not alone.  Mr. Musk sees the rail plan between San Francisco and Los Angeles as expensive and outmoded.  In short, there have been a variety of expensive estimates for the project, some as high as 100 billion, and the train technology that is planned is slow by modern standards, max speed of 220 mph.

In Japan, a maglev train was tested recently at speeds of 310 mph.  Maglev is short for magnetic levitation (portmanteau).  Yes, maglev trains levitate which eliminates rail friction, enhancing the speed and comfort of the ride.  This technology holds tremendous promise.  (With maglev trains, you still experience air resistance, which has many thinking that there is one more step yet to go, airless maglev transport tubes.)

California Governor Brown may be in the hot seat in the coming days and months if he continues down the high-speed rail track, because Americans have a proud moon-shot history.  Governor Brown is a good man.  He is not a static politician.  It is certainly within his personality to recognize a project with moon-shot potential.

Mr. Musk plans to reveal an earthly design for this new transport science.  Mr. Musk tweeted July 15: “Will publish Hyperloop alpha design by Aug 12.  Critical feedback for improvements would be much appreciated.”

Evacuated Tube Transport Technologies (ET3) CEO Daryl Oster has been researching airless maglev tube transport for many years now.  In a phone interview yesterday, he said that he thought he could organize investors for a test project, but he was not set on a location.  Mr. Oster sees this transport technology as world changing, a leap forward for humankind.  Read this report on ET3 (courtesy of Daryl Oster):

Watch this great video, Daryl Oster at ideaCity:

Video courtesy of Zoomer Media:

EV News Report will continue with this story shortly …

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EV News Report is a news and information service on electric vehicle news with a focus on the campaigns, events and star leaders shaping the EV revolution.

Electric vehicles are driving the change to a clean green sustainable future for the United States and the world. Tesla CEO Elon Musk and other EV stars have launched a revolution. At EV News Report, you will see daily updates on the new electric era, including Tesla news, LEAF news, and all the leading players in the electric transportation movement.

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IEA shows benefits of improved energy efficiency of urban transport systems, Source: IEA

July 14, 2013 in Electric Vehicles, EV News, IEA

Photo courtesy of US DOT

Photo courtesy of US DOT

As energy consumption for transport in cities is expected to double by 2050, report sees potential savings of up to USD 70 trillion

Policies that improve the energy efficiency of urban transport systems could help save as much as USD 70 trillion in spending on vehicles, fuel and transportation infrastructure between now and 2050, according to a new report from the International Energy Agency.

The report,  A Tale of Renewed Cities, draws on examples from more than 30 cities across the globe to show how to improve transport efficiency through better urban planning and travel demand management. Extra benefits include lower greenhouse-gas emissions and higher quality of life.

The report comes at a critical time: More than half of the world’s population already lives in cities, many of which suffer from traffic jams and overcrowded roads that cost hundreds of billions of dollars in lost fuel and time and that harm environmental quality, health and safety.

“As the share of the world’s population living in cities grows to nearly 70 percent by 2050 and energy consumption for transport in cities is expected to double, the need for efficient, affordable, safe and high-capacity transport solutions will become more acute,” said IEA Executive Director Maria van der Hoeven as she presented the report. “Urgent steps to improve the efficiency of urban transport systems are needed not only for energy security reasons, but also to mitigate the numerous negative climate, noise, air pollution, congestion and economic impacts of rising urban transport volumes.”

She urged policy makers to take a systems perspective and a long-term view to address the challenges. “Governments must think beyond individual technologies and electoral cycles, and consider how to build – and how to renew – cities that will accommodate and transport nearly 6.3 billion people by 2050. We must plan infrastructure, logistics and energy systems now that make sense today and over the coming decades,” she said.

Among the three broad categories of policies recommended in the report are those that allow travel to be avoided, those that shift travel to more efficient modes, and those that improve the efficiency of vehicle and fuel technologies. The report notes that if fully implemented across the transportation sector, this “avoid, shift and improve” approach could save up to USD 70 trillion in terms of lower spending on oil, roadway infrastructure and vehicles.

The report offers three case studies – Belgrade, Seoul and New York City — to show how those cities have already improved their transport systems. It notes, for example, that within the first six months of refurbishing its urban rail system, Belgrade tripled passenger levels. When Seoul pushed through reforms that no longer rewarded bus operators for carrying more people, ridership, speed and safety all increased. And New York City shaved 11 minutes off travel times within a year of introducing express bus services, while at the same time attracting more passengers.

A Tale of Renewed Cities, which was supported by the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, sets forth a pathway outlining the essential steps and milestones for policy development and implementation to transform cities by improving urban transport systems. The pathway is divided into four sections that present the necessary planning and actions for supporting development, financing, implementation and evaluation of policies to improve the energy efficiency of urban transport systems.

To assist planners and policy makers in addressing many common issues and challenges, the pathway also provides a list of policy references and practitioner’s guides that are noted throughout the report and on the IEA Policy Pathway Series webpage.

  • To download the report, please click here.
  • To read comments by Executive Director Maria van der Hoeven and others at the report’s launch, please click here.
  • To see the slides from the report’s launch, please click here.
  • To download the archive of the webinar for the report’s launch, please click here.

About the IEA

The International Energy Agency is an autonomous organisation which works to ensure reliable, affordable and clean energy for its 28 member countries and beyond. Founded in response to the 1973/4 oil crisis, the IEA’s initial role was to help countries co-ordinate a collective response to major disruptions in oil supply through the release of emergency oil stocks to the markets. While this continues to be a key aspect of its work, the IEA has evolved and expanded. It is at the heart of global dialogue on energy, providing reliable and unbiased research, statistics, analysis and recommendations.

This article is a repost, credit: International Energy Agency,

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President Obama nominates Mayor Anthony Foxx as 17th Secretary of Transportation, Source: DOT

April 29, 2013 in Electric Vehicles, EV News, Politics

This afternoon, it was my great pleasure to stand with President Obama as he nominated Charlotte, NC, Mayor Anthony Foxx to be the next U.S. Secretary of Transportation.

When the President said today that I had enjoyed this job, he was absolutely right. This has indeed been the best job I’ve ever had, and I don’t leave it lightly. Mayor Foxx will soon learn what I have had the good fortune to learn, that DOT boasts some of the smartest, brightest people in transportation and in public service.

He will also learn that the President is a terrific man to work for, a man with a vision and a man who gives his nominees the license to achieve. There really is no way to thank my very good friend, President Obama, for having given me this tremendous opportunity.

Photo courtesy of US Department of Transportation

Photo courtesy of US Department of Transportation

If you’ve been following this blog over the past four years, the President’s nomination of Mayor Foxx should come as absolutely no surprise. Whether I was blogging about highways, aviation, rail, or transit, I’ve had no shortage of reasons to say something good about what’s happening transportation-wise in Charlotte.

From runway improvements at the Charlotte Douglas International Airport and the expanded LYNX light rail system to freight and passenger rail upgrades and redesigned intersections on Interstate 85, the City of Charlotte has been on the forefront of American transportation development. Since 2009, the City has made its largest-ever investments in transportation, including a new streetcar system.

Much of that is due to Mayor Foxx’s understanding that transportation is a backbone of how we live and a key driver of our economy. As mayor of one of the nation’s fastest growing cities, Anthony Foxx has been on the front lines delivering transportation services to the public, boosting economic growth, and creating jobs.

In the past four years, this DOT has notched a terrific record of achievement, and while we await Mayor Foxx’s confirmation by the Senate, I will have plenty to say about the great team of professionals in the Department and the key accomplishments during the Administration’s first four years that we can point to proudly.

But for right now, let me just be clear in saying that with Mayor Foxx at the helm, the American people can expect DOT’s progress to continue unabated during the President’s second term.

Mayor Anthony Foxx is the right man for the job.

This article is a repost, credit: US Department of Transportation, Secretary Ray LaHood,

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What You Need to Know About President Obama’s Plan to Improve American Infrastructure, Source: The White House

March 29, 2013 in EV News

President Barack Obama delivers remarks on infrastructure, at the Port of Miami Tunnel project in Miami, Fla., March 29, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)

President Barack Obama delivers remarks on infrastructure, at the Port of Miami Tunnel project in Miami, Fla., March 29, 2013. (Official White House Photo by Chuck Kennedy)

Over the last four years, construction crews have built or improved more than 350,000 miles of road – enough to circle the world more than 14 times. We’ve upgraded more than 6,000 miles of rail – enough to go coast-to-coast and back. And American workers have repaired or replaced more than 20,000 bridges.

But we still have a long way to go.

While our national infrastructure got its best grade in 15 years from the American Society of Civil Engineers’ annual report card in 2013, that grade is now a D+ instead of a D. We don’t have to accept that for America — we can do better. And in a time of tight budgets, we can do it in a way that makes sure taxpayer dollars are spent wisely. Additionally, there are few more important things we can do to create jobs right now, and strengthen our economy than to put people back to work rebuilding America – our roads, bridges, schools, and ports.

In his 2013 State of the Union address, President Obama announced a three-part plan to encourage private investment in American infrastructure that will make our roads, bridges, and ports safer, give our businesses and workers the tools to compete successfully in the global economy, and create thousands of much-needed jobs in cities and towns across the country. Here’s how it works:

Investing in a “Fix-It-First” policy: The national transportation system faces an immense backlog of state-of-good-repair projects, a reality underscored by the fact that there are nearly 70,000 “structurally deficient” bridges in the country today. The President’s plan will put people to work as soon as possible on our most urgent repairs. The President’s plan for $50 billion in frontloaded transportation infrastructure investment would direct $40 billion towards reducing the backlog of deferred maintenance on highways, bridges, transit systems, and airports nationwide. For example, the President’s proposed investments could bring almost 80 percent of structurally deficient bridges up to date, getting Americans home faster and making the flow of commerce speedier.

Attracting private investment through a “Rebuild America Partnership”: Creating a partnership with the private sector will create jobs upgrading what our businesses need most – modern ports to move our goods; modern pipelines to withstand a storm; modern schools worthy of our children. The President’s plan will bring together an array of new and existing policies all aimed at enhancing the role of private capital in U.S. infrastructure investment as a vital additive to the traditional roles of federal, state, and local governments — making American workers and businesses more competitive and putting more Americans back on the job.

Part one is setting up an independent fund that will attract private investment to build these infrastructure projects. Projects will be chosen based on two criteria: how badly they’re needed, and how much good they’ll do for the economy.

The President’s plan helps finance these projects without wasting taxpayer dollars by creating “America Fast Forward” bonds, which will give mayors and governors more flexibility and power to attract private investment for public projects.

In his 2013 State of the Union address, President Obama called for the investment of $10 billion to create and capitalize an independent National Infrastructure Bank (NIB), which would leverage private and public capital for infrastructure projects that show the greatest merit. Each dollar of federal funding can leverage up to $20 in total infrastructure investment, mainly from partners in the private sector and state and local government.

Eligible projects for funding by the NIB would include transportation infrastructure, water infrastructure, and energy infrastructure. In general, projects would have to be at least $100 million in size, be of national or regional significance, and have a clear public benefit.

President Obama’s plan also strengthens the Transportation Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act (TIFIA) program. In recent years this program, which provides direct loans, loan guarantees, and lines of credit to regionally or nationally significant transportation projects, has helped mayors leverage four times the money invested in it by the federal government, helping construction workers get on the job quicker, and repaying taxpayers their hard-earned money faster.

The Administration is proposing $4 billion in new competitive funding for the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) and TIFIA programs in 2014. This additional investment would make new grant and loan funding available for states and localities across the country, giving them both a new source of financing and the flexibility to design projects and financing packages to meet their needs.

Cutting red tape: The Obama Administration’s infrastructure permitting initiative has shown that we can cut federal review and permitting timelines for construction projects such as highway, bridges, railways, ports, waterways, pipelines, and renewable energy by several months to several years.  This modernization effort will achieve time savings of 50 percent in the federal permitting and review process, while ensuring projects create better outcomes for communities and the environment.  The effort will bring federal permitting and review procedures into the 21  century through expanded use of integrated planning, landscape and watershed-level mitigation, information technology, and publication of public timelines for permitting and review decisions to improve transparency and predictability.

President Obama’s top priority is to make sure we do everything we can to reignite the true engine of our economic growth – a rising, thriving middle class. A growing economy that creates good, middle-class jobs is the North Star that guides all our efforts as a country.  The President’s plan to improve America’s infrastructure will create good jobs doing the work America needs done, and encourage more businesses to start here, grow here, and hire workers here.

This article is a repost, credit: The White House, Colleen Curtis, Director of Digital Content for the Office of Digital Strategy,