The four-day Alternative Clean Transportation (ACT) Expo opens Monday at the Long Beach Convention Center and this year it is co-located with NGV Global 2014. Nearly 200 alternative-fuel and clean-transportation industry leaders will present and exhibit at the event, giving attendees the latest updates on alt-fuel technologies.
Those involved in the school bus sector include the Propane Education & Research Council (PERC), Powertrain Integration, ROUSH CleanTech, CleanFUEL USA, Cummins Westport, Espar, and Freightliner Custom Chassis, to name a few.
An ACT EXPO Breakout Session on Thursday, "Light-Duty & Medium-Duty Propane Fleet Case Studies" features Teri Brady, the director of transportation at Portland (Ore.) Public Schools. Brady and the other panelists will discuss how they invested in propane autogas technologies for their fleets and why this fuel made the most sense for their operations. John Clements, the "Electric Bus Evangelist" and recently retired transportation director from Kings Canyon Unified School District in northern California, will discuss his role in developing the first-ever fully electric Type A school bus at the Thursday Breakout Session, "Medium-Duty Electric Vehicle End-User Case Studies."
ACT EXPO is being touted as the largest clean transportation conference in North America's history. Could there be an announcement about another forthcoming alt-fuel school bus offering? Stay tuned.
Details will be released soon on a SWAT exercise too be held at the STN EXPO in Reno July 27 involving response to criminal activity, such as a hostage situation, on a school bus. STN is working with the Washoe County Sheriff's Office, trainers Bret E. Brooks of Gray Ram Tactical LLC and Denny Coughlin of School Bus Training Company as well as Washoe County School District. The National Association for Pupil Transportation also announced a similar "live action demonstration" onboard a school bus at its Summit in Kansas City this fall. NAPT is working with the Missouri Center for Education Safety.
For the STN EXPO, another major announcement is expected in the next week or so about another keynote in Reno this summer.
Meanwhile, NAPT also announced that comedian Steve Gilliland of SiriusXM Radio's Laugh USA and Blue Collar Radio is this year's Summit keynote speaker.
U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx said that passing a surface transportation bill could certainly happen this summer. "I don't buy that this can't be done, and can't be done quickly," he told Politico on April 17. "At the same time, we've said all along that we're open to other pay-fors — we're open to ideas that Congress has.
A new report by commissioned by the American Bus Association and conducted by M.J. Bradley and Associates shows that, when it comes to fuel efficiency and carbon emissions, motorcoaches are the cleanest mode of transportation. The study compares motorcoaches to 11 other modes, including intercity rail (Amtrak), transit buses, commuter rail, domestic air travel and private automobiles. Across all 11 modes, motorcoaches are the leader in environmentally conscious transportation.
Motorcoaches average nearly 240 passenger miles per gallon, while intercity rail (Amtrak) averages 85, commuter rail 90, transit buses 70, domestic air travel 55 and single-occupant cars 28. In terms of carbon dioxide emissions, motorcoaches are more than twice as efficient as the next closest mode, more than three times as efficient as Amtrak, and eight times more efficient than a single-occupant car. This report shows that, in addition to motorcoach transportation's inherent advantages in pricing, flexibility and on-board amenities, travelers can choose motorcoaches based on sustainability as well.
"Many in Washington, D.C., believe that in order to reduce congestion while creating green transportation options, government must provide massive ongoing taxpayer support," said ABA President and CEO Peter Pantuso. "As the data shows, America's privately operated motorcoach fleet is the greenest form of transportation. It provided nearly 640 million passenger trips in 2012 while doing so with little to no taxpayer subsidy. Our industry is proud of our success, and we hope that as Congress considers the next transportation authorization bill, they consider what it truly means to be sustainable."