Massport Demonstrates Its Environmental Stewardship at Annual AltWheels Fleet Day
Massport Sponsors Event for Fifth Year in a Row
Continuing its support for the development of alternative fuel technologies, the Massachusetts Port Authority (Massport) is sponsoring the 5th Annual AltWheels Fleet Day. Massport has participated every year since AltWheels was established. Today’s event is expected to draw more than 350 fleet management and procurement professionals to the Staples Worldwide Headquarters in Framingham where attendees will have the opportunity to share best practices for coping with rising fuel costs
Massport employs a number of environmental initiatives in its day-to-day operations, including an award-winning air-quality emissions reductions program, an innovative sustainability program, and progressive stewardship of its facilities.
“Massport is proud to be a leader in sustainable practices,” said Thomas J. Kinton Jr. Massport’s CEO & Executive Director. “Since last year’s AltWheels Fleet Day we continue to improve our environmental performance at our aviation and maritime operations.”
As part of the day-long symposium, Massport will share information about its green initiatives. Jacquelyn Wilkins, Massport’s Acting Sustainability Program Manager will participate in two panel discussions, one on Fleet Challenges and Solutions, and the other entitled Best Practices.
"We are delighted to feature Massport again at AltWheels this year, said Alison Sander, founder of AltWheels and principal organizer of the event. Massport is a long-time sponsor and a leader in the alternative transportation space. This year's Fleet Day will include a Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) Logan Airport shuttle bus to transport attendees throughout the day between the symposium venue and a satellite parking lot.
Since last year’s AltWheels event, Massport’s Board approved a $3 million loan to Delta Air Lines for the purchase of 75 battery-powered baggage cart tugs and battery-powered baggage conveyor belt vehicles which will reduce emissions and improve the air quality around Boston Logan International Airport. The Terminal B garage is undergoing a $55.7 million renovation which will include solar panels on the roof to generate power and LED lighting in the garage which will reduce electricity consumption by 49 percent.
At the seaport, Massport received a $400,000 grant from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to install additional power stations at Boston Fish Pier so fishing boats and visiting vessels will be able to turn off their diesel engines and plug in for electricity while tied up. A cell phone lot was also opened for Cruiseport Boston patrons picking up passengers at Black Falcon Cruise Terminal which will alleviate congestion on the streets around the cruise terminal.
Massport has pioneered many environmentally-friendly initiatives. Logan Airport’s 27 shuttle buses have been powered by CNG since 1995 and are expected to log their 13th million mile this year. Each CNG bus logs as many as 3,300 miles per month and consumes roughly 28,000 gasoline equivalent gallons of CNG fuel In the past 12 months, Massport purchased approximately 376,000 gasoline-equivalent-gallons of CNG to power its fleet of shuttle buses, pool cars, and airport operations vehicles. Massport is currently exploring clean vehicle options to replace the aging CNG shuttle bus fleet.
As part of its environmental management policy, Massport purchases - on an as needed basis - new alternative fuel or Hybrid- powered vehicles to replace conventional fuel vehicles. Currently Logan Airport operates more than 70 vehicles powered by CNG or electricity. Logan Airport is also home to one of New England’s largest publicly accessible CNG filling stations.
Massport continues to encourage the use of hybrid or alternative fuel vehicles in the taxi line at Logan Airport and passengers are advised that they may request a green cab if one is available. Other efforts include a 50% reduction in ground access fees for alternative fueled limos and hotel shuttles, and reserved parking spaces for hybrid and alternative fuel vehicles in Logan’s garages.
In addition to its fleet of alternative fuel and hybrid vehicles, Massport works to promote the use of high occupancy modes of travel to and from Logan Airport. Roughly 30% of Logan passengers use a high occupancy vehicle (HOV) including the MBTA’s Silver Line bus service which runs on clean diesel fuel and electricity, the MBTA’s Blue Line subway service, and clean diesel-powered Logan Express buses that bring passengers to the airport from four separate locations across the Boston metro area.
In an effort to reduce vehicle emissions, Massport is planning to build a consolidated rental car facility on-airport that will reduce the number of rental car shuttle bus trips and lessen terminal curbside congestion. Massport is currently examining clean vehicle options for the new fleet of rental car shuttle buses. Last year, Logan’s cell phone waiting lot opened. It has proved popular and has helped to further reduce congestion on airport roadways.
In 2006, Logan Airport’s new Terminal A was the world’s first airport terminal to win Leadership in Environmental Engineering and Design (LEED) certification for environmental sustainability design and construction. The terminal blends sustainable building methods and technologies, including alternative ground transportation, storm water treatment, heat island reduction, water efficiency, daylighting for energy efficiency, sustainable material use, and improved indoor air quality. In 2008, Signature Flight Support general aviation facility at Logan also received LEED certification.
Massport’s Maritime facility is continually investing in environmentally-friendly equipment for its Conley Container Terminal. Last year, Massport purchased eight new Rubber Tire Gantry (RTG) cranes that are powered by hybrid engines. The engine runs on electricity generated by a low noise/low exhaust diesel that meet U.S Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)/California Air Resources Board (CARB) exhaust emissions standards. The engine is also fitted with a diesel oxidation catalyst to further reduce particulate matter.
Additionally, more than 80 diesel cranes, fork-lifts, and yard tractors at Conley use ultra low-sulfur diesel (ULSD). Using ULSD significantly reduces sulfur dioxide. Many retrofits have been accomplished with the help of an EPA grant: four older RTGs, 14 tractors, and two reach stackers have all been retrofitted with emissions controls. All of Conley’s large boom cranes that service the vessels run on electric power.
Massport owns and operates several of the nation’s first ISO 14001 certified transportation facilities, including Hanscom Field; the Conley Container Terminal; and the Tobin Bridge.