The Massachusetts Port Authority (Massport) announced today it is proud to be a sponsor of the Fourth Annual AltWheels Fleet Day. The program to be held today at the Staples Worldwide Headquarters in Framingham is expected to attract more than 300 professionals in fleet management and commercial vehicle operations. This year's event focuses on the use of alternative technologies and provides opportunities to share best practices in an era of high 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. At its annual conference held in Boston last week, the Airports Council International - North America (ACI-NA) honored Massport's Logan Airport Emissions Reduction Program with its top environmental achievement award.
"Massport's goal is to become a leader in sustainable practices, not just among airports and seaports, but in the business community at large," said Thomas J. Kinton Jr. Massport's CEO & Executive Director. "Our participation in AltWheels Fleet Day provides an opportunity to share ideas with others who have a similar mission."
As part of the day-long symposium, Massport will share information about its green initiatives. It will also provide one of its Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) Logan Airport shuttle buses to transport attendees throughout the day between the symposium venue and a satellite parking lot. Bill Crowley, Logan's Fleet Manager, will participate in a panel discussion on fleet alternatives. Massport has been a sponsor of AltWheels for six years. Since last year's AltWheels Festival, Massport continued to augment its efforts to reduce the carbon footprint of its operations. Massport plans to purchase renewable energy credits so that by the end of 2009, all of the electricity the Authority uses for its own operations will be offset through the purchase of those credits. The Authority also will purchase additional renewable energy credits to offset other carbon emissions, such as those from Massport vehicles. Most recently, Massport initiated a pilot program in which 20 wind turbines were installed on its administrative office building.
Massport has pioneered many environmentally-friendly initiatives. Logan Airport's 26 shuttle buses, powered by compressed natural gas (CNG) since 1995, are expected to exceed 12 million clean miles this year. CNG buses log as many as 4,800 miles each per month and consume roughly 30,000 gasoline equivalent gallons of CNG fuel which is based on the equivalent energy produced when burned. 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.
As part of its environmental management policy, Massport purchases - on an as needed basis - new CNG or Hybrid powered vehicles to replace conventional fuel vehicles. Currently Logan Airport operates more than 60 vehicles powered by CNG or electricity.
Logan Airport is also home to one of New England's largest publicly accessible CNG filling stations. Massport has plans to relocate this facility and expand its capacity by 50 percent.
Massport continues to encourage the use of hybrid or alternative fuel vehicles. Hybrid and alternative fuel taxis are able to take advantage of "front of line" taxi pool privileges. Passengers may request a "green cab" and if one is available, it will be dispatched. Other efforts include a 50 percent 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.
"Massport is a leader in the community for bringing CNG to its fleets, developing plans for hybrid taxis, and looking at how to make Logan a leader in the region," said Alison Sander, founder of AltWheels and principal organizer of the event.
In addition to its fleet of alternative fuel and hybrid vehicles, Massport works to promote the use of high occupancy modes of getting to and from Logan Airport. Roughly 30 percent of Logan passengers use a high occupancy vehicle (HOV) including the MBTA's Silver Line which runs on clean diesel fuel and electricity, the Blue Line with CNG buses transporting passengers from the Airport T station to and from the terminals, and clean diesel-powered Logan Express buses. Recent replacements of model year 2001 Logan Express buses at Framingham and Braintree resulted in significant emissions reductions of particulate matter (1.42 tons per year) and oxides of nitrogen (45.69 tons per year); as well as 20 percent fuel savings annually.
In an effort to reduce vehicle emissions, Massport is planning to build a consolidated rental car facility on-airport that will cut the number of rental car shuttle bus trips and lessen terminal curbside congestion. Last year, Logan's cell phone waiting lot opened. It has proved popular and 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 transportation, storm water treatment, heat island reduction, water efficiency, daylighting for energy efficiency, sustainable material use, and improved indoor air quality. This year, the Signature Flight Support general aviation facility at Logan 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.