The Massachusetts Port Authority (Massport) is celebrating an important milestone just in time for this year's Altwheels Transportation Festival, which promotes the use of alternative fuels. In August 2006, Boston Logan International Airport's fleet of 33 compressed natural gas (CNG) shuttle buses surpassed their 10 millionth "Clean Mile." Massport uses these buses to transport passengers between Logan's terminals, the MBTA station, and the Logan Water Shuttle Dock. To kick-off the weekend, Massport's CEO & Executive Director Thomas J. Kinton, Jr. will participate in a police escorted "alt fuel" caravan this evening making its way to MIT. Additionally, Massport will be exhibiting vehicles, and will provide two 40-foot CNG-powered buses to transport participants during the weekend festival.
"This achievement reinforces Massport's commitment to responsible environmental stewardship, and we will continue to integrate clean-fuel alternatives to expand our fleet as our conventional fuel vehicles need replacing," said Kinton. "We are pleased to support the festival again this year, and offer those attending the opportunity to take a ride in an environmentally-friendly vehicle."
Massport has been a leader in use of alternative fuels, and Logan Airport has served as a testing ground for a number of cutting edge fuel programs and technologies. Starting in 1995, Massport began converting its entire fleet of 33 shuttle buses to CNG. Buses log as many as 4,400 miles each per month and roughly consume 36,000 gallons of CNG fuel, and because CNG is easier on equipment, the buses still have their original engines. Currently Massport's Logan-based fleet operates close to 100 vehicles on clean fuels which include CNG and electricity. Logan is also home to the region's largest CNG filling station. Massport has worked closely with environmental agencies and airport tenants to encourage airport companies to convert their Logan fleets to alternative fuels. Massport provides and incentive by offering a 50% discount on the ground access fee required of hotel shuttles, taxis, limos, etc. who do business at Logan Airport.
As part of its environmental management policy, Massport is committed to operating all of its facilities in an environmentally sound and responsibly manner, and within a few years, Massport will introduce a new fleet of CNG or CNG Hybrid powered vehicles to replace conventional fuel vehicles (buses, pick-up trucks, cars, and vans) as they retire. Massport also has plans to relocate its existing CNG filling station to make way for a 50% larger facility. The new station will feature a third compressor and extra dispensers to increase both the number of vehicles that can be handled at any one time, and the speed with which they can be fueled. It will also house additional above ground storage capacity.
"For the fourth year in a row, we are thrilled to have Massport sponsor of our Festival," said Alison Sander, principal organizer of the event. "Their efforts are exemplary with testing and operating clean-fuel vehicles in a way that the mainstream public can understand and appreciate. Massport has made a significant contribution to combat the problem of air pollution in and around the airport."
During the Altwheels Festival, Massport shuttle buses will circulate between Boston City Hall Plaza and the Museum of Science every half hour from 10:00 a.m. - 6:00 p.m. on Friday 9/22, and from 10:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. on Saturday 9/23. A different schedule will be in effect on Sunday 9/24, with shuttle buses only transporting passengers between Larz Anderson Auto Museum in Brookline and the (C) Green Line Cleveland Circle Station, and the Red Line Porter Square Station. Service from the Cleveland Circle Station will run every 20 minutes, and the Porter Square Station service will operate every 90 minutes. The shuttle service will begin at 9:00 a.m. with the last pick-up at each location scheduled for 3:00 p.m.
The festival will feature a series of outdoor workshops and exhibits, a big lawn show of technologies, and special activities for children. There will be information and activities for people interested in walking, biking, using mass transit and the future of the passenger car and commercial vehicles. For more information about festival details please visit www.altwheels.org or call 508-698-6810. Information about the Larz Anderson Auto Museum is available at www.mot.org.