Travel | January 16, 2009 |
Short Flights Can Be Grounded With Better Rail
What is needed to save the airline industry, make mass transit more convenient and prevent continued climate change contributions is a better transportation plan for
For airlines, this repair must involve a carefully crafted plan that drives down airline pricing and improves operational efficiency. Many airports are facing the need to expand runways, terminals and operations in general, but the environmental degradation that would result begs the question if expansion is worth the costs of later mitigating damaged habitats, and air and water resources. While major construction projects in the
One of the largest offenses airlines commit is through many within state flights, as the short distance hardly justifies the pollution of getting the plane off the ground and landing hour later. Efforts like the Voluntary Airport Low Emissions Program are beginning to undo years of environmental damage, but much more is necessary, especially if the future of business means a cap and trade program where airlines will be more than hard pressed to meet the caps.
A few suggestions to airline issues could be to combine under-booked flights across airlines, saving fuel, airline staff time, and literally tons of greenhouse gas emissions. Some airlines are also looking into using geographic information systems (GIS) to prevent delays and traffic.
If expansion is a must, then it must be green. Airport expansion should be required to offset any expanding footprint. The greatest contribution to saving money, increasing fuel efficiency and a reduced impact on the environment by airlines will be through converting to biofuels, and Virgin Atlantic Airlines is leading the way by using biofuel blends, though several other airlines (Continental, Air New Zealand) are also experimenting.
Part two of the repair plan is to invest in a mass transit infrastructure grid limiting the need for vehicle miles traveled, traffic congestion, and the environmental hazards that go along with vehicle travel. Bus systems should route from major city attractions, downtowns and business hubs, airports, and provide options, even if more limited in frequency, to outlying suburbs.
For an even greener forecast, alternatives to within state air travel are necessary. In
The project can meet the needs of the repair plan by creating jobs, creating new revenue streams, reducing traffic congestion, and eventually operating with minimal greenhouse gas and air pollution emissions (because the system would eventually be powered by renewable resources). The rail project will also link up to existing transit options in the state's metropolitan areas like
More efficient routes, and some forethought by transportation planners can take the country's transportation revitalization from 0 to 60.