Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Scooters = Yay! for Enviornment and Yay! for Traffic!!

Yeah, it's nasty outside, and if your car is like mine (equipped with summer performance tires), getting around in this stuff can be a drag if not impossible... Makes ya wish for the riding season doesn't it?! Well, teasing aside, its business as usual and we're here with some new info to help satiate that two-wheeled hunger while the snow is present.

Posted on Yahoo! in the Business section yesterday, it seemed that New York City has been trying to figure out ways to reach that goal they set to reduce the city's emissions by 30%. Guess who is coming to the rescue!!

Using the Synchro/Sim traffic modeling system, a simulation of downtown Manhattan traffic, mixed up with 80% cars and SUVs with 20% scooters yielded the following results:

  • A total decrease in delay of more than 4.6 million hours per year -- which translates to time savings of nearly 100 working hours per person
  • A reduction in carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by over 26,000 tons (52,000,000-pounds) per year
  • A decrease in fuel consumption by over 2.5 million gallons per year
  • A total savings for New York City of more than $122 million per year in fuel and labor productivity

Now thats modeled for a year's span of time, but man, those are some amazing numbers! A few things are very important to note here too:

  1. This proves (as if it needed proving), that scooters are NOT more polluting than SUVs, which has been argued rather weakly by those in the car industry (someone's getting nervous eh?) and so-called "greenskeepers."
  2. Scooters really do save you $$ on gas! Imagine if all of New York were to adapt to the European lifestyle and say, 20% of the populace rode to work instead of driving their cars.. Heck, what if all of Kansas City did the same?? Not only would that be a big step in descreasing our addiction to fossil fuels, it would help the enviornment, save us money, and we could have much more fun doing it; how is any of that a bad thing?!?

The report also goes on to say that the simulation was still conservative on the impact of scooters in that it didn't take into account that two scooters can occupy a lane in side-by-side riding (as permitted by NY law) whereas you can only fit one car in the same space!

To sweeten the experience, Piaggio's CEO, Mr. Timoni is quoted in talking about the effect of scooters in general.

"Throughout the world, scooters are recognized as a smart transportation alternative, and this traffic simulation underscores the tangible impact that two-wheel vehicles can have on a major urban area like New York City," said Paolo Timoni, President and CEO of Piaggio Group Americas, which sponsored the modeling project. "The impact of this kind of shift has already been seen in London, which instituted congestion tariffs for commuting cars. That policy led to a significant increase in vehicles like scooters being used for commuting. Research is now validating that even small behavioral changes, like using scooters for a portion of one's commuting, can benefit the economy and help address critical environmental issues like global warming."

Check out this great article HERE.

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