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Posts from the ‘commute’ Category

Join the Clear the Air Challenge 2020

Are you ready for a new challenge? How about one that will help you save money, burn calories, and improve our air quality? Salt Lake City employees are already on board and want to invite you to join the 2020 Clear the Air Challenge. During the month of February, keep our air clear of pollutants by limiting your driving!

You can aim to reduce your “driving-alone” trips every day in February, or pick a goal that’s manageable for you. It all helps!

If you don’t have a team and want to challenge yourself, please join the Clear the Air Challenge SLCgreen Team!

What is the Clear the Air Challenge?

Since 2009, Utahns have been participating in the month-long Clear the Air Challenge. During February, when air quality in Utah is historically bad, participants track their trips with the goal of avoiding single-occupancy vehicle travel and reducing air pollution. Participants carpool, bike, walk, telecommute, trip chain, take public transit, drive electric vehicles, and ride electric bikes or scooters– all to help clear the air!

In 2019, participants in the Clear the Air Challenge eliminated 84,421 single-occupancy vehicle trips. This saved 1,244,624 miles of traveling and $0.4 Million! Together, all these efforts reduced 359.8 tons of CO2!

This year, the Clear the Air Challenge needs everyone’s help to reach the goal of eliminating 100,000 single-occupant trips.  

Clear the Air to Protect Our Health

Winters in Utah can be beautiful, but when inversion starts, polluted air gets caught in our valleys. PM 2.5 and other pollutants threaten our health the well-being of our communities.

On bad air days, our activity is limited. Moreover, children, older adults, and people with heart diseases or respiratory problems are at a higher risk for suffering from poorer health due to bad air. Poor air quality is associated with a range of negative impacts including pregnancy losspremature deathchild asthma, and increased cases of pneumonia.

In Salt Lake City, nearly 50% of air pollution comes from cars, trucks, and other vehicles. That’s why the Clear the Air Challenge is more important than ever.

We love it when the air is clear!

What We’re Doing

Salt Lake City Corporation employees are already signing up to do their part to Clear the Air this year (see our previous Challenge roundup).

Each participating department has its own team. Salt Lake City employees live all over the Wasatch Front. Many of us take public transit to work every day. Others carpool or bike. For the month of February, we’re doing all we can to cut back on our single occupancy car rides!

Salt Lake City departments compete with each other for the coveted Clear the Air Challenge “Mayor’s Cup” and “SLCgreen Team Spirit” award.
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Thanks to the recent public transit expansions, the robust network of bike paths for the sunny days, as well as the Clear the Air Challenge app’s handy carpool guide, the Clear the Air Challenge will make February an exciting and competitive month!

Join SLCgreen’s Clear the Air Challenge Team

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Salt Lake City Co-Hosts Electric Vehicle Charging Workshop for Local Governments

by Ryan Anderson, SLCgreen intern, and Tyler Poulson

Salt Lake City Sustainability recently helped host a workshop at the Utah Division of Air Quality to educate a diverse range of local government leaders on electric vehicle charger site selection, installation, and management.

EV DEQ Workshop

Attendees at the electric vehicle charging infrastructure workshop | Sept 20, 2018

In partnership with Leaders for Clean Air, Rocky Mountain Power, Utah Clean Cities, and the Utah Division of Air Quality, we engaged dozens of representatives from local governments, plus staff from higher-education institutions, companies, and non-profits on how to build  a robust charging network while leveraging local incentives.

Salt Lake City’s Climate Positive 2040 goal of Clean Transportation requires swift electric vehicle adoption throughout the region. Our recently published Electrified Transportation Roadmap highlights opportunities to support EVs which reduce local air pollutants along the Wasatch Front up to 99% relative to gasoline vehicles.

Fortunately, broader trends suggest a move to electrified transportation. Electric vehicles are expected to make up 55% of global new car sales in just a couple decades and by planning ahead and installing electric vehicle supply equipment (EVSE) we can make that transition as smooth as possible. Read more

Check out our Roadmap for Electrified Transportation!

 

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Pop-out doors, instant acceleration, electric bikes, autonomous electric ride-share programs. . . the future is exciting when it comes to electrified transportation.

And, in many cases, the future is here. So local governments better get ready!

That’s why we’re excited to introduce you to a new report SLCgreen recently co-produced with Utah Clean Energy.

The Electrified Transportation Roadmap describes 25 steps that local governments can take to accelerate the electric transportation revolution.

The Roadmap outlines how local governments can implement a variety of electric powered modes of transit including electric vehicles (EVs), e-bikes, electric transit, and electrified ridesharing.

Salt Lake City has integrated a number of these best practices into our internal operations, and we’re now working toward more community-scale projects as part of our Climate Positive SLC plan.

As the capital city’s sustainability department, we also believe it’s important to share what we’ve learned with other local governments.

That’s the idea behind the Roadmap—as well as a workshop we organized March 14 with representatives from 16 local governments across the Wasatch Front to talk about best practices and to view EV options from a variety of local dealers. Read more

The 2018 Clear the Air Challenge is Here!

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It’s February which means it’s time for the Ninth Annual Clear the Air Challenge! If you haven’t already, now is the perfect time to get signed up and start identifying how you can drive less and drive smarter to save pollution. Read more

Avoid the Cold Start

We’re in the midst of a yucky inversion. At one point on Monday, the amount of particulate pollution crossed the 55.5 microgram/cubic meter threshold, which puts us in the red category of “Unhealthy” territory.

Dec 11 Air Quality

Air quality conditions and forecasts are available at http://air.utah.gov

Unfortunately, our weather patterns and geography mean we have to work extra hard to reduce what goes into the air.

One of the simplest things you can do is to leave the car at home.

Did you know that the majority of pollution comes when you simply turn your car on?

It’s the phenomenon of “Cold Starts.”

It means that 60-90% of your commute’s emissions come in the first three minutes. Pretty incredible, huh?

You can learn more about cold starts from UCAIR’s great blog post and video below.

So what can you do? Well, aim to keep your car parked as frequently as possibleeven if it’s just for a day, or a single trip you’re skipping

Cold-Starts

How to avoid the Cold Start: Read more

Looking for a new car? Sign Up for ZOOm Go Electric through May 31

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Are you waiting for the right time to buy a low-emission vehicle? Are you interested in helping clean the air and save money?

We’re excited to let you know that a new bulk purchase program for electric vehicles is BACK! (The last one, U Drive Electric, put 127 cleaner cars on the road in three months!)

ZOOm Go Electric is the newest discount program to launch. It runs from now through May 31, so get on it soon.

According to a 2013 analysis conducted by SWEEP and Utah Clean Energy “all electric” vehicles produce 99% lower emissions of volatile organic compounds (VOCs), 95% less sulfur dioxide (SO2) emissions, 76% less nitrogen oxides (NOx) emissions as compared to a new gasoline vehicle. Plug-in hybrid electric vehicles reduces emissions significantly as well. Read more

Provo City Launches Provo Clean Air Toolkit

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As we’ve discussed previously, we think cities are hotbeds of sustainability solutions.

Here’s another example from our friends to the south: Provo’s Clean Air Toolkit.

In 2014, Provo was awarded a grant by Utah Clean Air Partnership (UCAIR) to pursue this project. The toolkit’s goal is to present local residents and businesses with a centralized list of strategies they can use to achieve cleaner air in Utah County, and to make clean air the common goal of Provo City’s strategic planning and operations.

You can check it out at www.provocleanair.org.   As you’ll see, it offers a comprehensive guide for individuals, businesses, and municipalities to use to reduce air pollutants, as well as helpful statistics and infographics detailing projections for air quality over the next few decades.

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U Drive Program Puts 127 New Electric Vehicles on the Road

You may remember how excited we were to collaborate with Utah Clean Energy and the University of Utah on the second round of U Drive Electric this fall.

The goal: Get more EV’s on the road to promote cleaner air.

The how: By spreading the word about the limited-time bulk discounts available through the University of Utah’s innovative program.

Over the course of September and October, we worked with the U. and Utah Clean Energy to speak with hundreds of people about what “going electric” really means– including how cost-effective owning an electric vehicle is.

Now that this round has wrapped up, we’re excited to announce that 127 electric vehicles were purchased through U Drive Electric II!

When combined with Round I there are now over 200 new electric vehicles on the road thanks to U Drive Electric. These new EV owners have taken an important step towards improving air quality along the Wasatch Front.

  • Electric vehicles produce up to 99% less of the criteria air pollutants that cause bad air quality. With winter inversion season upon us it’s easy to see the importance of driving electric.
  • Furthermore, the EVs purchased through U Drive Electric will significantly reduce green house gas emissions. The carbon dioxide avoided over the next five years is equivalent to not burning nearly 2 million pounds of coal, or 200,000 gallons of gasoline.
  • Put another way, this is like switching 63,000 incandescent bulbs to LEDs, or the equivalent amount of carbon sequestered by 1,700 acres of forest in one year. 

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Testimonials from U Drive Electric participants can be found at utahev.org

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Salt Lake City Community Members Launch U Drive Electric

 

In a joint press conference, the University of Utah and Salt Lake City today announced the launch of an electric vehicle purchase program extending discounts on multiple makes and models of vehicles. The second round of U Drive Electric offers U community members and Salt Lake City community members the opportunity to purchase or lease electric and plug-in-hybrid vehicles at discounted prices through Oct. 31, 2016.

This joint program is aimed at improving air quality and community health both today and for future generations. With almost 50 percent of Utah’s urban air pollution coming from tailpipe emissions, electric vehicles represent an important tool for improving air quality along the Wasatch Front.
Read more

Clear the Air for a Cleaner, Healthier City

6631_2_PromotedPosts1Throughout Utah, air pollution is reaching alarmingly unhealthy levels.  In fact, many areas along the Wasatch Front are currently out of compliance with portions of the Clean Air Act.

Transportation is a major cause of the problem.  Vehicle emissions are responsible for 50 percent of ground level ozone, meaning that each time we turn the key, we produce pollution which harms our health and the health of our children.

The 2016 Clear the Air Challenge kicks off July 1st and is a great opportunity to explore alternative methods of transit to improve our air quality. For the past several years, local businesses and citizens have participated in reducing emissions.  In 2015, we  kept 646.5 tons of CO2 out of the air!

This year our goal is even greater: eliminating 700 tons of CO2, in addition to the many other pollutants coming out of our tail pipes.

How to Take the Challenge!

Besides helping everyone breathe a little easier, participants are eligible to win prizes from the Challenge!

The challenge is open to all residents of Utah and offers many options for reducing trips in vehicles.

Employers can encourage employees to participate as a team (to earn prizes and be recognized by the City for good performance!).  They can also provide support incentives including the following:

  • Transit passes
  • Bike parking
  • Car-pool incentive programs
  • Bus-to-work days
  • Telecommute days
  • Alternative schedules
  • Commuter reimbursement benefits, and
  • Employee recognition of participation in the challenge.

Don’t have an employer who’s participating?  Individuals can sign up by tracking their trips and miles saved using the TravelWise Tracker.  Individual participants compete against one another based on total miles saved for prizes and recognition.

Miles can be updated throughout the entire month.  Your information is used to determine the total emissions saved and, collectively, show us how little changes can make a big difference!

Resources

Taking part has never been easier:

  • Visit Ride UTA for fares and schedules.  If you live in Salt Lake City, consider signing up for the HIVE pass, which saves you 50 percent!
  • The city’s green bike program can help you get around downtown without a car, and new bike lanes make traveling on city streets safer and easier.
  • Partner with a co-worker to alternate who drives to work each day.

Don’t forget to sign up!

And thank you for helping make our city a cleaner, healthier place to live, work, and play!