Local governments typically own and maintain fleets of vehicles, such as police cruisers, government cars, and garbage trucks, that burn millions of gallons of gasoline. Fleets represent large costs to governments, and account for tons of climate pollution. Local leaders can choose from an increasing array of alternately fueled fleet vehicles, and can install controls that limit idling and capture tailpipe emissions. More local governments are using the car-share concept to provide vehicles to their agency staff on an as-needed basis, reducing fleet size and vehicle miles traveled.
Local government must also address the transportation needs of the entire community. Residential and business usage of public transportation, biking, walking, car and bike sharing, and alternate fuel vehicles starts when community leaders make these options widely available. Work with your community’s civil engineers to improve and increase bike racks, bike lanes, and sidewalks. Work with public transportation companies to add routes, expand hours of operation, and create express options. City bike and car share programs are other ways to make the positive choice easier for residents. Build support and participation through incentives and/or discounts for residents who make positive transportation choices. For example, providing “EV only” parking spaces with charging stations at shopping malls and grocery stores is just one way to show how the solution can easily be adapted into your residents’ daily lives. There are many organizations across the country that have developed great resources to help you implement sustainable transportation in your community. We highlight a few below.