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EPA awards Palo Alto nonprofit $204,604 to study business park transit system

Release Date: 6/16/2005
Contact Information: Wendy L. Chavez, EPA, (415) 947-4248 James Paxson, Hacienda Business Park (925)734-6500 Steve Raney, Cities21, (650)329-9200

Potential to reduce 16,500 tons of carbon dioxide annually for Pleasanton

SAN FRANCISCO -- The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency recently awarded a Palo Alto-based nonprofit $204,604 to study a new concept to reduce driving, provide alternative transportation to workers and the community, and reclaim parking areas for more productive use for the city of Pleasanton, Calif.

Cities21 will explore a "Personal Rapid Transit" shuttle system for the Hacienda Business Park in Pleasanton that would complement and significantly increase BART ridership, carpool, vanpool, bicycle, and bus commutes for the business park's 19,500 people. The elevated monorail system with many three-person, driverless, electric vehicles travel non-stop 30 mph over the commute's last mile.

The plan has the potential to reduce 16,500 tons of carbon dioxide per year for Pleasanton, potentially at zero taxpayer cost. If all 42 California suburban employment centers with 20,000 or more employees used the same system, carbon dioxide reductions could reach 1million tons per year.

"The city of Pleasanton is excited about this grant and its contribution to studying alternative transportation in and around Hacienda Business Park," said Pleasanton Mayor Jennifer Hosterman. "I'm concerned about the environment and making Pleasanton the best possible city. I'm happy to be contributing to this innovative research and exploring long-term solutions with such a terrific team of partners."

"Oracle is dedicated to improving the quality of life for our employees and our communities," said Randy Smith, Vice President of Oracle Global Real Estate and Facilities. "We have undertaken significant measures to decrease congestion and pollution around our campuses and are proud to be included in the EPA's list of top corporate commuter programs. We share the Hacienda study's commitment to creating a sustainable alternative transportation model in Pleasanton, that benefits the city, our employees, and the environment."

"Increased traffic not only degrades our environment, but our quality of life," said Wayne Nastri, the EPA's regional administrator for the Pacific Southwest region. "Cities21 is using innovative approaches to address many key transportation challenges for a more sustainable future transportation system."

This is the first study of a Personal Rapid Transit system aimed at extending the reach of a BART station to provide easy access to 20,000 people. The shuttle system is an emerging technology under development in Minnesota, Texas, the United Kingdom and Korea.

Other partners include the city of Pleasanton, the EPA, Oracle, MTC, Bay Area Rapid Transit, Bay Area Council, Cambridge Systematics, RIDES, BayCap Shuttle Group, California Center for Land Recycling, Alameda County Congestion Management Agency, East Bay Community Foundation's Livable Communities Project, the Livermore Amador Valley Transit Authority, and Intrago Mobility.

The EPA's Collaborative Science and Technology Network for Sustainability grant's program is designed to encourage innovative thinking on practical applications of science and engineering.

For more information on the study, please visit: http://tod.hacienda.org/PRT/epa.htm or on the EPA grant program, visit: http://es.epa.gov/ncer/events/news/2005/news_release_051805.html


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