'Green' Magic Word for Hudson
June 23, 2005
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
NEW YORK–Bikers and pedestrians who enjoy the
Hudson River greenway from the Battery to 59th Street will soon see some
unusual vehicles tooling along the pathways thanks to an innovative
demonstration program sponsored by the New York Power Authority (NYPA)
for cleaner air.
“The ‘Green Zones’ program will improve air quality
by substituting environmentally cleaner electric-drive vehicles and
electric-outdoor power equipment for conventional vehicles and
equipment,” said Eugene W. Zeltmann, NYPA president and chief executive
officer. “We’re looking forward to working with the Hudson River Park
Trust and the other program participants as we forge ahead in our
statewide efforts to introduce clean, emerging technologies that also
reduce foreign oil dependence.”
Hudson River Park Trust will receive six Toro
Electric workman vehicles (an off-road utility vehicle) and one hybrid
“The use of zero- and low-emission vehicles makes
great sense for the beautiful stretch of parkland and piers making up
Hudson River Park,” said Charles E. Dorkey III, chairman of the Hudson
River Park Trust. “The new vehicles will replace ones we’re currently
using and demonstrate the benefits of electric-drive technologies as a
clean alternative to the internal-combustion engine. Our thanks to the
Power Authority for including us in the program.”
Under the multiyear Green Zones program, the Power
Authority will co-fund the purchases of electric and hybrid-electric
vehicles and outdoor equipment to replace standard vehicles and
equipment at areas such as parks and college campuses. It has budgeted
for 2005 more than $200,000 for subsidizing the purchases.
As examples of its funding, NYPA will pay the
higher incremental cost, up to $4,000, for hybrid-electric vehicles, and
half the cost of off-road electric vehicles and electric power equipment
like lawn mowers. (Gasoline-powered lawn equipment is a potent—and often
unregulated—source of pollution.) The Power Authority will also cover
the cost of electric-vehicle charging stations.
The other initial participants in Green Zones are
Queens College, Bronx Community College, the White Plains Recreation and
Parks Department, the Utica Department of Parks and Recreation, Bethpage
State Park, and Niagara Reservation State Park.
In the last decade, the Power Authority has helped
put a total of 750 electric and hybrid-electric vehicles in service, for
its own fleet and those of its electricity customers and other entities.
Collectively, the vehicles, which range from three-wheel parking
enforcement vehicles to full-size transit buses, have traveled more than
four million miles.
Gov. George E. Pataki has directed that half of all
non-emergency, light-duty vehicles acquired by state agencies and other
affected entities be alternative-fueled by 2005. His Executive Order
increases the amount to 100 percent by 2010.