Project Leader – Louise Shawkat

Project Description

Goals

Connection to SOCAN Mission

Accomplishments

How to Join

Please contact Louise Shawkat at louise@socan.eco.

Background Information

Since 30-40% of greenhouse gas emissions in Oregon result from transportation, SOCAN is committed to transportation policies that address these emissions.

Resources

1 reply
  1. Michael Ossipoff
    Michael Ossipoff says:

    Because transportation is the biggest source of greenhouse gas, and because a bus-system, with its many buses on many routes, all day, and some of the night, puts out a large share of that gas, then a seemingly small unnecessary bus-emission adds up to a lot of climate-harm.
    .
    The Rogue Valley Transportation District (RVTD) routinely drastially overheats its buses all winter, and drastically over-refrigerates them all summer.
    .
    The colder it is on a winter day, then the more the RVTD drivers overheat their buses. The hotter it is on a summer day, then the more the RVTD drivers over-refrigerate their buses.
    .
    At a bus-stop, waiting to get on a bus on a really cold winter day, I tell people, “Well, I guess the bus will _really_ be hot today.”
    .
    If I can borrow some wording from Mark Twain: The coldest winter I’ve ever spent was a summer on RVTD buses.
    .
    Of course that’s an environmental harm, a climate harm, because it takes energy to overheat or over-refrigerate a bus.
    .
    Well alright, I can’t say for sure that the bus-heating isn’t done entirely by engine waste-heat. But the summer over-refrigeration almost surely uses the engine’s output to power the refrigeration.
    .
    Anyway, the harm to the bus-passengers matters too, and that harm is done both by the over-refrigeration and by the over-heating.
    .
    When I heard about the immigration “ice-boxe” detention-rooms, it sounded a lot like what’s imposed on RVTD bus-passengers all summer.
    .
    When I mentioned the overheating to Julie Brown, the RVTD general manager, and asked that something be done, she answered that she’d look into the matter, and emphasized that the important thing is to not “impact the passengers”. I told her that the passenger are already heavily adversely impacted by the overheating and the over-refrigeration.
    .
    It isn’t at all unusual for the bus cabin-temperature to differ from the outdoor temperature by 30 (Fahrenheit) degrees or more. Sometimes the difference is 40 degrees. Not only is that unnecessarily expensive in fuel, money, and CO2 emission, but it’s also harmful to passengers.
    .
    Passengers are dressed for the outdoor temperature. They have to be. They don’t usually arrive at the bus-stop in air-conditioned or heated cars. In any case, they usually have to wait outdoors at the bus-stop for up to 20 or 30 minutes or more.
    .
    Julie told me that I should just take off my coat when getting on the bus, the way we do when we enter a heated house. But the bus isn’t a house. When the bus gets to its destination, drivers aren’t willing to wait while we put our coats, sweaters and jackets back on. And in an Ashland winter, you don’t just wear a coat, unless it’s a Himalayan parka. Usually it’s coat, jacket, sweaters, etc. So now the bus arrives at destination, and no the driver won’t wait while you put all those layers back on. I can say that with assurance, because I tried it.
    .
    It’s safe to say that it’s obvious that Julie has never ridden buses regularly, or been other than an all-the-time driver.
    .
    Additionally, of course, when you laboriously take all those layers off, then you have that big bundle of layers to carry on the bus, until it’s time to try to put it all back on in time to get off the bus before the driver leaves your destination-stop.
    .
    So then, Julie evidently wants us to take off all out winter-layers, so that she can waste energy overheating the bus.
    .
    And, to be prepared for RVTD’s summer over-refriferation, evidently we’re supposed to carry winter-gear with us wherever we go on a 95-degree summer-day, so that we’ll have it when we board the bus, so that Julie can over-refrigerate the buses. …and spew a lot more CO2 into the air.
    .
    Solutions?:
    .
    One obvious big mistake that RVTD makes is to put the drivers in charge of bus-temperature. They’re trained to drive the buses, but they aren’t qualified to decide what temperature to impose on passengers.
    .
    Evidently the bus-maintenance dept. sets the thermostats, and they nearly always set them for heavy overheating or over-refrigeration. The drivers have discretion to turn the heat or refrigeration on or off, but usually leave it on, evidently in the belief that more machine-modification of temperature is always better.
    .
    So:
    .
    1. Having thermostats that Maintenence must always try to set appropriately isn’t a good idea. Instead of a thermostat, it would be simpler, and a lot better, to just use a timer, set to a low duty-cycle.
    .
    When I suggested that to Julie, she said that the buses come with their wiring already installed…and seemed to believe that that settled the matter.
    .
    No, replacing a thermostat with a timer is a quick, easy, simple and inexpensive thing for Maintenance to do. Simply remove the thermostat from its circuit, and then connect a timer into that circuit.
    .
    The result?:
    .
    The heating or refrigeration would always make the bus just a little warmer or cooler than outdoors. On a cold day, passengers boarding would encounter a pleasantly slightly warmer temperature. On a hot day, passengers boarding would encounter a pleasantly slightly refreshingly cooler temperature. …a little temperature improvement, but not enough to make people seriously, health-threateningly, uncomfortable when boarding.
    .
    …without the heavy unnecessary CO2 emissions due to temperature overcompensation.
    .
    Obviously the driver should be able to turn the temp-compensation off when it isn’t needed.
    .
    2. Until that change is made, it could be made clear to the drivers that the bus is for the passengers, and the bus-temperature is up to the passengers. If any number (including one) of the passengers requests that the heating or refrigeration be turned off for a while, to bring some relief from its adverse effect, then that should be taken as the passengers’ expressed wish, and the heating or refrigeration should be turned off.
    .
    If other passengers disagree with the passenger(s) requesting the overcompensation turn-off, then the larger number of passengers should prevail.
    .
    In the event that the numbers are equal (such as when one passenger wants to turn off the ovwercompensation, and another wants to leave it on), then the turn-it-off request should prevail, because of health reasons (the passengers are dressed for outdoor temperature) and environmental reasons.
    .
    Can we drag RVTD into the 21st century?
    .
    Michael Ossipoff
    .
    Email: Email9648742@gmail.com

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *