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DRPA To Observe Earth Day By Reducing Carbon Footprint
Delaware River Port Authority CEO, John J. Matheussen, has announced a significant reduction of the Authority’s carbon footprint as well as financial savings thanks to a fleet management program that continues to move forward. According to Matheussen, “this is one of the Authority’s ‘Go Green’ programs which, in addition to the ‘Green Ports’ initiative, is designed to make our operations more environmentally friendly.” Matheussen says the Authority is pleased to update the progress of its ‘Go Green’ initiatives as the annual observance of Earth Day approaches.
Matheussen says the fleet management program has resulted in fewer vehicles, smaller vehicles and the use of hybrids which has significantly reduced Authority fuel consumption resulting in a reduction of harmful vehicle emissions. It is expected fuel usage will be lowered by over 4,000 gallons this year and by at least 6,000 gallons in 2011.
Also as part of the ‘Go Green’ aspect of the program, vehicle idle time is being reduced. The Authority is now using solar panels to run arrow boards and that means heavy trucks with the attached Crash Impact Attenuators with those arrow boards do not have to remain running when in service.
The fleet management program is under the direction of DRPA COO, Tim Pulte. Pulte says “the program is proving to be a win-win operation both for the environment and for toll payers as well”. Since the program began in September of 2008, the Authority has saved $1.4 million in vehicle expenses. An additional $400,000 is expected to be saved each year through improved efficiencies.
Chief Public Safety Officer, Michael Joyce, says “the reorganization of patrol vehicles at our four bridges has reduced the number of police cars from 42 to 29 with no impact on public safety efforts.” In addition, Deputy CEO, Bob Gross, says “Authority wide, including PATCO, 25 other vehicles were eliminated bringing the total number to 38”. An additional 6-10 other vehicles will be eliminated giving the Authority the optimum needed to perform necessary tasks.
Manager of Special Projects, Joseph Egan, says another important part of the program is the use of a state of the art operating system known as “Maintstar.” Egan points out “heavy equipment vehicles such as dump trucks and front end loaders will last longer because the new computer program will keep better track of when our equipment should receive a mid-life overhaul resulting in a higher standard of maintenance.”
The Delaware River Port Authority is a regional transportation agency. DRPA owns and operates the Benjamin Franklin, Walt Whitman, Commodore Barry and Betsy Ross Bridges, PATCO and the Philadelphia Cruise Terminal. The DRPA also owns the RiverLink Ferry.
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