Local Coalition Celebrates a Decade of AFVs
Ten years ago a small group of committed stakeholders formed the Greater Long Island Clean Cities Coalition (GLICCC) to address the ozone non-attainment status of New York’s Nassau and Suffolk counties. Back then, there were 265,000 alternative fuel vehicles (AFVs) on the road nationwide, the United States imported 3.5 billion barrels of oil per year, and the average gasoline price was $1.25 per gallon.
Today, GLICCC is celebrating a decade of making a difference and looking forward to the challenges ahead. The coalition has secured almost $10 million in Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality grants to support AFV and alternative fuel infrastructure projects. It has directly funded the deployment of more than 250 AFVs, and the total number of AFVs in the coalition service area has increased 700%.
Another achievement has been public outreach. GLICCC hosts an Advancing the Choice event each fall, drawing fleet operators from across the region to learn about the latest advances in vehicle technologies. Two years ago it initiated a seminar series, with each seminar focusing on a single topic such as biodiesel, alternative fuel school buses, and the municipal AFV market. The coalition participates in other outreach events, such as Earth Day, as well.
“Clean Cities is proud of the Greater Long Island Coalition’s 10 years of accomplishments,” says Marcy Rood, Director, Clean Cities Coalitions. “When I attended its designation in 1996 there was so much enthusiasm among stakeholders. I had a strong feeling it would succeed–and Greater Long Island has proven me right.”
One key to GLICCC’s success has been its collaborative structure. “We have an active board of directors and executive committee along with committees for specific projects,” says GLICCC coordinator Andria Adler. “Because many people are involved, things get done more effectively than if one person was doing everything.”
Choosing the right host organization is also important. “A good host can support the organization in between funding cycles,” says Adler. In 2000, GLICCC became a clean air program at the at the Long Island Forum for Technology (LIFT), a state-funded economic development organization.
GLICCC is not resting on its laurels. It is creating a new five-year plan that includes a focus on penetrating specific vehicle markets such as refuse trucks. It is also funding and promoting Long Island’s first publicly accessible E85 station and supporting the continuation of single-passenger AFV use of the Long Island Expressway’s high-occupancy vehicle lane.
Today, there are more than 550,000 AFVs on the road, and hybrid vehicles are selling in large numbers. The United States imports 5 billion barrels of oil per year. The average gasoline price is $2.30 per gallon, with recent New York prices topping $3.25 per gallon. “In the past, it was a challenge to get people to listen and think about vehicle options, but the situation today has made AFVs much more visible,” says Adler. “It was important for us to stick with our message during the harder times. Now we’re looking forward to even bigger successes.”
|October 1996||October 2006|
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|Alternative Fueling Sites||20||30|