Taking Public Transit Systems Back to the Drawing Board For Better Energy Efficiency

Many 21st Century Eco-friendly upgrades are rapidly taking place in all sectors of industry; looking for ways to improve energy efficiency and reduce waste. Main areas of Eco-friendly focus include everything from water delivery systems to energy grids; green building applications to solar and electric vehicles. Public transportation is right at the top of the list. Experts are hard at work; developing new advanced Green technologies and energy efficient alternatives for reducing dependency on carbon based fuels. In regards to the public transit sector; many solar powered public transit system designs are currently in the works; some of which are based upon different solar harnessing designs.
Solar power is one of the most common and seemingly most viable fossil fuel alternatives that are currently being considered by leading scientists from all over the world. Solar powering technology is being implemented into areas of large industry such as the automotive industry and the construction industry; and is now being seriously considered in new solar powered public transit system designs.
Though there are a variety of possible designs for new energy efficient public transit systems currently being contemplated; a Michigan based designer, Dave Owsen, has come up with a design for an energy efficient solar powered public transit system. Mr. Owen’s Eco-friendly design is considerably detailed; outlining everything from how the Green system would be powered to the designs of the individual carts that are attached to the rail system.
Mr. Owen’s energy efficient powering designs call for the harnessing of natural sunlight in a way that is similar to how plant’s absorb energy through Eco-friendly photosynthesis. Each rail cart would be equipped with photovoltaic panels, or solar panels; which would be the primary source of powering for the Green rail system. In addition to the solar panels; the windows in this Eco-friendly design are ones that were specially designed by MIT to harness sun light aimed at the window; redirecting the power into the rail cart itself.
Dave Owen’s solar powered public transit system design calls for private individual Green “rail carts” that would consist of two seats facing each other; similar to a railroad passenger compartment design; each being able to accommodate either two adults and a small amount of cargo or one adult and two children with a very small amount of cargo. The individual energy efficient rail carts would travel along a duel rail system; essentially; one side being for departures and the other being for arrivals.
On one side of the Eco-friendly rail cart there would be a futuristic sliding door for exiting and entering the unit; while the other side would consist of a touch screen navigation system where the occupant could input their desired destination and route.
In addition to the Eco-friendly design being specifically structured to accommodate the general public; the solar powered public transit system could also serve as a new method of energy efficient shipping. Again; very similar to a traditional locomotive system; there are Green designs for cargo rail carts in addition to the passenger rail carts; of which would expand the energy efficient possibilities into the commercial market as well. The Eco-friendly shipping rail carts would be designed a little differently than the passenger rail carts in that they would call for larger openings in the doorway and additional space for the cargo (without seats). Other than the clear energy efficient benefits that come along with a solar powered public transit system; local and small business would be more inclined to order their goods from local manufactures; as the shipping costs would be nominal compared to using traditional shipping alternatives powered by fossil fuels.
Dave Owsen had this to say about his Eco-friendly solar powered public transit system design:
“Public transportation will feature diverse options depending on the needs of people and businesses. This design replaces bus systems with a more efficient and private “Cells” that also provide incentive for small business shipping and service industry distribution.”
According to the American Public Transportation Association (APTA); an estimated 30% of all carbon dioxide emissions contributed from the United States comes from transportation. This includes both personal transit units; cars, trucks, bikes etc; as well as public transit systems. It is estimated that about 14 million Americans currently use public transportation and that the other 88% of the country uses some form of their own personal mode of transportation. The United States is said to save approximately 1.4 billion gallons of gasoline each year as well as about 1.5 million tons of carbon dioxide with the current public transit systems that are in place.
With larger cities such as Los Angeles and New York implementing such an innovative Eco-friendly solar powered public transit system would cost a considerable amount of money and time to construct. While it is no secret that implementing such a large scale remodeling of public transportation within large cities of the like would be costly; one must weigh the possible Eco-friendly benefits that could arise from embarking upon such a Green endeavor.