Stephen Rees's blog

Thoughts about the relationships between transport and the urban area it serves

Archive for July 2nd, 2008

Airbus And Boeing Face A Dark And Painful Future

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A couple of weeks ago I write about how the rise in oil prices is going to hit the airlines. The effect is also going to hit Beoing, Airbus and Bombardier hard too – as outlined yesterday by Kristen Lagadec for GlobalPublicMedia

But don’t expect to hear very much about this from the boosters at YVR and Abbotsford. Who, of course, are still expecting us to pay for vast lanside expansions of our transportation systems to carry their forecasted increases in passengers. And still turn up at planning meetings across the region pushing their outdated agenda.

Written by Stephen Rees

July 2, 2008 at 5:23 pm

Posted in Air Travel

Just slow down

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The Sun has a list of ten fuel saving tips this morning which I reproduce below.

My commute to work has to be by car – and is on Highway 99 through the Deas Tunnel – at off peak periods. And I live on Steveston Highway which has a posted speed of 50 km/hr which is not observed by anyone as far as I can determine. I recently wrote about this, I know, and I have seen reports that driving behaviour has been changing in the US. But my observations suggest that the vast majority who were stupid enough to line up on Monday, with their engines idling – to save a dollar on a tank of gas, are still driving too fast, and certainly not looking ahead.

I will be leaving tomorrow for a trip to London, Nottingham and Paris – and will of course be blogging by wifi when I can. You guys be nice to each other while I am away!

1. Fine tune: A well-tuned vehicle performs better. Have it checked regularly and make sure to change the oil every 5,000 km or six months, unless you regularly do long-distance highway driving. Then change it at a maximum 12,000 km. And use an energy-conserving oil suitable for the season.

2. Pump it up: A 20-per-cent drop in tire pressure will increase fuel consumption by about 10 per cent. Proper pressure also increases tread life by 15 per cent and improves braking performance. Check tire pressure once a month and watch for signs of unusual tread wear.

3. No idling: Leaving a car running (like in a ferry lineup) for more than a minute or two can cause damage which harms efficiency and shortens engine life. Shutting off and restarting the engine generally uses less fuel and emits less pollution.

4. Multi-task: Make fewer trips by combining tasks into a single trip rather than making several trips throughout the day. And since a car uses less fuel when the engine is warm, pick up groceries on the way home from work.

5. Lose weight: Avoid carrying heavy things you don’t need to carry, like skis or tools. And remove roof racks when not in use. More weight, more fuel.

6. Start slow: Driving the vehicle slower and keeping the engine speed low until its normal operating temperature is reached is more fuel-efficient. In commercial trucks, “jackrabbit starts” save less than three minutes over an hour but use 40 per cent more fuel.

7. Use the windows: Rolling down the windows instead of using the air conditioning will save fuel in city or low-speed driving. At highway cruising speeds close the windows to reduce wind resistance. In today’s aerodynamically efficient vehicles, the more resistance, the more fuel consumed.

8. Check the thermostat: A faulty cooling system thermostat that doesn’t allow the engine to quickly reach or maintain its correct operating temperature can dramatically increase fuel consumption and affect the performance of an electronically controlled engine.

9. Look ahead: According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, about 50 per cent of the fuel consumed in city driving is used during acceleration. When accelerating, do it gently and steadily.

10. Slow down: Cars travelling at 120 km/h rather than 100 km/h use 20 per cent more fuel to cover the same distance.

To which I will add, and walk, bike or use transit when you can – and plan your trips to make more use of these modes. All the buses here have bike racks – which greatly increases the range you can ride, and defeats those steep hills and dangerous sections of fast, busy main roads.

But I know most of you do that – and more – already. And those that don’t are probably not listening

Written by Stephen Rees

July 2, 2008 at 8:55 am

Posted in Transportation