A Lesson from Amsterdam: Reducing Our Transportation Carbon Footprint

Photo by Vitalyzator.

Amsterdam is all about clean air, which is one of the reasons that the company City Cargo has been able to start and succeed with a rather simple but revolutionary idea. One of the biggest polluters on the road in Amsterdam is undoubtedly the diesel delivery truck, but at least half of them can now be replaced by a City Cargo Tram and electric van delivery fleet.Trams (light rails) are great inventions. They run clean, can maintain a fairly strict schedule, and they can take thousands of people to their destination, all with just one clean burning engine, rather than one thousand separate vehicles.

Trams for Inner City Delivery Means Less Sulfur Pollution
City Cargo got the idea in 2004, to use these same tram tracks to bring in products through the cities without having to have diesel delivery trucks do all the work. Once in the city, they have a fleet of electric delivery vans (e-cars) that can then take the individual deliveries to their exact destination.

This project alone could take about half the delivery truck traffic off the streets, thus reducing the amount of particulate pollution in the air (sulfur), as well as noise pollution, and just plain "size" pollution. If we could take about half of the delivery trucks out of our own cities, we could all breathe easier as well as drive our sub-compacts and electric vehicles without worry of becoming a bug splat on some semi's window.

Cargo Trams will not Interfere with Regular Passenger Schedules
The City Cargo trams are set-up to travel behind the existing passenger models so that they will not interfere with the normal schedules of people transport. Instead they make the normal rounds more efficient, by killing two birds with one stone, or perhaps more appropriately said, saving two birds with one tram route!

Entrepreneur, Peter Hendriks, is the mastermind behind this idea, along with St. Onge Company and its European partner, Buck Consultants International. We can only hope that someday the U.S. can begin to facilitate the use of its own light rail systems in this way... not to mention, just plain build more of these in the first place.

There are only a handful of cities in the U.S. currently equipped with enough track to even make use of such an idea!

More on trams and light rail systems
New Street Train and Rapid Bus Transit Project for Buenos Aires
U.S. Policy Plays favorites with Public Transportation
Personal Rapid Transit "a Cyberspace Techno-Dream"

Related Content on Treehugger.com