For the sixth year, Cap Times reporters asked several Madisonians to share their "bright ideas" for the new year. We will publish the 2019 edition of Bright Ideas throughout the week and in print on Jan. 2.
Since my move from New York City, the city of Madison launched the transition toward a “greener” fleet. Seven hybrid-electric vehicles were purchased for Police and Health, more than doubling the fuel efficiency of the cars they replaced. The newest Fire ambulances are using anti-idling technology, reducing emissions and fuel use by up to 40 percent. The City’s first-ever three plug-in electric cars entered service in 2018 with 25 more one the way, and Madison will be the largest zero-emission fleet in Wisconsin.
Over one million less pounds of CO2 are being emitted in 2018 thanks to biodiesel for heavy equipment, with plans to double volume in 2019. In 2019, new GPS technology on public works vehicles such as plows and garbage trucks will reduce speeding and idling, while saving fuel. Fleet is also examining hybrid-electric bucket trucks for Parks, and (compressed natural gas) trucks that would be fueled by Dane County’s landfill methane. Finally in 2019 the City is expected to break ground on a brand new repair garage consolidating four public works facilities into one, reducing travel miles. The state of the art building will feature solar power.
City, county, state and federal governments must go to war on climate change, because we are in the midst of a crisis. I’ve decided my department will be in the vanguard of this fight and am grateful for the support of Mayor Paul Soglin towards this goal.
I look forward to continued progress with my colleagues to make Madison a national model in this area.