Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Bluest Skies You've Ever Seen Are in Tacoma

Carlile Transportation Systems today welcomed to its Tacoma fleet the first Kenworth Medium-Duty Diesel-Electric Hybrid Tractor to serve any West Coast Port.

Photo courtesy KathyTomandl, Port of Tacoma

The "tractor" is equipped with a fifth wheel to haul trailers for drayage business at the Port of Tacoma. I had the privilege of a short excursion aboard the new Kenworth T370 with Carlile Transportation Systems CEO Harry McDonald as chauffeur. McDonald said they expect a 20+% increase in fuel mileage from the hybrid for local haul applications.
This hybrid is a welcome addition to the commercial center of the port-industrial area. It will demonstrate the viability of hybrid commercial vehicles for this purpose - and we wish both Carlile and Kenworth be best of luck. In addition to having far more immediate applications than the $100,000 Tesla, the port-industrial area has been recommended for non-attainment status for PM-2.5 even though continuing monitoring shows results below federal thresholds. That final designation is expected from EPA Thursday, Dec. 18

Saturday, December 06, 2008

Our Own Economic Stimulus Package

This community is about to embark on its most massive construction project ever; the Blair-Hylebos Terminal Redevelopment Project (BHTRP). At an estimated $1 billion, it dwarfs the new Tacoma Narrows Bridge at $800 million.

Early news reports were filled with the economic opportunity associated with this redevelopment, accommodating new terminal expansions and the redevelopment/repositions of others. Other businesses have been impacted and we've seen several pursue new facilities as this Port development has spurred other improvements.

The people of Pierce County, justifiably proud of the economic engine of the Port of Tacoma, have been treated to numerous opportunities to learn more about and to express preferences for how things are done as the project is improved. This Monday is the new deadline - extended from an earlier benchmark - now (Dec. 8) until 4:00 p.m.; everyone has another chance to share their opinions, concerns, preferences, choices and other perspectives about the BHTRP.

If you having yet caught onto this project - and are a quick study - you have just a handful of hours from this posting to do your homework and make a meaningful contribution. Comments may be online or via email.

Friday, December 05, 2008