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What Once Was, and what is now September 17, 2007

Posted by truthspew in Cosimo, objectionable material, RIPTA, transportation.
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I finished reading Edwin Black’s “Internal Combustion”. Very interesting book in that even back in the early part of the 20th century they had urban electric vehicles with ranges of 100 or so miles.

But he spends an awful lot of time slamming GM, Standard Oil, Firestone, etc. Standard Oil is no more, it’s nearest equivalent is Exxon-Mobil.

In any case, up until about 1948-1950 Rhode Island had electric trackless trolleys. They went everywhere and were clean, efficient, and well liked. They got their power from an overhead catenary. No third rail for Rhode Island.
Electric Trackless Trolleys

But in that period of 1948-1950 a consortium called National City Lines convinced Rhode Islanders that stinking diesel buses were better. So we ended up with these:
Orion V bus

Oh sure they run low sulfur diesel fuel now but they still spew particulates and other nasties into the air particularly certain forms of carbon monoxide and dioxide.

Then of course they’ve got the Chance Coach trolleys that run on CNG but while CNG is billed as a clean fuel it still generates carbon monoxide among other things.

They keep toying with light rail in Rhode Island and it’d more likely than not be electric light rail but it never gets anywhere. Same as they keep talking about commuter rail stations in Warwick, RI, Wickford, RI, and Westerly, RI but that doesn’t seem to be moving very fast. I think the Warwick station (Which is 1,500 feet from T.F. Green Airport) is progressing but get this, the only one that has agreed to stop there is the MBTA. Amtrak won’t stop there.

The big issue in Rhode Island is that we don’t have anymore room to build highways and roadways. So we have to start looking at alternatives and mass transit is one those alternatives, in fact the only alternative.

We need to do something and quickly. But I’m thinking of leaving here anyhow, the job and housing picture sucks.

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