There have been many new and exciting developments in the area of the sometimes frustrating issue of easy access to and affordability of transportation, especially in Baltimore. Not to mention the fact that fuel prices had been steadily falling but are starting to rise again. Listed below are some efforts which have come through at a grass roots level or from the city itself.
1. The Parking Authority of Baltimore City is helping to launch the bonafide non-profit, Baltimore Carshare. Operating similar to the Zipcar model, it will provide temporary assess to a variety of choice vehicles that would include insurance, maintenance, parking and gas. 50 percent of rentals will be fuel-efficient; the other half would include hybrids.
2. Baltimore Bicycle Works is a new bicycle shop down on Falls Rd. near the Street Car Muesum.
3. GO Green Riders sells low-speed electric vehicles in Fells Point. They seem reasonably-priced and get 30 miles on a single battery. No fossil fuels! (Well, technically, that’s only if you charge yours with a solar panel. . . But, we’ll get there, folks! Promise!)
4. B-cycle is a bike sharing program that is growing all over North American cities. For Example Denver B-Cycle will make 500 bikes available to the public at 30 to 40 stations throughout the city. The coolest thing about their website is you can enter any zip code and see how B-cycle can positively affect your community, based on population stats. There is also a way to let it be known how much you want your town to be a B-Cycle city.
One Less Car is an advocate for safe and effective transportation alternatives in Maryland. They accomplish this through education, lobbying, and facilitation between communities, governments, and state and local representatives. Their website is a great resource for finding cycling clubs, stores, maps and trails, and commuting and mass transit options. At One Less Car, they believe that people walking, biking, and using public transportation (essentially: people interacting), are all indicators of a healthy, working city.
Clean Commute is part of the Baltimore Metropolitan Council and works to improve more efficient means of travel while engaging in air and water quality programs, computer mapping applications, emergency preparedness, public safety, transportation planning and much more. Find out how to get involved and speak out about poor commuter options in and around the city. Tell them what is or isn’t working.
League of American Bicyclists is a non-profit organization working to make this country better for cycling. Their website and events provide a forum for cycling in your area, why people ride, and how to take action on a bike. Some recent work has included a “conserve by bike” amendment to the energy bill and the Bike Commuter Act. Read more about this act.
The Transit Riders Action Council is a non-profit organization that works for a better transit system of all forms in the Baltimore Metropolitan region. The council seeks to better the service for MARC train riders by educating them on key points and giving riders a louder voice in the political system to demand capital investment for expanding capacity.
Located in Knoxville, MD Harvey Coachworks specializes in providing you with the newest developments and products in Electric Vehicle (EV) technology. An example might be converting your gas guzzler with the HCEV Prius plug-in Hybrid kit. Find out if you can convert your existing car, what the costs are, and whether it’s practicable, durable and accessible.
The Baltimore Biodiesel Collective is a "Maryland non-profit organization dedicated to advocacy, promotion, research, and education of environmentally sustainable biodiesel fuel for on-road and off-road vehicle use in government, business, and private use." They are a membership organization that offers support to residents of Maryland interested in biodiesel, the only retail biodiesel fueling (Bio-station) in the city of Baltimore.