These City Bus Routes Are Going All-Electric ― And Saving Money

Nashville is one of several cities that have started integrating electric buses into their routes. The buses are more expensive up front but save cities money on fuel and other costs. Credit: Proterra

By Lyndsey Gilpin for Inside Climate News – Two years ago, the Transit Authority of River City (TARC) in Louisville, Kentucky, bought 10 electric buses to replace its aging diesel fleet. The agency installed two on-route chargers, where the buses now stop to recharge in less than 10 minutes before continuing their downtown route. TARC officials liked the buses so much, they’ve since ordered five more. A few hours to the south in Nashville, Tennessee, nine electric buses have been running fixed routes around the Music City since 2015. And across the country in Park City, Utah, the local transit authority recently purchased six electric buses to help reach a goal of a net-zero carbon footprint by 2022. In all, 40 transit authorities in the United States have looked to Proterra, an electric bus manufacturer based in South Carolina and California, to help them transition away from diesel buses and toward a solution that can save cities money and lower their emissions. Since 2004, Proterra has sold more than 400 buses to city transit authorities. The company has a waiting list of orders, and it recently opened a new manufacturing facility outside of Los Angeles that will employ 100 people and ramp up production to 400 buses a year. It’s also pushing the envelope for what electric power might do for public transit. Last month, Proterra broke world records by test-driving an electric bus 1,100 miles on a single charge. The trip put the previous record for an electric bus―632 miles―to shame, and was more than triple the average mileage of a Tesla.

European Cities Are Reclaiming Public Services From The Private Sector

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By Alexis Chemblette for VIce – In the ’80s a neoliberal tide swept across the West with the idea that welfares states had become too expensive and that privatizing public goods was better for stimulating the economy. During this era of fiscal conservatism, Western governments basically confined themselves supervisory roles over the economy, reduced to watchdogs enforcing norms and standards. But research has shown that as the government progressively pulls out of public life, many people lose access or experience the deterioration of services that improve their quality of life such as affordable housing, education, public transportation and health care. Now, cities across Europe are increasingly deciding to reclaim public services, spearheading a growing movement for “remunicipalization,” meaning the return of public services from private to public. According to Sakoto Kishimoto Lead Researcher at the Transnational Institute (TNI) people are over the idea of privatization. “They’re telling their citizens that they have to divest and squeeze budgets, but the feedback we’re getting is that local populations found public services more efficient and less costly,” Kishimoto said in a TNI report. Here are a few examples of local initiatives that have put the power back into the hands of people.

Reclaiming Public Services

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By Satoko Kishimoto, Olivier Petitjean and Lavinia Steinfort for Portside – Reclaiming Public Services is vital reading for anyone interested in the future of local, democratic services like energy, water and health care. This is an in-depth world tour of new initiatives in public ownership and the variety of approaches to deprivatisation. From New Delhi to Barcelona, from Argentina to Germany, thousands of politicians, public officials, workers, unions and social movements are reclaiming or creating public services to address people’s basic needs and respond to environmental challenges. They do this most often at the local level. Our research shows that there have been at least 835 examples of (re)municipalisation of public services worldwide since 2000, involving more than 1,600 municipalities in 45 countries. Why are people around the world reclaiming essential services from private operators and bringing their delivery back into the public sphere? There are many motivations behind (re)municipalisation initiatives: a goal to end private sector abuse or labour violations; a desire to regain control over the local economy and resources; a wish to provide people with affordable services; or an intention to implement ambitious climate strategies.

Ten Global Struggles For Public Water

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By Lavinia Steinfort, Satoko Kishimoto and Denis Burke for Occupy.com. Throughout the world there are current battles where people are trying to prevent privatization of their water supply. On this World Water Day, March 22, we bring you 10 inspiring stories of communities and cities working to reclaim public control over water and wastewater services from major private water multinationals. These 10 stories come from Nigeria, Spain, Brazil, Indonesia, Portugal, Montana and California, but this is a global struggle between people, communities and business interests that want to control this vital and essential resource for people.

Public Services Under Attack Through TTIP And CETA

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By Staff of Corporate Europe Observatory – EU trade deals with Canada and the US could endanger citizens’ rights to basic services like water and health, as negotiators are doing the work of some of the EU’s most powerful corporate lobby groups in pushing an aggressive market opening agenda in the public sector. Public services in the European Union (EU) are under threat from international trade negotiations that endanger governments’ ability to regulate and citizens’ rights to access basic services like water, health, and energy, for the sake of corporate profits.

Rigged Corporate Trade Turns Public Services Into Corporate Profits

12/07/2014 - Protests against the EU-US trade deal (TTIP - Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership) outside Europe House, the London Headquarters of the European Commission and the European Parliament, in Smith Square, London. A puppeteer on stilts with a 'puppet' dressed as an NHS nurse to highlight the threat the deal poses to public services like the NHS. This picture can be used free of charge.

Another week, another victory for big business over a government in a secret pseudo-court. This time it’s the turn of private water giant Suez, who successfully sued Argentina for reversing the privatisation of Buenos Aires’s water supply. No matter that the country was in a state of economic crisis when the nationalisation took place, and the government didn’t want water prices to rise by 60%. No matter that the company time and again failed to meet its performance targets. In the world of corporate courts, nothing matters except an investor’s ‘right’ to profit. Yet it is exactly this system of so-called Investor State Dispute Settlement (ISDS) that we will be signing up to if the US-EU trade deal known as TTIP goes ahead. Again and again government ministers tell us there’s nothing to fear. Nothing in TTIP will prevent us running public services in the way we choose.