Transportation Goal 2: reduce trip lengths and improve transportation and fuel efficiency
barriers The limited range, higher cost, and lack of four-wheel drive options among currently available electric vehicles limits their attractiveness to many North Country residents. Regardless of fuel type, personal transportation energy use, GHG emissions, and its associated costs will be reduced to the extent that the region is successful in promoting alternative means of transportation to single occupancy use vehicles, and developing land use policies that result in more people living closer to community centers, especially the elderly who would benefit from better access to services and neighbors. Increased telecommuting, which may be encouraged by the continued expansion of broadband service, can also reduce household transportation energy consumption to the extent that not commuting to work reduces total household trips and vehicle miles traveled.
For bus and human services transportation, the cost to install CNG fueling infrastructure, purchase new vehicles, and make necessary changes to service bays typically runs into the millions of dollars. While new models for financing and cost sharing are being developed, installation of sufficient infrastructure may take years, and in many cases there is a more pressing need to secure adequate funding to maintain current fleets and staffing levels. More immediate options are the use of diesel/electric hybrids or the purchase of smaller buses, shuttles and vans, which require less infrastructure investment and offer more flexibility for bus routing. In a July 2012 presentation titled “Broadband for New York’s Economic Recovery – The North Country Region,” several barriers were cited, including the expenses associated with the final connections within the jurisdiction (Last Mile Expense), the low population density of the region, and the low adoption rate of broadband by the population. Other factors cited included taxes, pole attachment fees, and the challenging geography of the region (NYSOFT 2009).
North Country Region Sustainability Plan