SDOT often encourages motorists to consider their transportation choices in order to reduce their carbon footprint. Well, in an effort to “walk the talk,” SDOT and the Seattle Parks and Recreation Department were in a “fuel duel” over the past four months to see which department could save the most fuel during the course of their operations. The contest was neck in neck; one month SDOT would win, then the next Parks, but now it’s official that the overall winner is SDOT! Between August 1 and November 30, 2009, SDOT used 11.48% less fuel compared with the same period in 2008. The Parks department saved 8.22%.
The contest is proof that everyone’s efforts add up and that together we can make a difference! During the duel SDOT employees cut fuel usage by 11,625 gallons. This saved SDOT $32,466, kept 244,451 pounds of greenhouse gas (carbon dioxide) out of the atmosphere and reduced oil imports by 277 barrels.
Three sections of SDOT provided the biggest fuel savings. Our Traffic Operations section cut their fuel usage by a whopping 25%. The section made the reduction by using alternate fuel vehicles and taking advantage of Google maps to view sites before going out in the field. Urban Forestry staff planned their routes to achieve the most efficient mileage, tracked their fuel usage for each vehicle and avoided idling trucks whenever possible. The biggest reduction came from Street Surface Maintenance workers who saved 5,600 gallons. They attribute their success to eliminating all idling, “truck-pooling” to worksites (transporting more workers per truck) and not returning to their base of operations for lunch, but rather eating at their worksites.
We’re really proud of our win, and look forward to continuing to save fuel and money in 2010.