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Tahoe Eyes Solar Sailor Ferryboat

LINK TO VIDEO FILEhttp://imedia.unr.edu/Tahoe/132_water_transportation_funding.asx (01:24)
TitleTahoe Eyes Solar Sailor Ferryboat
Author/CreatorCobourn, John; Purdy, Shelly; Segale, Heather M.
Related item(s)Press Release available at http://www.tahoe.unr.edu/resources/Segment133.pdf
Date Original2005-09-06
Summary/DescriptionLake Tahoe Report Segment #133 - "Tahoe Eyes Solar Sailor Ferryboat" (Air Date: Septembe 6, 2005).
SubjectFerries -- Tahoe, Lake (Calif. and Nev.)
LocationLake Tahoe (Calif. and Nev.)
Tahoe, Lake (Calif. and Nev.)
CollectionThe Lake Tahoe Report
Original PublisherLake Tahoe Environmental Education Coalition (http://www.lteec.org)
Electronic PublisherUniversity of Nevada, Reno - Department of Teaching and Learning Technologies
Ordering and Permissions InformationFor more information, contact the University of Nevada Cooperative Extension, http://www.lteec.org or 775-832-4138.
Formatvideo/wmv
Date Digital2006-02-15
RelationWindows Media Player
Resource TypeMoving Image
Languageeng
Contributing InstitutionUniversity of Nevada, Reno
TranscriptionTahoe transportation planners have been working for years to ease traffic congestion during peak tourist periods and to reduce dependence on using private vehicles to meet our transportation needs. According to scientists studying the loss of clarity in Lake Tahoe, if we can reduce air pollution from cars and trucks, we will also reduce the amount of pollution that falls into the lake from the atmosphere. Another type of pollution caused by vehicles is dust stirred up by road traffic in the basin. Cars and trucks grind the sediment on the roadways into very fine particles, which can easily become airborne. The highway around the lake has been likened to a "mortar and pestle" by Alan Heyvaert, UC Davis researcher. These fine particles are one of the primary causes of the lake's loss of clarity. The more cars that travel our roads, the greater the production of fine sediment particles, which can remain suspended in lake water for decades, clouding the water. At the Aug. 21 Federal Lake Tahoe Forum, Jennifer Merchant, formerly with the Truckee North Tahoe Transportation Management Association, joined representatives of the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency (TRPA) to announce plans to bring a new ferryboat service to operate between the north and south shores. As part of a $300-billion transportation bill, last month Congress earmarked $12 million for improving transportation services in the Lake Tahoe Basin. Of that amount, $8 million has been earmarked for a ferry service on the lake. Money will be spent on planning and designing the ferry service, intermodal transit systems to connect ferry riders to land transit systems, ferry docking, and parking for transit users. lake's loss of clarity. The more cars that travel our roads, the greater the production of fine sediment particles, which can remain suspended in lake water for decades, clouding the water. At the Aug. 21 Federal Lake Tahoe Forum, Jennifer Merchant, formerly with the Truckee North Tahoe Transportation Management Association, joined representatives of the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency (TRPA) to announce plans to bring a new ferryboat service to operate between the north and south shores. As part of a $300-billion transportation bill, last month Congress earmarked $12 million for improving transportation services in the Lake Tahoe Basin. Of that amount, $8 million has been earmarked for a ferry service on the lake. Money will be spent on planning and designing the ferry service, intermodal transit systems to connect ferry riders to land transit systems, ferry docking, and parking for transit users. Goals for the ferry service include a reasonable fare, service time comparable to an auto trip, and a boat with clean fuel-burning technology. The ferry must also provide space for bikes and kayaks for recreation users. Designs for the ferry include a solar-powered hybrid boat design, such as those used in Australia www.solarsailor.com)." target="_top">www.solarsailor.com). Solar Sailor boasts that they are world leaders in the commercialization of clean, efficient, hybrid marine power. The company tagline is "green ferries for blue highways." A catamaran of this type incorporates both solar and wind power in its propulsion system. A hybrid marine power system greatly reduces pollution emissions and increases fuel efficiency. The Solar Sailor ferry uses solar panels and generators to charge batteries that run an electric motor driving the propellers. Generators run only when needed, and always operate at a single optimum speed. The high-torque electric motor provides direct drive to the propellers without a gearbox. This system is highly reliable, and it promises zero water pollution and zero emissions at the marina. A hybrid electric biodiesel ferry would use 50 percent less biodiesel than a conventional ferry running on biodiesel. The Tahoe Solar Sailor would be configured for the particular water conditions and the length of each run. This particular manufacturer has developed a 149-passenger ferry capable of sustained speeds of 20 knots (over 20 miles per hour). In windy conditions, the solar panels can be raised or lowered to act as sails to boost fuel efficiency. The Sydney Solar Sailor was built in 2000, and it has been operating profitably in Sydney Harbor in Australia since that time. Tahoe looks forward to initiating a similar waterborne service to reduce traffic, pollution, and dust clouds; and to provide Tahoe visitors and residents with a unique alternative to driving around the lake. Although local agencies would still need funding to operate the ferry service, and this type of system would require better transit connections than we currently have, starting a ferry service could serve as an excellent impetus for obtaining additional transit funding for Tahoe. For more information, contact Nick Haven, Tahoe Regional Planning Agency, (775) 588-4547, ext. 256.

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