Go Car-Free in DC and Save More Than $10,000 A Year

by Justin Phelps •

A recently-published study by the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) ranks the top 20 cities where going car-free will save the most money. Number 14 on the list is Washington, DC, which has nearly 200,000 car-less households already. The APTA’s report claims that the average DC resident would save $10,282 per year in transportation-related costs by giving up his or …


Enjoyable Travel Using Slow, Clean, Car-Free Techniques

by Justin Thomas •


Right now, I’m investigating a new travel technique, which I’m calling “Slow Daily Travel”. By going slow (traveling 1o to 100 miles per day), your journey can often become more intriguing and enjoyable. My technique involves traveling as far as you like each day, and then staying overnight in a hotel. The next day you repeat, until you reach your …

High Speed Rail: Coming To A City Near You?

by Tracy McGill •

China is leading the world in miles of high speed rail lines with 2,813 miles in operation and another 5,312 under construction. Spain, France, and Japan are all vying for 2nd place. Germany and Italy each have around 600 miles of high speed rail. The U.S.? Zero. But that could soon change. President Obama’s proposed plan to funnel $53 billion …


High Speed Trains In The U.S.: A Matter Of Efficiency

by Tracy McGill •

With the high speed rail debate officially jumping the tracks into the political arena, American citizens are left to sort through the onslaught of bureaucratic bantering which so often leads to misinformation. The question that’s causing tempers to flare on both sides is whether the government should be funding high speed rail projects across the nation. Many believe that high …


World’s Largest Solar Roof To Power High Speed Rail Station in China

by Tracy McGill •

Efficiency abounds in China as the world’s largest building integrated photovoltaic project prepares to power the railway station where some of the world’s fastest high speed trains pass through. China Sunergy, a solar cell and module manufacturer based in Nanjing, China, has recently signed a deal with CEEG (Nanjing) Solar Energy Research Institute to supply the 7MW solar modules for …


3 Reasons Light Rail is an Efficient Transportation Option for U.S. Cities

by Tracy McGill •

Light rail is a type of electric railway that runs on right-of-way railroad tracks or on tracks in city streets. Using their own lanes and able to go anywhere, light rail cars mix well in urban settings by not getting caught up in traffic congestion. Though the United States operates the largest and most efficient freight railway system in the …


Efficient: Books That Explain Train Travel In North America

by Justin Thomas •

Train travel is one of the most efficient forms of transportation. However, in North America, traveling by rail is not particularly systematic or comprehensive. It’s difficult to get an overview of what’s available. Thankfully, there are several good books on North American train travel, which I read recently. Here’s a brief review:


Biogas: Producing Ultra-Efficient Fuel From Sewage

by Justin Thomas •

We could be generating huge amounts of power from sewage. The process is fairly simple — just ferment sewage to produce a fuel called biogas. Biogas is almost entirely methane, and so is natural gas, so the two are essential interchangeable. The potential to produce biogas is almost entirely overlooked by most countries — except Sweden.


Allison Rogers: Commuting Overnight By Train: Efficient

by Justin Thomas •

Train travel — it’s an efficient form of travel that really should revived in this country. Air travel, as we know it today, doesn’t make much sense, if closely examined (although I’d like to see zero-emission planes and airship-based travel). But I digress — Allison Rogers, an optimal living trailblazer, has been commuting up and down the East Coast by …


Highly Efficient “Kid Friendly” Trains

by Justin Thomas •

I’ve never been on a train like this. Here are two superbly designed trains from Japan, that take the idea of ‘child-friendly public transport’ to the next level. Designed by Eiji Mitooka, the two trains seen here are the ‘Omoden’ (toy train) and ‘Ichigo Ec’ (strawberry train). They are a couple of regional trains which travel on a daily basis …