Recently, Harvard Shuttle Service Manager Carl A. Tempesta stated in The Crimson that the University is considering the purchase of additional shuttle buses. If Harvard truly wants to adhere to sound environmental practices, in contrast to just preaching and teaching about them, the purchase of new vehicles will give it an opportunity to do so.
The Greater Boston area fails EPA standards for air quality. The shuttle buses, running on conventional gasoline, contribute to the air pollution problem. The vehicles run for short distances and are refueled at a central location; therefore, the buses could, and should, be run on natural gas. Natural gas engines, much cleaner environmentally than gasoline engines, provide low emissions, reliability, high fuel efficiency and excellent performance. The engines are currently being used by UPS as well as many school districts.
For a university which offers courses in systems for environmental control, holds numerous conferences concerning environmental issues, owns a forest which studies the health of ecosystems and prides itself on being environmentally aware, isn't it time that its central administration set a policy that requires it to bring theory into the real world?
There is, of course, another way to cut down on pollution. It might be a good idea not to purchase new buses and let the students get some exercise. Samuel S. Spektor, Jr. Cambridge, MA