Riding into the future
BSS employee Bill Cody drives a new FTS vehicle from the Pine Street entrance to Wilson Hall.
This Earth Day, April 22, Fermilab will take another step on the path to a sustainable laboratory. In an effort to comply with goals set by Secretary Chu to reduce greenhouse gases and the size of Fermilab’s automobile fleet, the lab will launch its new Frontier Transportation System. The FTS will make low- and zero-emission conveyances available for free to any trained staff member or user traveling between locations on laboratory grounds.
“Many cities have had great success with bicycle sharing systems, but we wanted to put our own twist on the concept by paying homage to Wilson’s frontier legacy,” said Chief Operating Officer Bruce Chrisman. “The FTS fleet emits a fraction of the greenhouse gases of automobiles, is powered by natural resources abundant on site, and, best of all, will grow over time at no additional cost to the lab.”
The first phase of the low-maintenance system will consist of a fleet of 50 horses stationed throughout the site.
FTS checkout stations will be located near all high-traffic laboratory areas, including site entrances, Wilson Hall, Feynman Computing Center, the Training Center, SiDet, the Village and DZero. Anyone wishing to use the FTS will simply scan their ID, harness the first available unit and hop on.
“I participated in the FTS trial last year, and it was a fantastic experience,” said Director Pier Oddone. “Adjustment to any new system takes time and effort – and in this case, a few pains in the you-know-what – but the pluses will far outweigh any negatives.”
Lower emissions won’t be the only benefit, he added. There will also be new offerings from the Recreation Office and expanded opportunities for the Third Thursday Lunchtime Clean-up volunteers.
Groups will also be served by the new system. The Frontier Taxi Service will be available from 7:45 a.m. to 4:45 p.m., Monday through Friday. Transportation for up to 15 people can be arranged by calling x7669 (xPONY).
“The whole transportation services team is chomping at the bit to get this new initiative off the ground,” said Business Services Section Head Dave Carlson.
All FTS participants must take the required trainings. Extra sessions of FTS Operational Procedures, Organic Environmental Hazard Analysis and Proper FTS Nourishment Container Handling will be offered through the end of April.