Mass Transit


I usually don’t comment on stories from Grist here. However, they published an article about a significant transition towards a green economy, so I’m breaking with that tradition today. It has shown a clear identifier of where our priorities are headed and, quite frankly, what makes more business sense.

As many people have heard or read about, General Motors recently closed a Wisconsin plant that produced SUV’s and Pick up trucks.

As many have not heard about, the high speed train industry is the most underfunded part of transportation in America, way behind highway construction.

However, a high speed train network using several hubs across the country is being planned.

At the same time, factories that make gas guzzlers are closing and trucking companies are protesting gas prices.

This transportation shift is a clear example of the ensuing transition to a cleaner, greener economy. This shift will also help manufacturing is a few big ways.

1.       With more high speed rail shipping, to and from Midwest cities and outward, factories will have a cheaper more efficient way to deliver goods.

2.       Trucking companies won’t be relied on for longer distances. They will be able to make more local stops, stay regionalized, and create a better work environment for drivers.

3.        Less trucks means less pollution and it also means less fuel cost to manufacturers looking to ship.

4.       The construction of this project will be immense and the upkeep will employ workers for a long time. Manufacturing of railway material and trains would be extremely difficult to outsource.

5.       The creation of new trains can take advantage of advances in sustainable technology allowing for the materials reused time and again.

Also, the basis of the Grist article is revolved around a quote by Barack Obama,

“the fight for American manufacturing is the fight for America’s future — and I believe that’s a fight this country will win.”

So do I.

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Today, Sigma Industries Inc., A CANADIEN COMPANY, announced a new green design for bus frames that is 20% lighter than what is currently widely used, which will increase fuel efficiency. This development takes advantage of  the expectation that mass transit will see a marked increase in the near future as more people ditch their cars in favor of public transportation as well as rising gas prices.

Transit agencies will be able to see a higher ROI by using less fuel. They will also take advantage of Sigma’s flexible manufacturing process, which allows for specific body types determined by market requirements. Also, its bio-resin molding can be conformed to diesel powered trucks in addition to buses.

Denis Bertrand, President and Chief Executive Officer of Sigma Industries says

 “We are excited by the vast market potential for our innovative technological solution, as all market
participants will enjoy benefits. Our revolutionary body shell will enable transit agencies to maximize their return on investment while our flexible manufacturing process will greatly simplify final vehicle assembly by OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturers).”

This could benefit American transit agencies but why isn’t an American manufacturer all over this win, win, win situation. (1. bio-resin molding for 2. mass transit that 3. allows for less fuel need)