As part of a broader citywide program to reduce air pollution, greenhouse gas emissions and noise, the municipality of Tel Aviv-Jaffa is launching a pilot program to potentially replace its fleet of scooters with electric versions.
To this purpose, the city has decided to purchase about 25 electric scooters to examine their effectiveness in comparison to the gasoline ones that municipal workers employ today. If the pilot yields positive results, the municipality will explore the possibility of gradually replacing its entire 300-scooter fleet with their electrical counterparts, the city said. City officials will be examining a number of parameters during the pilot program, including the scooter performance capabilities, riding experience, environmental footprint, cost effectiveness and safety, they explained.
The first unit of city employees to make use of the electric scooters will be the municipal "green patrollers," followed by workers from the sanitation and inspection departments, the municipality said.
"The municipality of Tel Aviv-Jaffa does not stop to look for ways to make transportation in the city more efficient and to provide alternative solutions that are healthy for the environment," Mayor Ron Huldai said. "This policy is not only directed to the residents, but also as an internal organizational strategy, through which we integrate municipal operations vehicle with the green revolution in the city."
Within the last decade, there has been a 40-percent increase in the number of motor scooters being used in Tel Aviv in general, the city said. Meanwhile, in the past two decades, the number of motorcycles have increased from about 9,000 to 25,000, a 177% increase. The popularity of these vehicles therefore indicates their significant environmental impact, the municipality added.
The pilot program is being promoted by the city's operations division for quality of life and environment, and is being carried out in cooperation with the European Union as part of the CIVITAS urban transportation project – for creating more accessible, sustainable and clean transportation. Embarking on this program also reflects the city's commitment to the international Climate Protection Agreement of ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability, according to the municipality.
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