Having "hybrid" stuck to the back to your vehicle doesn't negate the fact that your vehicle is unnecessarily heavy and large

So, Massport has this thing where people with hybrid vehicles can park in spots closer to the airport. I think the whole plan is pretty much just lip service, since I don't think most people drive to the airport very often, and people who are thinking about the planet and cost and convenience are going to take the T anyway. Also, the closer spots aren't that much more convenient, because all of the parking is still a hike from the terminal. Give people a discount on tolls or give them free coffee or something more useful instead. (Or, be like forward-thinking countries and have every public and private entity charge the living bejeezus out of unnecessarily large vehicles so that no one considers buying one unless they can't do their job without it.)

But still, I find the plan aggravating, because it just further reinforces the idea that anything that says "hybrid" on it is a better environmental choice than anything that doesn't. I mean, I guess I'm slightly thankful that some people are buying hybrid Toyota Highlanders instead of non-hybrid ones, but there's just no reason for anyone to buy one. If you truly need a 4WD vehicle because you live up an unpaved mountainside road or something, there are normal-sized Subarus and things that can also get up there without wasting as much energy. And the other 99% of you who buy these things to drive around on city roads just because they can, well, stop destroying my planet.

Dear Massport:

Why is the environmental initiative rewarding the use of hybrid vehicles specifically? Using a hybrid vehicle is not always the smartest environmental choice. For instance, the Toyota Highlander Hybrid holds 5 passengers and gets around 25 mpg. The Honda Fit 5-speed non-hybrid also holds 5 passengers and gets around 40 mpg. Just because a vehicle is a hybrid does not mean that its environmental impact is less than that of other vehicles that carry the same number of passengers. People who choose environmentally friendly modes of transportation should be rewarded. People who choose an unnecessarily large and heavy vehicle that happens to say "hybrid" on it should not be rewarded, as their vehicle is harming the environment unnecessarily. Please consider reserving space for vehicles with, say, a combined EPA rating above 30mpg. Thank you!


thathottness.com said...

It was also pretty upsetting to see Toyota touting the merits of its hybrid technology via an 18-wheeler at the Harbor Fest this weekend.

Ryan Adams said...

this is a major marketing propaganda campaign, imo. My 2003 Honda Civic gets better gas mileage than most hybrids on the road. In fact, the only cars being sold today that get better mileage is the Prius and Civic Hybrid (not the regular civic). That's it.

eeka said...

The reply I received:

Thank you for your very thoughtful inquiry.

Massport's Logan Airport Alternative Fuel and Hybrid Vehicles Preferred Parking Program was developed as an incentive to Logan passengers to drive to the airport in clean fuel vehicles, when high occupancy vehicle (HOV) opportunities do not fit individual travel plans. In development of the program, we gave consideration to the fact that there are conventionally-fueled vehicles with better mileage characteristics than some alternative fueled vehicles. However, implementation of a program based on mileage was found to be more difficult to execute based on the wide variation in vehicles.

In part, the program has provided an excellent opportunity to highlight Massport's desire to promote lower emitting vehicles and remind airport users of the variety of HOV transit modes to Logan. We hope that our passengers will think about the value of cleaner vehicles as they pass these special parking areas.

Thank you for your comment and we will continue to consider your perspective as we monitor the effectiveness of this program.

-Transportation Services Unit