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U. Florida Implements Green Fleet Initiatives

September 6, 2006

A recent University of Florida event demonstrated the school’s first ethanol fuel station, The Independent Florida Alligator reports. The ethanol tank was built as part of UF's campaign to create a sustainable campus, aiming to reduce impact on the environment and increase student and faculty parking on campus. Last year, UF President Bernie Machen said all future state vehicles purchased by the university would be either hybrid or able to run on ethanol. So far, UF owns 10 hybrid and 45 ethanol vehicles and has plans to increase those numbers, according to The Independent Florida Alligator. From now on, UF state-vehicles will only run on ethanol, said Motor Pool Superintendent Jon Priest. Petroleum prices are likely to rise, so the decision to use ethanol is fiscally and environmentally sound, said Allan Preston, the quality manager for the physical plant. Ethanol costs $2.86 per gallon, but UF will charge its drivers $3.06 in order to earn back the $34,000 it spent to install the tank. UF is also launching a pilot taxi service for faculty and staff this month as part of its sustainability campaign. In an effort to reduce parking problems and traffic at UF's campus, administrators are also looking into two car rental services, Zipcar and Flexcar, for students, faculty members and Gainesville residents. Harvard University, the University of Michigan and other institutions have already signed up for the services. The university will begin charging state vehicles $3,000 a year to park on campus, in an effort to encourage UF divisions to pool their vehicles and maximize their mileage. The rate is "intentionally harsh," Preston said. Additionally, officials hope the move will open up parking spaces for students and faculty.
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