Green transport rolls into Pittsburgh

Smart Cars, buses, and hobnobbing bikes took over Schenley Plaza this past Friday. Pittsburgh’s Clean Cities program hosted the city’s second annual Alternative Transportation Festival, showcasing groups that promote transportation forms other than traditional gasoline-powered vehicles. Local organizations set up booths and gave out tips on how to travel alternatively in all areas of daily life.

“The annual Alternative Transportation Festival is really a showcase of the region’s assets, from bike trails to kayaks and river transportation to alternative fuels and advanced vehicle technologies,” said Nathaniel Doyno, executive director of Steel City Biofuels in a Sept. 26 radio interview on (

Some of the groups in attendance included alternative fuel groups such as Steel City Biofuels and GTECH Strategies, which educated the festival participants on bi
ofuel technology and current policy.

Steel City Biofuels is a program at Pennsylvania State University dedicated to building awareness, technology, and infrastructure in southwestern Pennsylvania.

GTECH (Growth Through Energy and Community Health) Strategies is a non-profit organization founded by Carnegie Mellon alumni that grows sunflowers on vacant land for biofuel use.

Other groups present included Port Authority Transit, which handed out bus maps; Bike Pittsburgh, which hosted bike maintenance training sessions and handed out free inner tubes; and the Oakland Transportation Management Association, which gave out “Go Green Oakland!” canvas bags.

The Group Against Smog and Pollution displayed information about the dangers of air pollution.

“The festival is an opportunity for all the partners in the city to come together and really let the citizens know that they’re out there and what’s available,” Doyno said.

Carnegie Mellon’s own Green Practices Committee, a group of researchers devoted to promoting environmentally friendly policies on campus, and Sustainable Earth, a student environmental club, had their own booths. They displayed information about Zipcars, showed pictures of alternative transportation use on campus, and gave out vegetarian recipe books.

“The best part was the opportunity to network with other groups,” said Austin Redwood, a junior BHA student and Sustainable Earth president. “Everyone was walking around and talking to each other, and I met a lot of cool people.”

The festival was a testament to the innovations in transportation achieved by some of Pittsburgh’s most hardworking organizations, which are already gearing up for next year’s festival.