Golden Gate Bridge going green

Posted by Melissa Greathouse

Vegetable oil is powering eighteen flatbed motorcycles that zip around the bridge.

"Vegetable oil with some additives to it," said Craig Dodson.

Dodson is proud of the pilot program that is experimenting with replacing diesel in the bridge district's scooters, tow trucks, air compressors and fork lifts.

Mary Currie, the bridge spokesperson, says the "Golden" Gate Bridge has been going "green" for years.

"We're always keeping pace with technology and being aware of what's a better practice in terms of energy conservation and water conservation here at the bridge and on our bus and ferry systems," she said.

Thursday morning, an electrician worked at the toll plaza where all of the lighting, including the changeable message signs, are now LEDs. Currie said that reduces the energy use by 66%.

Inside, florescent lights save 40%. A sign in the bathroom pushes conservation.

The bridge district says it's reduced its particulate matter emissions in its fleet of busses by 90% since 2001.

Low flow toilets save on water, 2 gallons per flush. The bridge hasn't tallied up the money, but believes the effort to conserve is worth it.

"Going green is something that costs money to upgrade and change your systems and technology. We are particularly aggressive because we think it's important to reduce our carbon footprint," Currie said.