In a move similar to London's push to charge for parking on a sliding scale related to vehicle emissions, employees at BP's Alternative Energy facility in Houston receive free parking if they drive the very greenest vehicles. BP pays for its employees parking based on their vehicle's emission levels, providing completely free parking only to highly efficient models like the Honda Civic Hybrid.

The parking fees paid by the company are calculated based on the number of tons of greenhouse gases the vehicle emits annually based on U.S. Environmental Protection Agency figures. Following are examples of the parking rebate for different models.

$75 credit (free parking) for emitting less than 5 tons of greenhouse gases a year:
$50 credit for emitting less than 6 tons of greenhouse gases a year:
$25 credit for emitting between 6 and 7 tons of greenhouse gases a year:
No credit is paid for vehicles emitting over 7 tons of greenhouse gases a year.

Taking public transport hasn't been forgotten either with works taking the bus or train having their travel passes fully paid for. The scheme has proven so successful that around 75 percent of workers now take the bus.

Analysis: its great to see more people taking public transport to work. Obviously its never going to work for everyone, but grab an iPod and a newspaper and commuting really isn't too bad on public transport. I'm all for sliding parking scales based on emissions and free parking for highly efficient vehicles like hybrids. Like electricity where if you use more you have to pay for it, I think people need to start realising that high emissions vehicles are consuming more than just lots of fuel.

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[Source: Tom Fowler / Houston Chronicle]


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