Stockholm Arlanda Airport allows ‘eco taxis’ to cut the line

Stockholm’s Arlanda Airport last year introduced a simple but effective system to achieve more sustainable taxi services at the airport. To reduce emissions, a dispatch system for taxis was introduced that gives priority to so-called ‘eco taxis’ – vehicles that emit less than 120 gram of CO2 per kilometer – in the airport’s taxi lanes. The fewer emissions a taxi produces, the shorter the waiting time will be for being dispatched to the taxi lane in front of the terminal. Says one taxi driver at the airport: “I save at least one hour a day in this way, as I do not have to stand at the end of the ‘normal’ taxi line.”

CO2 emissions-based dispatch system
According to the airport, the taxi dispatch system is the only one of its kind in the world that automatically gives the shortest waiting times to cars with the lowest environmental impact, such as hybrid, biofuel or flexi-fuel powered vehicles. All taxis that deliver and pick up customers at Stockholm-Arlanda are gathered in a designated remote parking area. To get physical access to this area, and participate in the queue system, a taxi has to be registered at the airport. This provides Arlanda Airport with the opportunity to calculate CO2 emissions based on the vehicle’s registration certificate. In line with the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency’s emissions model, a 65 percent deduction in emissions is made for cars that run on ethanol and an 85 percent deduction is made for those that run on biogas, as  net emissions are lower with green fuel.

To ensure vehicles that run on ‘green’ fuel actually refuel with it, there is a monitoring system that checks to ensure whether the car has at least 80 percent of the fuel indicated. To make things easier for green fuel taxis, Sweden’s biggest biogas filling station also opened at the airport in September 2010. Taxi companies that serve the airport have been replacing their taxis with less CO2 emitting cars, which also has a positive effect on the whole region.

Number of eco taxis doubled
The new exo taxi system has speeded up the process of switching from old-fashioned taxis that run on petrol to more modern vehicles that use green fuel. A year on from introducing the new taxi dispatch system the number of eco taxis at the airport has nearly doubled from 47 per cent to 87 percent and has reduced carbon emissions by over 9,000 tonnes, as each day between 2 and 3,000 taxi’s transport passengers to and from the airport. The target is for all taxis at the airport to be ecotaxis by July 2011. “Today, ground transport to and from the airport accounts for the largest share of the airport’s total carbon dioxide emissions. The system has already had a major impact in reducing emissions and so, of course, it is really great to have further evidence that our system works,” says Jan Lindqvist, Head of Corporate Communication at Stockholm-Arlanda Airport.

Amsterdam Schiphol
A similar initiative that rewards green behavior is Amsterdam Airport Schiphol’s ‘ECO2 parking badge’. The airport provides employees that drive a hybrid or small fuel efficient car (emission below 110 gram CO2/km) with the best parking spots on the staff parking areas.

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