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Anti-idling advocate to pitch emissions plan for fleet vehicles

Idle Free Climate Action Initiative's Ron Zima will be before the Transportation Standing Committee Thursday
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A Halifax Transit bux (Meghan Groff/

HALIFAX - A local advocate will be pitching a new idea to Halifax Regional Council's Transportation Standing Committee Thursday to try and convince the municipality to limit the amount of time its fleet vehicles are left idling.

The Idle Free Climate Action Initiative is looking to reduce the amount of greenhouse gas emissions produced by HRM vehicles.

The group's CEO, Ron Zima, said 80 per cent of idling time is unnecessary given current technologies and can account for 40 per cent of a vehicle's fuel costs.

"What we refer to is non-operational idle time, the vehicle is just sitting there running when parked for no operational benefit, that adds up to, often times, the biggest cost avoidance metric for a fleet next to speeding," Zima said.

Zima wants the municipality to allow his group access to fleet fuel data to find out how much is being wasted and then in turn, allow him to implement a developed educational program to encourage bus drivers to change their habits and turn their buses off.

"If you can't measure it, you can manage that's part of pitch to the city is 'hey, give us access to your fleet data, get us in front of your drivers, we'll transform their behaviour so you can then walk the talk on your idling policy,'" he said.

Zima said that the municipality does have a policy in place that states no vehicle will idle for more than 3 minutes, but he said this policy is frequently ignored, which over the course of year, can contribute to fuel costs.

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