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RFTA Carbondale Park and Ride

The clean energy economy in transportation

CLEER takes a three-part approach to clean energy in transportation. We recognize that in rural Colorado, cars and trucks are necessary for business and family life. We also know that nationwide, transportation accounts for about 40 percent of total use of fossil fuels.

We have many opportunities to reduce petroleum consumption through better driving, vehicle maintenance, and purchasing modern, fuel-efficient vehicles when the time comes. CLEER works with communities and fleets to help them learn about advances in clean vehicle technology and what they can do to make the vehicles they own today operate as efficiently as possible.

No car, less car, efficient car

No car: Healthy active transportation via bicycles and walking, combined with safe routes for bicycle and pedestrian travel within and between communities.

Less car: Use of public transit systems, combined with safe routes for bicycle and pedestrian access to bus stops. CLEER also supports carpooling.

Efficient car: Vehicle efficiency through use of hybrid and plug-in electric cars, compressed natural gas (CNG) trucks, and driving habits that increase mileage and efficiency.

Alternative fuel vehicles


CLEER’s history with clean energy transportation

CLEER has deep roots in clean energy transportation issues. CLEER’s founder and executive director, Alice H. Laird, is the former director of the New Century Transportation Foundation. NCTF served as an educational and fundraising resource for clean energy transportation in the Roaring Fork Valley, working closely with the Roaring Fork Transportation Authority (RFTA).

New Century Transportation Foundation mobilized more than $800,000 in funding for RFTA to complete the Rio Grande Trail from Glenwood Springs to Aspen, and organized political and community support for the RFTA’s bus rapid transit system, VelociRFTA. The trail and the BRT are now very successful means of non-car transportation. The Rio Grande Trail has also become a big draw for tourism in the valley, complementing other recreational cycling trails in the region.

CLEER’s expertise in vehicle efficiency and alternative fuels

Matthew Shmigelsky leads CLEER’s vehicle transportation team. Shmigelsky leads on-the-ground efforts as a fleet coach through the Refuel Colorado Fleets program in 10 Western Slope counties in support of deployment of compressed natural gas, propane and electric vehicles for public and private fleets.

CLEER's transportation projects


Ride Garfield County

CLEER manages the Ride Garfield County program for Garfield Clean Energy. It's a multi-faceted campaign aimed at encouraging people of all ages to walk, bicycle and use public transit.

Key elements to the program are participation in the National Bike Challenge, co-hosting National Bike to Work Day and Colorado Bike to Work Day events in local communities, and advocacy for more safe bicycle and pedestrian routes across Garfield County.

In 2017, Ride Garfield County played an active role in helping reduce traffic congestion in Glenwood Springs during the Grand Avenue Bridge Detour.

Refuel Colorado Fleets

The Colorado Energy Office contracts with CLEER to manage the Refuel Colorado Fleets program. CLEER provided the inspiration for this project by applying its successful model of energy coaching to work with fleets. Refuel is a pilot program involving 14 Colorado counties with the goal of building market demand for alternative fuels by working with government and private sector fleets.
Learn more.

Western Slope CNG Collaborative

The Western Slope CNG Collaborative is a project of Garfield Clean Energy. This effort works to expand use of compressed natural gas (CNG) as a transportation fuel by providing an information-sharing network and advocacy for fuel providers, auto dealers and vehicle drivers, particularly fleets. Visit the Western Slope CNG webpage.