Green America: Growing the Green Economy for People and the Planet

LogoGreenway Transit
Durham, NC

Congratulations to Fall 2013
People & Planet Award winner Greenway Transit!


Greenway Transit Services, LLC is the first and only green transport company in the Southeast, whose vehicles run exclusively on human energy or biofuels (biodiesel, veggie oil and ethanol-E85). In the summer months, we run 100-percent biodiesel.  This is no small achievement.  No other transportation company in the country, that we know of, runs B100, due to a range of issues from warranty, to impacts on equipment.  We have shown that it can be done with a wide range of vehicles.  Though there are challenges, like coldflow properties, solvent affect, fuel storage, in our heart we know the mission worth the added cost, time and frustration. 

Together with our GOAL Partners: Green Oil Company and Carolina Biodiesel, Greenway strives to promote a closed-loop, distributed energy production model that keeps money local and creates jobs and builds resiliency. By recycling and processing waste vegetable oil into biodiesel and using the resulting fuel to power our vehicles, the GOAL Model is a unique, value-adding and community-supported energy production system that can be replicated in other places. Furthermore, we use a hybrid business model, teaming with The Forest Foundation, a non-profit that manages our campus, runs a green jobs training program and promotes sustainable livelihoods in North Carolina and across the world.

We do NOT cut corners on safety and maintenance, underpay our drivers, or externalize our cost on the environment. We work together with other members of our community to serve customers needs and grow our green economy in trust to our community and the planet.

We see our business model not to simply provide a green transportation service but to promote an educational agenda, a mobile classroom, billboards and model for social and behavioral change.  We are targeting university and college towns that are interested in greening and can benefit from our model, and we are also engaging historically black colleges, universities, and institutions to promote a uniting of activist fronts centered on environmental justice.  Our campus is located in an old petroleum distribution, a brownfield site in one of Durham’s Hope VI communities. The low-income neighborhood has been in need of revitalization at every level.  For the last eight years, Greenway and other GOAL site businesses have worked hard on remediation of the soil, and we now compost and grow vegetable gardens in the once-contaminated areas.  Greenway has brought business to the community — creating dozens of jobs  (as drivers, mechanics, managers, and technicians), teaching hundreds of people about sustainability through a green jobs training program, and provided transportation services for thousands of people each month.

Fundamentally, we run our business using a completely different model, not with a triple bottom line approach, but one bottom-line, that the planet's natural capital is the source of all capital and is the bottom line.  The basic laws of physics, ecology, and the natural world trump all others and must be well understood, and our human world and economies and businesses are subsets and wholly dependent on the natural world.  We also aspire to the need for a spiritual connection that goes beyond the natural understanding and the desperate need to bridge perceptual challenges associated with understanding our interconnectedness, dependence on, and relationship to each other and the natural world.

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Pedicab