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Archived News Release from 2003

For Immediate Release

Odd-Looking, Possibly Extra-Terrestrial Vehicles Seen Downtown and at Red Morton Park

Redwood City, CA - June 2, 2003 - Sightings of strange-looking, silent, smooth-moving vehicles have recently been reported in Redwood City, from both Red Morton Park and the downtown area. These oddly contoured yet attractive vehicles have been seen carrying City Parks landscaping staff, along with their equipment. None of these vehicles have been sighted at any gas stations. Members of the public are urged not to panic if they see one of these vehicles, but should instead admire their efficiency and environmental friendliness.

Earlier this year, the Redwood City Parks, Recreation and Community Services department received two Global Electric MotorCars (GEM) vehicles, donated by the DaimlerChrysler Company through the National Park Service and the California Parks and Recreation Society (CPRS).  DaimlerChrysler had originally offered to donate 80 vehicles throughout California; the demand was so high that the company decided to donate 350 of the GEM cars, which are now in use throughout the State.

These battery-driven vehicles are zero-emission, clean and quiet, have a top speed of about 25 miles per hour, and are Federally-approved "low speed vehicles" which may be driven on community streets. More information on the vehicles is available at www.gemcar.com. The City is using them to transport landscaping staff, materials, and equipment around the 32-acre Red Morton Park and its facilities and buildings, as well as around the downtown area to maintain the City's planter boxes and other landscaped areas.

By using these efficient vehicles, the City reduces its fuel use and saves wear and tear on its regular gasoline-using trucks. Gem's batteries are charged on standard 110-volt outlets, taking around 8 to 10 hours to recharge. They are equipped with front wheel drive, four-wheel hydraulic brakes, a safety glass windshield, windshield wiper, anchored 3-point seatbelts, low-maintenance batteries, head lamps and tail lamps, stop lamps, turn signals, and rack-and-pinion steering. Use of these donated vehicles is another example of Redwood City looking for the most cost-effective and efficient ways to serve the community.

The Redwood City Parks, Recreation and Community Services Department provides recreational facilities and activities for all ages and interests, and supplies building and custodial services for City buildings. Redwood City Parks also operates the Fair Oaks Community Center, providing social, educational, and cultural activities, as well as information, referral, and counseling services to persons living in Redwood City and neighboring communities. Redwood City Parks is more than you think! Its website is located at www.redwoodcity.org/parks/. Visit Redwood City's website at www.redwoodcity.org for information about the City and its services, the community, recreation programs, education, City government, and local business.

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Contact: Mike Gibbons
Parks Manager
(650) 780-7250


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