Quantifying Transit’s Impact on GHG Emissions and Energy Use—The Land Use Component (TRB, 2015)

Transit often fails to get the credit it deserves for reducing traffic and emissions. In most U.S. cities, transit’s mode share is in the single digits, so the direct effect of ridership seems small. And while it’s clear that even in places with low mode share transit plays a role in raising densities—and thereby reducing travel distances—this relationship has been hard to quantify; conventional demand models simply take land use as an input. Filling this gap is a report and tool from TRB’s Transit Cooperative Research Program.

New tool estimates transit’s effect on VMT and emissions

Transit often fails to get the credit it deserves for reducing traffic and emissions. In most U.S. cities, transit’s mode share is in the single digits, so the direct effect of ridership seems small. And while it’s clear that even in places with low mode share transit plays a role in raising densities—and thereby reducing travel distances—this relationship has been hard to quantify; conventional demand models simply take land use as an input. Filling this gap is a report and tool from TRB’s Transit Cooperative Research Program.

The ACEEE international Energy Efficiency Scorecard (American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy, 2012)

This report analyzed the energy efficiency of 12 of the world’s largest economies in four areas including the transportation sector. They used 27 metrics roughly divided between evaluation of quantifiable results and policies. Download the …

ACEEE finds U.S. ranks last in energy efficiency in transportation

A new report from the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy finds that, among 12 major world economies analyzed for the report, the U.S. ranks dead last in the energy efficiency of its transportation sector. Improving transportation’s energy efficiency hinges on supporting multiple modes of transportation and can be accomplished by dramatically improving the accessibility of other transportation modes such as rail, carpooling, bus, biking, and walking. Without adoption of new policies and standards, the U.S. transportation system will continue drag on the economy, wasting energy and limiting opportunities for economic development. The ACEE graph below shows how the U.S. transportation sector energy consumption far outstrips that of the other countries evaluated as part of the study.

The Colorado Energy Smart Transportation Initiative: A Framework for Considering Energy in Transportation (SSTI and Colorado DOT, 2012)

The mission of Colorado’s Energy Smart Transportation Initiative was to develop a framework for considering energy efficiency and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions in transportation decision-making. With SSTI assistance, a collaborative team composed of federal and state agencies, MPOs, and rural planning partners came together to leverage resources and promote efficiency and effectiveness among agencies by exploring ways to develop “energy smart transportation” strategies. This report includes strategies developed to incorporate energy efficiency and GHG emissions in transportation planning, increase energy efficiency and reduce GHG emissions from transportation, advance environmentally friendly alternative vehicle and fuel technologies, and increase efficiency through truck fleet enhancements, improved traveler information, and other methods.

Comprehensive Evaluation of Transport Energy Conservation and Emission Reduction Policies (Victoria Transport Policy Institute, 2012)

Transportation strategies that reduce emissions and conserve energy and grouped into either “cleaner vehicles” or “mobility management” (VMT reduction and demand management.) This report examines the cost effectiveness of these two strategies. Download full report.

Comprehensive Evaluation of Transport Energy Conservation and Emission Reduction Policies (Victoria Transport Policy Institute, 2012)

Transportation strategies that reduce emissions and conserve energy and grouped into either “cleaner vehicles” or “mobility management” (VMT reduction and demand management.) This report examines the cost effectiveness of these two strategies. Download full report.