An app that rewards commuters for their travel choices

Many navigation apps use real-time traffic data to help people find the fastest route to work. A new app called incenTrip emulates the same model but with a twist—it incentivizes commuters to take greener, more eco-conscious trips by providing users with a variety of travel options and modes to a destination, each of which is assigned points depending on the distance traveled and the fuel consumed. The greener the trip, the more points are awarded, and users can redeem points for rewards.

An app that rewards commuters for their travel choices

Many navigation apps use real-time traffic data to help people find the fastest route to work. A new app called incenTrip emulates the same model but with a twist—it incentivizes commuters to take greener, more eco-conscious trips by providing users with a variety of travel options and modes to a destination, each of which is assigned points depending on the distance traveled and the fuel consumed. The greener the trip, the more points are awarded, and users can redeem points for rewards.

Creating a transportation decision-making process that is equitable for everyone

The focus of a new publication from the Greenlining Institute is to “offer planners and community advocates a step-by-step guide to a more community-centered transportation planning process that focuses on the mobility needs of communities and puts affected communities at the center of decision-making.” While the work is specific to California, the framework holds value for communities across the country.

There’s more to roadway emissions than what comes out of the tailpipe

While the push to reduce vehicle emissions has focused on cleaner fuels, more efficient engines, and other technologies that can reduce or eliminate tailpipe emissions, non-tailpipe emissions have remained largely under the radar. Non-tailpipe emissions include dust generated from brake pad and tire wear, as well as salt and other material kicked up from the roadway by passing vehicles. Studies have shown that along roadways, tailpipe emissions and non-exhaust sources are often responsible for roughly equal amounts of airborne particulate matter (PM), with non-exhaust sources sometimes accounting for the lion’s share.

Massachusetts looks towards carbon pricing to reduce GHG emissions

Last month Massachusetts released a study investigating how the commonwealth could implement a revenue-neutral carbon fee or tax to support the state’s GHG reduction goals. Massachusetts’ Department of Energy Resources requested that the researchers develop a system that would incentivize GHG reduction but that would use tax cuts or rebates to return to businesses and individuals an amount of money equivalent to what they pay under any new carbon pricing plan.

GreenDOT implementation: Putting policy into practice

MassDOT’s ambitious GreenDOT program has released the first in a series of “data- and performance-driven progress reports.” The report, released in December, documents the key policy shifts, performance measures, and changes in the project selection and prioritization processes that are helping MassDOT achieve its sustainability goals.

Oregon DOT promotes Drive Less Challenge

On October 21, Oregon Department of Transportation and its regional transportation partners launched the first statewide Oregon Drive Less Challenge. The immediate goal of the campaign is to reduce statewide vehicle miles traveled in single occupancy vehicles by half a million miles. The broader goal for the campaign is to raise awareness for ongoing alternative transportation programs aimed at reducing traffic congestion, environmental impacts, and other transportation system costs.

Oregon DOT promotes Drive Less Challenge

On October 21, Oregon Department of Transportation and its regional transportation partners launched the first statewide Oregon Drive Less Challenge. The immediate goal of the campaign is to reduce statewide vehicle miles traveled in single occupancy vehicles by half a million miles. The broader goal for the campaign is to raise awareness for ongoing alternative transportation programs aimed at reducing traffic congestion, environmental impacts, and other transportation system costs.

Tools for Estimating VMT Reductions from Built Environment Changes (Anne Vernez Moudon and Orion Stewart , University of Washington, 2013)

This report reviews the built environment characteristics associated with travel and the tools available that utilize these built environment characteristics to estimate travel and related outcomes such as vehicle emissions and health co-benefits. Tools ranged from simple to complex, and a number of factors should be considered when applying a tool to a planning effort.