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The University of Oregon conducted research for the cities of Portland, Seattle, and Vancouver to understand how the deployment of autonomous vehicles may impact greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Based on the range of possible outcomes, the cities hope to better understand the policies and programmatic choices available to mitigate negative impacts of AVs and ensure that they can accomplish the goals stated in their climate action, land use, and transportation plans. By working together, each city hopes to learn from each other—as well as cities from across North America—to achieve their climate-related goals.
The transportation sector accounts for the largest portion of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions compared to all other sectors, and GHGs are once again on the rise. At the same time, new mobility technologies are being introduced and fully autonomous vehicles (AVs) are anticipated to be deployed, at least to varying extents, within 5-10 years. (Waymo, Google’s self-driving project, is already operating a limited robotaxi service in Phoenix, AZ with a fleet of AVs.) AVs have the potential to improve safety, reduce congestion, and increase mobility— but they could also increase congestion, increase vehicle miles/ kilometers traveled (VMT/VKT), and erode transit, walk, and bike mode share, exacerbating existing conditions. The cities of Portland, OR; Seattle, WA; and Vancouver, BC have adopted climate action plans with the goal of dramatically reducing GHG emissions. This policy brief is intended to help the three cities better understand how AVs may help or hinder them in achieving their goals, and what recommended actions to take at this critical moment in time.
"This plan sets the course toward realizing a healthy, prosperous, and resilient future for our city. It calls on us all to rise to the challenge of transforming our community to create a better life for future generations."
The Renewable City Strategy sets the direction for Vancouver to achieve its 100% renewable energy goal. It is not intended to be a detailed roadmap or technology guide, but instead is a foundation for more detailed planning and budgeting. Project and technology support that result from the Renewable City Strategy will be assessed to ensure that the route followed is technically, economically and socially responsible. The Renewable City Strategy proposes a viable route to using 100% renewable energy—it is not the only route to that success.
"This paper builds on the growing scholarship on neighbourhood-level GHG production by combining emissions calculations from embodied energy, building-operating energy, and transportation energy, examining four variations of residential density."
The presentation given to the city council goes over the potential the future of the City of Vancouver has to offer and what the next steps may be.
This report recommends potential research and policies that will help shape progress towards that vision. It also clarifies some opportunities and preparatory work for TransLink to consider as an operator. These are explained in the body.
The EV Ecosystem Strategy builds on the City’s experience with electric vehicles, or “EVs”, since 2007; and, formalizes the City’s role in the expansion of charging options until the year 2021. As part of the Renewable City Strategy, the City committed to developing an electric vehicle infrastructure strategy to support the transition to renewably-powered transportation, this is the first five-year strategy to make that a reality.
The researcher examined six jurisdictions: three in Canada and in from the United States. In helping frame the issue for B.C. and—more specifically— the Vancouver metropolitan area context, the researcher conducted primary research to understand the accessibility challenges in the regional context and to help frame the topic of accessibility within the for-hire sector.
"Carsharing exemplifies a growing trend towards service provision displacing ownership of capital goods. We developed a model to quantify the impact of carsharing on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The study took into account different types of households and their trip characteristics. The analysis considers five factors by which carsharing can impact GHG emissions: transportation mode change, fleet vintage, vehicle optimization, more efficient drive trains within each vehicle type, and trip aggregation. Access to carsharing has already been shown to lead some users to relinquish ownership of their personal vehicle. We find that even without a reduction in vehicle-kilometers traveled the change in characteristics of the vehicles used in carsharing fleets can reduce GHGs by more than 30%. Shifting some trips to public transit provides a further 10%–20% reduction in GHGs"
According to the latest statistics from the American Public Transit Association, the region has experienced a 5.7 per cent increase in the number of boardings year-over-year. Only three other urban areas with a population of more than one million saw transit ridership growth last year.
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