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This study explores the full life cycle impacts of connected and automated vehicles beyond just operational impacts to understand net energy and environmental performance.
"This report aims to identify policy issues related to the use of AVs that will have a bearing on public health and to identify research topics that will support informed decisionmaking related to AVs and public health."
While consumers have been making more sustainable choices in the physical retail environment, these habits have not translated as well into the digital shopping environment.
This article studies the relationship between gasoline consumption and urban design patterns by comparing 32 principal cities from around the world. The purpose is to evaluate physical planning policies for conserving transportation energy in urban areas.
This article examines the relationship between urban form and vehicle miles travelled, especially as it relates to last mile goods delivery and greenhouse gas emissions.
The town of Innisfil in Ontario, Canada has partnered with Uber in place of public transit. Low density development drove the town to choose subsidizing Uber over creating a public transit system due to the perceived cost of both. However, the amount Innisfil spent subsidizing Uber rides has already exceeded the amount they estimated it would cost to create a public transit system. Experts question the partnership, citing environmental and economic problems.
Food delivery has become increasingly popular in China and is generating millions of tons of food packaging waste. Through the use of food delivery apps, ordering food online has become cheap and convenient.
TNCs provide on-demand mobility service that either complements or competes with transit services. This article studies how TNCs influence changes in urban travel patterns as well as energy and environmental implications.
This article is a literature review of the definition and effects of urban sprawl for the purpose of implementing planning policies that discourage sprawl.
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.
Lime has joined rival Bird in establishing a safety advisory board tasked with helping the e-scooter industry shape local regulations—and shake its risky reputation.
Continuous and dynamic growth in demand for road transport, especially in developing countries, causes increase of greenhouse gases (GHG) emissions. At the same time the emissions of toxic components of exhaust gases harmful to human health and the environment enhance – particulate matter, nitrogen oxides, carbon monoxide and others. In particular, GHG emission and increase their concentration in the atmosphere, where road transport is the largest issuer in the transport sector, become one of the most important global problems. So far actions towards reducing energy consumption and emissions have not caused a decrease in global emissions. The aim of authors of this paper is to analyze the potential for AV to reduce GHG emissions from road transport. The analysis includes not only technical and technological issues, but also organizational and in the management of transport demand.
Currently, little planning is being done to prepare for driverless technology. Actors at multiple levels, however, have tools at their disposal to help ensure that new technology does not come at the expense of the nation’s remaining natural habitats. This Article advocates for a shift in paradigm from policies that are merely anti-car to those that are pro-density, and provides suggestions for both cities and suburban areas for how harness the positive aspects of driverless cars while trying to stem the negative. Planning for density regardless of technology will help to ensure that, for the world of the future, there is actually a world.
Inclusive of manufacturing, transportation to the US, and the use phase, this study looks at the environmental impact of e-scooters compared to the use of alternative modes of transportation.
"This paper assesses alternative fuel options for transit buses. We find that all alternative fuel options lead to higher life cycle ownership and external costs than conventional diesel. When external funding is available to pay for 80% of vehicle purchase expenditures (which is usually the case for U.S. transit agencies), BEBs yield large reductions (17–23%) in terms of ownership and external costs compared to diesel."
"In response to the Trump administration’s withdrawal of support for the international Paris Climate Agreement last year, the City Council adopted Resolution 31757, affirming Seattle's commitment to the goals established in the Paris Agreement, and directing the Office of Sustainability & Environment (OSE) to identify the actions necessary to do our part to limit warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius. The resulting actions, developed under the leadership of Mayor Durkan, reflect a tipping point in the transition to Seattle’s zero emissions future. They are designed to move beyond incremental change and fundamentally reshape our building and transportation systems for a fossil fuel-free future."
This document provides guidance to transit agencies for quantifying their greenhouse gas emissions, including both emissions generated by transit and the potential reduction of emissions through efficiency and displacement. It lays out a standard methodology for transit agencies to report their greenhouse gas emissions in a transparent, consistent and cost-effective manner. It ensures that agencies can provide an accurate public record of their emissions; may help them comply with future state and federal legal requirements; and may help them gain credit for their―early actions to reduce emissions.
"Our primary focus is travel related energy consumption and emissions, since potential lifecycle impacts are generally smaller in magnitude. We explore the net effects of automation on emissions through several illustrative scenarios, finding that automation might plausibly reduce road transport GHG emissions and energy use by nearly half – or nearly double them – depending on which effects come to dominate."
Concerns over rising fuel prices and greenhouse-gas emissions have prompted research into the influences of built environments on travel, notably vehicle miles traveled (VMT). Accessibility to basic employment has comparatively modest effects, as do size of urbanized area, and rail-transit supplies and usage. Nevertheless, urban planning and city design should be part of any strategic effort to shrink the environmental footprint of the urban transportation 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"
This article examines the burgeoning future of electric buses and the possible impacts it may have on society.
"Here we present a unique long-term (decadal) record of CO2 mole fractions from five sites across Utah’s metropolitan Salt Lake Valley. Four state-of-the-art global-scale emission inventories also have a nonlinear relationship with population density across the city; however, in contrast to our observations, they all have nearly constant emissions over time. Our results indicate that decadal scale changes in urban CO2 emissions are detectable through monitoring networks and constitute a valuable approach to evaluate emission inventories and studies of urban carbon cycles."
The purpose of this document is to identify and outline the policies, programs and strategies being adopted by the City of Portland (City), as part of a regionally coordinated effort to promote and integrate electric vehicles (EVs) into our transportation system and to capitalize on local economic development opportunities from this emerging industry.
This article summarizes the history of how Level of Service (LOS) became tied to the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and the motivations for the current shift away from LOS toward Vehicles Miles Traveled (VMT) as an environmental review point for new construction projects.
This is a review of what research is saying about the negative impacts of autonomous vehicles are on public health issues specifically.
Focus on emissions and energy efficiency has long been focused on vehicles and improving their efficiency. This article discusses the option that hasn't been utilized as much by policy markers, to just limit the amount people drive.
NYC Transit and MTA bus have a combined fleet of about 5,700 buses for public transportation in New York City. The fleet currently consists of a mix of diesel, hybrid diesel and CNG (compressed natural gas) buses. Electric buses have vastly lower greenhouse gas(GHG) emissions than the current fleet. The MTA will have challenges associated with a changeover to electric buses, but effective planning can make the change nearly invisible to customers. The recommendation of this analysis is that New York City should begin taking steps to convert the bus fleet to all electric.
"In this paper, we present a project in Munich, Germany, where the last mile package delivery is carried out by a CEP company by cargo bikes and eBikes. To this end, two containers and one truck-trailer are placed in the city center which function as depot stations for the parcels to be delivered nearby. We analyze the delivery data, present an optimization scheme for finding suitable container locations, and simulate the routes conducted by cargo bikes for an average day. It can be concluded that the presented approach is a feasible solution for the package delivery in densely populated cities. The vehicle mileage covered by diesel trucks per day is significantly reduced from 180 km to 45 km, approximately."
This paper presents an analysis of the data and frames it in a broader context. It concludes with a description of FTA actions that address climate change.
The focus of this paper is around GHG emissions reduction potentials by electrifying transportation methods around the world.
EPA webpage briefly outlining the US emissions facts in the transportation field.
This whitepaper helps to stimulate debate over the proper way to introduce autonomous vehicles into society, with a hope that it leads to greater collaboration among all stakeholders about how to tackle the issue of congestion in autonomous future.
We are on the cusp of one of the fastest, deepest, most consequential disruptions of transportation in history. By 2030, within 10 years of regulatory approval of autonomous vehicles (AVs), 95% of U.S. passenger miles traveled will be served by on-demand autonomous electric vehicles owned by fleets, not individuals, in a new business model we call “transportas-a-service” (TaaS). The TaaS disruption will have enormous implications across the transportation and oil industries, decimating entire portions of their value chains, causing oil demand and prices to plummet, and destroying trillions of dollars in investor value — but also creating trillions of dollars in new business opportunities, consumer surplus and GDP growth.
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