Recommended Practice for Quantifying Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Transit

Recommended Practice for Quantifying Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Transit

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.

Key findings

"APTA strongly recommends that transit agencies use the operational control method to report their emissions. This provides the most appropriate match with their emissions and is also the regulatory approach being considered in some states, including California."

Mode shift to transit also has the potential to displace additional emissions caused by traffic congestion. In other words, as more passengers choose transit and private auto travel declines, cars and trucks will consume less fuel from idling in traffic. Under certain VMT growth scenarios, especially in urban areas already facing substantial congestion, these reductions may be significant.

Together with mode shift and congestion relief, the land-use multiplier leads to―displaced emissions as private automobile travel is reduced.

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