cities quantify emissions from reductions from transport solutions
Thanks to Lee Schipper for the excellent heads-up
Measuring the Invisible
New EMBARQ publications help cities quantify emissions from reductions from transport solutions
Friday, September 05, 2008 | Washington, DC, United States
As transportation demand continues to rise at unprecedented rates, the need to compare alternative transport policies and their impacts on both CO2 emissions and local air pollution is becoming more and more critical.
The challenge of quantifying these impacts, however, has hindered transparent and well-informed decision making. To address this barrier, EMBARQ/WRI has developed three case studies that illustrate methods for quantifying emissions from transportation solutions.
Like many fast growing medium-sized cities, Queretaro, a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the center of Mexico, must upgrade its public transportation system if it wishes to avoid succumbing to unmanageable levels of traffic congestion.
EMBARQ/WRI worked with the city of Queretaro to quantify the emissions from the city’s existing bus system, and showed that introducing a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system and improving the efficiency of the bus network could yield substantial emissions reductions. Introducing alternative fuel and vehicle and emission control technologies, on the other hand, were predicted to yield few additional reductions.
Porto Alegre, Brazil
Porto Alegre, a medium size city in the State of Rio Grande do Sul in Brazil, is planning to implement a Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) corridor and a fare integration scheme to reduce the number of buses and terminals in the city center and to increase bus ridership. EMBARQ/WRI worked with local partners to estimate the impact of these two proposed initiatives on air pollutants and CO2 emissions in the city.
The results of this case study showed that the BRT system would reduce emissions by 25-31 thousand tones of CO2 per year, when compared to the business as usual scenario with fare integration. Interestingly, the study estimated that the fare integration plan, if implemented on its own, could actually increase emissions. Further analysis shows that cleaner fuels and emission control technologies would have a significant impact if applied to fleets with high annual mileage, such as the municipal or the metropolitan bus fleets.
Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam, has a transport master plan that provides alternative scenarios for the City’s transport system. EMBARQ/WRI and local partners studied how these scenarios would impact on air pollutant and CO2 emissions. The results of the analysis show that if government officials decide to further promote public transportation and to mandate stricter fuel quality and vehicle emission standards, it will be possible to stabilize emissions in 2020 at 2005 levels, while still ensuring the same level of mobility to Hanoi residents.
Nevertheless, without measures to restrain the growth in overall vehicle traffic - particularly that of private cars - fuel use and transport emissions will grow significantly. A continued shift from two-wheelers to cars will mean an enormous increase in fuel use, even if the cars are very efficient. Such a shift is expected to cause enormous congestion problems because of the lack of space in Hanoi.