Clean Vehicles, Fuels, and Practices for Airport Private Ground Transportation Providers

The current study summarizes the experiences of public-use airports with developing and implementing clean vehicle policies involving private ground transportation (GT) operators serving the airports. The main objective is to identify effective approaches and review best practices employed by the airports to encourage different types of private GT providers to run more environmentally friendly operations. Eleven commercial service airports and 13 private GT operators were interviewed regarding their experiences with airport clean vehicle programs and other sustainability practices. The study targeted seven types of airport GT fleets, including taxicabs, limousines, shared van rides, hotel/parking shuttles, rental car shuttles, scheduled airport service, and transportation network companies (TNCs), to provide data diversity and examine the differences between how clean vehicle policies applied to different types of service providers. Results show that all surveyed airports encourage one or more sustainability practices, including the use of alternative fuel vehicles (AFVs), restrictions for vehicle idling, use of fuel-efficient and low-emission vehicles, and strategies to reduce “empty rides”. Compressed natural gas, propane, and electric vehicles appear to be the preferred AF technologies. Six of the 11 airports have a formal clean vehicle policy that applies to private GT providers. Common types of clean vehicle policies include explicit requirement for AFV use, fuel emission standards, minimum vehicle fuel economy requirement, incentive for using AFVs in the form of lower airport fees, penalty for not using AFVs in the form of higher airport fees, and requirements for GT operators to reduce empty rides. Airports often use more than one type of policy and/or apply different types of policies to different types of GT operators. Taxicabs and shared van rides are more likely to be subject to clean vehicle requirements, whereas limousines and TNCs are less likely to be managed by the airports. Common incentives offered by airports to GT operators for complying with clean vehicle requirements include lower airport fees for AFVs, premium parking for AFVs, priority pickup of passengers for AFVs, and higher airport fees for non-AFVs. GT operators provided several recommendations to airports for designing effective clean vehicle policies: ensure fleets’ access to fuel by providing fueling infrastructure at the airport; involve GT providers in the development of clean vehicle policies; offer longer and/or exclusive contracts with operators that implement use of AFVs to allow adequate time for them to recoup the investment; and model clean vehicle policy after an existing airport program to ensure clarity and structure. Most surveyed operators were directly or indirectly affected by TNC operations at the airports. Surveyed GT operators suggested that airports should treat all operators equally and that airports should not impose any more requirements on a taxicab industry that is already struggling because of competition with TNCs.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Digital/other
  • Features: Appendices; Figures; References; Tables;
  • Pagination: 65p
  • Serial:
  • Publication flags:

    Open Access (libre)

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01676083
  • Record Type: Publication
  • ISBN: 9780309390446
  • Report/Paper Numbers: Project 11-03, Topic S02-19
  • Files: TRIS, TRB, ATRI
  • Created Date: Jul 25 2018 1:57PM