Reduced travel and more efficient travel are identified as two obvious methods of energy conservation. Good urban planning, implemented by pragmatic policies can significantly reduce exponential growth of travel, and the availability of acceptable public transportation can yield tremendous savings in energy consumption. In Pennsylvania, where electric transit vehicles operate, 260 million gallons less of motor fuel are consumed per year than in cities with the typical urban transportation pattern. It is shown how only choice riders on a bus service can save fuel. Census data confirms Pennsylvania's experience that electric transit service or diesel commuter trains attract a much higher percentage of riders, more effectively converting auto travel to transit. Experience in Cleveland is quoted where electric transit cars reduce energy consumption to 2,360 BTUs per passenger-mile, which is 66 percent less than automobile transportation. Savings realized with the partial substitution of electric rail service for auto and bus travel in the Bay Area Rapid Transit System are discussed. Lightweight suburban trains which conserve electrical energy could lead to 60 to 80 percent savings depending on load factors. However, all forms of public transportation are not equal in thier energy efficiency. Demand-actuated services, rubber-tired trains, and air travel are not as energy-efficient. The provision of rapid rail facilities and other proven means of improved transport can increase transit's share of the market from 12 to 25 percent. With the transit potential for the 120 million urban people who do not have extensive rapid transit it may be possible to achieve a saving of 720 million gallons of fuel per year. Additional petroleum may be saved by a greater utilization of coal for transit power generation.

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Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00083000
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Mar 26 1975 12:00AM