This paper reviews historical trends in passenger traffic and energy use since 1950. Overall, transportation fuel use grew from 8.9 QBtu in 1950 to 18.3 QBtu in 1974 with an average annual growth rate of 3.0%. Energy use grew more rapidly than did traffic during this period because of shifts from energy-efficient to energy-intensive modes and increases in energy-intensiveness for most modes (due both to declining load factors and reduced vehicle fuel economy). A number of alternatives exist for reducing transportation fuel use. This paper discusses the energy savings possible due to expanded and improved urban mass-transit services, increases in new car fuel economy, increases in the price of gasoline, and increases in commute-auto occupancy (carpooling). Expanded mass transit is likely to save only small quantities of energy during the next five to ten years, primarily because of the very low fraction of urban passenger travel now carried by transit. Legislating increases in new-car fuel economy and/or higher gasoline prices can save substantial quantities of fuel both in the short and long run. Policies to induce higher auto occupancy during peak periods are unlikely to save much energy both because of their political infeasibility and individual reluctance to change habits.

  • Corporate Authors:

    Oak Ridge National Laboratory

    P. O. Box 2008
    Oak Ridge, TN  United States  37831
  • Authors:
    • HIRST, E
  • Publication Date: 0

Media Info

  • Pagination: 24 p.

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 00136577
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Source Agency: National Technical Information Service
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Jul 13 1981 12:00AM