Public Transportation’s Role in Responding to Climate Change

The Federal Transit Administration (FTA) collects and analyzes data from across the country on public transportation fuel use, vehicles deployed, rides taken, and other key metrics. These data, taken from the National Transit Database and combined with information from the U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, provides valuable insight into the impacts of automobile, truck, SUV, and public transportation travel on the production of greenhouse gas emissions. National level data show significant greenhouse gas emission savings by use of public transportation, which offers a low emissions alternative to driving. This paper presents an analysis of the data and frames it in a broader context. It concludes with a description of FTA actions that address climate change. Based on an examination of FTA’s data and other academic, government, and industry sources, public transportation can reduce greenhouse gas emissions by: (1) Providing a low emissions alternative to driving. (2) Facilitating compact land use, reducing the need to travel long distances. (3) Minimizing the carbon footprint of transit operations and construction.


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Web
  • Features: Appendices; Figures; Photos; Tables;
  • Pagination: 20p

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01153448
  • Record Type: Publication
  • Files: NTL, TRIS, USDOT
  • Created Date: Mar 30 2010 2:17PM