Tuesday, March 13, 2012

New VTPI Report on Energy and Emissions Strategies

An excellent report just posted by Todd Litman of the Victoria Transport Policy Institute (“Comprehensive Evaluation of TransportEnergy Conservation and Emission Reduction Policies”) provides some timely help for those of us struggling with policy choices in this area.  As usual, Todd wades into complex and often controversial issues with a reasoned analysis and solid scholarship. 
The gist of this report is the conclusion that many studies overrate “cleaner vehicle” strategies as opposed to “mobility management” strategies (VMT reduction) because they do not use comprehensive evaluation techniques. 
Without repeating the whole argument, I’ll just mention a couple of the points I find particularly powerful:
·      A “liter of fuel conserved through vehicle travel reductions provides about four times the total benefits as the same fuel savings provided by cleaner vehicle strategies, due to additional benefits such as congestion reductions, road and parking facility cost savings, consumer savings, and traffic safety” and
·      The benefits of transit investments tend to be undervalued, and … “Even larger benefits can result if public transit improvements leverage additional vehicle travel reductions by helping create more compact, multi-modal communities where residents tend to reduce their vehicle travel and rely more on walking, cycling and public transit.”

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