Lehman Center for Transportation Research at Florida International University

Conserve by Transit II

  • Florida Department of Transportation
  • Contact: Dr. Fabian Cevallos, (954) 234-4183, fabian.cevallos@fiu.edu

  • This project, Conserve by Transit II, builds on work performed by Florida State University to estimate the effects that public transportation in the state of Florida could have on energy consumption and greenhouse gases (GHG) by shifting travel from automobiles to public transit. The study findings revealed that for Florida transit agencies, the best approach for reducing the greatest amount of GHGs is to aggressively increase passenger miles. To assist in this goal, transit agencies will need to enhance existing services to provide more efficient and effective transit services and cleaner technologies to support these services. Transit agencies must also continue to monitor their own emissions of greenhouse gases as well as any reductions occurring as a result of their impact on travel.

    An agency's carbon footprint is an indicator of its vulnerability to policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Some federal programs, such as the Transit Investments for Greenhouse Gas and Energy Reduction (TIGGER) program, require estimates of carbon footprints to obtain federal funding for energy reducing transit projects. Finally, the ability of public transportation agencies to document their greenhouse gas emissions and their impact on the emissions of others should enable them to play a more effective role in developing and implementing state and local strategies to reduce emissions.

    The purpose of this phase of the project is to calculate greenhouse gas emissions (carbon footprints) for all public transportation agencies in the state of Florida, using a common baseline (2007 or 2008), and to provide documentation and advice to facilitate updating this information for subsequent years. Current practice in reporting carbon footprints follows protocols developed by the Climate Registry. The Climate Registry is a nonprofit organization of businesses and more than 35 states (including Florida). These members anticipated that eventually the federal government would require reporting of GHG emissions, and participated in the Climate Registry as collaborative project to develop reporting procedures as input to the eventual design of federal requirements.

    In this project, Florida International University (FIU) is part of a research team comprised by the Center for Urban Transportation Research (CUTR), the University of North Florida (UNF), and Florida State University (FSU).