The Trouble with Off-Peak Buses
Via Berkeley’s Center for Future Urban Transport is a new study that I imagine will be generating some discussion. The work, by Mikhail Chester and Arpad Horvath, is meant to: “develop comprehensive life-cycle assessment (LCA) models to quantify the energy inputs and emissions from autos, buses, heavy rail, light rail and air transportation in the U.S. associated with the entire life cycle (design, raw materials extraction, manufacturing, construction, operation, maintenance, end-of-life) of the vehicles, infrastructures, and fuels involved in these systems. Energy inputs are quantified as well as greenhouse gas and criteria air pollutant outputs. Inventory results are normalized to effects per vehicle-lifetime, VMT, and PMT.”
Among the more eye-raising findings noted:
• Roadway construction particulate matter emissions are as large as tail-pipe emissions for the automobile per passenger-mile-traveled.
• Urban buses with peak-hour occupancies have the best energy and greenhouse gas performance, followed by rail and then air systems, and trailed by automobiles. But off-peak bus travel is the worst performer.
• Air travel is environmentally competitive with rail travel and can outperform rail modes when the aircraft is about 80 percent utilized.
• The use of ground support equipment at airports contributes roughly one-third of the total carbon monoxide lifecycle emissions for aircraft.
• While rail systems are the best energy and greenhouse gas performers, they exhibit the largest shares from infrastructure effects in the lifecycle. This results from environmentally much larger infrastructure requirements per passenger-mile served.
This entry was posted on Wednesday, October 22nd, 2008 at 3:23 pm and is filed under Energy, Environmental factors, Etc.. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.