Emissions of demand responsive services as an alternative to conventional transit systems

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

infrastructure - vehicle, planning - environmental impact, land use - impacts, ridership - demand, policy - environment, mode - mass transit


Vehicle exhaust, Transit, Public transit, Pollutants, Methodology, Methodologies, Mass transit, Local transit, Level of service, Exhaust gases, Exhaust emissions, Environmental impacts, Environmental effects, Emissions, Demand responsive transportation, Demand, Automobile exhaust, Air pollution, Air pollutants


The environmental performance of public transport plays a key role in improving air quality in urban areas. An important way of improving existing transit services is to use innovative propulsive systems; however, this needs considerable financial resources that are not always available. Here we assess how the organizational form of the transit system may impact the environment relying on a new methodology that permits comparisons in terms of distance traveled between a traditional fixed-route and a demand responsive transit service. We apply an emission model to find the least polluting transit system under a broad range of scenarios with different road networks, service quality levels and demand densities. Results indicate that demand responsive transit services minimize emissions for high quality service level and low demand density scenarios. Furthermore, the possibility of employing smaller vans with lower emission factors guarantees additional substantial benefits in terms of atmospheric pollution for demand responsive transit services, thereby giving them a competitive advantage in virtually every case.


Transportation Research Part D Home Page: http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/journal/13619209