Current Practices in Greenhouse Gas Emissions Savings from Transit

Document Type


Publication Date


Subject Area

planning - environmental impact, policy - sustainable, ridership - growth, policy - congestion, technology - alternative fuels


Air quality management, Exhaust gases, Greenhouse gases, Interviewing, Literature reviews, State of the practice, Strategic planning, Surveys, Transit operating agencies


This synthesis describes the role of transit agencies in reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and catalogues the current practice of a sample of transit agencies. The purpose of this synthesis is to inform transit agencies on how their services and operations specifically impact GHG emissions from transportation. Transportation is one of the largest sources of GHG emissions in the United States. Policymakers, planners, and transportation agencies are increasingly considering how the transportation sector can reduce its GHG emissions. This goal presents a complex challenge with no one single solution for transit agencies. They can contribute to this goal by increasing total ridership, boosting the numbers of passengers on individual trips, and reducing their use of energy from fossil-based sources. However, planning for and implementing strategies to reduce GHG emissions are still developing scenarios in the transit industry. Many transit agencies are struggling with how a goal to reduce GHG emissions can fit with their traditional planning objectives. Research for this study included a literature review, a survey of 41 transit agencies (66% response rate), and interviews with three agencies.


Permission to link to abstract has been given by TRB