Calculators to Estimate Greenhouse Gas Emissions from Public Transit Vehicles

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - north america, mode - mass transit, policy - environment


greenhouse gas emissions, public transit vehicles, calculation tools


This paper reviews calculation tools available for quantifying the greenhouse gas emissions associated with different types of public transit service and the tools' usefulness in helping a transit agency to reduce its carbon footprint through informed vehicle and fuel procurement decisions. Available calculators fall into two categories: (a) registry- and inventory-based calculators most suitable for standardized voluntary reporting, carbon trading, and regulatory compliance and (b) life-cycle analysis calculators that seek comprehensive coverage of all direct and indirect emissions. Despite significant progress in calculator development, no single calculator contains all information needed by transit agencies to develop a truly comprehensive, life cycle-based accounting of the emissions produced by vehicle fleet operations and for a wide range of vehicle and fuel technology options.


Permission to publish the abstract has been given by The Transportation Research Board, copyright remains with them.