Energy Savings Strategies for Transit Agencies


Frank Gallivan

Document Type


Publication Date


Subject Area

place - north america, policy - sustainable, technology - alternative fuels, infrastructure - stop


Case studies, Energy conservation, Energy consumption, Facilities, Public transit, Renewable energy sources, Transit operating agencies, Vehicles


This synthesis describes how transit agencies in the United States and Canada are reducing their energy use. This is being done not only by providing alternatives to travel in personal vehicles but also in other categories of energy savings strategies such as those dealing with vehicle technologies; vehicle operations, maintenance, and service design; non-revenue vehicles; stations and stops; building; indirect energy use; and renewable power generation. These strategies can reduce both an agency’s costs and its’ environmental footprint, and some can also improve service quality. A review of the relevant literature of a variety of academic and professional publications was conducted for this effort. A selected survey of 51 respondents out of 74 transportation providers located in large metro, small urban, and rural areas yielded a 69% response rate. Four transit providers highlighted more in-depth and additional details on successful practices, challenges, and lessons learned: Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania; King County Metro Transit, Seattle, Washington; Foothill Transit, West Covina, California; and 9 Town Transit, Connecticut River Estuary, Connecticut.


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