An Emission Model to Compare Bus and Tramway Transport

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

mode - bus, mode - tram/light rail, place - urban, place - europe, technology - alternative fuels, technology - emissions, policy - environment


pollutant emission, bus line, tramway line, green transport


In recent years the attention to the green transport and emission reduction has been increased significantly. European directives and national ones have introduced restrictions and target for the pollutant emissions. Urban transport systems play the main role. Transport systems based on electric mobility are suitable for green transport. If the market of private electric cars is still too small, public authorities have to implement and to develop strategies for the construction and the use of electrical systems. Considering local public transport, tramway and electric bus lines seem to be the best solution for this objective. This research wants to analyse the emission carried out from a bus line and a tramway line in urban area. Particularly the analysis focuses on to the operational emission and the construction one. Often the emissions related to the construction are ignored while in many cases, especially in urban context, these emissions can reach significant values. A model has been developed to compare the impacts on the emissions related to the construction of a new tramway and/or electric bus line. Which is the total emission reduction if a tramway line or electric bus line replaces a traditional one? The research, through the designed model, tries to answer to this question.

A first case study has been analysed considering a 4.5 km long transit line. Results show that the tramway system can save up to 75% of CO emission.


Permission to publish the abstract has been given by Elsevier, copyright remains with them.


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