Measuring the potential emission reductions from a shift towards public transport

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

place - europe, ridership - behaviour, ridership - mode choice, policy - sustainable, technology - emissions, planning - methods


sustainable travel, mode shifting, public transport


The research presented in this paper investigates the behavioural response and subsequent appraisal of a range of policy incentives devised to encourage greater use of sustainable travel options within the Greater Dublin Area (GDA). Interventions were assessed by employing four-stage modelling techniques, as a tool to identify signs of mode shifting behaviour from single occupancy vehicle (SOV) use to public transport modes. Extensive modelling work was conducted in collaboration with the National Transport Authority (NTA) of Ireland utilising the National Regional Modelling System (RMS) to represent the sustainable policy changes. Parameter modifications in the mode and destination choice and trip assignment stages were made to account for improvements made to frequency, time and cost attributes of public transport modes included in the model. Subsequent changes in vehicle kilometres travelled of various modes modelled were then utilised to estimate the potential emissions savings. In addition to this, the potential monetary savings generated from a reduction in emissions were calculated. The key results produced from this study found that an increase in the mode share of public transport of up to 2.87% could be achieved in the GDA. Up to 1.76% of which was estimated to come directly from private car trips, as a result of implementing the policy incentives tested. Furthermore, daily emissions savings of up to 431.58 tonnes of CO2, 0.95 tonnes of NOx, and 0.046 tonnes of PM2.5 were also estimated.


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


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