Role of non-motorized transportation and buses in meeting climate targets of urban regions

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Date


Subject Area

mode - bus, place - asia, place - urban, technology - emissions, policy - sustainable, infrastructure - vehicle, planning - methods, planning - integration


Decarbonization, Life cycle thinking, Avoided trip and material, Carbon budget, Climate change, Sustainable transportation


Studies examining the potential of low-carbon modes of passenger transportation for achieving climate goals are limited. The study is one of the first to assess the potential of non-motorized transportation (NMT) and buses to meet regional climate targets representing 2 °C, 1.5 °C, and Intended Nationally Determined Contributions from 2018 to 2050. Also, the approach towards quantifying contribution from avoided trips and materials in holistically understanding the potential of NMT and buses is novel. Data from the transportation model of Mumbai Metropolitan Region's Comprehensive Mobility Plan is used to assess multiple scenarios of upgrading NMT and bus infrastructure to reduce cumulative carbon dioxide emissions (CCE) from passenger transportation. The assessment is based on three push levels, i.e., conservative, moderate, and aggressive. Results show that upgrading bus infrastructure contributes higher to reducing CCE than NMT. As NMT also contributes significantly to decreasing CCE, it is recommended that bus and NMT development should be integrated. However, their combined contribution will not meet the climate targets. Since avoided materials contribute considerably more than avoided trips, high emission materials such as aluminum used in light-weighting should be questioned. The results provide policy guidance to authorities in prioritizing buses and NMT infrastructure development during city planning.


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


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