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47 SB 375 is likely to encourage investment in transit in Cali- · WMATA stated that its local jurisdiction has instituted fornia's urban regions. a requirement for LEED certification that affects the agency's design and construction activities. Washington State enacted House Bill (HB) 2815, Climate Action and Green Jobs, in 2008. One provision of the bill Transit agencies may benefit from any GHG emissions requires the Washington State DOT (WSDOT) to adopt goals trading schemes at the national or state levels. Emissions to reduce statewide VMT. The bill sets the following targets: trading schemes allow parties to buy and sell emissions "credits." Entities' eligibility to participate in such a carbon · Reduce annual per capita light-duty VMT 18% by 2020 market would depend on the exact design of such a scheme. · Reduce annual per capita light-duty VMT 30% by 2035 Some schemes could allow transit agencies, as net reducers · Reduce annual per capita light-duty VMT 50% by 2050 of GHG emissions, to generate and sell emissions credits. Sales of emissions credits would be a new source of fund- The targets are applied to a baseline of 75 billion VMT, ing for transit. Sacramento Regional Transportation District, roughly the total VMT projected for the state in 2020. In pre- New Jersey Transit, and BART all cited potential revenue liminary implementation efforts, WSDOT has established from trading schemes as a factor in their efforts to reduce transit strategies as a key element of plans to meet the VMT GHG emissions. reduction targets (62). HB 2815 also requires reporting of GHG emissions by POLICY AND PLANNING AT TRANSIT AGENCIES any agency that operates an on-road vehicle fleet that emits at least 2,500 metric tons of greenhouse gases annually. This To date, no significant research has documented transit agen- rule will affect most transit agencies in the state. The Wash- cies' experiences with planning for reduced GHG emissions. ington State Department of Ecology is tasked with issuing Most research on transportation planning and GHG emissions a reporting rule; 2010 will be the first year of reporting. has focused on the roles and processes of MPOs and state The Department of Ecology will use a simplified method of DOTs, and has largely focused on road-based transportation. reporting based on fuel usage. While transit agencies are partners in the transportation plan- ning and funding exercises led by these agencies, their roles Transit agencies will inevitably be involved in the imple- and their internal processes have received less attention. mentation of VMT and transportation GHG standards, and may receive more funding as a result. Transit agencies have The survey asked transit agencies several questions about already contributed to the first implementation steps for HB their experiences planning and implementing strategies to 2815 in Washington. Representatives from King County reduce GHG emissions. This section includes responses to Metro provided policy input and technical expertise to esti- those questions. The reader should keep in mind that few mate the amount of VMT and GHG reduction that could be agencies have extensive experience with targeted initiatives achieved from various transit expansion packages in Wash- to reduce GHG emissions. For most transit agencies, GHG ington State. In California, SB 375 likely will cause MPOs emissions are an emerging concern and have been addressed to direct more regional transportation funding to transit sys- only when they overlap with other priorities, such as reducing tems. MPOs will need to quantify the GHG savings from costs or reducing emissions of criteria pollutants. The reader transit, most likely using input from transit agencies. should keep in mind that agencies with more robust initia- tives to reduce GHG emissions are more likely to respond to Agencies were asked whether they are affected by any the survey. Individual responses reflect the respondents' best state, regional, or local policies on GHG emissions. Twenty- understanding of their agencies' activities and policies. five agencies, or nearly two-thirds of respondents, answered yes. Agencies cited policies including state and local GHG Agencies expressed a high degree of interest in issues reduction targets, state and local climate action plans, and related to GHG emissions. When agencies were asked alternative fuel mandates. The balance of responses suggests whether they are considering how they can reduce GHG that most of these agencies are not yet facing specific legal emissions from their own operations or from the transporta- requirements, but that they are anticipating new require- tion sector, 38 of 41 respondents answered yes. ments as legislation is implemented over a period of several years. Specific policies cited include the following: Agencies were asked how and where they considered GHG emissions in decision-making processes. Nearly half · California's AB 32 and SB 375 said that they consider GHG emissions in long-term or short- · New Jersey Global Warming Response Act term planning, which might include strategic plans and sys- · Arizona's Executive Order 2006-13 tem development plans. Nearly one-quarter said that they · Oregon's state goals for GHG reduction consider GHG emissions in planning for specific lines or ser- · Florida Executive Order 07-127 vices, which might include consideration of GHG emissions
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48 in studies related to route expansion. One-third of respon- menting GHG reduction strategies. Some strategies to dents said that they consider GHG emissions only infor- reduce emissions require transit agencies to coordinate with mally. Informal consideration might be as simple as a single other agencies. Compact development strategies and conges- staff member recognizing or promoting the GHG benefits of tion mitigation strategies in particular require cooperation, strategies. Only two agencies said that they do not consider but other strategies over which transit agencies have more GHG emissions at all in decision making. One agency, AC immediate control can benefit from interagency coopera- Transit, noted that it is beginning to consider GHG emis- tion. In addition, some types of policies over which agencies sions during the planning of capital projects and in leasing have no control, such as parking pricing, can have substantial agreements for buildings and vehicles. impacts on the ability of transit to reduce GHG emissions. Some transit agencies have specific policies in place or are Agencies were asked whether they had engaged in any developing policies to reduce GHG emissions. Such policies discussions with regional stakeholders on climate change can be important drivers to incorporate GHG emissions in deci- issues. Twenty-eight agencies, or more than two-thirds of sion making. Agencies were asked whether they had adopted survey respondents, answered yes. Agencies cited initia- or begun to develop policies to reduce GHG emissions. About tives, including the following: one-third of survey respondents answered yes. Agencies cited policies and initiatives, including the following: · Participating in the drafting of city, regional, and state climate action plans and GHG inventories · Sustainability policies and programs · Discussing regional transportation plans with MPOs · Alternative fuel policies · Hosting summits for local and regional agencies · Environmental management systems that incorporate · Discussing GHG policies and measurement tools with GHG policies and reduction strategies state, regional, and local governments · Climate action plans · Efforts to comply with state or regional reduction targets Although many efforts that reduce GHG emissions are · Joining the APTA Sustainability Pilot Program part of the conventional staffing load at transit agencies, new efforts on GHG emissions, such as policy and strategy devel- A handful of transit agencies are helping to pilot APTA's opment, analysis, and reporting, require significant staff Sustainability Commitment. Signatories to the Commit- resources. Agencies were asked whether they have specifi- ment will agree to establish goals to reduce GHG emissions. cally designated any staff to address GHG issues. Fourteen APTA provides sample text on which transit agencies can agencies, or about one-third of respondents, have designated base their goals, including goals related to the agency's entire staff. Agencies were also asked in what departments the carbon footprint, carbon emissions from agency administra- designated staff is housed. Agencies cited a wide variety tion, electricity use, and fuel use in transit vehicles. Sample of departments, including departments of planning, envi- commitments include the following: ronment, technology, development, maintenance, and risk management. Several agencies have spread responsibilities · Reduce your organization's carbon footprint in terms across multiple departments. For example, BART spreads of emissions per passenger mile by __ percent over responsibilities across offices of planning, operations, envi- baseline by 20__ ronmental compliance, and system development. · Reduce overall carbon emissions of administrative function of organization by ___ percent over baseline Staffing efforts to reduce GHG emissions are one pos- · Reduce electricity use by ____ percent over baseline sible challenge for transit agencies. Agencies may face a · Reduce fuel use per unlinked passenger trip by _____ number of other challenges in trying to reduce GHG emis- percent over baseline by 20__ sions. Agencies were provided a list of potential challenges · Reduce VMT per capita in your community by __ per- and asked to rank the challenges they see as most impeding cent over baseline by 20__ (63) . efforts to reduce GHG emissions. Table 17 provides a sum- mary of responses. The largest number of agencies cited lack At least one agency surveyed, the Utah Transit Author- of funding and lack of staff capacity (in terms of person- ity, is a signatory to the International Association of Pub- hours) within the top three concerns. These concerns are lic Transport's Sustainability Charter. The charter commits closely related, as additional funding is often required to hire signatories to fostering environmental protection, social staff to perform new functions related to GHG emissions justice, and economic sense. Signatories pledge to measure strategies. Funding is also important for capital and operat- their progress in reducing GHG emissions and improving ing budgets needed to maintain and improve transit service. energy efficiency (64). Challenges related to planning functions, such as internal policies and decision-making processes and coordination Coordination with other transportation stakeholders is with other agencies, were cited least frequently among agen- likely to be an important element to planning and imple- cies' top concerns.
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49 TABLE 17 CHALLENGES AGENCIES ARE FACING IN REDUCING GHG EMISSIONS (% of 41 respondents) Challenge One of Top Three Concerns Is a Concern Lack of funding 61% 73% Lack of staff capacity (person-hours) 51% 63% Lack of appropriate tools, data, or analysis techniques 29% 68% Lack of staff know-how 22% 59% Technical barriers to implementation of emissions reduction strategies 22% 56% Lack of organizational mandate/policy 20% 63% Planning mechanisms/procedures do not consider GHG emissions 12% 56% Difficulty describing the GHG benefits of strategies to stakeholders/decisions makers 10% 59% Insufficient partnerships with other regional players (e.g., cities, MPOs, and other transit 5% 56% agencies) Other 5% 7% Agencies were asked what they would need to overcome the challenges they cited. Not surprisingly, many agencies said they needed more funding, more staff, and more train- ing for staff. Several agencies cited a need for clear, consis- tent methodologies to calculate GHG emissions produced and displaced by transit agencies. A standard approach would be beneficial, and might help transit agencies get more recogni- tion for the role they play in reducing GHG emissions. The APTA Climate Change Working Group's recommended prac- tice might serve as such a standard approach. One respondent cited the need for an internal policy on GHG emissions to make the issue a bigger priority throughout the organization. Transit agencies' policies and planning processes related to GHG emissions are likely to be an important factor in reducing GHG emissions in the future. Although transit typi- cally provides a net GHG reduction benefit already, planning efforts that target GHG emissions can increase that benefit. Targeted policy objectives and planning exercises, and coor- dination with other stakeholders, foster strategies that fur- ther reduce GHG emissions. Many transit agencies surveyed showed a substantial interest in developing more robust plan- ning mechanisms that take GHG emissions into account. San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency's Climate Action Plan FIGURE 21 SFMTA climate action plan (Source : "Climate SFMTA released a draft of its Climate Action Plan in Decem- Action Plan," San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency San Francisco, Calif., 2009 [Online]. Available: http://www. ber 2008 (see Figure 21). The plan provides details of the sfmta.com/cms/rcap/capindx.htm. agency's strategies to reduce transportation GHG emissions. Transit strategies include optimizing existing routes and service, providing real-time transit information, implement- SFMTA prepared its Climate Action Plan in the context ing transit signal priority, and making fare payment more of several legislative and regulatory requirements. A 2007 convenient for customers. The agency has other strategies to municipal referendum called for the transportation sector in reduce its own emissions, including using biodiesel, hybrid- San Francisco to reduce GHG emissions by 20%, and required electric, and fuel cell buses; improving energy efficiency in SFMTA to prepare a climate action plan. In addition, the city facilities; recycling waste from facilities; and using green of San Francisco has called for all city departments, of which construction techniques. SFMTA is one, to reduce carbon emissions levels 20% below
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50 1990 levels by 2012. SFMTA expects to meet the goal for operational emissions. Transit service would need to double, in conjunction with other strategies, for the transportation sector to meet its overall goal. The Climate Action Plan pro- poses a number of indicators to measure progress toward the established GHG reduction goals. The current draft plan does not include any quantitative analyses of strategies, but discusses the need for quantification (56 ). New York Metropolitan Transportation Authority's Sustainability Plan NYMTA, North America's largest mass transit network, recently completed a sustainability planning document enti- tled Greening Mass Transit and Metro Regions (65). The agency's Blue Ribbon Commission on Sustainability and the FIGURE 22 Solar roof, Roosevelt Avenue Station, MTA New MTA, appointed by the executive director, was charged with York City Transit (Source : Greening Mass Transit & Metro developing recommendations for the agency. Energy and Regions: A Synopsis of the Final Report of the Blue Ribbon Commission on Sustainability and the MTA , Metropolitan Carbon is one key area designated for action. Reducing CO2 Transportation Authority, State of New York, Feb. 2009). emissions is one of the report's principal concerns. The report contains more than 100 recommendations, recycling initiatives, and preparing for adaptation to the including a recommendation that the agency draw more than expected effects of climate change. Priorities for legislation 80% of its operating energy from clean, renewable sources and policy at the federal, state, regional, and local levels are by 2050, including solar, wind, and tidal energy. MTA has also proposed. The report estimates reductions in emissions already more than 300 kW of solar panels at two subway sta- that can be achieved through some of its recommendations. tions and one bus depot (See Figure 22). The report also rec- For example, retrofitting existing rail cars with regenerative ommends a major expansion of regional transit access. braking technology could save 165,000 tons of CO2 per year. Two-thirds of the region's new development should be clus- The report recommends that the agency pursue reducing tered within a quarter-mile to a half-mile of MTA transit CO2 emissions as a potential source of revenue and proposes access. The agency should reduce GHG emissions per pas- a new metric to assess investment decisions, a sustainable senger mile by 25% by 2019. Other recommendations include return on investment model, that would include a price for achieving LEED standards for facilities, enhancing CO2 (65).