|APTA Adopts New Sustainability Guidelines for Public Transit Operations|
In the spirit of Earth Day, APTA released its most recently adopted standard: the Transit Sustainability Guidelines, derived from best practices at home and around the world.
Original funding for the initiative came from an Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Innovations Grant to the San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit District (BART) in 2006.
“We have to make American public transport systems work for Americans, not just lecture people about the environmental benefits of transit,” said Tian Feng, BART’s chief architect, who was the founder of this initiative and editor of the document.
Noting that America’s transit industry is at a critical juncture, Feng continued, “innovations in customer service and integration with community development are vital. The automobile industry succeeded in making cars a prime form of mobility in America, and government became the builder and operator of the automobile-based transportation infrastructure.”
Feng concluded: “We believe the application and implementation of the guidelines will lead to a renaissance of American public transportation where more and more transit systems offer enjoyable, timely, and safer transportation solutions.”
According to Timonie Hood, the EPA innovation project manager: “The guidelines represent a holistic approach to transit sustainability covering design through operations and maintenance. The combined environmental benefit of making American transit systems greener and more rider-friendly will make our communities more sustainable and dramatically reduce pollution, greenhouse gas emissions, and energy consumption.”
Primary objectives of the sustainability guidelines include:
* Improving mobility and creating livable communities through facilitating more environmentally friendly forms of mobility, such as walking, biking, and public transit, and increasing the number of routine destinations that are safely and comfortably accessible through these modes;
* Reducing per capita automobile vehicle miles traveled (VMT);
* Reducing stress, loss of productivity, traffic deaths and injuries, and related health-care costs caused by automobile travel;
* Reducing passenger transportation-generated greenhouse gases and energy consumption; and
* Reducing passenger transportation-caused ambient hazards such as noise, pollution, and vibration.
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