Transportation System Efficiency
Many urban residents today can choose from a wide range of travel options. Public buses and trains, car-sharing options like Zipcar, on-demand ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft, and bike-share programs are available in major cities. However, many of these options are not widely available in low-income neighborhoods because they can be physically inaccessible or unaffordable to their residents.
This is a busy time of year in competitive sports. Top teams in the NBA (including our hometown Wizards) and NHL are competing for the Larry O’Brien Trophy and Stanley Cup. American Pharaoh just won the Kentucky Derby last week, and Chelsea took the Premier League title. But don’t forget about another friendly competition—the one for most energy-efficient city in the 2015 City Energy Efficiency Scorecard! There are only five days to go until the results are released on Wednesday May 20.
Chances are you’ve seen examples of intelligent efficiency in action in the transportation sector, whether you realize it or not. If you rely on a smart phone app to tell you when your train or bus is arriving for your daily commute, that’s an example of intelligent efficiency at work. If you happen to own a vehicle with a dashboard that provides you instant fuel economy readouts, manufacturers are using intelligent systems to help you maximize the efficiency of your vehicle.
Today is National Bike to Work Day, an annual campaign to encourage people to consider biking as a viable transportation choice for their commutes. Besides being fun, bicycling saves energy. It produces no new emissions, and burns no fuel other than our own calories.
Currently only 0.6% of U.S. commuters use a bicycle to get to work, and it rises only to 1.0% in the largest cities. Of all trips made by Americans in major cities, 76.7% are by car, despite the fact that 40% of these trips are two miles or less.
The U.S. Department of Transportation rolled out the GROW AMERICA (Generating Renewal, Opportunity, and Work with Accelerated Mobility, Efficiency, and Rebuilding of Infrastructure and Communities throughout America) Act recently, calling for several big changes in transportation policy and funding.
State and local governments are laboratories for innovation in energy efficiency policies and programs. Policymakers, regulators, and citizens at all levels increasingly recognize that energy efficiency is crucially important to their economies and are increasingly taking action and seeking information on policies and programs in their communities. Today ACEEE is launching a new database tool that highlights the energy efficiency leadership—and opportunities for improvement—of state and local governments around the United States.
Massachusetts Most Energy-Efficient State in 2013 with California Close Behind at #2, Mississippi is Most Improved
Top 10 States Ranked in Energy Efficiency Scorecard: MA, CA, NY, OR, CT, RI, VT, WA, MD, and IL
5 States Most Needing Improvement : ND, WY, SD, AK, MS
5 Most Improved States: MS, ME, KS, OH, and WV
The recently released 2013 City Energy Efficiency Scorecard ranked 34 of the largest U.S. cities on their efforts to save energy—but we don’t think large cities should have all the fun. In order to help other cities see where they stack up, today ACEEE released the Local Energy Efficiency Self-Scoring Tool (Version 1.0 BETA).
With heavy truck fuel efficiency standards in place and federal agencies gearing up for the next phase of the program, it’s time to consider energy savings opportunities in the freight system more broadly. Our new report Energy Efficiency Potential of the U.S.
A comprehensive approach to transportation energy efficiency must include a combination of strategies targeted at both vehicle fuel efficiency and travel behavior. While the federal government has taken the lead on fuel efficiency, local and regional policies that reduce the need for driving are also essential to achieve an efficient and sustainable transportation system.