A new report from the American Public Transportation Association hypothesizes that people who live in places shaped by transit tend to drive less thereby reducing their overall petroleum use and their carbon footprint.
"This study found a significant correlation between transit availability and reduced automobile travel, independent of transit use. Transit reduces U.S. travel by an estimated 102.2 billion vehicle miles traveled (VMT) each year. This is equal to 3.4 percent of the annual VMT in the U.S. in 2007."
"By reducing vehicle miles traveled, public transportation reduces energy use in the transportation sector and emissions. The total energy saved, less the energy used by public transportation and adding fuel savings from reduced congestion, is equivalent to 4.2 billion gallons of gasoline. The total effects reduce greenhouse gas emissions from automobile travel by 37 million metric tons. This consists of 30.1 million metric tonnes reduced from secondary effects and a net savings of 6.9 million metric tonnes from primary effects and the effects of transit induced congestion reduction. To put the CO2 reductions in perspective, to achieve parallel savings by planting new forests, one would have to plant a forest larger than the state of Indiana."
Thanks to Jon Cecil, AICP