Sustainable Mass Transit in Cities: Reducing Congestion and Car Emissions in the World by Deploying Metros and Clean Buses

Sustainable Mass Transit in Cities: Reducing Congestion and Car Emissions in the World by Deploying Metros and Clean Buses and Improving Safety.

São Paulo metro administration in Brazil has embarked upon a plan to provide fossil fuel-free mass transit transport to its citizen within five years. This plan includes expanded metro subway lines, mono rail line, ground rail line, dedicated bus rapid transit (BRT) roads, and privately owned networks of bus lines. This is the only example of an integrated intermodal transport network in the world where commuters buy one electronic ticket that can be seamlessly used in any one of these modes. These sustainable and efficient solutions provide clean, sustainable, and safe mobility needs in large cities.

São Paulo Integrated Transport Network, August 2011: (from left) BRT Station, Metro Central Operation Center (W. Uddin on right with Luiz Cortez, Assessor – São Paulo State Transportation Department), a ground rail station, and a feeder bus station below the metro station

Mass transit technologies (biofuel transit buses and electric-powered metro including electric tramways/buses, subways, light rails, and railways) replace hundreds of thousands of car trips, reduce congestion and greenhouse gas emissions, and reduce transportation related fossil fuel consumption. As shown in these figures, 132 cities worldwide have implemented metro transport infrastructure networks and/or these are expanding their metro networks (data credit: Wikipedia).

Left: World Annual Metro Passenger Ride in Million and Right: Public Share of Metro, % of Metro Population (Graphics Credit: Alper Durmus, University of Mississippi)

I listed some of the world’s largest metro systems in my post “Metros of the World.” The Tokyo Subway is the most highly used rapid transit system in the world. The following cities are ranked in descending order from the highest annual metro ride in millions and % of population shown (mostly based on 2010 data):

1. Tokyo (3,161 million)  2. Moscow (2,348 million)  3. Shanghai (1,884 million)  4. Beijing (1,840 million)  5. Guangzhou (1,640 million)  6. New York City (1,604 million)  7. Paris (1,506 million)  8. Mexico City (1,410 million)  9. Hong Kong (1,366 million)  10. London (1,107 million)  11.  São Paulo (754 million)  12. Singapore (745 million)  13. Delhi (460 million)  14. Washington, DC (217 million)  15. Bangkok (64 million)  16.  Istanbul (56 million)

Traffic Hazard (video credit: AIA, Minnesota)

Videotect 2: Traffic Hazard from Architecture Minnesota on Vimeo

Dr. Uddin’s note:  I discuss in prior posts the impact of smart growth, dense mixed landuse, and sustainable transportation policies to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution. More info is reviewed in Uddin’s Chapter 23 of Climate Change Mitigation Handbook, Springer, 2012.  

 

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