Transit and Sustainability
Public transportation plays an important role in enhancing the quality of life including:
- Helping metropolitan areas meet national ambient air quality standards (NAAQS) by reducing overall vehicle emissions and the pollutants that create smog
- Facilitating compact development, conserving land and decreasing travel demand
- Reducing the need for constructing more roads, meaning less runoff from impervious surfaces that may degrade water resources
- Reducing fuel use and greenhouse gas emissions
- Providing critical services that connect all members of the community with jobs, healthcare, school and other opportunities.
Envision Sustainability Professionals
In support of expanding transit agency knowledge of environmentally sustainable project development practices that reduce the impacts of climate change, FTA and the National Transit Institute (NTI) partnered with the Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure (ISI) to provide 50 scholarships to public agency professionals to become certified Envision Sustainability Professionals (ENV SP).
Environmental and Sustainability Management Systems
FTA encourages project sponsors to minimize the impact of their operations and construction through sound practices. An Environmental and Sustainability Management System (ESMS) is a set of processes and practices that enables an organization to analyze, control, and reduce environmental impacts, and to reduce the number, type, and severity of compliance incidents.
Contact your FTA Regional Office to confirm the status of content or funding opportunities listed in the resources below.
- FTA’s Transit-Oriented Development webpage
- FTA’s Climate Considerations page
- Federal Highway Administration’s Transportation and Livability website
- American Public Transportation Association’s Sustainability and Urban Design Standards webpage
Reports, Factsheets, and Case Studies:
- FTA’s Bicycle and Transit Fact Sheet (2013)
- FTA’s and FHWA’s Livability in Transportation Guidebook: Planning Approaches that Promote Livability (2010)
- FTA Livability Case Studies (2010): These regional case studies feature FTA-funded projects designed to provide citizens with access to affordable housing, more transportation options, and lower transportation costs, while protecting the environment.
- Fairmont/Indigo Line, Boston, MA
- Hudson-Bergen Light Rail, NJ
- Central Corridor Light Rail, St. Paul, MN
- Streetcar Expansion, New Orleans, LA
- Troost Max BRT, Kansas City, MO
- South Lincoln Redevelopment, Denver, CO
- Wilshire/Vermont, Los Angeles, CA
- Village at Overlake Station, Redmond, WA
- Downeast Transportation, ME
- Pelivan Transit, OK
- FTA Sustainable Transportation Case Studies (2010): These case studies describe sustainable transportation initiatives employed in three regions.
- FTA’s Transit Green Building Action Plan (2009)
- FTA and National Council of Negro Women, Inc. A Citizen’s Guide to Developing Childcare Services at Transit Stations (2007)
- FTA’s TOD Lessons Learned (2005)
- Mineta Transportation Institute’s Bicycling Access and Egress to Transit: Informing the Possibilities publication
Transit Cooperative Research Program – Sustainability-Related Projects:
- Guidebook for Deploying Zero Emissions Transit Buses (TCRP J-11/Task 33)
- Current Practices in Greenhouse Gas Emissions Savings from Transit (TCRP Synthesis 84)
- Tools for a Sustainable Transit Agency (TCRP H-53)
- Quantifying Transit’s Impact on GHG Emissions and Energy Use: The Land Use Component (TCRP H-46)
- Transit-Oriented Development: State of the Practice, and Future Benefits (TCRP H-27)
- Combating Global Warming Through Sustainable Surface Transportation Policy (TCRP H-21)
- Sustainable Transportation (TCRP H-04E)
- Social and Economic Sustainability Performance Measures for Public Transportation: Final Guidance Document (TCRP Research Report 205)