EPA, CAPCOG partner on travel efficiency assessment project
The Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Office of Transportation and Air Quality selected CAPCOG for a technical assistance partnership to assess the emissions and fuel consumption impacts of implementing travel efficiency strategies, which will help the region’s decision-makers understand how to improve air quality through such strategies.
CAPCOG will work with stakeholders to develop scenarios involving implementation of strategies, such as expanding public transit, increasing van and carpools, instituting speed limit reductions and more. The EPA will then produce a report detailing how the strategies could reduce emissions and fuel consumption. The project will help transportation stakeholders prioritize strategies for reducing air pollution that draw from and contribute to regional transportation planning efforts. Several local agencies agreed to participate in the analysis by supplying data; they include the Capital Area Metropolitan Transit Authority, CARTS, Central Texas Regional Mobility Authority, the City of Austin, Travis County, and the Federal Highway Administration.
Since the Austin-Round Rock-Georgetown metro area is one of the largest in the nation that meets the EPA’s National Ambient Air Quality Standards and is expected to double its population during the next 20 years, the project’s completion could assist the region in reducing the risk of violating the national standards and provide useful information to other communities considering similar efforts. CAPCOG estimates transportation sources account for almost half the region’s nitrogen oxides (NOX) emissions, the key contributor to ground-level ozone and an important contributor to other air pollutants.
Read about the CAPCOG Air Quality Program.