EPA looks to CAPCOG for emissions case study
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently completed a Travel Efficiency Assessment Method Case Study for the Austin-Round Rock-Georgetown Metropolitan Statistical Area (MSA), which it selected CAPCOG to participate because the MSA is the largest metropolitan area meeting the national ozone standards and its population is predicted to double in the next 20 years. The study provides not only an opportunity to inform local transportation decisions-makers about how such strategies can impact air quality, but other decision-makers around the United States.
The case study used available travel data and transportation sketch model analyses to quantify the change in vehicle miles traveled and air pollutant emissions. The study evaluated four different scenarios, which CAPCOG selected with its Clean Air Coalition members and partners. Three of the scenarios were based on current plans already being implemented in the region, while the fourth was hypothetical.
According to the study’s results, each scenario could reduce the amount of vehicle miles traveled and emissions in the MSA. However, the greatest emission reduction, 4 percent, could be realized by implementing the hypothetical — a tax on how far a vehicle travels. The tax would incentive non-single passenger commutes, such as buses, carpools and vanpools, and other modes of transportation, and pay for transportation infrastructure improvements. The second largest reductions, about 1 percent, was estimated by expanding public transit subsidies to all public sector employees in the region — the city of Austin and Travis County already offer such subsidies to their staff. The other two scenarios could recognize less than a .5 percent decrease.
View the full case study.
Read about the CAPCOG Air Quality Program.