Efficient transportation systems achieve transportation goals (such as enabling workers to work or goods to be delivered) while reducing vehicle miles traveled (VMT).
Reducing VMT decreases petroleum use in transportation and reduces vehicle emissions. Also known as transportation demand management, VMT reduction strategies also can reduce traffic congestion, enable the use of more efficient vehicles, reduce transportation costs, and save time for drivers.
Rideshare programs help people share vehicles and commute together. Also known as carpooling, ridesharing conserves fuel and reduces vehicle emissions, travel costs, traffic, and parking needs. Some local and regional governments provide incentives for ridesharing such as access to high occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes.
Mass transit in the United States includes buses, bus rapid transit, trolleys, rail, and ferries. Transit buses are particularly well-suited for alternative fuels, and over 40% run on these cleaner, cost-saving options. Mass transit vehicles are generally more efficient than private vehicles because mass transit vehicles carry more passengers and, as a result, achieve a higher passenger-mile per gallon.
Ridership indicates the strength and success of mass transit. Higher ridership reduces vehicle miles traveled and fuel used by private vehicles. Vehicle fleet managers, corporate decision makers, and public transportation planners can use the following strategies to build strong ridership.
Find more information and resources on mass transit from the American Public Transportation Association and the US Department of Transportation Federal Transit Administration.
Park-and-ride lots are strategically located near roads widely used by commuters and are often near transit stations. Park-and-ride lots are convenient places to meet rideshare partners or switch transportation modes to mass transit.