The transportation sector is the single largest source of emissions in Connecticut. Contributing 38 percent of total, the emission come primarily from the use of fossil fuels in passenger cars and light-duty trucks. To achieve necessary emission reductions in this sector, Connecticut must accelerate its transition toward a modern, clean transportation system.
Decreasing transportation-generated emissions in a community can have an immediate effect on local air quality in a way that other sustainability activities may not. Encouraging people-powered transportation (e.g., bikes, walking), increasing access to public transportation, and supporting non-fossil fuel transportation options (e.g., electric vehicles) are all ways to move toward this goal. Towns and cities have a unique and powerful role in accelerating the transition to clean transportation.
As with other areas of the 100PercentCT project, the strategy for transportation is to quantify current energy usage, reduce it, then replace remaining energy use with clean alternatives. The Benchmark Energy Assessment provides a starting point for this analysis. Using town-specific data from the tax roll, this analysis yields an estimate of the energy consumed by vehicles registered in town. This calculation entails summarizing the community’s fleet of vehicles by Connecticut Class Code and then using Department of Transportation estimates for miles per gallon (MPG) and vehicle miles travelled (VMT).
This quantitative assessment focuses on the current vehicle fleet of your town. The next step is a qualitative review of transportation systems other than motor vehicles. These should include bus systems, trains and other public conveyances in the community.
These quantitative and qualitative assessments then form the basis for a range of policies, regulations and initiatives aimed at reducing energy usage and emissions, and then replacing them with clean energy alternatives.