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Estimating Emission Reductions from Travel Efficiency Strategies

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Introduction

The term “travel efficiency” (TE) refers to a broad range of strategies designed to reduce travel activity, especially single-occupancy travel. TE strategies include employer-based transportation management programs, transit improvements, smart growth and related land use strategies, road and parking pricing, and other strategies aimed at reducing mobile source emissions by reducing vehicle travel activity.

Over the past several years, EPA has supported air quality and transportation planning activities by developing the Travel Efficiency Assessment Method (TEAM). TEAM uses transportation sketch modeling, readily available travel activity data sets and EPA’s MOVES emissions model to estimate the potential future emission reductions from combinations of TE strategies. In addition, EPA has worked with various state and local agencies to apply TEAM in a series of case studies (see map below).

TEAM Case Study Locations

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Case Studies and Reports

  • Applying TEAM in Regional Sketch Planning: A Case Study in Austin, Texas (PDF) (15 pp, 681 K, July 2020, EPA-420-F-20-035)
    This report examines the application of TEAM, in partnership with the Capital Area Council of Governments, to estimate the travel activity, emissions, and greenhouse gas impacts of potential travel efficiency scenarios in Austin, Texas.
  • Applying TEAM in Regional Sketch Planning: A Case Study in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania (PDF) (16 pp, 784 K, July 2020, EPA-420-F-20-036)
    This report examines the application of TEAM, in partnership with the Southwestern Pennsylvania Commission, to estimate the emissions, and greenhouse gas impacts of potential travel efficiency scenarios in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.
  • Applying TEAM in Regional Sketch Planning: Four Case Studies in Puget Sound, WA; Champaign, IL; Lake Charles, LA; State of Connecticut (PDF) (65 pp, 7.64 MB, EPA-420-R-18-018, November 2018)
    This report documents 4 case studies of the application of TEAM (Travel Efficiency Assessment Method) to estimate the travel activity and emissions impacts of potential travel efficiency scenarios. The case studies provide a useful planning resource for modeling and estimating greenhouse gas and criteria air pollutant emission inventories and calculating emission reductions possible from the implementation of future travel efficiency strategies.
  • Applying TEAM in Regional Sketch Planning: Three Case Studies in Atlanta, Orlando, St. Louis (PDF) (81 pp, 946 K, EPA-420-R-16-009, July 2016)
    This report documents 3 case studies of the application of TEAM (Travel Efficiency Assessment Method) to estimate the travel activity and emissions impacts of potential travel efficiency scenarios. EPA partnered with Metropolitan Planning in Atlanta, Orlando and St. Louis to apply the TEAM approach. The case studies provide a useful planning resource for modeling and estimating greenhouse gas and criteria air pollutant emission reductions resulting from travel efficiency strategies.
  • Estimating Emission Reductions from Travel Efficiency Strategies: Three Sketch Modeling Case Studies (PDF) (76 pp, 2.5 M,  EPA-420-R-14-003a, June 2014)
    This report documents 3 case studies of the application of TEAM (Travel Efficiency Assessment Method) to assess the potential regional emission reductions from travel efficiency strategies. The case studies offered an opportunity for EPA to provide technical support to 3 areas interested in exploring tools to assess travel efficiency strategies, to demonstrate the capabilities of the TEAM approach, and to evaluate its usefulness at the regional scale. The resulting report documents the process, modeling and analyses performed in partnership with regional planners from Boston, Kansas City and Tucson. 
  • Analyzing Emission Reductions From Travel Efficiency Strategies: A Guide to The TEAM Approach (PDF) (46 pp, 2 M, EPA-420-R-11-025, December 2011)
    This document provides information and guidance for using the Travel Efficiency Assessment Method (TEAM) approach for assessing the potential of on-road travel efficiency strategies for reducing criteria and greenhouse gas emissions. The guide supports a preliminary evaluation of emission reductions for several travel efficiency strategies and combinations of strategies. TEAM uses regionally derived travel model data and other travel activity information, sketch-planning analysis and EPA’s Motor Vehicle Emissions Simulator (MOVES) to estimate emission reductions.
  • Potential Changes in Emissions Due To Improvements in Travel Efficiency - Supplemental Report: Analysis of Potential Co-Benefits (PDF) (21pp, 1.7 M, EPA-420-R-11-014, November 2011)
    In this supplemental report, several co-benefits resulting from the implementation of on-road travel efficiency strategies or combinations of strategies (referred to as scenarios) analyzed in the March 2011 primary report are evaluated. The co-benefits from implementation of these scenarios include a reduction in health impacts associated with air pollution, reduced traffic congestion, reduced user operating costs, improved energy security, and reduction in traffic accidents.
  • Potential Changes in Emissions Due To Improvements In Travel Efficiency (PDF) (84 pp, 2.5 M, EPA-420-R-11-003, March 2011)
    This report provides information on the effectiveness of on-road travel efficiency measures for reducing criteria and greenhouse gas emissions at the national scale. The report describes an approach that uses regionally derived travel model data and other travel activity information, and sketch-planning analysis to estimate potential emission reductions from urban areas of varying size and characteristics. The results are applied to other urban areas in the U.S. with similar characteristics to estimate national emission reductions.
  • Transportation Control Measures: An Information Document for Developing and Implementing Emission Reduction Programs (PDF)  (42 pp, 6.6 M, EPA-430-R-09-040, March 2011)
    This document provides information on transportation control measures that have been implemented across the country for a variety of purposes, including reducing criteria pollutants and greenhouse gases. The document describes the processes used to develop and implement the strategies and, where available, their effectiveness.

Presentations

  • EPA’s Travel Efficiency Method (TEAM) AMPO Presentation
    This presentation was given at the 2017 Association of Metropolitan Planning Association Annual Conference in Savannah, GA. It describes the application of EPA’s Travel Efficiency Assessment Method (TEAM) to assess the potential of travel efficiency strategies for reducing travel activity and emissions. The presentation includes preliminary estimates of reductions in Vehicle Miles Traveled in four different geographic areas – Seattle, WA, Champaign-Urbana, IL, Lake Charles, LA, and the State of Connecticut. The regions selected demonstrate how TEAM can be used at varying geographic scales to assess a range of travel efficiency strategies.
  • EPA’s Travel Efficiency Assessment Method (TEAM): Development and Case Studies
    This presentation was given in an October 20, 2016 webinar describing EPA’s recent case studies examining the potential for travel efficiency strategies (such as transit, road and parking pricing, land use changes, bike and pedestrian infrastructure) to reduce emissions of criteria pollutants and greenhouse gases. During this webinar, EPA and its partner agencies in the Atlanta, Orlando and St. Louis case studies provided an overview of the TEAM analytical process, the travel efficiency strategies each agency considered, and their potential emission reductions.
  • Assessing Regional Emissions Reductions from Travel Efficiency: Applying the Travel Efficiency Assessment Method
    This presentation was given at the 2016 TRB Summer Conference on Transportation and Air Quality in Minneapolis, MN. It summarizes the application of the Travel Efficiency Assessment Method (TEAM) to analyze selected transportation emission reduction strategies in three case studies EPA conducted in partnership with Atlanta, Orlando, and St. Louis.
  • Travel Efficiency Assessment Method: Three Case Studies
    This presentation was given at a conference in August of 2014, and summarizes the three case studies EPA conducted in partnership with Boston, Kansas City, and Tucson, to assess the potential benefits of employing travel efficiency strategies in these areas.

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