Life Cycle Energy Impacts of Public Transportation System Changes

This research will develop a methodology to assess the life-cycle energy impacts of changes to urban and regional transportation systems. This methodology will explain how embedded energy costs in transportation systems can potentially be captured and addressed in current regulations and policies. In addition, this methodology will be used to develop a preliminary life-cycle calculator tool to estimate the life-cycle consequences of transportation mode shares that result from varying policy.


Life Cycle of Public Transit Year One Results

A presentation by Dr. Mikhail Chester of the first year life cycle assessment comparison of the Orange Line, Gold Line and a passenger vehicle in Los Angeles.  The study uncovers 40% more GHGs related to public transit than traditional methods and show several times as many criteria pollutants.  In addition, this presentation discusses the next steps in the analysis.

Click here to see the presentation.

Life Cycle of Public Transit Project Advisory Committee Presentation

Life Cycle of Public Transit Changes Project Advisory Committee Meeting – April 6, 2011

Click here to view the presentation.

Reports and Publications

Infrastructure and Automobile Shifts: Positioning Transit to Reduce Life-Cycle Environmental Impacts for Urban Sustainability Goals

Public transit systems are often seen as energy and environmental improvements to automobile travel. Few studies,
however, have comprehensively assessed the full effects of the decision to construct and operate public transportation
systems. This study compares the life-cycle impacts of two public transportation options with a private automobile in Los Angeles.

Click here to view the publication.

Summary of Life Cycle of Public Transit Year One Results

This two-page summary highlights the most significant findings from our comparison of the Los Angeles Orange Line, Gold Line, and passenger vehicle.

Click here to view the summary.


LCA Team