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Conserving Energy and Preserving the Environment: The Role of Public Transportation

July 2002

Robert J. Shapiro, Kevin A. Hassett , Frank S. Arnold


Americans use an immense amount of energy for transportation, even more than what’s used for the production of goods. In order to change dependence on non-renewable resources, Americans will need to change the way they travel, and public transportation is a very energy efficient option. This paper illustrates how traveling by public transit per person and per mile, creates less pollution and uses less energy than travel by private vehicle.

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Policy Implications

“At our current levels of use, public transportation saves close to one billion gallons of gas and reduces emissions by millions of tons” This perfectly outlines how more use of public transportation could allow Americans to slowly move away from dependence on gas and reduce pollution in large cities. With more policy focused on improving public transportation, you could increase the amount of people who choose to travel that on public transit and contribute less to the issue of global warming.

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