Guide to Calculating Mobility Management Benefits Victoria Transport Policy Institute
Energy Conservation Transportation activity consumes considerable amounts of energy, particularly various fossil fuels. Producing, transporting and consuming this energy imposes a variety of costs on society. Consuming nonrenewable resources reduces their availability to future generations. Importing resources imposes economic costs (reduced employment, business activity and investment), and dependency on foreign fuel creates national security risks. Fossil fuel consumption releases climate change emissions (as described in the previous section).
Energy Conservation Benefits Subcategories
Environmental impacts from petroleum production, transport and processing.
Depletion of non-renewable resources.
Economic costs of importing resources.
National security costs of being dependent on imported resources.
Mobility management strategies that reduce vehicle travel tend to conserve energy. As with pollution emissions, reductions in short trips and congested vehicle travel tend to provide particularly large energy conservation benefits. Fuel tax increases are particularly effective at encouraging energy conservation, since they encourage both reductions in vehicle travel and selection of more fuel efficient vehicles. Other incentives to choose fuel efficient and alternative fuel vehicles are not mobility management strategies, but are sometimes incorporated into mobility management programs.
Energy Conservation Effectiveness
Fuel tax increases
Walking & cycling improvements
Commute trip reduction programs & incentives
Carsharing Transit improvements HOV priority Congestion pricing Traffic speed managem
School and campus transport management
Rideshare programs Telework Distance-based fees
Smart growth Traffic calming Flextime Carfree planning
Smart growth and traffic calming may increase energy consumption per vehicle-mile, but tend to reduce per capita energy use.
Parking management & pricing Freight transport
management This table identifies how various mobility management strategies reduce energy consumption.
Conventional transport planning generally considers energy conservation a desirable objective but gives it little consideration when evaluating individual projects. There are several monetized estimates of fossil fuel external costs and the benefits to society of energy conservation. These estimates vary depending on assumptions and perspective (Delucchi 1998; Litman 2009). Estimates of U.S. petroleum external costs range from $25 to $150 billion annually, which averages 0.5¢ to 3¢ per vehicle-mile.