Transportation Systems and the Environment
Transportation systems, by their inherent characteristics have an impact on the environment.
  • Network. Influences the spatial distribution of emissions. Centralized networks concentrate the traffic and emissions at specific locations (hubs), but are using less energy since the average distance is shorter. Dispersed networks may be perceived at the local scale as more environmental friendly since they tend to be less intensively used, but are consuming much more energy.
  • Mode. Related to the nature of emissions. For instance, different transport modes have different energy requirements and levels of efficiency. A car-dependent transport system has different environmental problems than a transport system leaning on public transit.
  • Traffic. Induces the level of emissions and energy consumption since it is related to the utilization level of a transport system as well as the point source of emissions.