Knowing that today's transportation system accounts for 28% of our Nation's greenhouse gases, second only to electrical energy production requires the transportation profession to take very seriously operational management policies and construction techniques to reduce our carbon footprint. This means using transportation techniques to minimize greenhouse gas emissions by reducing travel delays and congestion as well as promoting non-single occupant vehicle travel such as transit and carpools or the use of non-motorized transportation such as bicycles and walking. Roadway construction techniques are available to further reduce greenhouse gas emissions to construct sustainable roadway infrastructure. The transportation industry needs to develop policies that rate and/or provide incentives for a sustainable transportation system. This paper provides a summary of the state of the practice to reduce fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions related to today's transportation systems and a recommendation on national policy for transportation sustainability.


Transportation greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions are attributable to vehicle operation as well as construction process/design requirements of the transportation infrastructure. Research appears to have focused on how our transportation system operates and what strategies can be undertaken to improve the operation of the transportation system. This paper focuses on both transportation system operation efficiency and infrastructure design. Transportation operation emissions are related to travel system efficiency as well as vehicle efficiency. Vehicle emission standards are not included in this paper discussion on transportation system sustainability.


Transportation plays a major role in generating GHG. According to the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), US transportation contributes 28% of the country's GHG as shown in Figure 1.

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