How the Chicago region’s transit system is going even greener
April 20, 2022
Reducing carbon emissions and reliance on fossil fuels has never been more important, and increasing transit use is one of the strongest tools we have in the fight against climate change. In the United States, exhaust from cars, trucks, and planes is the single biggest source of carbon dioxide emissions—the largest contributing factor to climate change (United States Environmental Protection Agency). Public transportation offers our region the greatest opportunity to reduce carbon emissions through mode shift. For example, a standard bus is able to remove 31 cars from the road, while one CTA railcar can remove 36 and one Metra railcar can remove 83 (U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration’s Summary of Travel Trends, 2017). Bus emissions per passenger mile are 33 percent lower than cars, and passenger trains are 76 percent lower, according to the Metropolitan Planning Council’s Transit Means Business report from 2018.
Aside from the importance of riding transit itself, the RTA wanted to take Earth Week to recognize the efforts of CTA, Metra, and Pace to improve the sustainability of their modes by converting to electric fleets and exploring other climate-friendly actions. To learn more, representatives from CTA and Pace will present to the RTA Board of Directors at 9:00 a.m. on Thursday, April 21. Livestream the meeting here, and read on for a summary of the CTA, Metra, and Pace’s work toward a greener region.
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