Denver Climate Action Planning Project Research Paper

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34). Viable choices in designing effective programs includes agencies include partnering with private and/or public operators to compliment efforts. Collaboration to diversifying travel choices through transit agencies may attract individuals, traditionally adverse to public transport.

Mobility pass programs aim to connect the flexibility of car-sharing with generally less flexible modes such as the bus, light rail or commuter rail transit. Combining access to two modes for a single fare, planners hope, will increase enrollment of both modes; increase enrollment in car-sharing programs, as well as improve the convenience, and in turn, use of public transit (Rea, & Ryan, p. 34).

Benefits from mobility programs, Rea, and Ryan stress, frequently prove significant. Mobility pass programs particularly proffer substantial benefits. Programs Meriting Particular Consideration

Programs meriting particular consideration, the literature reveals need to envelop

Car sharing,

Incentivizing public transportation,

Business incentives for compressed work weeks or telecommuting, and Congestion pricing as seen in London.

Car Sharing

In "Carsharing: A Guide for Local Planners," Adam Cohen, Susan Shaheen, and Ryan McKenzie (2008) explain that in carsharing individuals utilze private vehicle, albeit forego ownership costs and responsibilities. Instead of owning one or more vehicles, an individual, household or business may access a fleet of shared-use autos as-needed. As individuals join an organization that maintains a fleet of cars and light trucks parked in designated, leased spaces in an array of locations, they gain access to vehicles. "Vehicles are accessed on an as-needed basis, and members are typically charged each time they use a vehicle" (Shaheen & Cohen, as cited in Cohen, Shaheen, & McKenzie, p. 1). The practice of formal carsharing began more than 20 years in Europe. The first noted, formal U.S. carsharing service, however, did not start, however, until 1998, in Portland, Oregon. In January 2008, reports indicate that about 235,000 members shared approximately 5,250 vehicles in the U.S. Several years ago, some skeptics of car sharing considered potential benefits to be untested claims. Currently, however, as evidenced by experiences related by I-GO Car Sharing, founded in Chicago during March of 2002 by the Center for Neighborhood Technology (CNT), claims have proved to be facts. Carsharing delivers substantial environmental, social, and economic benefits. NumerouspPlanners, government agencies, elected officials, as well as some private sectors, collaborating with GO has seen individual members reduce "their transportation costs by as much as $4,000 a year, and a reduction of 9,725 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions over the life of the program" (Cohen, Shaheen, & McKenzie, p. 2).

Transportation is a major contributor of CO2 and other greenhouse gas emissions, accounting for approximately 27% of total anthropogenic emissions in the United States and 14% globally.... According to PhillyCarShare, the combination of driving hybrids, driving less, owning fewer cars, and making fewer cold starts can yield an impressive 95% reduction in auto emissions per participant.... I n Europe, carsharing is estimated to reduce the average user's carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions by 40 to 50%

In 2007, Communauto announced a 13,000-ton reduction in CO2 emissions as a result of its 11,000 carsharing users in the province of Quebec, Canada....Each carsharing user reduces his or her distance traveled by car by 2,900 kilometers per year on average. Furthermore, they anticipate with a potential market of 139,000 households in Quebec that annual CO2 emission reductions could be as high as 168,000 tons per year.... (Cohen, Shaheen, & McKenzie, p. 3-4)

Incentivizing Public Transportation

Plain understandable information needs to be easily accessible for diverse audiences to enhance the support of individuals in crusade to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. "To be factored into everyday decision making routines, information must be provided at a time and place and in a standardized format that encourage its use by companies, investors, customers, business partners, and the public at large (Fagotto, & Graham, 2007, ¶ 1). Information regarding emissions information could be sent to customers with utility bills, spotlighted on product stickers, posted at a variety of locations, and presented on Websites, as well as in TV infomercials.

In "Breaking car use habits: The effectiveness of a free one-month travelcard," John Thogersen, and E. Berit Moller (2008) stress that choices to utilize public transport instead of cars prove signigicant. Approximatly 1,000 car drivers, who participated in this study received a free one-month travelcard. Results confirmed the results Thogersen, and Moller predicted; that the intervention significantly impacted drivers' use of public transport, while is additionally neutralized car driving habits' impact on the choice method. Four months after the experiment, albeit use of public transport by the experimental subjects decreased and no longer exceeded that of the control subjects. Findings confirm that given the current price-quality relationships of the various options, even though a car driver chooses his/her travel mode habitually, his/her final choice proves consistent with his/her informed preferences.

Modest Results

Margaret Walls and Peter Nelson (2004) note modest results from their study reported in "Telecommuting and emissions reductions: Evaluating results from the ecommute program." along with reviewing relevant literature. These authors analyze the ecommute data they describe in their study, and simultaneously assess data from a 2002 survey that the Southern California Association of Governments (SCAG) conducted of participating telecommuters and nontelecommuters. During 1999, Walls and Nelson (2004). Report, Congress passed the National Air Quality and Telecommuting Act, which established pilot telecommuting programs in five major U.S. metropolitan areas. The purpose expressly aimed to study the feasibility of addressing air quality concerns through teleworking. The following significant goals and objectives to be achieved in the program included:

Ascertaining the viability of developing, testing, and promoting economic incentives, specifically including emissions credits that may be tradable;

building partnerships within U.S. communities to address air quality, congestion, and quality-of-life issues associated with teleworking;

defining and sharpening regulatory and statutory issues necessary to promote air emissions trading incentives, including mechanisms for cross-sector emissions trading;

developing and evaluating methods for calculating reductions in emissions of precursors of ground-level ozone and greenhouse gases achieved through reductions in vehicle miles traveled; and gathering important data and information about transportation, urban planning, and the environmental impacts of telework. (Walls, & Nelson, 2004)

Chicago, Washington, D.C., Houston, Los Angeles, and Philadelphia constituted the original five metropolitan areas in the program, which began in June 2001. By March 2004, when the "ecommute" program ended, 49 companies with 535 employees had participated.

Denver replaced Chicago when it dropped out of the program in 2000.

Walls and Nelson (2004) recount that total emissions reductions were not dramatically reduced.

Denver, with the majority of telecommuters of the five cities, "prevented only one to 1.5 tons of VOCs and NOx between June 2001 and March 2004" (Walls, & Nelson, p. 24). Walls and Nelson stress, however, the potential of the program could be much greater. Even without enormous increases in the number of workers telecommuting, Walls and Nelson calculate that 25 tons of VOCs (and nearly as much NOx) could be reduced per year in every city. Accomplishing this goal would only require less than 1% of the workforce working at home one to two days each week. Business Incentives; Telecommuting Markus Robert, and Maria Brjesson (2006) identify a number of benefits, a company and employee may obtain from telecommuting in "Company Incentives and Tools for Promoting Telecommuting." In telecommuting, an employee uses any desk in an open office space; reducing office space.

As the employee works from home, saving the company office space, the employer considers compensation for the use of the employee's home by returning some of the savings to the telecommuter. Along with telecommuting possessing the potential to save the employee time and mitigate some of the pressure the employee experiences from traffic pressure during his/her work commuting, it also save the company costs, and proffers the opportunity to contribute to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. Disadvantages noted during the study by Robert, and Brjesson (2006) among the employees preferring not to telecommute more include lack of regular contact with colleagues, and slower home computer equipment. Two other areas that may hinder employees from telecommuting include manager's permission and the suitability of the employee's work task(s). Inexperience of either/both the manager and employee could also factor into telecommuting not being readily accepted. Robert, and Brjesson note that a majority of the employees they surveyed who preferred to telecommute, also related becoming more efficient and saving time when telecommuting.

Congestion pricing as seen in London London's success with its unique congestion pricing program, the first in a major European city, indicates congestion pricing may become a more politically feasible option in other cities in other countries. In "London Congestion Pricing Implications for Other Cities," Todd Litman (2004) recounts that on February 17, 2003, with the aim to reduce traffic congestion and raise revenues to fund transport improvements, London, England began to charge a fee for individuals to drive private automobiles in its central area during weekdays. This effort did in fact significantly reduce…[continue]

Cite This Research Paper:

"Denver Climate Action Planning Project" (2009, February 25) Retrieved December 8, 2016, from

"Denver Climate Action Planning Project" 25 February 2009. Web.8 December. 2016. <>

"Denver Climate Action Planning Project", 25 February 2009, Accessed.8 December. 2016,

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