How does the proximity of public transport affect CO2 emissions on a personal scale

An interesting result for city councils and urban planners extracted from our study Cartografía Carbono 2020, is related to understanding how the density of public transport networks affects people’s CO2 emissions.

It is clear that people are more likely to use public transport when their homes are closer to it. Although each person behaves differently, we have detected that this tendency exists, and that the greater the distance to public transport, the less people use it, regardless of the fact that in each specific case it is conditioned by many other factors (including the will of the individual).

How much CO2 emissions can I save by using public transport?

Thus, we observe in the study that the carbon footprint of those who live less than 100m from a public transport stop is on average 0.42 tonnes CO2/year lower than those who live between 100 and 500 metres far from it.

If we compare the above data with those of the people living between 500 and 1000 metres away, we see an increase of the carbon footprint of 0.59 tonnes CO2/year.

Results that cannot be ignored when future emission reduction targets are so demanding: 0.42 tonnes CO2/year is 8% of the average total footprint of a resident in Spain, and 0.59 is 11%.

We can therefore conclude that the densification of the public transport network is a relevant element in terms of CO2 emissions and transport, and consequently, in the fight to reduce greenhouse gas emissions that cause global warming and climate change.

If you want to know more about the emissions of the Spanish society you can download the report of our study here.

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