Chicago Transit Authority (CTA), as the main authority for the management of public transportation, launched an environmental policy in 2012. This policy called on people to riding more and increased the use of green energy in the public transportation. The urban sustainability is measured by the minimizing resource consumption and environmental damage, maximizing resource use efficiency, and ensuring equity and democracy. Based on this measurement, CTA increases the ridership and reduces the emissions for the environmental sustainability. The use of advanced vehicle technologies and alternative fuel sources could achieve significant emissions reductions from trains, buses, and support vehicles. In 2012, CTA rail ridership increased to more than 231 million rides, the highest level in 50 years. And switching from driving to public transit could reduce an individual’s carbon emissions by about 4,800 pounds each year.
Currently, CTA’s fleet of 1,200 cars carries about 40 percent of all CTA rides, and its fleet of 1,800 buses carries 60 percent of all CTA rides. In order to reduce the emission and clean the air, CTA plans to introduce the new 5000 Series cars into services. With the equipment of an innovative braking system, these railcars could transfer electricity back to the third rail and supplement power to nearby trains. Meanwhile, CTA plans to increase the number of hybrid buses. Compared with standard diesel buses, the hybrid buses achieve at least 20 percent greater fuel efficiency. By the use of new technology, the fuel energy is used more efficiently, and more green energy, like the electricity, is used in the transportation system. The increase in energy efficiency and the use of green energy can reduce emissions like Carbon monoxide and Hydrocarbons. Fewer emissions from vehicles are beneficial to the air quality. CTA concentrates on the improvement of air quality by the effective management of vehicles’ emissions and has made constant improvements in recent years.
“Clean Vehicles.” (2016). Chicago Transit Authority. <http://www.transitchicago.com/goinggreen/vehicles.aspx>
Huang, Lu, Jianguo Wu, and Lijiao Yan. (2015). “Defining and measuring urban sustainability: a review of indicators.” Landscape Ecol.
“Sustainable Transportation.” (2016). Chicago Transit Authority. < http://www.transitchicago.com/goinggreen/lowemissions.aspx>