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Transportation System Efficiency

Fuel economy and emissions standards are not the only components to consider when addressing transportation sector energy use in the long term. U.S.highway vehicle-miles-traveled (VMT) is projected to grow 28% by 2030, substantially outpacing population growth and overwhelming our already overburdened road network. If growth in VMT goes unchecked, our transportation system will be unsustainable, notwithstanding the introduction of highly efficient vehicles.

Reducing the rate of VMT growth requires the coordination of transportation and land use planning, which is typically under local or regional jurisdiction. However, recently-introduced policies demonstrate the constructive role that state and national programs can play in supporting and incentivizing VMT-reduction policies.

ACEEE works to assess the potential energy savings of travel demand management strategies, including land use planning policies, public transit investments, and market-based measures. We support reform of parking subsidies, equitable changes in taxation and transportation user fees, and creative strategies such as pay-as-you-drive auto insurance that can motivate more efficient mode and vehicle choices.


⇒ FInd out which states have transportation system efficiency policies in place with ACEEE's State Energy Efficiency Policy Database.

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