Green Transport System


Green transport refers to any means of transport with low impact on the environment, and includes walking and cycling, transit oriented development, green vehicles, CarSharing, and building or protecting urban transport systems that are fuel-efficient, space-saving and promote healthy lifestyles.[1]

Transport systems exist to provide social and economic connections. While people are taking advantage of the increased mobility brought by transport systems, it also pose significant impact on environmental, social and economic cost. Currently, transport system consumes about one-third of all energy in U.S, and accounting for around 25% of world energy consumption and carbon dioxide emissions. [2] Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions, air pollution and consumption of nonrenewable energy source are the top issues regarding to the environmental impacts. The social costs of transport include road crashes, physical inactivity, time taken away from the family, etc.

Traditional transport planning aims to improve mobility, especially for vehicles, and may fail to adequately consider wholesome impacts. The Green Transport System (or sustainable transport system) will utilize the new technology and proven techniques, to improve transportation while simultaneously reducing environmental and social costs, as well as promote healthy lifestyles.



GHG Emission/Person, WCTRS 2010

Transport systems are major emitters of greenhouse gases, responsible for 23% of world energy-related GHG emissions in 2004, with about three quarters coming from road vehicles. Currently 95% of transport energy comes from petroleum.[3]

Concerns about the sustainability transportation came into stage during the 1973 oil crisis and the 1979 energy crisis. The high cost and unrene wable characteristic of fuel led to a interest in alternatives to vehicle travel. Transport system innovations dating from that period include high-occupancy vehicle lanes, citywide carpool systems and transportation demand management. Singapore implemented congestion pricing in the late 1970s, and Curitiba began implementing its Bus Rapid Transit system in the early 1980s.

Nowadays solution to the green transport system is being studied all over the world. The British Government's White Paper on Transport[4], researched the potential to scale up the small and scattered sustainable transport initiatives occurring across Britain. A similar study by the United States Federal Highway Administration[5], was also released in 2004 and concluded that a more proactive approach to transportation demand was an important component of overall national transport strategy. The World Conference on Transport Research Society (WCTRS)[6] , a forum to interchange of ideas among transportation researchers, managers, policy makers, and educators from all over the world, have members from 61 countries.

Environmentally sustainable transport


Reduction Measures:ASI (Avoid, Shift, Improve)

Green transport should be environmental sustainable. The environmental impacts of transport can be reduced by improving the walking and cycling environment in cities, by improving the structure and service of public transportation, and by making breakthrough in technology aspects.

Green vehicle is one of the technology solution. It is intended to have less environmental impact by using alternative sources of energy, including electric engine, natural gas, bio fuels and so on. It will reduce transport CO2 emissions and improve the efficiency of energy usage. Other technology solutions may include smart sensors, eco driving, cloud information system, etc.

The benefits brought about by developing green transport system may include promoting economic growth and environmental conservation; creating new growth engines including green technologies and industries, and contributing to global GHG reduction efforts.

Innovative technology

Technology evolution has been the most significant boost in transportation system. Since the presence of steam ship in early 1800s, technology revolution has taken place in roughly 50 years cycle. The evolution in the past mainly focus on the transportation efficiency, including speed, convenience, load, etc. Now the new concern is green transport- focusing on environmental friendly, sustainable, and healthy way of transportation. The possible innovations in the future, considering those criteria, are listed below.



Toyota Prius

Hybrid electric vehicles (HEVs) are powered by conventional fuels as well as electric power stored in a battery. HEVs combine the advantage of high fuel economy and low GHG emissions, while maintaining the power and range of conventional vehicles.

The power system of hybrid electric vehicles consist of an internal combustion engine and an electric motor, which use batteries as the energy supplement. The extra power provided by the electric motor allows for a smaller engine. Also, when the vehicle is travelling at a low speed, the combustion engine is extremely energy inefficient. The electric motor, can then take advantage of its high efficiency, thus resulting in fuel saving as well as protecting the environment.

A hybrid electric vehicle typically does not require a plug to charge the battery. Instead, it uses regenerative braking and the internal combustion engine to charge. The vehicle captures energy normally lost during braking by using the electric motor as a generator and storing the captured energy in the battery. Toyota Prius, as the most popular HEV, has surpassed 2 million sales in September 2010. It claims "1 tonne of CO2 less than an equivalent family vehicle with a diesel engine. Average calculated on 20,000 km a year".[7] This would be a huge improvement in reducing GHG emissions. On the other side, electricity is a sustainable energy source that can be generated by multi-ways, other than the non-renewable fuels.

Technology Driven Eco DrivingEdit

ECO Driving

Eco Driving

Eco driving means smarter and more fuel-efficient driving. Eco driving represents a new driving culture that makes best use of advanced vehicle technologies, while improving road safety. An important component of sustainable mobility, Eco driving considerably contributes to climate protection and pollution reduction.

To understand the concepts and benefits and eco driving, below are some real quantifiable examples of companies efforts on eco driving in the past years.

UPS found out over their thousands of truck fleet, that by not waiting and idling to take left turns and instead taking 3 right turns to reach the same place – they saved about 3 million gallons of fuel.Walmart found out that by separating the engine and the generator to run the air conditioning was a good idea – shutting down the engine while the driver slept at night on long distances, they’d save $25 million/year on fuel costs. Putting spoilers/fins at the back of the trucks – at highway speeds reduced 5-8% fuel usage... [8]

The technology part for eco driving focus on Eco-Indicator, Eco-Navigator, and Eco-driving Monitor System. Eco-Indicator is a gadgets that lights up if the driver is actually eco driving – right amounts of braking, accelerating, etc. The indicator will also combine a fuel efficiency indicator that shows how far the car can travel on a liter of fuel. Then there are changes in transmission and reduction in vehicle weight and air resistance being done to assist eco driving practices.

The Eco-Navigator, will navigate the driver using GPS and remote diagnostic services, to schedule the route with less congestion or less mileages. The Eco-driving monitoring system, with embedded smart sensors, is able to collect user driving patterns, analyze the driving patterns, and assist the driver to automatically adjust the driving pattern and optimize the fuel usage.



Online Electric Vehicles

Online Electric Vehicles (OLEV) with underground power supply lines, is being developed by Korea Advanced Institute of Technology (KAIST). The prototype car is put into use at an amusement park in Gwacheon, south of Seoul. The power strips are only required in 400 meters of the 2.2-kilometer (1.4-mile) route, or about 18-20 percent of the total distance [10].

Nowadays the most significant constraint in developing EV is the bottleneck in battery--its low energy density require frequent recharge and resulting in short cruise range. Rather than relying on battery technology, the OLEV take advantage of non-contact magnetic charging method (where a power source is placed underneath the road surface, and power is wirelessly picked up on the vehicle itself) so it doesn't matter if the car is moving or parked up, it still receives power.

There is a huge improvement by drawing energy from the road as it moves along. The train can use a battery that is only 20 percent as large and powerful as would otherwise be required. There's a serious cost reduction as well – with the cost shifted to installing the power strips into the road. Overall, the total cost for electric vehicles is about a third of what standalone electric vehicles cost, and the cruise distance is significantly prolonged. (As long as paved with underground power supplies).

Bike Rapid Transit (BIRT)Edit


Bike Rapid Transit: Concept

Bicycle is a traditional way of transportation. It provide a quick and convenient travelling method in short distance. In countries like China and Dutch, there are millions of bike riders. The drawbacks of bike are that riders are affected by the road condition, weather, and sometimes the safety is not guaranteed.

To solve those problems, a concept of bike rapid transit system is proposed[11] . It the system, the bike lane is a elevated pipe, which will protect the safety of bike rider. Also, the rider inside the pipe is unaffected by temperature, rainfall or snow, it provide a comfort environment. It is designed to be a non-stop bikeways like freeways. In peak-hour, this way of transportation is even faster than bus. The most significant benefit is that, it produce no GHG, cost no energy, yet provide rider a healthy lifestyle.

Cloud based Transit CenterEdit


Transportation Info Center

Cloud-based Transportation System enable multi-transportation system to share instant information. When the transportation system is moved to the cloud side, people can share not only the road information, but also the transportation facilities--including EV, Bicycle or other public transport. This provide a new business model for EV--subleasing for short range transportation, which make up the deficiency of short travelling range.

The integrated information system will be able to provide user with reservation service or user customized service. Combined with smartphone applications [12], it can provide user with comprehensive information. Cloud-based transportation systems will also be able to handle management, warehousing, order processing and transportation route planning. The prospect of could-based transportation system relies on the technology of could computing. Possible benefits of could-based transportation system includes reduction of GHG emissions, reduction of user cost, and mitigation of traffic congestion.

Expressway Reservation SystemEdit

The expressway reservation system is travel scheduling system in which drivers could make a reservation for traveling on expressways.

Reservation Sys

Expressway Reservation Systems

The goal of reservation system is to alleviate traffic congestion by tackling extraordinary peak traffic demand for roads with limited capacity. It will introduce a pre-reservation system as with public transport, there will be a reserved lane on the expressways, on which only pre-reserved vehicles can drive. This system can be combined with flexible road tolling policy.

It is especially meaningful on weekends or holidays, when the travelling time is relatively flexible, travelers can utilize this system to optimize their journey thus to reduce the congestion and waiting time. However, since expressways have been regarded as "open" public facilities that people can use anytime they want, restricting their access to expressways via reservation has been considered as violating their basic rights[10]. This is part of reason that the express reservation system has not lead to a real implementation. Currently how to operate similar reservation system is still being studied.

Automated Container TransportEdit


Automated Container Transport

Container transportation is the predominant mode of inter-continental cargo traffic. Since container ships and port terminals involve a huge capital investment and significant daily operating costs, it is of crucial importance to efficiently utilize the internal resources of container terminals and transportation systems. Today there is an ongoing trend to use automated container handling and transportation technology, in particular, in countries with high labor costs. The container port center will adopt a conveyor system using Linear Induction Motor (LIM). [13] There are shuttles that have access to everything under lattice structure, controlled by central computer system inside the container port center. The build-in lifting mechanism and unmanned automated cargo handling system will move the container to the right rail.

The propulsion system is based on maglev. There are fully automated chassis that will transport the containers to the goal. The system is non-stop with high efficiency.

Sustainable transport policies and social affectsEdit


Policy and public compliance

Sustainable transport policies have the greatest impact at the city level. Outside Western Europe, cities which have consistently included sustainability as a key consideration in transport and land use planning include Curitiba, Brazil, Bogota, Colombia Portland, Oregon and Vancouver, Canada. The state of Victoria, Australia recently passed legislation - the Transport Integration Act which introduces sustainability measures into transport policy, planning and operations. [1]

The execution of sustainable transport policies, which might affect people's life and bring about some inconvenience, will certainly suffer from public incompliance. A related survey shows that technology assisted measures will lead to high public compliance.



2. Transportation and Energy- Jean-Paul Rodrigue, Claude Comtois

3. http://

4. "White Paper on Transport". 2004. Retrieved 2009-07-04.

5. "Mitigating Traffic Congestion". 2004. Retrieved 2009-07-04 6. World Conference on Transport Research Society,

7. htpp://


9. P.Arora, "Why Ecodrive? "

10. Jaehak Oh, "Innovation in transport systems for green growth"


12. Grand Rapids- "Transportation Management - Trial for Cloud-Based Freight TMS Software"

13. Ioannou, P, Chassiakos, A, "Automated Container Transport System Between Inland Port and Terminals"

14. Petros Ioannou Anastasios Chassiakos, "Improving Quay Transport on Automated Container Terminals"'

15. Todd Litman "Measuring Transportation: Traffic, Mobility and Accessibility". Victoria Transport Policy Institute ,1988 16. S. Ghosh and T. S. Lee, Intelligent Transportation Systems: New Principles and Architectures. CRC Press, 2000.

Xinda Lin


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