Sunday, May 26, 2024
Hawai'i Free Press

Current Articles | Archives

Friday, July 13, 2012
Environment: Rail is Dirtier than Cars
By NCPA @ 4:28 PM :: 11336 Views :: Maui County, Education K-12, Energy, Environment, National News, Ethics

NCPA Study: Rail Is More Expensive, Not Environmentally Friendlier

July 12, 2012 (Dallas, TX)—When compared to commuting by car rail transit is slow, inconvenient and expensive, according to new research from the National Center for Policy Analysis (NCPA).
"Contrary to popular belief transit is not much more environmentally friendly than automobiles," said Randall O'Toole, author of the study. "When all subsidies are counted it costs several times more per passenger mile than driving."
Even if, as supporters of rail transit advocate, more Americans lived in multi-family housing close to transit stops, the benefits of rail transit are questionable, according to the study.
According to the Department of Energy, the average passenger car uses about 3,500 BTUs per passenger mile and the average light truck uses about 3,900 BTUs (2009).
By comparison, the average urban transit bus uses more than 4,200 BTUs per passenger mile.
And rail transit, except in heavily trafficked New York City, uses far more energy. For example, Baltimore used approximately 6,000 BTUs per passenger mile, Cleveland more than 8,000 BTUs, Miami more than 5,400 BTUs and Pittsburgh more than 11,000 BTUs.
In addition, the study notes that transit energy efficiencies have been stagnant or declining for the past several decades, while auto energy efficiencies are improving.
With regard to environmental concerns, greenhouse gas emissions for petroleum-powered vehicles are proportional to fuel consumption, so bus transit is worse than commuting. For electric-powered vehicles emissions depend on the power source—coal or other fossil fuels—and therefore is often much less "green" than driving.
"From an environmental perspective transit doesn't have much to recommend it," said NCPA Senior Fellow H. Sterling Burnett. "Cars today are producing only one percent of the pollution they emitted in the 1970s; buses and trains, by comparison, have made only slight improvements."
Finally, the study shows that because transit is generally slower and less convenient than driving, the cost is much greater—a fact that is disguised by the much larger subsidies given to transit.
H. Sterling Burnett, Ph.D., is one of the country's leading authorities on energy and environmental issues. He is the lead analyst of the National Center for Policy Analysis' (NCPA) E-Team. Burnett's area of expertise includes topics that affect every American, such as government environmental policy, offshore drilling, global warming, endangered species and public lands.
The National Center for Policy Analysis (NCPA) is a nonprofit, nonpartisan public policy research organization, established in 1983. We bring together the best and brightest minds to tackle the country's most difficult public policy problems — in health care, taxes, retirement, small business, and the environment. Visit our website today for more information.

RELATED: Rail will use more energy than buses or autos


TEXT "follow HawaiiFreePress" to 40404

Register to Vote


Aloha Pregnancy Care Center


Antonio Gramsci Reading List

A Place for Women in Waipio

Ballotpedia Hawaii

Broken Trust

Build More Hawaiian Homes Working Group

Christian Homeschoolers of Hawaii

Cliff Slater's Second Opinion

DVids Hawaii


Fix Oahu!

Frontline: The Fixers

Genetic Literacy Project

Grassroot Institute

Hawaii Aquarium Fish Report

Hawaii Aviation Preservation Society

Hawaii Catholic TV

Hawaii Christian Coalition

Hawaii Cigar Association

Hawaii ConCon Info

Hawaii Debt Clock

Hawaii Defense Foundation

Hawaii Family Forum

Hawaii Farmers and Ranchers United

Hawaii Farmer's Daughter

Hawaii Federation of Republican Women

Hawaii History Blog

Hawaii Jihadi Trial

Hawaii Legal News

Hawaii Legal Short-Term Rental Alliance

Hawaii Matters

Hawaii Military History

Hawaii's Partnership for Appropriate & Compassionate Care

Hawaii Public Charter School Network

Hawaii Rifle Association

Hawaii Shippers Council

Hawaii Together


Hiram Fong Papers

Homeschool Legal Defense Hawaii

Honolulu Navy League

Honolulu Traffic

House Minority Blog

Imua TMT

Inouye-Kwock, NYT 1992

Inside the Nature Conservancy

Inverse Condemnation

July 4 in Hawaii

Land and Power in Hawaii

Lessons in Firearm Education

Lingle Years

Managed Care Matters -- Hawaii

Missile Defense Advocacy

MIS Veterans Hawaii

NAMI Hawaii

National Parents Org Hawaii

NFIB Hawaii News

NRA-ILA Hawaii


OHA Lies

Opt Out Today

Patients Rights Council Hawaii

Practical Policy Institute of Hawaii

Pritchett Cartoons

Pro-GMO Hawaii

Rental by Owner Awareness Assn

Research Institute for Hawaii USA

Rick Hamada Show

RJ Rummel

School Choice in Hawaii

Talking Tax

Tax Foundation of Hawaii

The Real Hanabusa

Time Out Honolulu

Trustee Akina KWO Columns

West Maui Taxpayers Association

What Natalie Thinks

Whole Life Hawaii