Environment

Major American automakers eying SUVs over electric vehicles

By Chris McCahill Transitioning to electric power has been a major focus of state and local agencies trying to meet ambitious emissions reduction goals. That involves rolling out more charging stations, bolstering the grid, and offering incentives for drivers to go electric; but consumers will

Electric school buses test V2G technology

By Robbie Webber Dominion Energy in Virginia is in the midst of buying electric buses for schools across Virginia. When not transporting kids to and from school, the buses will serve as batteries to feed power back into the electrical grid. Using buses for vehicle-to-grid (V2G) power benefits

Framing resilience for state DOTs

By Michael Brenneis The mission of many state DOTs has evolved beyond the traditional “highway department” to include protecting the quality of life of the people of a given state, and the integration of all travel modes to safely move people and goods. Resilience has come to mean more than

Forecasters guarded about EV share of VMT

By Michael Brenneis A smooth and equitable transition to a low-carbon global economy is an essential component in the mitigation of anthropogenic climate change. But migration away from a long-entrenched fossil energy system has its challenges. Adequate and consistent carbon emission reduction

Planning for resilience in Vermont

By Michael Brenneis The Vermont Agency of Transportation, along with a list of partners (p. iv), has developed a planning tool to identify and prioritize parts of the transportation network most at risk of flooding, fluvial erosion, landslides, or other natural disasters. The need for a

Global SUV sales undo gain from electric vehicles

By Robbie Webber Electric vehicles have the potential to significantly reduce emissions and the climate impact of transportation. But the global increase in SUV sales—led by but not exclusive to the U.S.—is more than neutralizing these reductions. That is the message from an analysis of the

Spending smarter: lessons and opportunities for state DOTs

By Chris McCahill Two states that are changing how transportation investments are prioritized were featured recently on an SSTI webinar. Virginia just funded a third round of projects under its Smart Scale program, while Hawaii piloted its own SmartTRAC program with help from SSTI and Smart

UK scientists warn of resource costs in transitioning to net-zero emissions by 2050

By Michael Brenneis The necessary transition away from burning fossil fuels for transportation could be quite resource intensive. So say leading UK scientists in a recent letter to the UK Committee on Climate Change, in response to their recommended target of net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by

Shifting from LOS to VMT would save time, money, and better support local goals

By Beth Osborne Two recent studies suggest that California’s change in assessing the impact of development—from level of service (LOS) to vehicle miles traveled (VMT)—can reduce costs for developers and streamline the review of projects. Under the new guidelines, both studies to determine

Small increases in rainfall could cause big problems for road networks

By Rayla Bellis There is a lot we still don’t know about how climate change will affect transportation networks and how to make infrastructure more resilient, but new research sheds some light on these questions. A model developed to study the impacts of floods on road networks indicates that