Environmental and Air Quality Impact of Demand Responsive Transit Services

Focus Area

Air Quality


Air Quality






1-2 years

Research Idea Scope

The environmental performance of public transportation services plays a key role in improving air quality in urban areas. Replacing vehicles’ current engines with innovative propulsive systems may be an effective solution, but requires considerable financial resources that are not always available. In this research we aim to assess the impact on the environment of the organizational form of transit systems. We will compare traditional fixed-route services and demand resposive services in terms of their pollutant emission. Research will be conducted with simulation analyses and case studies under a broad range of scenarios with different road networks, service quality levels and demand densities. To ensure a meaningful comparison in each scenario, the same set of customers will be provided with the same level of service. Established emission and level of service models will be used to ensure model validity and compute the results.

Urgency and Payoff

The results of this research will enable quantifying the environmental impact in terms of pollutant emission of the organizational form of transit services, depending on their organizational form. The assessment will help planners to understand the environmental benefits of demand responsive transit services, under different scenarios. A better understanding of the environmental implication of each transit option will enable decision-makers to better assess, rank and choose project alternatives within the usual multi-objective decision context.

Suggested By

Luca Quadrifoglio, Texas A&M University, Telephone: 979-458-4171

[email protected]