Climate Change is widely regarded as one of the most important issues that we face today. Climate change is caused by both natural processes and Greenhouse Gas Emissions (GHG). The largest source of GHG from human activities in the United States is from burning fossil fuels for electricity, heat, and transportation. These human activities result in carbon emissions, specifically carbon dioxide (CO2), a major contributor to climate change. Transportation is one of the biggest contributors to US carbon emissions.
In Montgomery County, most commuters travel alone in single occupancy vehicles (SOVs) and in 2019, 78.5 percent of commuters drove to their jobs by themselves. Only 5.3 percent took public transit, and 2.2 percent walked to their jobs. In addition to contributing to traffic congestion and poor air quality, these SOV trips generate a significant amount of CO2.
Emissions Comparison of Modes of Transportation in Montgomery County
The chart above shows that using public transit results in less CO2 per passenger mile. These transit rides, along with carpooling and shuttle buses, also help reduce traffic congestion and air pollution.
Bicycling and walking produce zero CO2 emissions, and there are associated health benefits from these forms of active transportation.
Forecasts indicate that impacts from climate change will occur more frequently in Montgomery County in the coming years, and they will include:
Higher average temperatures and longer, hotter heat waves
More frequent heavy rainfall events that cause flooding
Stronger storms with higher winds and flash flooding potential
These impacts present significant risks to residents, communities, businesses, agriculture, infrastructure, biodiversity and our environment.
Individuals and businesses can help combat climate change by actively seeking transportation options that reduce their carbon footprint.¹
¹ A carbon footprint is the amount of carbon emissions a person or organization is responsible for expressed in tons per year. Some additional resources for lowering your carbon footprint are:
- Using public transit, biking and walking, whenever possible.
- Carpooling with a co-worker instead of driving alone
- Trip planning to combine errands, rather than running a single errand.
- Co-ordinating trips with friends and family to reduce the number of vehicles on the road.
- Driving fuel efficient vehicles with high mileage per gallon (MPG) to minimize the amount of gasoline consumed.
- Maintaining vehicles to achieve maximum fuel efficiency. Keeping tires inflated to recommended PSI.
- Driving electric or hybrid vehicles with no/low CO2 emissions
Businesses and Employer Actions
- Developing Travel Demand Management (TDM) strategies to get employees to work sites using non-SOV modes of transportation.
- Creating bike friendly workplaces and incentivizing active transportation.
- Installing EV charging stations
- Introducing and supporting shared ride programs, such as shuttle services, carpooling and vanpooling
- Enabling work from home (telecommuting)
Air Quality Tip
Approximately 20 days each year, air quality in Montco does not meet EPA health standards. Everyone can take action to reduce air pollution and improve air quality.
Maintaining your vehicle, commuting smarter, saving energy at work & home, and employers joining the Air Quality Partnership through the Partnership TMA of Montgomery County are simple steps to improve air quality.
Saving energy at work and at home, not only saves money, but protects the air from emissions from power plants & burning heat oil.
Maintain Your Vehicle
Get the junk out of your trunk. An extra 100 pounds reduces gas mileage by up to 2%.
The Partnership TMA of Montgomery County collaborates with 150+ public and private sector partners to:
Expand & Enhance transportation options
Ease traffic congestion
Educate & Engage our communities on issues of land use, the environment, and healthy lifestyles