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Environmental Impacts of Promoting New Public Transport Systems in Urban Mobility: A Case Study

Original scientific paper

Journal of Sustainable Development of Energy, Water and Environment Systems
Volume 5, Issue 3, September 2017, pp 377-395
DOI: https://doi.org/10.13044/j.sdewes.d5.0143
Abel Ortego , Alicia Valero, Alejandro Abadias
Research Centre for Energy Resources and Consumption (CIRCE), Mariano Esquillor Gomez 15, 50018 Zaragoza, Spain


Urban mobility is highly dependent on private vehicles causing pollution, traffic congestion and traffic accidents. The tram has become one of the most relevant public transport modes in those cities which need to reduce the private vehicle dependency. However, the implementation of this kind of infrastructure must be done carefully to avoid unsuccessful route designs which make the system unfeasible to operate. With the aim of analysing the impact that a tram can cause in a city, an original methodology has been developed, which takes into account the effect of the new transport system implementation on three subimpacts: traffic, public bus and outskirts neighbourhoods. This methodology uses different data sources from urban traffic, environmental and energy systems. The methodology has been applied to the city of Zaragoza (Spain) with a current population of around 700,000 inhabitants. The main results found were that tram line 1 saves 6% of the annual final energy consumption of urban mobility, urban traffic has decreased by 7.7% in the city as a whole and by 39.7% for streets close to the tramway.

Keywords: Urban mobility, Sustainable urban mobility plans, Public transport, Tram, Energy efficiency.

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