Transport or transportation is the movement of humans, animals, and goods from one location to another. In other words, the action of transport is defined as a particular movement of an organism or thing from a point A (a place in space) to a point B.
Means of transport are any of the different kinds of transport facilities used to carry people or cargo. They may include vehicles, riding animals, and pack animals. Vehicles may include wagons, automobiles, bicycles, buses, trains, trucks, helicopters, watercraft, spacecraft, and aircraft.
Transportation is the single largest source of air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions in Canada and anyone can help reduce their harmful effects by choosing sustainable transportation over car use. Transportation accounts for about 25 percent of total emissions, and Environment Canada has estimated that for every 2,000 litres of gasoline consumed, the average car produces 4,720 kg of carbon dioxide, 186.6 kg of carbon monoxide, 28 kg of volatile organic compounds and 25.6 kg of nitrogen oxides.
Transportation, as a core component supporting the interactions and the development of socio-economic systems, has also been the object of much consideration to what extent it is sustainable
Sustainable transportation is the capacity to support the mobility needs of a society in a manner that is the least damageable to the environment and does not impair the mobility needs of future generations.
Sustainable transport has many social and economic benefits that can accelerate local sustainable development. According to a series of reports by the Low Emission Development Strategies Global Partnership (LEDS GP), sustainable transport can help create jobs, improve commuter safety through investment in bicycle lanes and pedestrian pathways, make access to employment and social opportunities more affordable and efficient. It also offers a practical opportunity to save people’s time and household income as well as government budgets, making investment in sustainable transport a ‘win-win’ opportunity.
Sustainable development applied to transport systems requires the promotion of linkages between environmental protection, economic efficiency, and social progress. Under the environmental dimension, the objective consists in understanding the reciprocal influences of the physical environment and the practices of the industry and that environmental issues are addressed by all aspects of the transport industry. Under the economic dimension, the objective consists of orienting progress in the sense of economic efficiency. Transport must be cost-effective and capable of adapting to changing demands. Under the social dimension, the objective consists in upgrading standards of living and quality of life.
Leaving your car at home and taking more sustainable modes of transportation will provide benefits for yourself and the City. These include:
Transport systems are major emitters of greenhouse gases, responsible for 23% of world energy-related GHG emissions in 2004, with about three quarters coming from road vehicles. Data from 2011 stated that one-third of all greenhouse gases produced are due to transportation. Currently 95% of transport energy comes from petroleum. Energy is consumed in the manufacture as well as the use of vehicles, and is embodied in transport infrastructure including roads, bridges and railways. Motorized transport also releases exhaust fumes that contain particulate matter which is hazardous to human health and a contributor to climate change
The environmental impacts of transport can be reduced by reducing the weight of vehicles, sustainable styles of driving, reducing the friction of tires, encouraging electric and hybrid vehicles, improving the walking and cycling environment in cities, and by enhancing the role of public transport, especially electric rail.
Green vehicles are intended to have less environmental impact than equivalent standard vehicles, although when the environmental impact of a vehicle is assessed over the whole of its life cycle this may not be the case.
Electric vehicle technology has the potential to reduce transport CO2 emissions, depending on the embodied energy of the vehicle and the source of the electricity. In countries with a significant share of coal in their electricity production, adaptation of electric vehicles has only a small climate benefit or none at all. The climate benefits vary substantially and depend on the vehicle size, electricity emissions, driving patterns, and even the weather.
While policies, rules, and regulations expect compliance, users tend to instinctively react to price signals and discard modes that are becoming costly (unsustainable) and find loopholes. Transportation and sustainability for both passengers and freight must also contend with mitigation versus adaptation issues:
Mitigation concerns the improvement of productivity and efficiency of existing modes, terminals, and managerial approaches so that environmental externalities are reduced. They tend to be short to medium term strategies.
Adaptation is a change in the level of use and the market share of respective modes to reflect better a long-term trend, such as higher energy prices, improved information technologies, and stricter environmental regulations.
There is a wide range of environmental sustainability responses, with different local, national, and international regulations. This involves a variety of costs in transport operations that must be built into the price of providing transport facilities and services. Environmental sustainability represents a growing area of responsibility for transport services providers, inciting them to acquire expertise in environmental management. The most important challenge is implementing environmentally sustainable transport within competitive market structures leaning on coping with changes in transport demand while improving transport supply.
To effectively mitigate the adverse impacts of current transportation systems, strategies can be devised to manage (reduce) transport demand for passengers and freight as wells as to redistribute this demand in space or in time (outside peak hours) when possible. Profitable, affordable, and unsubsidized transportation is a good indicator of its sustainability. Increasing transport costs and the pressure to subsidize them can be interpreted as signals that they may be unsustainable. There are several interrelated ways in which transportation systems can adapt to cope with transport demand and reach a better level of sustainability:
Full-cost pricing. The full (or partial) recovery of costs related to public investments is incurred in constructing, maintaining, and operating transport networks. They remove artificial signals such as subsidies and let users assume the real transportation cost, including road pricing and pollution (carbon) taxes and fees. Motorists are charged a floating fee (depending on demand variability in peak and off-peak hours) for using targeted roads. This can be implemented through a variety of techniques such as tolls or licensing fees. Tax and pollution fees would involve the implementation of increased taxes on vehicle and fuel purchasing as well as imposing fees on vehicle owners who operate at low levels of energy efficiency. The rationale of such an approach is to provide incentives to influence users towards more sustainable mobility choices.
Parking controls. By raising parking prices or reducing the amount of parking space, such a strategy can be used to deter the use of privately-owned vehicles in areas of highest demand by raising the price of commuting by car to high-density areas. The expected result is to encourage (or force) commuters to seek other alternatives either in mass transit, ridesharing, or carpooling. They tend to be ineffective for freight distribution since delivery trucks will infringe regulations for short duration deliveries (e.g. double parking for a few minutes).
Trip avoidance. A more direct method of reducing traffic demand, but avoiding trips is a complex endeavor. It involves strategies where an activity still occurs while its related mobility is mitigated. This is mostly related to the use of information technologies, which paradoxically can, at the same time, substitute for and support mobility. For instance, e-commerce can reduce the number of shopping trips, but this involves substituting for parcel deliveries. For freight transportation, trip avoidance is mostly the outcome of changes in sourcing strategies such as nearshoring, where fewer ton-km are generated.
Traffic bans. Through traffic bans, the regulatory institution would exert direct control over the allowable limit of vehicles in a given urban area or along specific corridors depending on measures of transport supply-demand functions or arbitrary estimates of carrying capacity. Many high-density central areas have closed streets to pedestrians to create public spaces more conducive to commercial and social activities.
The importance of transport for climate action is further recognized under the UNFCCC – the transport sector will be playing a particularly important role in the achievement of the Paris Agreement, given the fact close to a quarter of energy-related global greenhouse gas emissions come from transport and that these emissions are projected to grow substantially in the years to come.
Mega projects such as major airports and train stations require a meticulous level of planning due to their sheer scale and complexity. We are proud to have worked on some of the most high-level and impactful transport infrastructure development projects across the region and successfully helped these projects exceed their goals.
We know that developments within the Aerospace & Rail sector involve major capital expenditure and often complex designs and construction practices.
At Alpin, our innovation, reliability and high level of expertise has won us the trust and praise of some of the region’s most high profile consultants, designers, project managers, and contractors.
We employ the most cutting edge techniques to ensure these projects are built not only to cope with their rigorous daily demands but also so that they withstand the test of time for decades to come.
With our transport infrastructure services, we offer our deep and decades-long knowledge of how to effectively and reliably execute complex projects, such as railways, airports, and metropolitan transport systems. Our transport infrastructure development experts offer the following services:
One of our core services is commissioning. We help you from start to finish, from the first design draft until you have a fully operational project.
Our 3D and 6D Building Information Management (BIM) and Virtual Design Management services help you visualize what your transport infrastructure project will look and feel like from the start. This will help you allocate time and resources in the right way.
We help you achieve various green certifications, such as LEED, Estidama, and ASHRAE.
With our sustainable master planning services, we help you plan and develop thriving communities with state-of-the-art infrastructure.
We’re happy to work together with your team to help you tackle challenges effectively. Our consultants are leading experts in their respective fields and that’s why more than 3,000 professionals from over 100 organizations have taken part in our training programs.
We work on some of the leading transport infrastructure development projects in the Middle East and beyond. Here are some of our successful Aerospace, Ports & Rail projects.
“On the whole, I was delighted with Alpin’s team, their professional and friendly manner and, above all, a pragmatic consultancy approach aimed at maximizing the value of BREEAM for all stakeholders. I have no hesitation in recommending Alpin to support you in your next sustainability project or initiative.”