Mobilizing Transit-Avoided Carbon

Metropolitan Transportation Authority Headquarters
Kei Hayashi
Daniel Cawley, Julliard Lin, Joy Tsai, Felix (Jianhao) Zhou

Four out of every five New York City rush-hour commuters travel using public transportation, making the New York State Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) perhaps the single largest source of greenhouse gas avoidance in the nation. MTA’s Sustainability Initiatives office engaged a Capstone team to analyze the monetization of transit-avoided carbon and potential participation in a carbon market, an exchange of carbon credits designed to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. Recognition of this positive externality could contribute toward better maintained facilities and fleets, expansion of services, and additional funding for sustainable projects. The Capstone team investigated existing carbon trading models and green financing schemes, and conducted interviews with stakeholders. In its final report, the team provided recommendations on feasibility and potential routes, incorporating feedback from participants in industry, academia, and the public sector. The team also developed a presentation on MTA’s supply of transit-avoided carbon and its value in future sustainability initiatives.

Areas Of Impact