An Economic Analysis of U.S Public Transit Carbon Emissions Dynamics
Urban public transit agencies spend billions of dollars each year on workers, durable capital and energy to supply transportation services. During a time of rising concern about climate change, the urban public transit sector has not significantly reduced its carbon footprint. Using data for the nation’s transit agencies over the years 2002 to 2019, we benchmark U.S transit agencies with transit agencies in Germany and the United Kingdom. We study U.S urban public sector energy efficiency trends and explain the cross-sectional variation. We present a new operating profits metric that incorporates each transit agency’s annual total carbon emissions.
We thank Shanjun Li and Jerry Nickelsburg for helpful comments. The views expressed herein are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Bureau of Economic Research.