Climate Conversations S2E5: Transportation for Communities and a Healthy Planet

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This week, the Climate Conversations team are joined by Zak Accuardi, a Senior Program Analyst at TransitCenter, and former research fellow at Project Drawdown.

Zak explains how improvements to public transportation can reduce greenhouse gas emissions, while improving the lives of a community's disadvantaged people. Zak and the team explore some of the choices both travelers and urban land use planners need to make in promoting a healthy climate.

We also discuss Zak’s role in Project Drawdown, which identifies the 100 most impactful climate change solutions that we can access immediately, and ask Zak about its future.


Curt Newton's picture

One of Zak's TransitCenter

One of Zak's TransitCenter projects is in the news this week. StreetsBlog USA reports:

In this Gap Finder map, the red areas mark parts of Miami where transit demand is high but service is underwhelming. 

Where should your city aim to add transit service? The places where more buses and trains will be most useful are areas where lots of people live or work, but there’s not enough service to meet the demand.

new data tool from the Center for Neighborhood Technology helps pinpoint these locations in cities around the U.S. The “Gap Finder” — an extension of CNT’s All Transit database — overlays demographic data and transit schedule information on maps that highlight where more people would ride transit if service levels were higher.

The transit gaps mapped by CNT are not to be confused with “transit deserts” — areas with no transit at all. Areas with some transit service may still not have nearly enough to adequately serve the people who live or work there, while areas without any service may be so spread out that fixed-route transit won’t do much good.

“The goal is to understand where transit need is being met” and where it’s not [as shown in red on the map], said Zak Accuardi of TransitCenter, which funded CNT’s work.

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Dave Finnigan's picture

Zak - Please look to the

Zak - Please look to the future and consider, which is a solar powered transit system invented at MIT that gets us up off the streets.

 It will be incredibly safe compared to surface transportation and is carbon free, easy to use, affordable, using individual overhead vehicles suspended under a rail that gets its power from the sun.  You move rapidly from your origin to your destination without intermediate stations.  This can become the system of choice in societies that have been dependent on rail, and have not yet invested in automobiles on roads.  In cities that are already clogged it can get travellers up above the traffic moving swiftly along.  Please look at it, think about it and get in touch with Mike Stanley, President, Transit X.