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Three Revolutions in Urban Passenger Travel



Sustainable Transportation Energy Pathways (STEPS)

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Suggested Citation:
Fulton, Lewis and Junia Compostella (2018) Three Revolutions in Urban Passenger Travel. Oxford Energy Forum 112 (March 2018), 52 - 54

Three revolutions are underway in urban transportation around the world: vehicle electrification, automation, and shared (on-demand) mobility. We do not yet know the manner in which each of these will unfold or how they may interact; the way in which these changes take place will have major implications for cities over the coming decades. Our modelling work suggests a wide range of possible impacts, and a strong need to pursue policies that move these revolutions in sustainable, societally optimal directions. This generally means reducing the numbers of vehicles on the roads, and parked, as well as dramatically cutting energy use and CO2 emissions. To do this it seems likely that we will need to dramatically increase the extent to which rides are shared, public transit is expanded and used intensively, and active modes (walking/cycling) increase their share of trips. The effects of achieving these conditions under a three revolutions future was the focus of recent research at the University of California, Davis. This commentary summarizes and extends this work.