DRAFT Greenhouse Gas Emissions Savings Calculator

February 7th, 2014 Leave a comment Go to comments

CO2e = Carbon dioxide equivalent.

Note on GHG calculations: the tool uses the Google Directions API to route your trip using both automobile and transit. The Google Directions API response includes each step of the journey, including mode and distance. We apply standard rates of GHG emissions per mile to the different modes used. As an added bonus, if your transit trip includes walking, we toss in an estimate of the calories you burned too!

  1. Stephen
    October 30th, 2013 at 10:45 | #1

    Cool! Are you working on a way or does a way exist to input multiple origins and destinations simultaneously so that you could look at aggregate change for, say, commuters to a given company?

  2. Michael
    November 1st, 2013 at 14:22 | #2

    Thanks for the feedback, Stephen. We could investigate the ability to upload a list of addresses that would calculate GHG savings for all the employees if they were to drive vs. take transit to work. Would that be useful?

  3. January 3rd, 2014 at 13:53 | #3

    Nope. Got it wrong. My carbon footprint is ~0. I bike to work!

  4. Eliza
    January 3rd, 2014 at 13:56 | #4

    Neat tool. Is there any way to adjust the transit route to account for my actual route (which is not exactly what the google directions API spit out)? Instead of using the S2 bus line, which is more direct but requires a longer walk on my end and I avoid because it gets stuck in traffic, I tend to take the metro. On google maps itself I can choose my transit route out of several options, can that be added to this tool?

  5. Greenish
    January 3rd, 2014 at 17:01 | #5

    Thanks for an interesting & useful tool. I hope it motivates commuters and planners….

    Do the “standard rates of GHG emissions per mile” account for known occupancy factors on the transit lines? Every time I take the bus on the suggested route to work, it has <2 people on board. But I know others are probably more crowded than average.

  6. Paul
    January 8th, 2014 at 15:57 | #6

    According to the calculator, my commute produces 24% less emissions if I drive instead of taking Metrobus. This, I suspect, would be correct if I were the sole passenger and the bus would not run without me.

  7. Don Phillips
    February 7th, 2014 at 11:27 | #7

    Hi, I cant get this tool to work is there another link?

  8. Michael
    February 7th, 2014 at 11:40 | #8

    @Don Phillips
    Sorry, Don. There was a small problem with Internet Explorer. I fixed it.

  9. Don Phillips
    February 7th, 2014 at 11:45 | #9


  10. KathyH
    April 25th, 2014 at 07:43 | #10

    Interesting tool, but I’d be interested to know how you calculate the carbon footprint of the various modes of transportation. E.g., do you use the average car emissions for your calculations? A new car would have a smaller footprint than an older car; an electric car would (I think) have a smaller footprint than a gasoline powered car, etc. Does the bus calculation assume some number of riders? And similar issues apply to a bus as to a car.

  11. Dan
    May 1st, 2014 at 10:24 | #11

    The calculator uses the EPA average for passenger vehicle emissions. You are correct that this varies and is likely to decline with the increased use of hybrids, electric and stop-start vehicles. Bus emissions are based on an average across the Metro fleet per passenger mile.

  12. Mike
    October 16th, 2015 at 00:21 | #12

    Any plans to update this GHG calculator?

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