Vehicles produce almost a quarter of the District’s annual greenhouse gas emissions, making the transportation sector an important target in its efforts to achieve the District’s target of carbon neutrality. The District plans designed to reduce vehicle energy use and GHG emissions while also achieving broader transportation goals, like improved accessibility, more reliability, better health outcomes and greater equity. This page provides more information on these programs; links to resources for residents and businesses; and a list of relevant reports and plans.
Electric and zero-emissions vehicles
In addition to mode shifting, electric vehicles and zero-emissions vehicles will play an important role in reducing transportation-related GHG emissions. Recognizing this, the city approved new vehicle electrification mandates and incentive programs in the Clean Energy DC Act. Among other things, the law calls for at least 25 % of vehicle registrations be zero-emissions by 2035; and, by 2030, 50% of public buses, passenger- and light-duty vehicles associated with privately-owned fleets with a capacity of 50 or more passengers or light-duty vehicles licensed to operate by the District of Columbia, commercial motor carriers, limousine-service vehicles, and taxis certified to operate by the District of Columbia shall be low-or-zero-emission vehicles. To help reach this goal, DOEE is leading the development of an electrification roadmap, which will be released in the summer of 2021 (as required by the act). However, resources are available today to help residents and businesses make the switch to clean, electric vehicles.
Mode shifting: Prioritizing walking, biking and transit of single occupancy driving
Shifting our transportation system away from single occupancy vehicle trips towards walking, biking and using public transit is the best way to reduce our energy use in the transportation sector. And while the city is making progress, many challenges remain—including funding, safety, accessibility, equity—to achieving the city’s mode shift goals. Both the Sustainable DC (link to new SDC website transportation page) and the comprehensive transportation plan, MoveDC, provide a roadmap for how the city can meet overcome these barriers and meet its targets.
Resources for residents and businesses:
- goDCgo, a DDOT initiative that provides complimentary transit resources and consulting services to DC organizations and commuters.
- Capital BikeShare and Capital BikeShare for All
- DDOT’s bicycle and pedestrian resources
- Pop-up Bike Shops
The District government has a major role to play in reducing its transportation emissions, both in developing the infrastructure and policies to support the transition, and by leading by example.
One areas where the District has lead by example is electrifying it’s public bus fleet. The Circulator, a public transportation bus system that provides almost five million trips a year, already supports a fleet of 14 fully electric vehicles, one of the largest on the East Coast.
In addition to its buses, the Department of Public Works has transitioned about 10% of municipal vehicles to electric or plug-in hybrids. DPW only procures hybrid and electric vehicles without a special exemption, and the fleet will continue this trend as old cars are replaced according to a vehicle replacement schedule.