Eco-Driving for Transit Vehicles

Hard acceleration activity and moderate acceleration activity at high speed significantly impact power demand, fuel consumption, and vehicle emissions.  Slower acceleration from the stop bar at an intersection coupled with anticipatory deceleration without braking at the next signal provides a smooth flow that significantly reduces fuel consumption and emissions.  Driver training and electronic intervention can be used to reduce bus idle time, limit hard acceleration activity, and limit top freeway speeds to reduce transit vehicle energy consumption and emissions.  This study quantified a 4% potential fuel savings for MARTA and GRTA that can be realized through eco-driver driver training, without impeding bus schedules.

The research team used second-by-second data collected from MARTA buses, GRTA Express buses, and Cobb County School Buses in concert with the FTA Transit Fuel and Emissions Calculator (FEC) to assess the potential impacts of driver behavior and technology intervention on fuel consumption and emissions.  The team recently completed a similar assessment for rural transit routes in North Carolina that will be submitted to the Transportation Research Record journal.  The team is now ready to monitor transit vehicle use, implement ecodriver training with volunteer drivers, and quantify energy and emissions benefits.

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