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American Public Transportation Association

 Sustainability

The principles of sustainability have been gaining ground in the public transportation industry. Sustainability, at its core, is a way to make our communities more livable by integrating and balancing economic, social and environmental needs.

What Is Sustainability?

Sustainability is about practices that make good business sense and good environmental sense. It is balancing the economic, social and environmental needs of a community. For the public transportation industry, this means:

  • Employing practices in design and capital construction, such as using sustainable building materials, recycled materials, and solar and other renewable energy sources to make facilities as 'green' as possible.
  • Employing practices in operations and maintenance such as reducing hazardous waste, increasing fuel efficiency, creating more efficient lighting and using energy-efficient propulsion systems.
  • Employing community-based strategies to encourage land use and transit-oriented development designed to increase public transit ridership.

APTA Sustainability Commitment

Sustainability Commitment BannerAPTA members who sign on commit to a core set of actions on sustainability.

APTA members can also obtain further recognition for their actions by signing on to the higher levels of the commitment.   

How to Participate

To sign the APTA Sustainability Commitment, please complete the signatory application form.

For reporting progress or applying for higher recognition, you may use the following template as a transit agency or business member. If you have already signed the commitment, but would like to apply for a higher recognition level, please complete the recognition application form.

APTA members who have signed the Sustainability Commitment can access the Sustainability Commitment Forum to participate in discussion pertaining to implementation of the commitment.

International Association of Public Transport (UITP)

APTA has also signed on to UITP's Charter on Sustainable Development.

APTA Sustainability Workshop

APTA's Sustainability & Public Transportation Workshop, held each year in late July or early August, features cutting-edge speakers and break-out groups presenting environmentally/energy efficient, economically sound and socially responsible developments and practices to advance public transportation’s role in sustainability.

The workshop is targeted toward general managers and senior staff likely to implement sustainability in transit agencies, suppliers and consultants, and other supportive public agencies and interest groups.

2013 Workshop

  • Westin St. Francis - San Francisco, CA
  • July 28-30
  • Visit the conference site for more information on registration, hotel reservations, and sponsorships.

Previous Workshops

APTA Standards and Resources

APTA has recently published the following sustainability standards and resources:

Transit-Oriented Development (TOD) Modules

These training modules were presented at various APTA conferences by Reconnecting America staff.

Additional Sustainability Resources

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