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Transportation

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A pathway to carbon neutral transportation in Metro Vancouver​

​​As Metro Vancouver’s largest source of greenhouse gases, transportation offers our region its best opportunity to drastically reduce emissions.

Transitioning to electric vehicles, embracing active transportation and public transit, and moving toward cleaner ways to power our trucks, ships, trains, and planes will go a long way toward shaping Metro Vancouver’s low carbon future.

Looking for more de​tail on our transportation-related strategies?

Download the ​Climate 2050 Transportation Roadmap

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​​We envision emission-free transportation​​

By 2050, our everyday movement around Metro Vancouver will be emission-free. Cars will be powered by clean electricity, while large trucks, trains, ships, and planes will use biofuels and low- or zero-emission engines. More residents will live in walkable, bikeable, well-connected, compact communities, and everyone will have access to reliable public transit. In addition, our transportation infrastructure – from sidewalks, bike lanes, and SkyTrain lines to roads, bridges, and ports – will be ready to withstand the effects of our already-changing climate.

Most cars are driven for ten years or more, and the engines in larger vehicles last even longer. So the decisions we make now will determine our emissions well into the future.




Our commitment: A region that is both carbon-neutral and resilient to the changing climate by 2050.

Today, 40% of our region’s emissions come from transportation

Transportation is key to our region’s fight against climate change. In fact, the movement of people and goods – whether by car, truck, train, plane, or boat – is the largest source of greenhouse gases in Metro Vancouver. The contributor of more than 85% of these transportation-related emissions? The fossil fuels we use to drive our 1.5 million cars and 40,000 trucks.

To ach​​ieve our target of emission-free transportation – and eliminate 30% of the region’s overall emissions – we need to shift away from fossil fuels to electric​ or hydrogen-powered vehicles.​

 

 

Energy Use Graphhttps://metrovancouver.org/services/air-quality-climate-action/PublishingImages/_t/energy-use-graph_png.jpgEnergy Use Graph
Transportation Emissions Graphhttps://metrovancouver.org/services/air-quality-climate-action/PublishingImages/_t/transportation-emissions-graph_png.jpgTransportation Emissions Graph

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Addressing climage change is a 2-part process


Reducing greenhouse gases with zero-emission vehicles

Reducing greenhouse gases with zero-emission vehicles.

Adapting to the irreversible effects of climate change with a more resilient transportation network.

Adapting to the irreversible effects of climate change with a more resilient transportation network.


Expected climate change impacts​

Expected Climate Change Impacts

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Our goals: emission-free transportation and resilient infrastructure by 2050

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GOAL 1: By 2050, all personal travel within the region will be emission-free.GOAL 1: By 2050, all personal travel within the region will be emission-free.<div class="ExternalClassB6447FFBF6414441954EB5DB5DDC3684"><p><strong>​Our target for 2030:   </strong>   </p><ul><li>x tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions annually</li><li>65% reduction relative to 2010 levels</li></ul><p><strong>Our target for 2050:</strong> <br></p><ul><li> 0 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions annually</li><li>All passenger vehicles are zero-emission and powered by clean, renewable electricity or hydrogen​</li></ul><div class="uk-panel">Electric vehicle and charging technologies are advancing quickly: costs are going down, driving ranges are getting longer, and charging is getting faster. ​​<br></div></div>
GOAL 2: By 2050, all medium- and heavy-duty trucks and trains operating in the region will be emission-free.GOAL 2: By 2050, all medium- and heavy-duty trucks and trains operating in the region will be emission-free.<div class="ExternalClassF0FB866812E445519DEF9FCE7F32FFC8"><strong>​Our target for 2030:   </strong>    <br><ul><li>x tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions annually</li><li>35% reduction relative to 2010 levels</li></ul><strong>Our target for 2050:</strong><br><ul><li>0 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions annually</li><li>All medium-duty trucks are zero-emission and powered by clean, renewable electricity or hydrogen</li><li>All heavy-duty trucks and trains use either zero-emission technologies or biofuels<br></li></ul></div>
GOAL 3: By 2050, all air and marine vessels operating in the region will use low- or zero-emission technologies powered by clean, renewable energy.GOAL 3: By 2050, all air and marine vessels operating in the region will use low- or zero-emission technologies powered by clean, renewable energy.<div class="ExternalClass0A2C24F63E4742F5899B03B560965889"><p><strong>​Our target for 2030:</strong>      </p><ul><li>x tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions annually</li><li>35% reduction relative to 2010 levels</li></ul><p><strong>Our target for 2050:</strong> <br><ul><li>x tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions annually</li><li>75% reduction relative to 2010 levels<br></li></ul></p></div>
GOAL 4: By 2050, the regional transportation system will be resilient to the impacts of climate change.GOAL 4: By 2050, the regional transportation system will be resilient to the impacts of climate change.<div class="ExternalClass6DAB2792EAB64FC4ABAC7FCAFED223CD"><p><strong>​​Our target for 2030: </strong>     </p><ul><li>All new transportation infrastructure is resilient to climate change</li><li>All new major infrastructure projects are positioned outside of areas with known, unmitigated climate hazards<br></li></ul><strong>Our target for 2050:</strong><br><ul><li>All transportation networks and infrastructure are resilient to climate change​</li></ul></div>

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​These 6 strategies are helping us reach our goals:

 

 

1. Reducing driving through active transportation and public transit. 1. Reducing driving through active transportation and public transit. <div class="ExternalClass6E03449C3F7E49E0BBD6AD2ED7E73D41"><p>​Potential reduction in greenhouse gases each year:<br></p><p></p><ul><li>By 2030: 280,000 tonnes</li><li>By 2050: 170,000 tonnes​<br></li></ul><p></p><p>We're enhancing and improving regional transit by calling for increased frequency in key areas and for the transition to clean, renewable energy. And we're advocating for the expansion of regional active transportation networks that include walking paths, greenways, separated bike lanes, and end-of-trip facilities. <br></p></div>
2. Accelerating the transition of the passenger vehicle fleet to electric vehicles.2. Accelerating the transition of the passenger vehicle fleet to electric vehicles.<div class="ExternalClass10926A0A410E4C9BB9B4FA240FBA5B17"><p>​Potential reduction in greenhouse gases each year:<br></p><ul><li>By 2030: 710,000 tonnes</li><li>By 2050: 520,000 tonnes​<br></li></ul><p> We already successfully advocated for the acceleration of sales targets for electric vehicles – now set to account for 100% of new-vehicle purchases by 2035. And we're exploring regional policies for passenger vehicles, like low- or zero-emission zones, that could reduce emissions even further. In addition, we're making electric vehicles more affordable by encouraging continued government incentives, loans, and tax credits for low- and middle-income residents.<br></p></div>
3. Reducing heavy truck emissions and supporting early adoption of zero-emission heavy trucks.3. Reducing heavy truck emissions and supporting early adoption of zero-emission heavy trucks.<div class="ExternalClassA55FEDB0A33E4E8A954AAD097B256F7E"><p>​Potential reduction in greenhouse gases each year:</p><ul><li>By 2030: 170,000 tonnes<br></li><li>By 2050: 810,000 tonnes​<br></li></ul><p>We're advocating for mandatory new-vehicle sales targets that will require all new medium- and heavy-duty trucks to be zero-emission. And we're encouraging more stringent low-carbon fuel standards to reduce the carbon intensity of transportation fuels.​<br></p></div>
4. Reducing marine, rail and aviation emissions.4. Reducing marine, rail and aviation emissions.<div class="ExternalClass51DB8B5660FF44FD8D5C0E60EE466A46"><p>​Potential reduction in greenhouse gases each year:</p><ul><li>By 2030: 250,000 tonnes​<br></li><li>By 2050: 860,000 tonnes​<br></li></ul><p>We're accelerating emission reductions from marine vessels by advocating for cleaner engines, renewable fuels and shore power, and – by 2050 – a fully carbon-neutral marine sector. We're also promoting emissions reductions from rail transport by advocating for cleaner locomotives in the short term and, ultimately, a fully carbon-neutral rail sector. And we're supporting a carbon-neutral aviation sector by endorsing a long-term strategy that includes more stringent fuel-economy and emission standards for aircraft.<br></p></div>
5. Protecting existing transportation networks from future climate impacts. 5. Protecting existing transportation networks from future climate impacts. <div class="ExternalClass71201B8AE33740E5B0E50F962E0C259E"><p>​We're supporting regional emergency management planning by working collaboratively with key partners to develop and share information related to hazard and risk, and explore resilience policy outcomes that are mutually supportive.<br></p></div>
6. Developing climate-resilient transportation networks. 6. Developing climate-resilient transportation networks. <div class="ExternalClass55DADAABB7E24ADEB918C50E328FD4E8"><p>​We're minimizing risk exposure for new transportation infrastructure by advocating for projects to be located outside of areas vulnerable to flooding, sea level rise, and other known hazards. And we're working with regional partners to create flexible transportation networks to ensure that residents have multiple active transportation and transit options in the event of a climate-related disruption.​<br></p></div>


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Thinking beyond t​he region

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Metro Vancouver is a key transport hub. So meeting our goals means ensuring the resilience of our ports, airports, highways, and rail lines, and reducing the emissions that come from the ships, planes, trucks, and trains that move in and ou​t of the region. Despite the challenges – like the lack of affordable zero-emission technologies for large vessels and the need for national and international co-operation – we’re making inroads. The Vancouver Fraser Port Authority, for example, is working to reduce shipping-related pollution, while the Vancouver International Airport Authority is electrifying airport operations. At the same time, Harbour Air has introduced the world’s first 100% electric commercial plane, and BC Ferries operates several hybrid ships, ready to run fully electric once on-shore charging stations are in place.

​​ Goods Movement​  

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Real-life solutions that work


Intentional land use
Intentional land use

By shaping our neighbourhoods into complete, compact communities and developing a reliable transit network to connect key destinations, we can make walking and cycling more appealing, car trips more efficient, and public transportation more convenient. And by positioning new infrastructure (like transit routes, terminals, and bike lanes) outside of areas susceptible to flooding and other hazards, we’ll better withstand the effects of the changing climate.

Zero-emission vehicles
Zero-emission vehicles

Because electricity in British Columbia is largely generated by hydropower, it offers a renewable and emission-free way to fuel our region’s cars. For large trucks, ships, trains, and aircraft – where heavier loads, longer distances, and higher costs make electrification more challenging – zero-emission “green” hydrogen technologies are emerging. In the meantime, low-carbon, plant-based biofuels – including vegetable oil-based biodiesel, corn- and sugar cane-based ethanol, and renewable natural gas made from decomposing waste – provide a short-term solution.

​​​​​What ca​​​​n I do?​


While reaching our goals will require a number of large, structural changes, there are also things that we can do on an individual level every day. Most importantly, use less gas – whether that means walking more, tuning up your old bike, taking the bus, or ride sharing.

Ready to make a bigger move? If you’re able to switch to a plug-in electric hybrid, you’ll drastically reduce your fossil fuel consumption; upgrade to a fully electric vehicle and you’ll completely eliminate your car’s emissions.

Better transportation choices


Today, more than 70% of all trips in the region are made by car – usually with a single occupant.

Emission-free transportation benefits everyone

We know that implementing the necessary changes will require determination, financial investment, collaboration, and a focus on social equity. But we’re committed to ensuring that the results will benefit us all.

By transitioning to zero-emission vehicles, we’ll dramatically reduce our region’s contribution to climate change and improve our air quality. Individually, we’ll each see the cost savings and improved health that walking, cycling and riding transit will bring. At the same time, creating a transportation system that’s more resilient to the impacts of climate change will be a big boost to the economy, creating thousands of jobs.​

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Metro Vancouver’s Climate 2050 strategy brings local context to the United Nations’ Sustainable Development goals, which are intended to meet the needs of the present without compromising those of future generations. Our Transportation Roadmap aligns with the UN’s 11th goal, aimed at making all human settlements inclusive, safe, resilient,​ and sustainable.

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​Transportation is one of Metro Vancouver’s ten Climate 2050 priorities​

 

 

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