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Transportation Greenhouse Gas Emissions Baseline for the Detroit 2030 District

CSS Publication Number
Full Publication Date
April 2022

This report discusses the findings from the Detroit 2030 District Transportation Emissions Baseline Survey that was conducted in 2022. The goal of this survey was to collect data on people who commute into the Detroit 2030 District for work. Data on commute distance, mode(s) of travel, vehicle fuel type, and distance traveled were all collected and used to calculate a GHG emissions baseline in kg CO2e. This survey also considered the recent COVID-19 pandemic, and the implications this has had on work commuting patterns. Data were collected during both pre-COVID and post-COVID timeframes, and the results were compared. The survey also contained a policy questions section, in which commuter behavior was assessed based on potential policy implementation. Based on our calculation, the baseline emissions in the Detroit 2030 District were estimated to be 2,546 kg CO2e per commuter before the pandemic, and 1,368 kg CO2e per commuter after the pandemic. The baseline emissions for Bedrock were estimated to be 338 kg CO2e per commuter before the pandemic, and 619 kg CO2e per commuter after the pandemic. These values were calculated using emissions factors from the GREET 2021 model, in combination with the ASIF framework for emission calculation. Some conclusions can be drawn from this survey analysis. As the Detroit 2030 post-COVID emission baseline is lower than the pre-COVID baseline, we can determine that this is likely impacted by the increase in remote work. This is a potential tool to lower transportation emissions: 49% of respondents thought that formal or expanded work from home policies would likely change their commuting behavior. Other emission reduction policies that respondents selected as likely to change commuting behavior include a driving alone tax, and a subsidized company rideshare program. Detroit 2030 District building managers should consider these policies when aiming to reduce commuter emissions. 

Bita Davoodi
Robert Killeen
Katherine McMahon
Zhiang Zhang
Haodong Jiang
Publication Type
Master's Thesis
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Full Citation

Davoodi, Bita, Robert Killeen, Katherine McMahon, Zhiang Zhang, and Haodong Jiang (2022). Transportation Greenhouse Gas Emissions Baseline for the Detroit 2030 District. Masters Project. University of Michigan: Ann Arbor. CSS22-56