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Sustainable Transportation Strategies

  • Improve fuel - We support efforts to lower the carbon content of fuels and find alternative fuels.
  • Advance vehicle technology - We support improved vehicle technology leading to vehicles that run on energy sources other than petroleum and vehicles that get more miles and better efficiency from each gallon.
  • Support system efficiency - We operate our transportation system to maximize efficiency and improve traffic flow.
  • Increase travel options and reduce vehicle miles traveled - We support efficient transportation options like carpooling, vanpooling, working from home, taking transit, riding your bike, walking or shopping closer to home.

In addition to these four strategies, our sustainable transportation team recognizes the important connections between land use and transportation. We seek to leverage transportation investments to encourage land uses that are accessible to and promote a variety of travel modes.

We have developed an executive-level, cross-functional team to lead, enhance and coordinate efforts to address sustainable transportation and climate change.

This cross-divisional team is developing and employing effective, measurable and balanced emission reduction strategies that involves 17 different WSDOT programs and 14 focus areas.

Staff from each program are either directly responsible for or affected by the current sustainable transportation laws and are committed to our transportation vision of providing an integrated transportation system that is more reliable, responsible and sustainable.

WSDOT Greenhouse Gas Reduction Strategies

WSDOT identified strategies for meeting its 2020 reduction goal and prioritized them by achievability, initial cost and payback.

One strategy, for example, is fueling an increasing number state ferries with biodiesel. WSDOT closely monitors, tracks and reports progress toward our GHG reduction goals to the Department of Ecology. State law requires we submit reports every even numbered year.

Reducing GHG emissions in transportation is an agency-wide effort. From WSDOT's no-idling policy for vehicles and an emphasis on teleconferencing to our award-winning commute trip reduction (CTR) program, we are changing the way we do business for cleaner air and less emissions.

WSDOT’s plan is designed to conserve energy, fuels and funding while reducing greenhouse gas emissions by nearly 37,000 metric tons of MtCO2e over the next decade.

WSDOT measured greenhouse gas emissions from commuting and business travel throughout the agency’s entire workforce to fine tune reduction strategies, such as teleconferencing, carpooling and using public transportation. We reduce business travel and single-occupant commutes by encouraging videoconferencing, teleconferencing, webinars, ridesharing, teleworking and making compressed work schedules available to our employees. These are just a few of the solutions that are helping us reach our goal — solutions that make economic and environmental sense and help communities thrive. 

WSDOT fleet gas reduction strategies

Estimated annual GHG
Reduction (MTCO 2 e)
Increase vehicle fleet biodiesel use by 411,262 gallons in 2012 7,175 MTCO2e by 2013
Reduce gas consumption by 5% to save 78,790 gallons annually 692 MTCO2e by 2015
Reduce diesel consumption by 5% to save 108,227 gallons annually 2,395 MTCO2e by 2015
Replace 360 small sedans and small SUVs with hybrid or electric vehicles 1,714 MTCO2e by 2020
Reduce Jumbo Mark 11 ferry engines from three to two per ferry to save 460,000 gallons of diesel annually 4,622 MTCO2e - ongoing
Increase biodiesel use for ferries by 850,000 gallons 8,647 MTCO2e by 2015
Install positive restraint system at Edmonds/Kingston terminal to save 200,000 gallons of diesel annually 2,054 MTCO2e by 2020
Power two new Super Class vessels with liquefied natural gas 2,687 MTCO2e by 2020

Building Energy Use

Strategy Estimated annual GHG
Reduction (MTCO 2 e)
Desktop computer power savings policy (monitor shut down) 248 MTCO2e by 2017
Desktop computer reductions: Target = 254 computers 34 MTCO2e by 2015
Telework: 31% of eligible employees telework on average one day week 42 MTCO2e by 2015
Compressed work schedules: 95% eligible employees working
9/80s or 50% employees working 4/10s
120 MTCO2e 2015
Upgrade or replace interior light fixtures: Target = 13,000 fixtures, changing T12s to T8s 1,070 MTCO2e by 2019

For more information on vehicle emissions and air quality in Washington state visit the state Department of Ecology website .