Incorporating Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Fuel Consumption Measures into the Texas Transportation Institute’s Urban Mobility Report

Quarterly Reports Other Documents Final Report
December 2011
March 2012
June 2012
September 2012
Urban Mobility Report
Greenhouse Gas and Urban Congestion
Research Brief
Final Report

Primary Investigator

Paul Meier
UW-Madison Energy Institute
905 Engineering Research Building
1500 Engineering Drive
Madison, WI, 53706
Tel: (608) 262-4515


Researchers will review literature on available techniques for GHG emissions and fuel consumption modeling. Researchers will evaluate the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) MOtor Vehicle Emission Simulator (MOVES) model and its predecessor, EPA’s MOBILE6 Vehicle Emission Modeling Software (MOBILE6), and develop a methodology to apply GHG emission and perhaps fuel-consumption factors by vehicle type (heavy-duty trucks, light-duty trucks, passenger cars) to the congestion statistics of the UMR. The methodology development will identify how to determine vehicle characteristics and driving conditions to replicate the procedures in all 100+ metropolitan urban areas in the UMR. Researchers will also perform tasks to compare the model results with local models and available documentation to verify the results. By reviewing available documentation, researchers will also better understand how the results will be used in the transportation profession for decision-making and by the media, which is important given the heavily-cited nature of the UMR.


The objectives of this research are to create and test a methodology to incorporate greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions into the 2011 Urban Mobility Report (UMR) and to update and test a methodology for fuel consumption into the 2011 UMR. Both the GHG emissions and fuel consumption methodologies will be created for passenger cars and freight (trucks). Both light-duty trucks and heavy-duty trucks will likely be included. The methodology will be applied for all 100+ urban metropolitan areas that are extensively studied in the congestion statistics of the UMR. The work proposed here will provide improved statistics disaggregated by passenger car and trucks in the 2011 UMR to better inform decision-making based on the environmental impacts of congestion. This work is an extension to current work between staff from the Center for Freight and Infrastructure Research Education (CFIRE) and TTI that incorporated freight value into the 2010 UMR by creating new truck-based measures.


  1. Perform Literature Review
  2. Communication of GHG and Fuel Consumption Results to Stakeholders
  3. Develop Method(s) for Inclusion of GHG and Fuel Consumption into the UMR
  4. Analyze Metropolitan Areas with Method(s) Identified in Task 3
  5. Compare Method(s) Results to Local Models and Available Documentation
  6. Develop Final Report

Project Information

  • Duration: 12 months
  • Dates: July 1, 2011 – June 30, 2012
  • Budget: $124,000 (with $44,000 in matching funds)
  • Student Involvement: Two undergraduate students
  • Modal Orientation: Highway
  • Project ID: CFIRE 05-16
Print Friendly