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Sustainable Transportation Strategies

As part of building a more sustainable transportation system, we have identified four primary Greenhouse Gas Reduction Strategies (pdf 330 kb).

  • 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.

- Chris Christopher, Maintenance and Operations Director
- Todd Harrison, Northwest Region, Assistant Regional Administrator
- Brian Lagerberg, Public Transportation Director 
- Brian Smith, Strategic Planning Director
- Megan White, Environmental Services Director

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 greenhouse gas reduction strategies

Estimated annual GHG Reduction (MTCO2e)

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

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 850,0000 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


Estimated annual GHG Reduction (MTCO2e)

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.