New research released today from the University of Ontario Institute of Technology (UOIT) in Oshawa suggests Ontario can save billions of dollars in fuel costs and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by over 100 million tonnes by 2050 if it can address long overdue transportation issues and implement solutions that include increased reliance on natural gas- and electric-powered vehicles.
The study, which focuses on the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) and the Highway 401-407 corridor, takes into account that traffic congestion is already costing Torontonians approximately $6 billion per year due to higher fuel consumption, increased health-care costs and eroded real estate values. By exploring alternative transportation options such as the expansion of natural gas and electric vehicles, especially for heavy-duty trucking fleets, as well as the introduction of a Highway 401/407 rapid transit system throughout the GTA and southwestern Ontario, considerable benefits emerge for both Ontario’s environment and economy.
“The transportation sector is the number one contributor to greenhouse gas emissions in Ontario,” says Bob Betts, spokesperson for the Ontario Natural Gas Alliance. “And with major events such as the Pan Am Games magnifying congestion issues, tackling this problem head on has become a clear priority.”
Led by UOIT professor Dr. Daniel Hoornweg, the study was prepared as part of ongoing transportation work through the university’s Jeffrey S. Boyce Research Chair in Natural Gas as a Transportation Fuel. The research takes an integrated retrospective view from 2050, and concludes that a long-term approach focusing on clean and affordable solutions is feasible with the use of electric-powered personal vehicles and natural gas-powered buses and heavy-duty trucks. “A large-scale transportation initiative emphasizing mobility, connectivity, integration and leadership is important for Ontario and Canada,” says Dr. Hoornweg.
For a downloadable copy of the full study (in three parts) click on the links below.