Celebrating Five Years of Success Through the Transportation and Climate Initiative

June 9, 2015

Five years ago, 11 northeast and mid-Atlantic states and the District of Columbia launched the Transportation and Climate Initiative (TCI) to develop the clean energy economy and reduce energy use and emissions from the transportation sector.

The initiative is facilitated by the Georgetown Climate Center and led by state transportation, environment, and energy officials in TCI jurisdictions, who gathered this week to celebrate the Initiative’s success during the Northeast Association of State Transportation Officials conference in Wilmington, Delaware.

So far, TCI has already resulted in the following accomplishments:

  • Launched the Northeast Electric Vehicle Network.
    • Public electric vehicle (EV) charging stations in the region have grown by 190% in the past three years, with more than 1,700 public stations now available.
    • The number of EVs in the region have also increased 30-fold. 
    • With the help of a $1 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy, TCI worked with 16 Clean Cities Coalitions to produce and distribute 14 documents to help northeast communities become more EV ready.
    • We have continued to develop legal and policy reports to support the deployment of EVs throughout the region, including a recent assessment of potential sources of funds for state EV programs and best practices of state programs.
  • Helped end the threat of lawsuits facing public agencies that used real-time travel information to inform commuters about their next bus or train.
    • Through the Georgetown Climate Center, TCI coordinated resources and brought together groups like American Public Transit Association and the federal DOT, resulting in a legal settlement by Arrival Star, which agreed to stop suing public transit agencies over the rights to this critical information.
  •  Supported the development of sustainable communities.
    • The Georgetown Climate Center produced a detailed summary of actions TCI jurisdictions are taking to achieve sustainable community outcomes, how their legal frameworks govern land use and transportation policies, and notable programs and policies to help states learn from each other.
    • With support from Rutgers University, TCI also produced scoping papers to help states assess their progress in developing sustainable communities, including papers on the health benefits of transportation emission reductions, accessibility to transit and amenities, and travel mode share.
  • Conducted research to better understand freight flows in the region and set the stage for additional work on reducing carbon pollution from goods movement.
     
  • Following a request by TCI leadership to consider developing a regional goal to reduce carbon pollution and increase the use of clean energy in the transportation sector, the Georgetown Climate Center and Cambridge Systematics have prepared an analysis exploring the potential for regional action to achieve such a goal.  The analysis is anticipated to be released in late summer.

During the discussion in Wilmington, James Redeker, the Connecticut Commissioner of Transportation, stressed the important role TCI has played in recent years. "TCI has evidenced the benefits of regional collaboration, providing important continuity and resources to the states' work to address climate change in the transportation sector," he said.

Sue Minter, secretary of the Vermont Agency of Transportation, also discussed how TCI and the Georgetown Climate Center provided important support to her state in the wake of Hurricane Irene and in Vermont's engagement in President Barack Obama's State, Local, and Tribal Leaders Task Force On Climate Preparedness and Resilience.

Work of the Transportation and Climate Initiative is made possible with foundation support, including support from the Rockefeller Brothers Fund, John Merck Fund, Barr Foundation, Oak Foundation, Surdna Foundation, Emily Hall Tremaine Foundation, New York Community Trust, and Town Creek Foundation.