Reports on Transportation

The reports below represent a sample of Frontier Group’s work on Transportation. For more of our reports on this and related topics, please visit Full archive coming soon.

Destination: Zero Carbon: Three Strategies to Transform Transportation in America
Destination Zero Carbon cover

In the U.S., transportation is climate enemy number one. America’s transportation system produces more greenhouse gas emissions than any other sector of our economy and, on its own, is responsible for 4 percent of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions – more than the entire economies of France and the United Kingdom combined. Destination: Zero Carbon describes the factors underlying America's high transportation emissions, and proposes three goals that can create a path to a clean, efficient, and sustainable transportation future.

(February 2020)
Electric Buses in America: Lessons from Cities Pioneering Clean Transportation

Electric buses deliver important health and environmental benefits. Early adopters, however, have had to overcome technological and economic hurdles. Case studies from six electric bus programs provide lessons that can help states, cities, towns and school districts deliver a cleaner, healthier future.

(October 2019)
Growing Greener: The Environmental Benefits of a Compact and Connected Boulder

Boulder, Colorado is an environmentally conscious city with a problem: The city's lack of housing has contributed to most of its workforce living in surrounding, sometimes sprawling communities. This forces thousands of people into long car commutes that exacerbate global warming and air pollution. By enabling compact development, Boulder can create neighborhoods where homes, jobs, and recreational opportunities co-exist. Doing so will enable residents to walk, bike and take transit to where they are going - helping Boulder bolster its environmental and climate leadership.

(August 2019)
Highway Boondoggles 5: Big Projects. Bigger Price Tags. Limited Benefits.

Year after year, state and local governments propose billions of dollars’ worth of new and expanded highways that often do little to reduce congestion or address real transportation challenges, while diverting scarce funding from infrastructure repairs and key transportation priorities. The fifth edition of Highway Boondoggles finds nine new budget-eating highway projects, slated to cost a total of $25 billion, that will harm communities and the environment while likely failing to achieve meaningful transportation goals.

(June 2019)
Blueprint for Tomorrow: Strengthening American Infrastructure for Healthier and More Sustainable Communities

Infrastructure is at the heart of America's greatest challenges. From ensuring safe drinking water for all Americans to addressing global warming, which threatens to change life as we know it, the nation's infrastructure policy is an opportunity to undertake the challenge of building a better world. As the national debate around infrastructure continues, federal decision makers should prioritize public health, the preservation of a livable climate, and the quality of life in our communities by focusing on five key areas - energy, water, solid waste, transportation and preserving our natural infrastructure.

(May 2019)
Ready to Charge: Five Ways California Can Improve Charging to Unleash the Power of Electric Cars

Electric vehicles are an important tool for combatting global warming, and in order for California to meet its ambitious climate goals, many more Californians will need to choose EVs over gasoline-powered cars. Unfortunately, the day-to-day experience of EV drivers seeking to charge their vehicles has a long way to go to match the ease and convenience of refueling a gasoline-powered car – especially when it comes to public charging. California needs to support and require the installation of charging stations that are easy to use. 

(April 2019)
Driving Into Debt: The Hidden Costs of Risky Auto Loans to Consumers and Our Communities

In much of America, owning a car is the price of admission to society. Owning a car is also expensive, and drives millions of households to take on debt. Americans currently owe more for their cars than ever before, leaving millions of Americans financially vulnerable – especially in the event of an economic downturn. The rise in auto debt since the Great Recession has implications not only for consumers who take out car loans, but for the economy and transportation system as a whole.

(February 2019)
The Road to Clean Transportation: A Bold, Broad Strategy to Cut Pollution and Reduce Carbon Emissions in the Midwest

By transforming our vehicles, rethinking the design of our cities and towns, maximizing the benefits of new technologies, and doubling down on proven strategies like public transit, the Midwest can ensure that the transportation system we pass on to our children is clean, resilient, equitable and accessible to all. 

(August 2018)
Highway Boondoggles 4: Big Projects. Bigger Price Tags. Limited Benefits.

America’s infrastructure is in rough shape. Many of our roads, bridges and transit systems are aging and in need of repair. Yet, year after year, state and local governments propose billions of dollars’ worth of new and expanded highways that often do little to reduce congestion or address real transportation challenges.  Nine proposed highway expansion projects across the country – slated to cost $30 billion – exemplify the need for a fresh approach to transportation planning and spending. 

(June 2018)
Electric Buses: Clean Transportation for Healthier Neighborhoods and Cleaner Air

All-electric buses are here, and they’re cleaner, healthier and often cheaper for transit agencies, school districts and bus contractors to run in the long-term. To clear our air and protect our health, policymakers should accelerate the replacement of diesel and other fossil fuel-powered buses with clean, electric buses.

(May 2018)
Plugging In: Readying America’s Cities for the Arrival of Electric Vehicles

With more EVs on the road, and many more coming soon, cities will face the challenge of where electric vehicles will charge, particularly in city centers and neighborhoods without off-street residential parking. The good news is that smart public policies, including those already pioneered in cities nationally and internationally, can help U.S. cities lead the electric vehicle revolution while expanding access to clean transportation options for those who live, work and play in cities.

(February 2018)
Road to a Fossil Free Washington: How Electric Vehicles and Renewable Energy Can Repower Washington State

Today, Washington’s transportation system is powered almost entirely by fossil fuels, a dependence that pollutes the air and water, and contributes to global warming. Road to a Fossil Free Future finds that Washington has the wind and solar resources to meet all of its energy needs - while also powering an electrified, emission-free transportation system in which Washington's existing vehicle fleet is fully replaced with electric cars, trucks and buses. 

(February 2018)
Who Pays for Parking?: How Federal Tax Subsidies Jam More Cars into Congested Cities, and How Cities Can Reclaim Their Streets

The United States currently spends $7.3 billion per year to encourage people to drive to work through the federal income tax exclusion for  commuter parking. The “commuter parking benefit” puts more cars on the road in our most congested cities at the most congested times of day––exactly the opposite of what most cities want or need. Who Pays for Parking? documents the cost of the commuter parking for cities and highlights tools cities can use to reclaim their streets.

(September 2017)
Complete Streets for St. Pete: Building a Healthier, Safer City through Better Street Design

Complete Streets – streets designed for all road users, including people on foot, on bike or taking transit – can help address transportation and public health problems in St. Petersburg.

(May 2017)
Highway Boondoggles 3: Big Projects. Bigger Price Tags. Limited Benefits.

America spends tens of billions of dollars each year on wasteful highway projects that are unnecessary or damaging to our communities - even as crying needs for road maintenance and better transportation options go unmet. Highway Boondoggles 3 examines nine dubious highway projects from around the country, costing more than $10 billion, that will do little to address real transportation needs.

(April 2017)