2018 CEQ Annual Report

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Personal Impact

Driving and Riding               Compliance               Waste Diversion
Climate Changers               Electricity at Home & Work
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The transportation sector contributes 38 percent of Connecticut's economy-wide emissions, principally from the use of fossil fuels in passenger cars and light duty trucks.

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People got on the bus less often. 

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Top chart:  Driving a car, truck or sport utility vehicle is one of the most environmentally harmful activities a Connecticut resident will engage in personally. Impacts are direct (air pollution, oil leakage, etc.) and indirect (creating demand for new roads). In nearly every year for several decades, the average Connecticut resident drove more miles than in the previous year. That trend halted in 2008. The reasons for the decades of increasing vehicle use are complex and include the fact that most new development was accessible only by private vehicle. The drop in driving by Connecticut residents that began in 2008 mirrored the national trend. As residents drove less, gasoline consumption decreased and pollution was reduced. From 2007 through 2013, the miles driven by the average resident was on a steady decline. The slight increase in miles driven in 2014 also followed the national trend. Even as travel leveled off in 2016, gasoline consumption, which began to rise in 2014, continued to rise, apparently an effect of less efficient vehicles on the road. Gasoline and diesel consumption is displayed on the Climate Changers page.


Bottom Chart: In 2018, ridership on in-state local and commuter busses declined again, giving us our lowest ridership numbers since 2011. In late 2016, CTtransit fare prices were increased in eight transit service areas. The fare increase might not be the sole reason for the decline in ridership. Other factors that could include success in ride sharing efforts (see below) and gasoline prices that have stayed below the highs of some previous years. 

Using mass transit or ride-sharing are effective ways to avoid the negative environmental consequences of driving a car. The Department of Transportation's transit and ride-sharing website helps commuters find the best way to get to work or school and offers information & resources for travel options throughout Connecticut. Recent metrics from CTrides shows an increase in general program usage.

In 2015, new routes were added and CTfastrak service was launched on the Hartford to New Britain corridor, but total ridership remained about the same. Ridership data, collected by the Department of Transportation, are estimated for 2016 and 2017 and will be refined in future reports.

* Personal impact indicators illustrate trends in behavior or practices that can be expected to influence the condition of tomorrow's air, water, land and wildlife.