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Research Project

Reducing Commuting-Related Environmental Impacts in the Healthcare Sector: An Exploratory Study

With a focus on commuting patterns and negative impacts of single passenger driving, the research team aimed to examine and address the characteristics of the healthcare sector in the survey questions.

The objectives of this study were to better understand the commuting patterns of the workforce in healthcare institutions, explore the factors that impact commuting behavior and environmental impacts, identify opportunities for reducing transportation-related environmental impacts, and suggest policy interventions that aim to reduce transportation-related emissions inherent in health care provision

Principal Investigator
Ai, Ning
Research Area(s)
Data Development
Funding Source
Metropolitan Transportation Support Initiative (METSI)


The healthcare sector has been rapidly growing in terms of both workforce and infrastructure, which have direct impacts on energy consumption and air emissions. While the healthcare sector is uniquely positioned to lead the way in environmental sustainability, sustainable transportation programs have received inadequate attention. Challenges include the need to serve many different types of populations, accommodate patients, visitors and staff, and have staff with widely varying job descriptions and shifts, including overnight. The healthcare sector is uniquely positioned to connect transportation, environment, and health. Each month, about one-third of the U.S. population that has illness or injuries visits a physician’s office or other medical care providers. Increasing population, in company with associated demand for increasing healthcare workers and infrastructure, all contribute to transportation-related impacts on the environment as well as human health.  Download the "Reducing Commuting-Related Environmental Impacts in the Healthcare Sector: An Exploratory Study" report.