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Study on the Effect of Passive School Transport and In-cabin Ventilation Modes on Students’ Pollutant Exposure

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Monday, February 12, 2024, 3 pm

This is a past event.

Environmental Engineering Graduate Seminar

Dr. Sandeep Chaudhry, Post-doc, CEGE Dept., MTU


The unprecedented rise in school transport and students’ associated trips have resulted in congested traffic flow and prolonged travel duration. Nowadays, school transport is considered an integral part of urban traffic and significantly contributes to overall vehicle kilometers traveled, emissions and number of trips. School transport stresses the normal traffic fleet by generating bottleneck situations with frequent stop-and-go vehicular movements. The low-speed traffic stream causes more emissions and generates high pollutant-concentration zones near road networks. The elevated pollutant levels affect roadside microenvironments (MEs) that increase commuters’ exposure to air pollutants while commuting. The intrusion of outside air into vehicles through ventilation settings or cabin openings into dilute in-cabin MEs brings outdoor pollutants.
Student travel patterns and school transport preferences are affected by several environmental and social variables. This study considered these variables and ranked school transport modes. The determinants (gender, distance to school, class level and socio-economic status) identified as factors that affect preferences for school travel mode were included in a questionnaire. The International Vehicle Emission (IVE) model was used to estimate emission factors (EFs) for school transport and the normal traffic fleet. Two proposed policies (neighborhood-school-only, increased walkability) were modeled to evaluated their impact on exposure and major sources of pollutants. This talk will summarize results of this modeling study which identified expected changes in emissions and exposure, the dominant sources of pollutants, and the seasonality of emissions.


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