This study reaffirms what city planners have begun to figure out on their own. If we really want to "green" our communities, public transit has to be one of the top items on the "to do" list.
Excerpt: EPA, in partnership with the Jonathan Rose Companies, has analyzed the energy use associated with a range of development approaches. The study, Location Efficiency and Housing Type – Boiling it Down to BTUs (PDF) (17 pp, 95K, About PDF), contrasts development in conventional, automobile-dependent locations with more location-efficient2, transit-oriented locations; multifamily housing construction with single-family detached and attached houses; and conventional cars and homes with their energy-efficient counterparts (e.g., Energy Star homes and hybrid cars). The paper finds that a home's location and access to transit — in other words, its location efficiency — are as important to reducing energy use as are energy-efficiency measures in homes and cars.
FULL STUDY PDF HERE