Transportation provides access to people, places, goods, and services, thus providing a key role in the social and economic well being of communities. While transportation plays a key role in the functioning of communities, some forms, like fuel-driven automobiles, have deleterious effects. Strategic and sustainable transportation planning is necessary in ensuring environmental, social, and economic quality. Because human activities can put stress on the environment, it is necessary to develop transportation systems that “minimize physical and biological stress, staying within the assimilative and regenerative capacities of ecosystems, and respecting the habitat requirements of other species.”
Sustainable transportation refers to the any means of low impact to the environment. One of the most sustainable means of transportation that can reach far distances is bicycling. Other means of sustainable transportation may be more conducive to public transport such as CarSharing which is the ability to rent cars for a small period of time for a number of people, fuel efficient vehicles with the ability to car pool, and last but not least transit oriented development or TOD. The purpose of a transit oriented to development is to augment public transportation usage but also developing sustainable in terms of having mixed use, commercial and residential buildings in one area.