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Simulation Study of Day-Night Variations in Emissions Impacts and Network Augmentation Schemes: An Application to PierPASS Policy for Port Trucks in California


Freight operations are critical to our prosperity, but they also generate substantial external costs in the form of additional congestion, air pollution, and health impacts. Unfortunately these external costs are not well understood. In this dissertation, I focus on the drayage trucks that serve the San Pedro Bay Ports (or SPBP, i.e. the Ports of Los Angeles and Long Beach in Southern California), which is the largest port complex in the country. This research focuses on the PierPASS program, which shifts drayage trucks traffic from mid-day and peak hours to the evening and night hours. External costs from drayage trucks remain a major concern for communities adjacent to the ports because they bear a disproportionate fraction of the health impacts (respiratory and cardiovascular illnesses, cancers, and premature deaths) associated with the pollution generated by ports operations. In this context, the purpose of my dissertation is analyze the impacts of shifting freight traffic to off-peak periods with an emphasis on congestion, air pollution (NOx, and PM) and related health impacts. This impact analysis was conducted using a framework that integrates microscopic traffic simulation with emission estimation, air dispersion, and a health impact assessment. The research also developed a new approach for origin-destination demand estimation on large microscopic simulation network that is made by augmenting an existing simulation network. Thus the research makes both policy analysis and methodological contributions, and is expected to help enable policy makers to craft cleaner logistics policies. I found that PierPASS had little impact on traffic congestion and on overall emissions of various pollutants. However, PierPASS had a significant impact on the distribution of these emissions between day and night. During night-time, total port truck emissions increased by 71% for NOx and 72% for PM, while day-time emissions decreased by 9% for both NOx and PM. My dispersion analysis shows that PierPASS increased air pollutant concentrations during both day time and night time because of boundary layer effects. Finally, my health impact analyses using EPA's BenMAP model show that the annual social costs due to PierPASS are $438 million.

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