Transportation activities involve separate modes supporting the mobility of passengers and freight (within or between modes). Each has an environmental impact:
- Infrastructure. Construction and maintenance of transport infrastructure require resources (materials), energy, and land.
- Vehicle manufacture. Involves the resources and energy consumed in the manufacturing process. This also includes the delivery of vehicles to markets.
- Vehicle operation. The outcome of transport vehicle use, which varies by mode, usually involves fossil fuel consumption.
- Vehicle maintenance. The consumption and disposal of parts during maintenance, including lubricants.
- Vehicle disposal. Once the useful life of a vehicle is over, it must be disposed of and recycled.
Not mentioned are telecommunication infrastructures that are consuming materials and energy as well.