WASHINGTON, D.C. — While President Obama on Tuesday called for new environmental regulations in a host of areas, including increasing the fuel economy standards for heavy-duty trucks, buses, and vans after 2018, the motorocoach industry already is helping lead the way.
Motorcoaches are the most environmentally friendly form of transportation, according to research by the American Bus Association Foundation and The Union of Concerned Scientists. And as more people who ride motorcoaches instead of traveling by private automobile, large buses help improve improve the environment.
A report from The Union of Concerned Scientists says that a couple boarding a motorcoach will cut their carbon emissions nearly in half, compared with driving even a hybrid car. And if they take the motorcoach rather than flying, they will cut their emissions by 55%-75%, depending on the distance they travel.
Motorcoaches offer 207 passenger miles per gallon of fuel, compared to the 92 passenger MPG for commuter rail, 44 passenger MPG for domestic airlines, and 27 MPG for single passenger automobiles. And each motorcoach has the potential to take as many as 55 cars off of the road, reducing congestion, saving fuel, and significantly cutting emissions.
The motorcoach industry is also notably growing, providing some 700 million passenger trips annually. The FAA says that in 2011, airlines provided 732 million passenger trips while long-distance passenger rail carried about 30.2 million passengers in 2012.
Between the end of 2011 and 2012, intercity bus service grew by 7.5% — the highest rate of growth in four years, according to a report from DePaul University of Chicago. Conventional bus lines expanded by 1.4% during this same period, due in part to Greyhound and Peter Pan’s new express services.
Daily departures on express bus carriers are up by 30.6% in 2012, and for the first time, they exceeded more than 1,000 daily scheduled operations.
ABA is in a partnership with Motor Coach Industries (MCI) and the University of Vermont’s Certification for Sustainable Transportation, where ABA member motorcoach companies are recognized each January for their outstanding environmental leadership.
Source: American Bus Association