Motorcoaches Prove Greenest Of All In Travel World

News Reports
Posted on September 4, 2019

Riding green (Photo by Unsplash user Annie Spratt)

Riding green (Photo by Unsplash user Annie Spratt)

WASHINGTON, D.C. – The American Bus Association Foundation recently updated its environmental study of different modes of transportation to find how the motorcoach industry stood up. The result: Motorcoach travel remains the greenest mode of transportation.

The study compared motorcoach travel to private automobiles, heavy urban rail, light rail, commuter rail, intercity rail, domestic air travel, urban transit bus, electric trolley bus, ferry boat, vanpool, and demand response, and transportation network companies (TNCs).

For all modes, both energy use and emissions are expressed in terms of units per passenger mile operated. The metrics used for energy intensity are passenger miles per diesel-equivalent gallon (pass-mi/DEG) and Btu per passenger mile (Btu/pass-mi).

Motorcoaches on average used 493 Btu/pass-mi and produced 37 g/pass-mi of carbon dioxide. They use the least amount of energy and produce the lowest carbon dioxide emissions per passenger mile of any of the transportation modes analyzed.

The most energy- and carbon dioxide-intensive mode is demand response at an average of 15,281 Btu/pass-mi and 1,101 g CO2/pass-mi. Vanpools on average produce two-and-a-half times as much carbon dioxide per passenger mile as motorcoaches, commuter rail produces more than four-and-a-half times as much, two-person carpools produce more than four-and-a-half times as much, and single commuters produce more than seven times as much.

On average TNCs/ride-hailing services are slightly less energy efficient than single commuting, using 5,029 Btu/pass-mi and emitting 374 g CO2/pass-mi. This is because on average TNCs only generate 0.95 passenger miles per vehicle mile driven, compared to one passenger mile per vehicle mile for single commuting. TNCs carry an average of 1.5 passengers per trip (not including the driver), but for every 5.2 miles driven with passengers, the driver travels three miles empty, either waiting or driving from the last drop off to the next pick up.

The future of eco-friendly motorcoach travel will even look better than it does today. As more new fuel-efficient vehicles enter the market and replace current vehicles over the next 10 years, emissions per passenger mile from motorcoach will fall.

"Travelers today are more environmentally conscious in where they travel and how they travel," said Peter Pantuso, president of the ABA Foundation. "We are seeing more people taking to motorcoach travel when they travel domestically not only because of its convenience but also because they know it is the greenest way to travel."

Click here to see research table

To read the release online, click here.

Source: ABA press release

Related Topics: American Bus Association, buses, Driving Green, energy savings, green initiatives, green marketing, green vehicles, group transportation, motorcoach operators, motorcoaches, research and trends

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