By on November 3, 2011

Advocates of diverting tax money raised from motorists on mass transit insist doing so is essential for protecting the environment. Data published in August by the UK Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) show that buses outside London produced an average of 221 grams per kilometer of greenhouse gas emissions. This is more than the figure given for small gasoline-powered cars, 210. Small and medium diesel-powered cars also beat the bus with scores of 172 and 215.

“Perhaps those who criticize lone car drivers should turn their attention to empty off-peak buses instead,” Association of British Drivers environment spokesman Paul Biggs said in a statement. “Although buses provide an important public service, even London can only manage an average occupancy of around fifteen passengers. Modern efficient cars outperform buses not just for CO2 emissions, but for genuine pollutants as well.”

Greenhouse gas emission figures represent the output of carbon dioxide — the harmless gas emitted by all human beings as an essential part of the respiratory process — combined with nitrous oxide and methane. Government official in the UK and US maintain these substances are causing global warming.

DEFRA’s bus figures are based on actual fuel consumption by bus operators and ridership data. It is consistent with figures obtained from a 1999 test by the Los Angeles, California Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA). Diesel bus engines were tested on a central business district route simulation burning fuel at a rate of 4 miles per gallon with carbon dioxide emissions of 2571 grams per mile or 1597 grams per kilometer. Assuming the bus carries nine passengers on average, the carbon dioxide emissions were 174 grams per passenger kilometer (DEFRA’s figure was 184). A solo driver can beat that figure in a Toyota Yaris at 127, a Honda Civic diesel at 140. Even a large SUV like the Porsche Cayenne achieves a solo figure of 236, but with an average occupancy of 1.6 the Porsche still beats the per-passenger figure of the bus.

A March 2009 report by Transport and Travel Research Ltd found that on a per passenger kilometer basis, bus travel produced more particulate matter and other pollutants than automobiles.

“This report confirms that traveling by car is ‘greener’ than traveling by bus,” Biggs said on the report’s release. “Bus companies will have to invest heavily in fleet modernization and the retrofitting of emission abatement technology to even stand a chance of keeping up with increasingly cleaner cars. This is a ‘wake up’ call to politicians who persist with the transport and environmental mantras of, ‘The answer’s a bus, now what’s the question?’ Given that buses and coaches carry only 6.3 percent of passengers compared to the 86.5 percent who travel by car, van or taxi, should 6 percent of passengers be given up to 50 percent of the road via bus lanes?”

A copy of the DEFRA conversion report is available in a 1.8mb PDF file at the source link below.

Source: PDF File GHG Conversion Factors for Company Reporting (UK DEFRA, 8/3/2011)

[Courtesy: Thenewspaper.com]

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43 Comments on “UK: Buses Emit More Pollutants Than Automobiles...”


  • avatar
    Banger

    Taxi would seem to be the ultimate solution for crowded cities, then, so long as the taxis are relatively environmentally friendly. This would get the lower passenger-mile CO2 and particulate emissions while maximizing fleet use (rather than everybody driving into the city, parking their cars all day, and driving home, which would mean more cars on the road and lower fleet utilization).

    I’m no transportation scientist, but that’s the way it appears to me based on this info.

    • 0 avatar
      Luke42

      That’s not quite correct.

      A useful metric for measuring transportation fuel efficiency is “person miles per gallon”. In order to do that, you need to know how many people are on a particular transportation mode (at least statistically).

      When I ran this calculation, I uncovered a suggestion that the average number of people on a bus in the USA is 9. (Meaning 0 sometimes, and 50 at other times, with an average of 9.)

      So, assuming that a city bus in the USA gets about 5MPG, that means a city bus gets about 45 person-miles-per-gallon.

      My Prius also gets about 45 person-miles-per-gallon when I drive it alone a short distance (it uses extra fuel to warm up the engine) at low speed.

      So, taking the bus produces roughly the same emissions as driving a Prius alone. Except that the bus is diesel-powered, so the emissions are not equivalent.

      Also, our Prius is our primary family car, so it often carries several people (usually my wife and my son), so I’ve gotten as high as 150-person-miles-per-gallon in the Prius on the highway with 3 people. Also, I live in a college town and the buses are heavily utilized, and there are a lot of people who work unusual schedules. But, the Prius usually doesn’t go to my office, so I usually take the bus, and my wife uses the Prius to take her and our kid to daycare.

      Anyway, it’s easy to make this complicated. I don’t think that a fleet of Prius taxicabs is going to be a person-miles-per-gallon win, because counting the driver doesn’t seem quite right and they don’t always run with a passenger, but I do see how a combination of buses, rail, hybrid taxicabs, and personal vehicles can be an optimal solution. But comparing person-miles-per-gallon does make it a lot easier to compare these modes. In real life, with all of the factors considered, it really is hard to beat a 50mpg vehicle. Even electric cars aren’t hugely better, in terms of CO2 emissions.

      (P.S.1. Let’s not confuse getting 50mpg with actually consuming less — the Prius is for people who want to live a conventional mainstream lifestyle while wasting a little less, and people who want to save the world set up their lives so that they can consume less.)

      (P.S.2. A Chevy Suburban actually compares pretty favorably with the Prius efficiency-wise, PROVIDED ALL OF THE SEATS IN THE SUBURBAN ARE FILLED. I still think they’re inefficient, but that’s because I rarely see them carrying passengers or cargo.)

      • 0 avatar
        wsn

        Luke42, before you type so much, read the article. The study did put number of riders into consideration: “even London can only manage an average occupancy of around fifteen passengers”.

      • 0 avatar
        Luke42

        @wsn: If the authors of the article didn’t care about the number of riders, how can they meaningfully asses the benefit of driving a bus around?

        Driving a bus in circles with nobody on it is useless, and uses a lot of fuel and generates a lot more emissions than driving a Prius uselessly in circles. Driving a bus in circles with people getting on and off it at every stop is very useful, though, and (depending on the situation) may or may not be more more useful than driving a dozen private vehicles around town. Delving in to the situation a bit is required to determine if the emissions (or $ spent on fuel, if you prefer) are worthwhile. If these actions didn’t serve a purpose, we’d just all scrap our cars and go run around in the woods, right? So, the question is “are we getting the best possible value for the fuel (or emissions, if you prefer)?” Most people would agree that figuring that weighing how many people you took to work (per $ or per gallon) is a pretty good apples-to-apples comparison that you can use between the two. Given that I’m concerned about environmental issues, I usually do the calculation in gallons first.

        My point is that the bus likely produces fewer emissions in getting the likes of me (and a few dozen of my closest friends) to work than driving a normal car. I agree that the bus isn’t the answer for all people in all situations, but the buses in my town are clearly a net benefit in environmental, cash, traffic, parking , and convenience terms. That’s not the case everywhere, though.

        (Unless you think that getting me and a few dozen foreign graduate students to work is useless; I’m in the science business, so I’ve heard worse…)

      • 0 avatar
        Brunsworks

        Keep in mind also, though, that the very beginning of the study admonishes readers not to use its results outside the UK, as conditions will vary too much for it to be accurate.

  • avatar
    Sundowner

    it’s a fools argument. traveling by diesel bus (do diesel busses in Europe meet any emissions requirements?) compared to a Tier 2 Bin 5 personal vehicle is probably a loser. Nevermind most busses in urban environments these days are natural gas or electric.

    And let’s certainly not forget that if you take 15 people out of 1 bus and put them in cars, you get 15 times the traffic, and then you have to start looking at CO2 per hour instead of per mile, and by that point, we all lose. We could look at fixing it with 15 times the roadway infastructure to support all the cars, but i don’t think anyone wants (or wants to pay for) that solution.

    • 0 avatar
      Luke42

      It depends on how many people are on the bus… And, to a lesser extent, how many people are in the car. If you’re hauling 50 people at 4mpg, or 1 person at 30mpg, then the bus is a 6-1 (almost 7-1) winner in terms of person-miles-per-gallon (and emissions are strongly related).

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        How about all the extra distance I need to travel if I take a bus instead of driving my car? In the car, I go where I need to go, when I need to go there. In a bus, I go everywhere between somewhere closish to where I start that the bus route architect thinks someone might want to get on or off the bus on the way to somewhere perhaps close to where I want to go. Everyone on the bus is traveling at the same time while they might be a light cycle or ten apart on the road in their cars, meaning not so big of a difference for traffic around here. Then you’ve got the lost man-hours wasted by people trying to work their lives around mass transit. That’s why it still has advocates. Like the environmental excuses for totalitarianism, it is a way of rendering people ineffective.

      • 0 avatar
        Luke42

        @CJinSD: “How about all the extra distance I need to travel if I take a bus instead of driving my car?”

        Run the numbers and see!

        Bus routes are published, so you should be able to get a good number for the distance using Google maps and dragging the points onto the bus route. I’m comfortable with using 50 person-miles-per-gallon as a back-of-the-napkin efficiency for a city bus.

        In my case, though, I pick up the bus two blocks from my house, and it takes me and a standing-room-only crowd of Chinese graduate students directly to a point that’s about two blocks from my office. So, this isn’t a factor in my circumstances. But, it might be an issue in yours.

        Running the numbers is a wonderful way to take the political b&$*#@it out of these kinds of discussions. Anyone environmentalist who doesn’t have their head up their @$$ should be able to respect “in my case, taking the bus uses 1.2 gallons, but driving takes 1.0 gallons, so I drive.” And then there’s the fact that you can measure the cost of travel in dollars or gallons — sometimes saving gallons saves dollars, sometimes it doesn’t — but similar calculations can answer both questions, and everyone likes to save money. Bringing out the numbers out is also a wonderful way to get the poseurs on both sides of the issue to bow out.

      • 0 avatar
        CJinSD

        College campuses are often an excellent place for mass transit. People live in designated ghettos and travel to common locations on a fairly common schedule. Where I live now, San Diego, mass transit is mostly useful for headlines about streetcars killing pedestrians, which are the only times I hear about street cars. Supposedly they are in place to move people from Tijuana to their jobs in downtown luxury hotels, but that may just be an explanation of why they never link any places California citizens want to go. I once sat outside of the HardRock Hotel downtown for half an hour waiting for a late business colleague who was trapped by malfunctioning crossing gates. After a while I started paying attention to the 3-car commuter trains with their tinted windows that were the source of morning gridlock. On average, there was one passenger per three-car train. Great use of resources.

        As for my local bus, I experimented with it. It is useless for getting anywhere if your time has any value, but my neighbor and I saw it as a possible way of getting to and from the bars. To the bars works some days, but some times the last bus never shows up in spite of using the smartphone ap to determine when it is due. Of course the buses are history most days at times when you’d be trying to get home from the bars. As for other passengers, I’ve never seen enough of them to match the most people I’ve shared a cab with. Very few of them are paying customers either, for various reasons. Whatever tax dollars we’re wasting on mass transit here, they’re all too many.

      • 0 avatar
        Brunsworks

        True enough, though the study deals with that by establishing the unit of analysis as person-kilometres-per-liter, so theoretically, the results should be apples-to-apples between the double-decker and the Yaris…except for one thing.

        I honestly admit that I’m having trouble comprehending the hopelessly byzantine chart (apparently, boffins who are really good at fuel consumption research are absolute rubbish at desktop publishing and layout), so I don’t know if they’ve taken into account congestion. It’s all well and good to compare a single Toyota Yaris to a single double decker bus, but did the study analyze the relative consumption of each vehicle during gridlock?

        That said, I really feel that any non-diesel-powered vehicle should be built with stop-start technology onboard. I have a good friend who has a Civic Hybrid, and over and above what the hybrid drivetrain saves her on gas, the stop-start feature is good for another few mph.

    • 0 avatar
      rpn453

      I’d rather follow 15 cars than be stuck in the right lane behind a bus making stops every few blocks!

  • avatar
    Boff

    4 mpg for a diesel bus? Sounds low to me…even a 50% increase to a mere 6 mpg would change the calculus dramatically.

    It is also worth considering (not that a publication content to breezily equate carbon-fuel CO2 emissions with the closed-loop carbon cycle of ecosystems could manage it) that buses constitute part of a larger non-car transit system that also includes light rail and walking, both of which emit less CO2 per passenger mile than passenger cars.

    • 0 avatar
      Luke42

      My town uses hybrid buses. I haven’t heard an MPG figure, but the bus authority says that the hybrid buses cost an extra $100k, and easily pay for themselves in fuel-savings over the life of the vehicle.

    • 0 avatar
      TR4

      A little Googling comes up with 3-point-something mpg for a typical diesel bus in NY or LA. The 4mpg was probably using Imperial gallons. A major factor with city buses is the constant stop-start operation.

      • 0 avatar
        RedStapler

        4mpg sounds about right for a 20-30k lbs commercial vehicle with an automatic transmission in an urban setting.

        As a frame of reference a conventional 5 axle semi combo gets 6-8mpg on the highway. A Refuse truck gets 2-4mpg on route.

  • avatar
    bikegoesbaa

    What is “The Newspaper” and why is it part of TTAC?

    Did this testing take into account that replacing buses with cars would likely increase traffic, leading to more vehicles spending more time not moving and therefore emitting more pollution without accomplishing any useful work? Seems that the cascading effects of these decisions make any simple analysis like this misleading at best.

    Also, is that 221 vs 210 grams/kilometer figure per passenger, or absolute? The numbers aren’t well explained and don’t seem to add up. Because if it’s absolute this whole article is ridiculous.

    PS – I generally dislike buses and wouldn’t mind seeing them defunded. I still don’t know that this article makes any sense.

    • 0 avatar

      Thenewspaper.com is an independent “journal of the politics of driving.” TTAC has had a syndication deal with Thenewspaper.com since before I became Editor-in-Chief. Its views are its own, and though I don’t always agree with them, they consistently provoke interesting discussions.

      • 0 avatar
        Boff

        The Newspaper has done some decent work on exposing the rackets that are speed and red light cameras, but unfortunately the “politics of driving” tends to be slanted in one specific direction.

        They lost me when they published a photo of a judge, whose ruling they didn’t like, posing with a woman I presume was his wife in a casual, family picnic pose. I considered that to be an unethical and inflammatory, and even sinister, comingling of the judge’s professional and personal lives.

      • 0 avatar
        psarhjinian

        …and though I don’t always agree with them, they consistently provoke interesting discussions.

        Yes, that’s because either bi4sed or trolling. I can’t tell which.

        I don’t normally like to comment on editorial policy, but these guys are doing the quality of journalism on TTAC a disservice.

      • 0 avatar
        bikegoesbaa

        Perhaps a disclaimer to that effect would be a good addition to their articles, then?

    • 0 avatar
      Jellodyne

      I don’t see any reason to believe it’s per passenger. So a bus which apparently averages 15 passengers releases 221 grams of greenhouse gas per kilometer. If a small car releases 210, then it only need to average a little over 14 passengers to match up. Small diesels need only average just under 12 passengers. And if you fit 16 or 17 passengers in one of these, well I just don’t see any reason for public transportation to exist.

      This article doesn’t make any less sense than any other fine, logical and totally unbiased article by this contributor. Oh, no, I used the b-word.

      • 0 avatar
        aristurtle

        It’s per passenger; it’s on page 23 of the DEFRA PDF attached to the article. I generally don’t bother paying attention to The Newspaper’s actual article but the sources can be enlightening.

        For example, “The Newspaper” took the figure for buses outside of London.

        Buses within London: 102 grams CO2 per passenger kilometer. The only thing you’re beating that with is a sub-125cc scooter (according to the chart).

        UK Average for local buses, then, is 177 grams CO2/pkm. I guess that didn’t make for as good copy? The article only flows when you deliberately remove the most-used buses from your average, I guess.

        (Light rail and the London Underground are around 80.)

        So, uh, public transit does better in more densely populated areas than in less populated ones? Whoa! Who woulda thunk?!

        Ed, exercise some editorial control.

      • 0 avatar

        Aristurtle, be careful what you wish for. TTAC is giving you an opportunity to debunk an article that is going to be out there anyway (thenewspaper doesn’t have a comment section)… and you seem to be running with it. Where’s the problem?

        Also, commentary on TTAC’s editorial policy should be directed to our contact form, not the comment section.

      • 0 avatar
        Pch101

        Where’s the problem?

        The headline is a lie. As in false. As in inaccurate. As in not “the Truth”.

        The Newspaper has a right to its views, but TTAC is redistributing lies and half-truths without raising a critical eyebrow.

        At the very least, get the guy who writes The Newspaper to stop making things up. The Truthiness About Cars would be a bit awkward of a name for the masthead.

  • avatar
    psarhjinian

    This report confirms that traveling by car is ‘greener’ than traveling by bus

    No, it means that travelling by suboptimal means is less green than by optimal ones. There are times when it makes sense to run buses, streetcars, electric trains and cars, and to build communities that don’t require massive transportation infrastructure int he first place.

    The trick is not to get too caught up in your pet agenda, be it “public transport is always the answer, comrade, now pass me a clove cigarette” or “buses are a tool of socialist overconspiracy and they can take my steering wheel from my cold, dead hands, along with my assault rifle”.

    The article is sorta-kinda right about this in that buses aren’t always the answer. But The Newspapers’ editorializing is, again, highly sensationalist and does the whole story’s credibility no favours.

    Can we please stop running The Newspaper stories? About a year or so ago they jumped the shark and what we see crossposted to TTAC is pretty vapid.

    • 0 avatar

      Not likig the truth huh. Well, there surely must be a domain remaining for The Liberal Lies About Public Transportation blog.

      • 0 avatar
        psarhjinian

        What “truth”?

        The paper, and especially The Newspaper’s metacommentary, is completely, if not willfully, ignorant of the real world. Like traffic congestion, income levels, peak service requirements, etc.

        It’s not “truth”, it’s ideological wankery.

        I did say that buses don’t make sense in every situation, and that smart urban planning would probably do more than trying to ram public transit into solutions it’s unsuited to. Of course, that kind of “right-tool/right-job” mentality doesn’t fly when we can get a good, irrational hate-on for public transit and how it can’t ever be a good thing, despite, you know, reality.

    • 0 avatar
      Luke42

      +10 psarhjinian. Mostly, but not limited to, the original comment.

  • avatar
    carbiz

    On Dec 9/09 the National Post did an expose on public transit, citing the CATO Institute’s recent findings and other studies (LA Dept of Transportation, to name another) and concluded that for cities such as Toronto, banning public transit would be better for the environment, the city, and by funneling the $2-3 BILLION)dollars the TTC gets from various levels of government every year into roads, it would be better for traffic, too.
    Now they make some pretty broad assumptions, and I’m not sure the piece was meant to be totally serious, but they raise the point that the 40,000 lb streetcars and buses that trundle around 3/4 empty 80% of the time negate any ‘savings’ the system makes during peak times.
    Obviously, public transit is a necessity in larger urban areas, and for socio-economic reasons eliminating public transit would likely be a disaster, but the point is well taken.
    Particularly with the union-strangled TTC, since they refuse to use smaller buses in off-peak times or for lighter routes, nothing drives me crazier than seeing a huge bus with 4 people in it! I see this all the time, being as I live at the corner of two major downtown routes that really have no reason for existence other than as a social statement. (I live within a 7 minute walk of two subway stations- why do they need bus service at all?)

    • 0 avatar
      Jellodyne

      If you feel eliminating public transit would likely be a disaster, how is the point is well taken? How is the point anything but ridiculous?

    • 0 avatar
      psarhjinian

      This is going to come off as caustic because I’m nursing a headache, but this is just so wrong on so many levels.

      National Post did an expose on public transit, citing the CATO Institute’s recent findings

      Oh, yeah, there’s two totally reputable sources without an agenda, there.

      Obviously, public transit is a necessity in larger urban areas, and for socio-economic reasons eliminating public transit would likely be a disaster, but the point is well taken.

      No, it isn’t, the point is stupid and willfully ignorant of reality.

      The TTC ferries something like a half-million people every single day. Can you imagine the roads required to ferry a half-million more people through Toronto every day? And they’ll park where? Have you tried to park downtown recently? Where are people who do need to commute going to get these cars from, the car fairy?

      Did you really think a bunch of propellerheads at the Cato Institute gave little things like “rationality” and “common sense” an iota of thought when they floated something this stupid? Do you think they even take public transit, or know anyone who depends on it?

      Yes, the off-peak buses aren’t full, but on-peak usage is already either internmably slow because there aren’t enough routes, or the buses are packed to gills anyway. I used to watch three or four 7/Bathurst buses and 510/Spadina go by on a regular basis. Been to the subway platform at St. George, Union or Bloor-Yonge at 5pm? Less service is not the answer.

      Yeah, the evening buses and suburban routes aren’t all that full outside of commuting hours. So what?

      Particularly with the union-strangled TTC, since they refuse to use smaller buses in off-peak times or for lighter routes

      What smaller buses? Never mind the throwaway union comment—the union drivers wouldn’t give a sh*t if they had to drive a short bus or even a minivan versus a long one—but having to maintain an entirely separate bus platform would cost serious money.

      Do you think Taxi companies should keep a separate fleet of Smart cars for the times they need to carry one passengers? After all, those Crown Vics are totally going to waste most of the time. That’s the logic you’re floating.

      Tell you what: we on the erstwhile-left will stop trying to suggest you guys on the right should have to pay fairly for services to your suburban or rural paradises, if you can stop trying to assume that you can run a city like Toronto (pop 4.5 million-plus, across the Greater area) the same way you run a town like Bobcaygeon, let alone the likes of Whitby.

    • 0 avatar
      Lemmy-powered

      “I live within a 7 minute walk of two subway stations- why do they need bus service at all?”

      Yes, YOU live 7 minutes from those stations. But other people don’t. Therefore, buses.

      • 0 avatar
        psarhjinian

        I don’t think he noticed that the buses that service those subway stations come from quite a fair ways away. I used to live across the street from a subway station, but the bus that serviced it had ten-kilometer loop.

        I mean, yes, it would be useful if the buses disapparated when they got within walking distance of the subway station and reappeared in the docking bays. Last I saw, we weren’t equipping buses with the ability to fold space and, since it’s got to drive into the subway station anyway, it might as well stop and pick up people on the way in.

        For example, if you live in Toronto and, say, between any two stations on the east-west Bloor line (other than Kipling/Islington or Vic.Park and east), then yes, the subways are pretty close together. The buses that service them go north/south. So while you can walk from, say, Spadina to Bathurst, it’s a long walk up Bathurst from Bloor to Wilson. That’s why there’s buses to subway stations but (rarely, except where it makes sense, like the packed Annette bus that dumps passengers into subways along it’s route) buses between subways.

    • 0 avatar
      Herm

      The solution is private smaller jitney buses, essentially privately owned and operated 15 passenger vans.. some regulation is needed such as proper driver license, yearly inspection, pre-determined routes and so on but dont let the public transportation unions get their mittens on it. Jitney buses were very successful in Miami, Fl, they out-competed public buses.. until the city clamped down.

  • avatar
    TR4

    “not just for CO2 emissions, but for genuine pollutants as well.”

    Hilarious!

  • avatar
    wsn

    One important aspect the study missed is that bus purchase and operation is not really open-market.

    Imagine what your car mpg will be if there is a law stating that you must buy from GM? And that your employer will pay for your gas bill anyway?

    That’s what is happening to bus operation.

    • 0 avatar
      Brian P

      Not sure what you are getting at. Where I live, the local transit authority is using buses from New Flyer, Nova, and Orion. Last time I checked, those were all competitors.

      GM is out of the picture. They sold off their bus manufacturing operations years ago, although the TTC still has some of the classic GM “new look” buses on the road (and I hope they always do – they may be outdated compared to a Nova LFS, but it’s as cool to see a traditional GM “new look” fishbowl-windshield bus on the road as it is to see a ’69 Nova on the road.)

      • 0 avatar
        wsn

        My city (roughly 800k residents) uses New Flyer only. Not surprising that a Canadian city would only use Canadian built buses, huh? These buses look and feel and sound like 1985 GM passenger cars. I would recommend you to try a Japanese/Korean bus for comparison.

        Also, don’t forget about the operational side of it. When gas price goes up, the city transit will simply hike the price, instead of thinking ways to reduce fuel consumption. For as far as I know, wage increase lags behind gas price increase, which itself lags behind transit fare hike.

  • avatar
    Adamatari

    Buses suck, diesel especially. Steel wheels on steel rails, run with electricity, is just a better idea in many cases, especially in cities. Buses can work, but they shouldn’t be the default option.

    Also, transit companies often suck at optimizing their own use of resources. I long ago concluded the route planners for TheBus in Honolulu were mouth-breathers and could be beaten by almost anyone. Buses come by nearly empty in quantity from 7-8am and then pass by my stop – not picking up any riders – full from 8-9am. Stuff like that is probably common across the world.

  • avatar
    niky

    Blame the diurnal nature of the human being and common working hours. If business establishments and schools would be able to shift opening and closing times to spread them out over one four-hour period in the morning and one four-hour period in the late afternoon-early evening (instead of the typical one to two hour window), you could transport just as many people with half the resources (yeah, total guesstimate).

    Unfortunately, how do you select which businesses get the shaft and have to pay extra for lighting and operation by staying open longer after dark?

  • avatar
    andrewpmk

    The primary point of buses is to reduce traffic congestion, much more so than to save fuel. My city Toronto is horribly gridlocked on a normal day, but whenever there is a public transit strike the 401, DVP, Gardiner and other roads are total chaos. Cars sitting in traffic jams just waste fuel. Another purpose of buses is to reduce the need for parking, which is scarce and expensive in downtown Toronto.

    That said, I think that transit systems in big cities do use less fuel on average than single passenger cars, ignoring the effect of traffic congestion. All the busy bus routes in Toronto (Finch, Eglinton, Dufferin, etc.) and the two main subway lines are generally packed from early morning until 10pm in the evening or so, which means that they save fuel (for instance comparing a car with 30mpg city vs a 4mpg bus, if a bus on average carries more than 7.5 passengers it is more fuel efficient than the single passenger car). I realize that there are useless bus routes in this city (like 162 Lawrence-Donway which serves the extremely wealthy “Bridle Path” neighbourhood) which no one uses that waste fuel, but these account for a small percentage of buses on the road. Also bus systems in small cities like Kingston, Ontario tend to run lots of empty buses around which undoubtedly wastes fuel, but this is part because the bus service in many small cities is such utter c**p that no one uses it.

  • avatar
    RogerdFedress

    i think this is wrong prospective, automobile industry are more attractive than UK bus,like this auto wraps Charlotte


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