UK: Buses Emit More Pollutants Than Automobiles
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.
GHG Conversion Factors for Company Reporting (UK DEFRA, 8/3/2011)
Join the conversation
Latest Car ReviewsRead more
Latest Product ReviewsRead more
- Lou_BC Once again, Mustang is the last pony car standing. Camaro RIP, Challenger RIP.
- FreedMike Next up should DEFINITELY be the Cadillac Eldorado. On the subject of Caddies, I saw a Lyriq in person for the first time a couple of days ago, and I'm changing my tune on its' styling. In person, it works quite well, and the interior is very nicely executed.
- Probert Sorry to disappoint: https://robbreport.com/motors/cars/tesla-model-y-worlds-best-selling-vehicle-1234848318/and any list. of articles with a 1 second google search. It's a tough world out there - but you can do it!!!!!!
- ToolGuy "We're marking the anniversary of the time Robert Farago started the GM death watch and called for the company to die."• No, we aren't. Robert Farago wrote that in April 2005. It was reposted in 2009 on the eve of the actual bankruptcy filing.The byline dates are sometimes strange/off with the site revisions (and the 'this is a repost' note got lost), but the date string in the link is correct (...2005/04...). Posting about GM bankruptcy in 2005 was a slightly more difficult call than doing it in 2009.-- The Truth About Calendars
- Kat Laneaux Agree with Michael500, we wasted all that money just to bail out GM and they are developing these cars in China and other countries. What the heck. I understand the cheap labor but that is just another foothold the government has on their citizens and they already treat them like crap. That is pretty disgusting to go forward to put other peoples health and mental stability on a crazy crazed, control freak, leader, who is in bed with Russia. Thought about getting a buick but that just shot that one out of the park. All of this for the greed. They get what they lay in bed with. Disgusting.
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.
i think this is wrong prospective, automobile industry are more attractive than UK bus,like this auto wraps Charlotte