Commuters are increasingly more aware of the impact of carbon dioxide emissions on the environment. The travel industry contributes five percent to the overall global carbon emissions. With that in mind, more people are looking for environmentally friendly transportation options.
So, what is the greenest form of transportation? According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the yearly carbon dioxide emission of your standard passenger vehicle is a whopping 4.6 metric tons. So, if you’re searching for the most environmentally friendly transportation, go for ones that produce fewer emissions than average.
Rating Options Using Emissions Per Passenger
When figuring out what is the greenest form of transportation, you can use the emission rating of vehicles per passenger on board. It’s a simple way to gauge each transport option.
Here are the different modes of transportation ranked from the lowest to the highest emission rating. The figures are in grams of carbon dioxide for each passenger per kilometer traveled.
- High-speed rail (6 grams)
- Charter bus (27 grams)
- Domestic rail (41 grams)
- Four passenger car (43 grams)
- Long-haul flights (102 grams)
- Public bus (104 grams)
- Domestic flights (133 grams)
- Single passenger car (171 grams)
As you can see from the list above, research shows that the most environmentally friendly transportation is via high-speed rail. Examples include Eurostar and Shinkansen (also known as the bullet train). But unfortunately, not every country has high-speed rail like Europe and Japan.
So, what is the greenest form of transportation available in most countries? Looking at the information earlier, you’ll find that it’s the charter bus, also known as the motorcoach. It’s the second-most environmentally safe option and one of the world’s most abundant modes of transport.
Choosing More Sustainable Forms of Transportation
Driving a car running on gasoline with no other passengers produces 171 grams of carbon dioxide for every 0.62 miles compared to a charter bus that only generates 27 grams. If you want a greener option but still want to drive your car, it is best to switch to a hybrid electric vehicle (HEV) or an electric vehicle (EV).
Both EVs and HEVs are environmentally friendly options. Instead of a combustion engine, these vehicles are equipped with an electric motor. As a result, these vehicles can reduce greenhouse gases by combining high fuel economy and low tailpipe emissions.
If you don’t have electric or hybrid vehicles, your next best option for a more sustainable mode of transport is the bus. A public bus produces 104 grams of carbon dioxide per passenger for over half a mile of travel. So it’s a better option than driving a gasoline-powered car. However, if you’re traveling with a group over long distances, it’s smarter to charter a bus.
The efficiency of a charter bus is based on its carrying capacity. If you want to make the most of your trip, we suggest hiring a chartered bus based on the size of your family or group. For example, if you only have 25 people traveling with you, renting a 58-seater bus won’t be a good option. It’s best to rent a minibus in that case.
The Shift Towards Electric Buses
No doubt, the greenest buses are the ones that run on electricity. However, they’re not so common in our current climate, at least not yet. However, more bus companies are switching to this more sustainable mode of transportation. These buses consume only 20 percent of the energy used by ordinary buses that run on fossil fuels. They also emit four to six times fewer greenhouse gases.
Electric buses have several advantages for bus companies. First, they have long serviceable lifespans, lasting over 12 years. They cost approximately $125,000 less to maintain compared to those running on traditional fuel. Finally, the overall fuel cost of electric buses is $400,000 less than gasoline buses.
Other Ways To Preserve Air Quality
About 17 percent of greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S. come from light-duty trucks and cars. This vehicle category includes minivans, SUVs and pickup trucks. If you want better air quality, choose a greener mode of transport. Apart from that, the EPA also recommends other strategies to help protect the environment and human health:
- Sustainable transportation planning
- More efficient parking management
- Transit-oriented development
- Sustainable and intelligent street design
Choose Fuel Efficient and Environmentally Friendly Bus Charters
As the prices of electric buses go down in the future, you’ll see more firms switch their fleets to this type of vehicle. In the meantime, your best option is to hire chartered buses and plan your trip. At Atlantic Coast Charters, we provide state-of-the-art, modern, fuel-efficient bus charters. Contact us today to get a free quote and learn more about sustainable transport options.