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Buses and coaches: a Smart Move for the effective decarbonisation of transport

Brussels  – Prior to the debate on “A Sustainable future for transport” within the Transport and Tourism Committee (TRAN) of the European Parliament, the International Road Transport Union (IRU) calls upon MEPs to set clear and measurable targets for the increase of collective passenger transport by bus and coach in the European Union over the next decade.

IRU Vice President and President of the IRU Passenger Transport Council, Graham Smith, explained: “Buses and coaches, together with taxis, are the ideal combination to provide sustainable door-to-door mobility to European citizens while maintaining a high level of flexibility at the lowest cost for society. Aiming for the clear and measurable policy and business objective of doubling the use of collective passenger transport by bus and coach will significantly contribute to the decarbonisation of the entire travel chain, since buses and coaches are the greenest of all collective passenger transport modes.”

Fully in line with the European Union strategic priorities of decarbonisation, sustainability, competitiveness and growth, doubling the use of buses and coaches in the European Union alone would lead to:

  • A reduction in CO2 by at least 50 million tonnes per year;
  • A reduction in fatalities on EU roads and streets, by more than 3000 per year;  
  • A spectacular fall of congestion in cities at zero cost for taxpayers, as a result of the expected 10-15% reduction in car traffic;  
  • The creation of 4 million new jobs.

Doubling the use of bus and coach services is not only a realistic policy and business objective, but also a most commendable approach from a public interest point of view, since bus and coach transport is the only mode to meet five crucial criteria: it is safe, green, efficient, user-friendly and affordable. Drawing policy attention and inducing the right incentives to increase the use of buses, coaches and taxis is therefore the smartest move to achieve sustainable mobility for all.


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