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Bus/coach: the best transport deal for a competitive low-carbon Europe

Buses and coaches are undoubtedly the best solutions politicians can think when devising strategies to reduce CO2 emissions and achieve decarbonisation and energy efficiency, as foreseen by the EU Roadmap for building a competitive low-carbon Europe by 2050, published on 8 March 2010.

Buses and coaches built today are remarkably fuel-efficient, and are proven to be the most energy efficient of all transport modes per passenger transported. Indeed, to carry one passenger over 100 kilometres, buses and coaches need, on average, between 0.6 and 0.9 litre of diesel fuel whereas, on average, a diesel car will consume 5.9 litres of fuel, a gas-powered car  7.6 litres, an airplane  6.6 litres and high-speed trains 2.6 litres. Simultaneously, if every bus in the UK took just one more car driver as a passenger, up to 1.2 million tonnes of CO2 emissions could be saved per year.

Moreover, buses and coaches are the best mobility solutions to reducing CO2 emissions, as affirmed by the American Union of Concerned Scientists; when travelling by coach, your carbon footprint is the smallest of all transport modes and UK data shows that coaches emit 0.03 kg of CO2 per passenger-kilometre; half that of trains and radically smaller than the 0.11 kg emitted by cars and 0.18 kg by airplanes. Similarly, a passenger journey from London to Blackpool (385 km) in the UK will emit 11 kg CO2 if done by coach, 23-25 kg if done by train, 44 kg if done by car and 68 kg if done by air.

All the above mentioned benefits come together with additional extras, such as reduced congestion, improved road safety, and millions of new stable and green jobs, as a result of the increased use of collective passenger transport by bus and coach – at practically no cost to tax payers.

The ball is now in the camp of politicians and, in particular, the DG MOVE of the European Commission, which is currently finalising its White Paper on the future EU Transport policy, scheduled for publication at the end of March 2011.

• Buses and coaches for cleaner mobility
Smart policies and industry practices to double the use of collective passenger transport by bus and coach (EN / FR)
• American Union of Concerned Scientists (UCSUSA) – the motorcoach is the cleanest travel choice in ALL travel scenario
Bus Rapid Transit concept


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