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You may not have considered bus travel as one of the best ways to get a group from one place to another, but there are a lot of reasons that a coach bus is a great choice for long-distance trips. One of the most important benefits of bus travel is how easy coach bus travel is on the environment. If you have a group to transport, here is what you need to know about choosing the most environmentally-friendly form of transport.

Consider Your Choices

When you travel a long distance over land, you can go by private gasoline-gasoline-power car (or even larger vehicle), by train, by air, by electric car, or by charter coach bus. Each of these types of transportation will generate a carbon footprint, which is best measures as pounds of CO2 emissions. It’s important to consider everything that goes into calculating the carbon footprint. This means not just amount of gasoline burned, but also the amount of energy needed to make the vehicle, to safely recycle any batteries the vehicle might have, and to charge or run the vehicle (in the case of electric cars and electric trains or subways).

Of course, the larger a vehicle is, the more carbon it will emit and the more expensive it is to dispose of. Trains, airplanes, buses: these all burn far more than cars or SUVs and are far more costly to deal with when their useful life is over. However that’s not the whole story. The average SUV can only hold six to eight people at the very most, and normally is only holding four or fewer. A coach bus could have 80 to 100 people on it, while a train or plane can carry hundreds. This means the larger vehicles are actually more efficient than smaller ones.

Which Is Most Efficient For Long Distances?

Specific results for carbon emissions will differ depending on the length of the trip. If you calculate a trip from New York City to Los Angeles—a trip of about 2,500 miles—the most carbon-inefficient way to get there is to travel by SUV, which will burn 5,200 pounds of CO2 during the trip. The average small car will burn 1,950 pounds, while a train burns just over 1,000 pounds.

An electric car, if charged on the grid, comes out even with the average train trip in terms of carbon pounds burned per passenger; but there are two more efficient ways to get there. A commercial airliner will burn only 950 pounds per passenger, offering a substantial savings over taking a private vehicle. However the most carbon-efficient method of all is traveling by coach bus. The coach bus will only burn 425 pounds of CO2 per passenger for a long-distance trip of this sort.

Which Is Most Efficient For Short Distances?

A shorter trip of just 300 miles or so slightly changes the efficiency rankings. Taking an SUV is still the least carbon-efficient way of traveling, burning over 700 pounds for a trip of this length. Where things really change on shorter trips is in the carbon-carbon-efficiency of airplane travel. Jet travel of 300 miles burns around 200 pounds of CO2, which is far worse than a train or electric car’s 110 pounds.

What doesn’t change is the efficiency of a coach bus. A coach bus still remains the most efficient way to take a trip of this length, burning only around 50 pounds of CO2 on a journey of this distance.

Travel by motorcoach is by far the most green way to go. Not only does a coach bus burn fewer pounds of CO2 per person, but the passenger miles per gallon are far better, as well: 206.6 passenger miles per gallon compared to 92.4 for rail, 44 for airline travel, and only 27.2 with personal gasoline powered vehicles. Choose a coach bus because it’s comfortable and convenient: but choose it also because it’s the greenest way to get where you’re going.

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