Taking the bus
Average carbon rank: 1 out of 5 (best)
Opting for public transportation is a great way to shrink the carbon impact of your weekday commute, but you can save even more GHGs by choosing alternate transit for long-range travel.
On average, a couple traveling together will cut their carbon footprint nearly in half by boarding a motor coach, compared with driving a hybrid car, according to the Union of Concerned Scientists. If they take the motor coach instead of flying, they will cut their impact by 55 to 75 percent depending on distance, the research group found.
Motor coaches, which include tour, charter and intercity buses, edge out urban transit and trolley buses with respect to carbon impact, research from the American Bus Association shows. But both forms of bus transit outperform diesel-powered trains – which make up the bulk of rail transit in the United States, UCS research found.
Shockingly, despite enormous environmental benefits, travel on motor coaches and trains account for only 2 percent of American vacation travel, according to the most recent U.S. Department of Transportation data available.
Defy the statistics by choosing motor coach travel for your summer vacay. Think traveling by bus will take the fun out of your getaway plans? Think again. Many bus lines offer comfortable cabins, wireless internet and satellite TV for maximum passenger comfort. Using public transportation also minimizes the stress of your trip (read: no driving or security lines).
Since carbon impact will vary based on the size of your party and the distance of your trip, use a carbon calculator, like this one from TerraPass, to confirm that motor coach travel is truly the best fit for you.
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