Buses worse for environment than cars - Flat in Fifth
So an article in yesterday's Swedish Dagens Nyheter stated.

Basically in a short article which mentioned that technical improvements in car, bus and lorry technology had been offset by increasing traffic volumes was the gem quoted in the title.

The main culprit being NOx. It appears a bus with 20 passengers produces 30% more NOx per passenger kilometer than a car with 1.5 passengers. Or to put it another way a bus with 17 passengers produces roughly the same NOx per passenger kilometer as a single occupancy car.

Methinks cue for a rant from the public transport mob saying its all lies, or unfair statistics.

Considering typical passenger numbers on UK buses, not to mention the vehicles are generally older, I wonder how much worse the situation is in Blighty.

Buses worse for environment than cars - teabelly
Does that mean that collectively 17 cars with a single occupant each produce the same amount of NOx as the bus with 17 passengers?

Perhaps it is time to consider that buses should be forced to use biodiesel / lpg and buses older than so many years should be put out of service or emissions tested every 3 months to stricter standards to make sure that grossly polluting vehicles are removed from the roads. Did they say what size of bus this referred to?

I would also be interested to know how much CO2 per km a person walking would produce.
Buses worse for environment than cars - Marcos{P}
The problem here is that public transport has been starved of money for so long that to now get it to the level it needs to be at would cost billions. It seems everything we do in this country with public transport is a complete joke, it all goes over budget and is never designed to last more than 10 years.
Most well developed European countries have public transport systems that put us to shame in both efficiency and design.
I spend a fair amount of time in London and Madrid and there is just no comparison. Londons buses and tube system are slow, inefficient, old, dirty and rarely run to schedule. Madrid on the other hand has a system that is light years ahead of ours in every aspect. Their bus system comprises of large modern air conditioned buses that run on natural gas and are dirt cheap to use. The metro system is modern, clean, very cheap and very efficient. They are contantly upgrading the tracks, modernising stations and build a couple of extra stations a year.
20yrs ago Spain was almost a 3rd world country compared to here but wherever I go now they have modernised and replaced almost everything in the cities.
Sorry about the rant but I get fed up with monkeys like Ken Livingstone telling us how great the public transport is in London and that we should all use it. Its not great, its old, smelly, inefficient and according to the report will end up killing us all pretty soon.

Angry Marcos
Buses worse for environment than cars - volvoman
Well I wouldn't dare speak fr all public transport but at the weekenfd myslef and my faimly travelled to London and had a great day for a total cost of £7.60 (2 adults and 2 children aged 8&6). We travelled to London on a clean, air conditioned modern train and took several buses in London which were new and equally clean. On the way home our train was a little older but still clean and modern. I think some people berate public transport as a whole when much of it is very good. Sure there is still a massive amount to be done but despite what anyone says, the future of urban transport is public and the only sane argument is how to make it better, safer, cleaner etc. In a city as old and congested as London this will take a long time but it can and will be done. There is no alternative.
Buses worse for environment than cars - mab23

All that infrastructure investment in Madrid is probably paid for by the EU, which we, and the Germans, and other rich northern European countries are paying for.

Buses worse for environment than cars - BMDUBYA
Volvoman, as a daily user of the train system, let me reassure you that the system is as bad as you read in the newspaper, and quite often worse. That said I think you have found what I have found, the train companies on the whole have actually invested in the trains and stations, examples, First Great Western have rebuilt Bristol Parkway, built a new platform at swindon and are running a number of modern trains, although most of the fleet are 30+ years old. The problem lies with the infrastructure, daily we have problems with the infrastructure, points, signals etc which are not the train companies responsiblilty. The train companies as you have found, are very affordable at the weekend, but try to do the same journey that you did at the weekend, on a weekday, you will find that the cost is shocking to say the least. Back to pollution from cars and public transport, we all now that the government use the 'green' issue simply to raise tax, if they were honestly concerned about the enviroment then they would be backing more greener fuels, and let me assure you that Bio Diesel, and especially Bio Diesel made from reprocessed waste veg oil, as AndyMC? has found has fewer pollutants that normal diesel, and is better for the enviroment than both petrol and diesel. It reduces both CO and NOX to very low levels, and actually takes out of the environmet more CO than it produces when the rapeseed plant is growing. Lets be honest all of the diesel fuelled public Transport could be cheaply converted to run on Pure and recycled waste Veg oil, and the cost would be quickly recouped because it is so cheap to produce, compared to mineral fuels. Could you imagine the fallout from the oil companies if the government actually took a stance along those lines? Now I am not suggesting that Bio diesel is the panacea fuel, but it would certainly go someway to helping the environment. Rant over.
Buses worse for environment than cars - Baskerville
So one bus with seventeen passengers is as bad for the environment as seventeen single-occupancy cars, huh? Does this figure include the manufacture of the cars? Does it include the extra NOx produced because the seventeen cars cause more congestion? Does it include the extra parking space that is needed to house the cars at both ends of their journeys, often taking up green space? If the seventeen car drivers were added to the seventeen people already on the bus I suspect that the NOx per passenger mile would drop considerably, not least because the bus would be less impeded by traffic, but also because buses are less efficient when running light.
Buses worse for environment than cars - Nortones2
ChrisR: I'm also a little sceptical about these claims, but has anyone got a link (in English) to the article? And the "research" if any on which this article was based?
Buses worse for environment than cars - Flat in Fifth
I tied to find "sensible" links but the ones I could find were as much use as a chocolate fireguard on an English speaking site. I struggled with the translation in quite a few places.

Being objective[1] I suspect that there is some selective reporting going on.

I've chucked the paper now and forget the scientific institute which conducted the original research, and no it didn't give the bus size, but I would expect a large-ish single decker.

[1] it is in the dictionary in case anyone doesn't understand this word. ;-)

Buses worse for environment than cars - Baskerville

Can we find out who funded the research? Might be significant.

Buses worse for environment than cars - Flat in Fifth
Can we find out who funded the research? Might be significant.

Yes I know, I'll take a look later and see what I can dig up. It certainly didn't say in the article I'm sure of that.
Buses worse for environment than cars - Flat in Fifth
Further info:

Research performed by Motormännens Riksförbund och Väg- och

(Swedish Automobile Association together with the Road and Traffic Research Institute, latter is sort of Govt agency)

No funding sponsor given, if any. Much of this research is Govt funded, i.e. as for eg TRL but I guess they do take private commissions.

The report is not on VTI website, neither in English nor Swedish. No doubt it will appear in time.

Some other interesting stuff though.

www.vti.se/edefault.asp this points at the less extensive English language site

Something which creased me up was seeing a report titled:

"Women regarded in traffic as an abnormality"

I do hope something got lost in the translation there.

Dons helmet, hides behind parapet.

Buses worse for environment than cars - HF
>>"Women regarded in traffic as an abnormality"

I'm sure there's some here who might agree with that statement ;)
Buses worse for environment than cars - SteveH42
Chris, to your arguments you could also add the fact that 17 car journeys will almost certainly cover more miles than 17 bus journeys due to the fact that the start and end of bus journeys is usually a nice stroll to and from the bus stops. Plus, the bus is running all day so will be nice and warmed up, while the car will have been sat around and (in an urban environment anyway) will only get up to temperature by the time the journey is almost over.

Public transport is not the answer to everything - the flexibility a private car gives at times is very important, but for a lot of journeys the bus or train makes more sense, but unfortunately there are also a lot of journeys where the services aren't there, or the cost, especially for several people travelling together, makes the car the mode of transport of choice. It's purely down to funding, and I'm afraid the government makes so much from cars that it's going to take a very hard politician to reduce that income by ploughing the needed funding in to public transport.

(I once read that an extra penny on income tax could provide enough funding to make all public transport *free*. Not sure how accurate this is, but it's a thought...)
Buses worse for environment than cars - volvoman
BMDUBYA - I'm only to well aware of the problems of which you speak. My family have a long history of commuting into London and I agree that the cost and overcrowding during peak hours are horrendous. However, whilst it will take time to crack that nut, I think that people could and should use public transport during off peak hours as we often do now.

Granted, that won't do much to make life easier on the 7.30am to Vicotoria but that's only part of the issue (albeit a large part). If we condemn public transport universally (as most people seem to do) those who could make certain journeys in that manner will continue to use their cars and congestion and pollution will rise accordingly. I think a lot could be done to improve matters outside peak hours and that would yield tangible benefits for everyone. As I said, however, tackling the rush hour in London and other major cities is a bigger problem but we have to start somewhere and getting people out of the particular mindset that cars are the only option for everything would be a very good start. Whilst, however, many people continue to insist that it's their right to drive everywhere the problems of congestion, pollution etc. will continue to grow. More buses is what we need in towns not less and I agree that they need to be as efficient and 'clean' as possible.

Anyway, my message is to people next time you're popping out for the day think about the train or the bus and TRY IT ! Off peaks fares are often very good indeed and there's a lot less stress involved than driving and having to worry about parking, speed cameras, dangerous drivers etc. etc. etc.
Buses worse for environment than cars - Miller
I am quite confident that some of the buses I drive put out more cr@p than 50 cars!

I'm a loser, baby....so why don't you kill me?!
Buses worse for environment than cars - volvoman
. and at the same time a great many cars out there produce a far more carp than several buses!

Seriously, the argument should not be about whether or not buses are an alternative to cars but acknowledging that in towns/cities a decent bus service is the only sensible way forward. Agreed the buses must be as clean, efficient and environmentally friendly as possible.

When are people going to realise that we cannot carry on putting more and more cars on the road ? Sooner or later we have to bite the bullet and I'd rather not wait until everything grinds to a halt and far more draconian measures have to be taken urgently ! Please don't anyone think I'm anti-car, I'm not - I just want to retain the freedom to use my car when it's really necessary and if that means doing more journeys on public transport to ease congestion so be it.
Buses worse for environment than cars - Miat
does this include all the cars behind a bus stops everytime it pulls into a badly designed bus stop ? they are after all designing bus stops now to cause maximum congestion ?

those emissions must surely lie with the bus

if the roads were designed a little more sensibly we wouldnt have a congestion problem in most of our towns or cities, they are thinning the roads etc on purpose, again pushing up the pollution per journey

Buses worse for environment than cars - BMDUBYA
Volvoman, I total agree with you, if anyone finds that their weekend destination has a rail station, DO TRY IT, you will be pleasantly surprised. And I agree public transport has to get better, but to do so people have to use it. I like to think that I do my bit, I do use the local buses and park and ride schemes where I can find them and would encourage more people to do so, as you say it certainly is less stress free sitting there on the bus whatching everyone trying to get out of town in there cars. Like you I too am not anti car, but I like to have as stress free commuting as possible.
Buses worse for environment than cars - volvoman
I should have said, BTW, that I wasn't looking forward to our little journey last weekend but the service really has been transformed in recent years. Yes there are still many serious problems with the rail network which will take years to address but, even so, the stations I've used are better/ cleaner, announcements are more frequent (and intelligible too !!), indicator boards actually work and the whole ethos seems to be more passenger friendly. All in all I think we should give some credit for that because it's deserved even though things are far from perfect.

Until more people start to use buses etc. for some of their journeys the mistaken belief that the whole system is a complete shambles will prevail and conditions on our roads will only get worse. The truth is that far too many short journeys are made by car when there are suitable alternatives available, including walking! Unless we get real, the price for exercising the presumed 'right' to drive everywhere will be that our freedom to choose is eroded to the point where driving becomes a privilege reserved for the few and guess who they'll be !


Value my car