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uses and Coaches: environmental champions of passenger transport


15 Dec 2009



Doubling bus and coach transport through effective business and public policy incentives is the Smart Move to significantly cut CO2 emissions while achieving sustainable mobility.

Copenhagen – “Taking the bus or travelling by coach is among the simplest, quickest and cheapest ways for individuals to contribute to CO2 reduction”, said Graham Smith, Vice President of the International Road Transport Union (IRU). Buses and coaches are the largest collective transport mode worldwide.

Thanks to their flexibility, buses and coaches, together with taxis, offer a sustainable alternative to private car use while maintaining a high level of flexibility.

“It should be widely known that buses and coaches are the environmental champions among all modes of motorised passenger transport”, continued Mr Smith. “In my country, the UK, coaches emit 0.03 kg of CO2 per passenger-kilometre. This is half of the CO2 emissions of the second best performer – trains.

A 400 km passenger journey from London to Blackpool will emit 11 kg of CO2 if done by coach, 23 to 25 kg if done by train, 44 kg if done by car and 68kg if done by air.”

Doubling the use of buses and coaches is therefore the smartest way of achieving sustainable mobility for all. Such an increase, in Europe alone would save 50 million tonnes of CO2 per year - a reduction of 1.5 tonnes of CO2 per second.

For the road passenger transport industry, doubling the use of buses and coaches worldwide is a realistic policy. It is supported by the road transport industry’s pledge to cut 30% of its CO2 emissions by 2030, in close cooperation with manufacturers and public authorities.

Collective passenger transport by bus and coach has the potential to significantly contribute to ambitious CO2 reduction targets – a tangible “Smart Move” that decision makers should pursue following the COP15 debates.

See the SmartMove pictures at the United Nations Conference on Climate Change For more information, see Smart Move Did You Know..?

Facts and Figures on road transport in Europe The IRU and CO2 Press contact: Juliette Ebélé, +41 22 918 27 07, Press Office International Road Transport Union (IRU) 3, rue de Varembé / B.P. 44 CH-1211 Geneva 20 Switzerland Tel: +41 22 918 27 07 Fax: + 41 22 918 27 41 Mailto: Web: