On the bus

117: Check the bus timetable for your commute

Cost of taking action: £/$/€ SAVES MONEY

Modern vehicles and investment in public transport by many governments means increasingly that taking a bus to work is better than driving … in lots of ways

We all know that when it comes to convenience of travel the car has been king for quite a while. We can go where we please, when we please, and it’s waiting on the drive and ready to go at the turn of the key.

However, things are changing. Diesel and petrol cars are polluting and expensive, and we all recognise the problems around fossil fuels. Roads in many countries are massively congested – especially at so called rush-hour when everyone is travelling to or from work. The UK is very typical of this. Finding a parking place is getting harder in our towns too, and more expensive every year.

Enter … the good old fashioned bus, nowadays enjoying an uplift through significant investment and public recognition of its environmental credentials.

Take action

This action is to do a little research and then run a bit of a test using bus services. See how you get on and whether you save time, money, and stress on your commute or regular shopping trips.

Firstly, find out about the buses near you. What are the numbers, what are the routes, and what is the timetable? If you know the local bus company you can look on their website, or  there are lots of sites that search all bus routes based on the destination and starting points you enter. On your smartphone, Google Maps and Apple Maps apps also have a “public transport” option built into the sat-nav programme, making it even easier. The app will tell you the route numbers, how to get to the bus stop, changes, distance, length of journey, and while you are on the bus will track the journey for you just like the car sat-nav. Brilliant!

Secondly, resolve to give it a go instead of taking the car. Try commuting this way for a week, or for a few shopping trips.

You may be surprised at the benefits!

Why are bus journeys becoming more attractive?

  • modern fleets mean buses are cleaner with much lower emissions
  • some are even electric, or some routes use electric trams
  • modern fleets mean buses are roomier with more comfortable seats than in the past
  • often there is wi-fi on board, and you can pay with your contactless bank card
  • many towns use bus lanes and bus priority traffic controls, making journeys much faster
  • the costs can be less than you would spend on fuel, especially if you travel in the car alone
  • there is no stress from driving at the busiest times or in bad weather
  • it’s a calming time to enjoy your music, the views, or social interaction before or after work
  • no stress, expense or time trying to find a parking place!

Why are bus journeys better for the environment?

  • The carbon footprint of a bus journey is much less than for a single-occupancy vehicle (calculated as an average CO2 emission per passenger mile)
  • A bus that is 1/3 full will be reducing each passenger’s carbon footprint by 25% *
  • A bus that is full will be reducing each passenger’s carbon footprint by 80% or more *
  • Fewer vehicles on the road means less air pollution
  • Fewer vehicles on the road means less plastic / rubber particulate pollution from tyres
  • Fewer vehicles on the road means less particulate pollution from brake dust
  • One bus creates a lot less noise pollution than the cars it can replace
  • Fewer vehicles in our crowded towns make them safer and more attractive places to visit

(* estimates vary, but the CO2 emission savings are always substantial)

Take action: give the bus a try

Please give it a try, we think you will be pleasantly surprised, and even if you don’t use the bus every single day, reducing your use of the car even partly is helping to reduce your carbon emissions.

Carbon dioxide is the main contributor to global warming and it is essential that we reduce the emissions from transport if we are to limit temperature rises to manageable levels. Climate change is already having a significant impact and we are running out of time and headroom on CO2 levels to halt and reverse things.

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