Charter Bus Services – The Most Surprising Eco-Friendly Way To Travel

In a recent CNN Money article titled “Planes, trains, cars, and buses — What’s best for the earth?” CNN contributor Steve Hargreaves posed an important question about eco-friendly travel that definitely needs to be addressed: If coach buses only get about six miles to each gallon of gas, how can they be considered eco-friendly travel options at all?

The answer here is pretty simple, but it’s something that most American consumers don’t think about: Although the average coach bus engine only travels six miles on one gallon of gas, the number of passenger miles per gallon is a bit more impressive and it far exceeds the number of passenger miles that other vehicles can offer.

Your average charter bus services typically use buses that get about 206 to 208 passenger miles to each gallon, according to Hargreaves, and this number continues to go up as newer technology is developed and implemented. The American Bus Association has found that the average coach bus carries about 38 passengers at one time, which is about 70% of the bus’s fullest capacity — so when a bus carries more than 38 passengers, it can offer even more passenger miles per gallon without using any more energy.

Commuter trains, which are the second-best eco-friendly option after charter buses, can get as much as 92 passenger miles per gallon, although the most popular intercity train lines typically get about 50 to 60 passenger miles to the gallon. Compared to trains, charter buses are about three times as efficient at reducing CO2 emissions.

Commercial planes are the third-best option, and although they’re great when you need to travel overseas or travel in a short amount of time, you might be surprised to find out that the average passenger airplane only gets about 50 passenger miles per gallon. Single-passenger cars are even worse, despite so many major improvements for hybrid and electric cars; the average passenger car today gets about 39 miles to each gallon.

There are a few good reasons why charter bus services provide about 751 million passenger trips each year, and why motorcoach companies have actually doubled the number of trips provided since 2010. Not only are they becoming more time-efficient and comfortable, but charter bus services are one of the most affordable and eco-friendly ways to travel, too.