On Earth Day, the American Bus Association (ABA) announced that Americans looking for a travel option that is both affordable and environmentally friendly this summer vacation season should look to the private motorcoach industry.
In recognition of the annual event, ABA put together its top five reasons that environmentally conscious and fiscally sensible travelers should take the motorcoach instead of planes, trains and personal automobiles:
1. Motorcoaches release the least carbon dioxide (CO2) per passenger mile compared to trains, planes and cars by far. Motorcoaches, when filled with 56 passengers, are on average seven times more energy- and fuel-efficient than single-occupancy automobiles. Passenger cars alone have caused about 60 percent of U.S. carbon emissions over the last 20 years, according to the Department of Energy.
2. Experts predict that the average price at the gasoline pump will exceed $4 a gallon throughout the 2011 summer driving season.
3. Motorcoaches provide 206.6 passenger miles per gallon of fuel; a car with a single occupant achieves an average of 27.2 passenger miles per gallon.
4. One fully occupied motorcoach can displace as many as 57 passenger cars from crowded highways. Congestion on highways costs U.S. taxpayers $72 billion annually in wasted resources and lost productivity.
5. Motorcoaches lead the way with onboard technology to make riding more relaxing and productive. In December, a DePaul University Chaddick Institute transportation study reported that intercity bus service, featuring amenities like free Wi-Fi and power outlets to charge digital devices, was the fastest-growing mode of intercity transportation, outpacing air and rail. The report also pointed out that passenger loads handled by curbside bus services are reducing fuel consumption by about 11 million gallons annually-the equivalent benefit of removing 23,818 vehicles from the road.
"Every day is Earth Day when you ride by bus," said ABA President/CEO Peter Pantuso. "Today's motorcoaches feature new, near-zero emission engine technology and offer travelers the best way to cut CO2 and lower their carbon footprint. Plus, more regional and family-owned bus enterprises are offering coaches with more amenities and conveniences like Wi-Fi, power outlets and satellite entertainment, giving travelers even more reasons to take motor coach trips, rather than drive or fly."
To better promote motorcoach as an environmentally friendly travel option, the ABA is establishing the "Green Choice" Award. Created in cooperation with Motor Coach Industries, the award promotes the motor coach as a viable solution to the reduction of carbon emissions.
The ABA Green Choice Award will be awarded to the motorcoach operator or tour group organization that demonstrates the greatest commitment to green stewardship in the areas of internal corporate initiative, external corporate stewardship, or community and industry-wide green leadership.