How Green is Mass Transit?




Yahoo! this morning has an article on how un-green certain modes of transportation might actually be. We all think mass transit (buses, trains, etc.) are the way to go, rather than the lone driver behind the wheel of their own car. But if those buses and trains are not at capacity, they’re now saying you could be better off driving than in one of those beasts. And we’ve all seen the buses belching smoke from their exhaust. If there are only five people on the bus, is it really a green ride? Apparently not. There’s more that goes into these calculations than simply the number of cars on the road.

A saloon (sedan) car or even an 4×4 that is fully occupied may be responsible for less greenhouse gas per kilometer travelled per person than a suburban train that is a quarter full, the researchers calculate.


The paper appears in Environmental Research Letters, a publication of Britain’s Institute of Physics.

You still can’t argue with a bike.


About D. D. Syrdal

Writer of vampire stories and science fiction. First novel, "Revenants Abroad", available now at Amazon,,, Smashwords. If you like a vampire you can go out drinking with and still respect yourself in the morning, I think you'd like Andrej.
This entry was posted in bicycling, bike commuting, Green Living, suburban living, Uncategorized and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to How Green is Mass Transit?

  1. welshcyclist says:

    I think mass transit is hyped too much, as a greener way to trave. I work on the railway here in Wales, and see at close hand the amount of pollution they belch out.

  2. Digital Dame says:

    I’ve always wondered about that, more so with buses since trains aren’t used much for travel in my area. There’s a reason the exhaust is vented out of the roof of the bus, rather than at ground level like cars.

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