Charter buses and the environment


Lorenz Charter Bus in Banff National Park

What is the environmental impact of a charter bus?

Before customers book a charter bus or motor coach trip, they often want to know more about the environmental impact of the charter bus they select.

Obviously, there are many variables involved in assessing the impact of a charter bus on the environment. We’ll get to the main ones in a moment.

But first, it’s worth mentioning that charter buses compare favorably to other modes of transportation because they provide transportation for a large number of people, which shrinks the carbon footprint of each individual on board.

Typically, charter buses have higher fuel efficiency and emit fewer emissions per passenger mile than cars, trains, planes, and even trolleys. Plus, whenever you see a charter bus on the road, think about how many cars are not on the road because the bus is doing the work of moving all those people (and their luggage).

The best approach is to get answers from your charter bus company. When that conversation happens, here are a few things to bear in mind.

Factors affecting charter bus environmental impact

Distance traveled. You can look at the total number of miles you’ll travel and use the average fuel efficiency of the type of vehicle you selected to get a sense of the overall miles per gallon for your charter bus trip.

Number of passengers. An empty charter bus often weighs between 20,000 and 33,000 pounds. A fully loaded one may weigh 30,000 – 44,000 pounds. You won’t necessarily be able to determine the exact environmental impact of a fully loaded versus a half-loaded charter bus. The important point is to know the number of passengers in the group and pick the right size vehicle for the trip to get maximum efficiency.

Vehicle fuel efficiency. When assessing the environmental impact of a charter bus trip, remember that newer vehicles are almost always more fuel efficient than older ones. Ask your charter bus tour operator if a newer, more fuel-efficient vehicle is available. As for electric buses, they are not a common sight just yet, but this is likely to change as battery technology improves. When electric buses are ready for prime time, expect a quieter charter bus experience with 4-6 times less greenhouse gas emission than a gas-powered charter bus. Until then, you may see charter bus companies using alternative fuels.

Route & Driver. Highway driving is more fuel-efficient than stop-and-go driving, without question. Flatlands will require less fuel to cover than mountains. Last of all, your driver will have some impact on fuel consumption but as a rule, charter bus drivers are trained professionals who are taught to be conscientious about their fuel consumption.

If you’re planning a trip or just doing research, please feel free to contact us at Lorenz Bus Service for a no-obligation, no-pressure conversation with one of our professionals.