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  1. #1
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    Thumbs up Using a BUS is bad for the enviroment!

    For a course I do at college I have to do a global issue, and I am doing some form of Global warming (to be decided) but at the moment I've just set around to proving that a car is better for the enviroment than a bus! I have proved it too...your car has to do about 31mpg to be about even. A Vauxhall Corsa for example is twice as economical!

    If you actually care (and want to double check how I've worked it out read on).

    I phoned up the deparment for transport and the average occupany for a bus and it is 9 and for a car 1.6. That means we need 5.625 cars per bus (if all 9 people traveled by car rather than bus). So, you then use that number to split the gallon of petrol between the cars. So if you car does 58.8MPG (a corsa) that means they each go 10.453 miles. I found the MPG for an urban london bus being 5.4MPG so your car can go almost twice as far...on it's share of the gallon of petrol!

    Anyone see any faults in that?
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  2. #2
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    What if there are 50 people on a bus?

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Webdude
    What if there are 50 people on a bus?

    There could be, but I've used the overal, average occupancy which is 9 so that will include when there are 50 and when there is no one on board.. This will be for the UK and not the US.
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  4. #4
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    I see a bunch of holes in this theory:

    1. In Ontario (Hamilton specifically), most public transit is very well utilized. I remember in high school, it was rare that you'd get a seat on the bus, and sometimes you wouldn't even get standing room on the first bus after school, to school, etc. (and thats well over 50 people).

    2. The average MPG rating for a car (around here) is < 30 MPG (My Mazda 626 only does around 24mpg realized, and thats mostly highway driving). Many SUV's clock in closer to 15MPG, which is unfortunate.

    3. The transit company is probably quoting realized MPG (not posted/BS, and 100% city), so consideration for stop/go traffic, pickups, etc.

    4. Most city buses in the area also run on natural gas, not gasoline.

    5. The build cost on the environment (have you looked up the stats of how many barrels of oil it takes to condition the materials for a car? it generally takes more oil to make the car, then the car will consume in its lifetime statistically speaking).

    6. In relation to #5, hundreds of people will "share" the average bus route. Thats a few buses total, the same hundreds of people owning cars might not use them every day, but they still had to all be built (inflating the "cost" of cars on the environment).

    Overall, I think this theory is far from accurate.
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  5. #5
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    Yes, but you have to look at "what they are meant for". I dont know about buses there, but I think here they can cover between 50-100 people. Lets go with 50. Let's keep it simplest before making it harder.

    50 people live in the same neighborhood, and they all work at the same factory across town. Which is better? Each taking their own car? Or all taking a single bus?

    However, if you cant get people to take the bus instead of drive.... then buses simply dont save on fuel consumption or pollution..

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by Webdude
    Yes, but you have to look at "what they are meant for". I dont know about buses there, but I think here they can cover between 50-100 people. Lets go with 50. Let's keep it simplest before making it harder.

    50 people live in the same neighborhood, and they all work at the same factory across town. Which is better? Each taking their own car? Or all taking a single bus?

    However, if you cant get people to take the bus instead of drive.... then buses simply dont save on fuel consumption or pollution..

    But then you have to look at what cars are meant to hold too.

    2. The average MPG rating for a car (around here) is < 30 MPG (My Mazda 626 only does around 24mpg realized, and thats mostly highway driving). Many SUV's clock in closer to 15MPG, which is unfortunate.
    Not a hole in my theory...I stated that it needs to do around 31mpg to break even so it's not overally relivant.

    3. The transit company is probably quoting realized MPG (not posted/BS, and 100% city), so consideration for stop/go traffic, pickups, etc.
    Not heard of the term transit company, but I presume it means a bus company? The milage I got was a urban MPG from a third party website. I have looked for other buses details to take an average, but I can't find any I am afraid.
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  7. #7
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    I phoned up the deparment for transport and the average occupany for a bus and it is 9 and for a car 1.6. That means we need 5.625 cars per bus (if all 9 people traveled by car rather than bus). So, you then use that number to split the gallon of petrol between the cars. So if you car does 58.8MPG (a corsa) that means they each go 10.453 miles. I found the MPG for an urban london bus being 5.4MPG so your car can go almost twice as far...on it's share of the gallon of petrol!
    What about buses like in Fort Worth that uses natural gas?

    We have a system that not only provides trains, but also buses along the routes.
    Kerry Jones

  8. #8
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    I see no holes.

    You've taken known figures then averaged them for both bus and car (people/mpg).

    It's irrelivent if 50 were on a bus then maybe none later these figures are taken into account when averaged.

    On appearances London buses look more used than the average given but, I must be wrong as you have the figures which should be right given their source.

    I'm surprised.
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  9. #9
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    [QUOTE=thomaseNot a hole in my theory...I stated that it needs to do around 31mpg to break even so it's not overally relivant.[/quote]

    Sure it is, you've used a unified figure to represent all buses, why wouldn't you use the same kind of figure for all cars? Not everyone (actually, incredibly few people) drive cars that can get 60mpg in the city (I know of *none* around here that can touch that in real world conditions), even 30mpg in the city stop/go traffic is unusual from real world figures I've seen, the average is probably a LOT closer to 20mpg. If you're going to argue "driving the perfect car, is more efficient then riding in an empty bus", thats another case, but if you argue averages, you need to use averages in both sides.

    Notably, how about the amount of time cars spend idling in the driveway, warming up in the winter, stopped with the ignition on in front of stores, etc. (which buses do very little of)?

    Not heard of the term transit company, but I presume it means a bus company?
    "Public Transit" is a common term up here.

    The milage I got was a urban MPG from a third party website. I have looked for other buses details to take an average, but I can't find any I am afraid.
    That makes the figure all that much more suspect in my opinion. Does not cover ones on other fuel sources, doesn't tell you how full the buses in question were when measured, mechanical condition, etc. Chances are this number comes from a small sample set given you can only find one source online.
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  10. #10
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    The only problem with our theory (and it's a big one) is that you've used the Combined (or the Extra Urban) fuel figures for a Corsa and not the Urban figures - yet you've used the Urban figures for the bus. The Urban figure is somewhere around 45mpg depending on who you believe - and that's an incredibly efficient model, most cars won't manage around 25mpg (In a city where traffic moves reanably well - in London most cars will do far less), so we're back to the bus beating the car.
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by KDAWebServices
    The only problem with our theory (and it's a big one) is that you've used the Combined (or the Extra Urban) fuel figures for a Corsa and not the Urban figures - yet you've used the Urban figures for the bus. The Urban figure is somewhere around 45mpg depending on who you believe - and that's an incredibly efficient model, most cars won't manage around 25mpg (In a city where traffic moves reanably well - in London most cars will do far less), so we're back to the bus beating the car.
    If I could actually find statistics for the buses which are popular over here but the manufactures website don't give MPG details!

    On appearances London buses look more used than the average given but, I must be wrong as you have the figures which should be right given their source.
    I will admit I'd like a better source for the MPGs.

    "Public Transit" is a common term up here.
    Again, never heard of that...is it public transport?

    On appearances London buses look more used than the average given but, I must be wrong as you have the figures which should be right given their source.
    I will admit, more work is needed on the MPG data for buses as I have used an average occupancy which is presumably for the whole country where as I have used a bus which operates in London.
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  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by thomase
    Again, never heard of that...is it public transport?
    Nope, its transit, like "mass transit", not "mass transport"

    Granted we also refer to the power company as "hydro" (Ontario hydro, because a lot of our power comes from hydroelectricity relatively speaking [not the majority of it, but far more then most other states/countries relatively speaking])
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  13. #13
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    The car is more dangerous than the bus. If everybody take the bus instead of driving, the number of vehicles on the road would decrease by 60 percent. That would result less carbon dioxide to be release back into the atmosphere. It would be a big help to prevent global warning.

  14. #14
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    How about carpools?

    http://www.the-t.com/pool_vancar.html

    scroll down to driving alone vs carpools.
    Kerry Jones

  15. #15
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    Where I live we have miles of tail backs (cars stood still bumper to bumper) in a morning going in to town and then same again in an evening opposite way.

    A high majority of these live in medium/large outlying villages.

    It is very rare to see more than one person per car out of all these thousands of rush hour traffic (which is about 2 hours in reality).

    The buses are very regular from these areas and are full (full to the point that by the time they reach near the town centre they drive past bus stops of waiting passengers).

    The above happens every weekday and most Saturdays.

    Car pooling doesn't appeal to the majority of the Joe public where I live.

    I often stand and watch all the above while crossing the road in amazement.
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  16. #16
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    Buses here use Bio-Diesel. My car does not use Bio-Diesel, and gets only 31mpg. What's more polluting?
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  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by fromage
    Buses here use Bio-Diesel. My car does not use Bio-Diesel, and gets only 31mpg. What's more polluting?

    Correct, but the buses where I live are not converted and probably won't be for anytime soon.
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  18. #18
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    1. 30 people all drive their cars to work
    2. 30 people all use the bus

    Which one is more environmentally friendly?

  19. #19
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    your numbers are off. look at an average bus during rush hour, it will be full.

    look at an average car during the same time frame it will one have occupant.
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  20. #20
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    It can't be off as the OP used data provided by deparment for transport for both car and buses.

    This is the overall total divided which gives the average - this takes in to account a full bus at rush hour and maybe an empty bus at midday.
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  21. #21
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    it can be off if the statistical analysis is over simplified.

    he has used the mean instead of the median.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Median
    The big difference between the median and mean is illustrated in a simple example.

    Suppose 19 paupers and 1 billionaire are in a room. Everyone removes all money from their pockets and puts it on a table. Each pauper puts $5 on the table; the billionaire puts $1 billion (that is, $109) there. The total is then $1,000,000,095. If that money is divided equally among the 20 persons, each gets $50,000,004.75. That amount is the mean (or "average") amount of money that the 20 persons brought into the room. But the median amount is $5, since one may divide the group into two groups of 10 persons each, and say that everyone in the first group brought in no more than $5, and each person in the second group brought in no less than $5. In a sense, the median is the amount that the typical person brought in. By contrast, the mean (or "average") is not at all typical, since no one present—pauper or billionaire—brought in an amount approximating $50,000,004.75.
    besides, there is no comparison for date and timings, weather, route, or any of the things a real transport study would look at.

    in smaller towns the occupancy of the bus may be very low due to the fact that more people have cars, but there may only be 5 buses a day. in the city the buses will be packed out at peak time and there are hundreds of buses.

    if anybody thinks this limited study is correct, here's a little sound bite for you:

    statistics are like a bikini, what they reveal is pleasing what they hide is vital.
    <erno> hm. I've lost a machine.. literally _lost_. it responds to ping, it works completely, I just can't figure out where in my apartment it is.

  22. #22
    Here in India, buses have a general seating capacity of arnd 40-50.. but they are always overstffed and often 100-120 ppl can be seen hanging around the exit.
    I'm sure that your theory would fail in a situation like this. The most polluting thing on these Indian roads are the autos.. Kill them , and u'd have stopped half the pollution.

  23. #23
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    I just recently rode the bus and I counted on average around 20 - 25 per load.
    Kerry Jones

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