Off the Press: Save 890 Million Metric Tons of CO2 by Taking the Bus


We’re huge fans of alternative transportation here at offMetro. Our website was founded to help others travel responsibly, and eight years later we’re still striving to see the world while impacting the environment as little as possible. Even in the spread-out United States, it’s entirely possible to enjoy a vacation while leaving your personal vehicle at home. But sometimes while observing the thousands of personal vehicles on the road around us, we wonder: how great of an effect does choosing alternative transportation have on the environment?

As it turns out, a substantially great effect. A recent study undertaken by CheckMyBus, a search engine dedicated to bus travel, found that we would save 890 million metric tons of CO2 in a year if every American began traveling by bus rather than car. This is the equivalent of saving 840 million acres of forest, or the electricity usage of 94 million American homes in a year.  

checkmybus stats

Source: CheckMyBus, 2016

The transportation industry is the second largest source of pollution in the United States, releasing 1.7 billion metric tons of CO2 into the air per year, to which cars contribute 1.1 billion metric tons (64.7%). By mile, cars release twice as much CO2 than airplanes do, just under twice as much CO2 than trains, and six times more CO2 than buses.

bus vs car emissions

Source: CheckMyBus 2016

Choosing sustainable travel, whether by bus or by train,  can go a long way towards protecting our environment. Next time you’re planning a day trip, weekend getaway, or far-off escape, consider saving yourself the parking fees and take the bus instead.

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Lead photo courtesy of New York City Department of Transportation.