[Sust-mar] Bus numbers

Tim Bousquet timbousquet at yahoo.com
Mon Jul 7 18:09:58 EDT 2008

A while back somebody posted on this list a claim (from the Globe & Mail?) that cars are more efficient than buses. I'm sorry it's taken me so long to respond, but I have some numbers locally:
In 2006, total fuel consumption for Metro Transit buses was 7,795,545 litres, and total distance travelled was 13,493,358 kilometres. That's obviously not very efficient on a per-litre basis (less than two kilometres per litre), but those figures reflect all bus driving, including "dead heading," the ridiculous idling times (supposedly limited to three minutes, but in reality much longer), maintainence, etc.
But the real test is for passenger trips. Total ridership over that same year was 17,111,050 trips (including transfers), so each passenger used about 0.45 litres of fuel. That's somewhat better than most people's car commute, and therefore taking the bus makes sense, ecologically.
Of course, it's still terrible. We need better, more efficient buses and ultimately, in my opinion, electric streetcars powered by a non-GHG-emitting source. How 'bout a tidal generator under the Macdonald Bridge?
Tim Bousquet


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