The role that luxury buses can play in reducing carbon emissions
Finding new, innovative ways to get from point A to point B is something that many players in the transportation industry are trying to do. Over the past decade, more and more luxury buses have appeared, trying to give Americans more travel options. The service is like other bus services that carry passengers between states, but it’s touted as a more luxurious but still affordable experience.
RedCoach is one of those liners. The bus service is based in Florida, but in 2021 RedCoach also began offering service to passengers from Texas. With WiFi and offices, their pitch is aimed not only at bikers trying to get from city to city, but also bikers who travel on business so they can stay productive while commuting to their destination. Their main selling point for bikers is that they are a more relaxed and productive option than driving a car or flying.
“People are looking for more options that they don’t want to sit in the car for hours and drive and all the mileage and wear and tear on the vehicle, the stress that they are all related to now,” said Florencia Cirigliano, vice president of marketing. for RedCoach.
But the impact of this type of service can go beyond the provision of another mode of transport. According to the United Motorcoach Association, coaches have the lowest carbon footprint of 12 different forms of passenger transportation and they only have a carbon footprint of 0.17 pounds of CO2 per passenger-mile. According to the International Energy Agency, buses and minibuses only accounted for 7% of carbon emissions in 2020, compared to 41% for passenger cars. Experts like Joseph Schwieterman, professor of transport at DePaul University, see reliable and consistent bus travel as an effective way to reduce carbon emissions.
“When you look at the sweet spot for bus travel, which can be less than 300 miles, a lot of people travel on these routes and we’re lucky if we can cut fuel consumption and airline emissions by 10. or 20%. Said Dr Schwieterman. “The technology is only years and years in the future until we use electric planes and so on, but buses allow us to instantly cut carbon emissions by up to 75%. “
Some experts, like Kara Kockelman, professor of transportation engineering at the University of Texas, believe improvements must be made to bus transportation before it can effectively tackle carbon emissions. Buses need to increase ridership, whether it’s for city or intercity bus trips, Dr. Kockelman says. Ultimately, she believes the most important key to improving carbon emissions from buses is to go electric.
“So I would absolutely move away from diesel and ideally electrify this vehicle, it will have a pretty long charging time once it reaches its destination, so the distance limit can be 300 miles or 400 miles if they go. with a bigger battery, ”said Dr. Kockelman. “So there is some charging time, but it will be absolutely a lot quieter for their passengers and it will be a lot quieter for everyone.”
Electrifying their fleet is something RedCoach is looking to do. They are looking for different ways to become greener, and as infrastructure continues to improve, they in turn hope to improve transportation.
“We would certainly like to see what happens with this new infrastructure project, especially with all the charging stations needed for the distances that buses are now allowed to travel,” Cirigliano said. “Because distances are limited, if you want to go a certain distance you have to have options, have more durability and a charging option, but that’s definitely something we’re really interested in. “