Coach Tourism: Greenest, Safest, Comfortable

Tomas Haupt - Oct 31, 2011
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…that buses and coaches are the key to sustainable mobility?

Every year, buses and coaches in Europe bring passengers safe and sound to their intended destinations with the lowest impact on the environment. Although the use of collective passenger transport is increasing, many people are still unaware of just how safe, environmentally friendly and quiet buses and coaches are. Buses and coaches are key elements in the sustainable mobility chain, providing safe, socially inclusive and environmentally friendly transport services to everyone.

…that buses and coaches are crucial for peoples’ mobility?

Each year, individuals across Europe travel more than 700 billion kilometers by bus and coach, making it one of the largest commercial modes of passenger transport and the largest mode of passenger land transport apart from the private car. Buses and coaches also provide more than 50% of European public transport services.

…that buses and coaches are major European job providers?

Bus and coach operators in Europe employ around two million drivers, technicians and administrative personnel. In addition, one million employees provide vehicle components, sell, insure and inspect buses and coaches and further 5 million jobs in Europe depend directly or indirectly on bus and coach operations, such as in the vehicle manufacturing, leisure and travel industries.

…that buses and coaches are major contributors to the economy and tourism?

Coach tourism turnover in Europe amounts to around 15 billion Euros per year. Moreover, tourists travelling by coach spend at least 40% more money at their destinations than any other tourists. For cities and regions to realize the full potential of coach tourism, adequate parking facilities, pick-up and drop-off points along with suitable access to amenities are crucial. The introduction of entry taxes on visiting coaches entails a significant loss of tourism and related economic benefits.

…that buses and coaches are crucial for social cohesion?

Buses and coaches provide affordable, reliable and flexible transport services to all, regardless of their financial means or where they live. For many citizens, especially students, workers, the elderly, people with disabilities and those with low incomes, bus and coach transport is their only lifeline to education, work, care, leisure and tourism. Coach services are offered at a lower cost-per-passenger ratio than any other means of transport over distances between 500 and 1,000 kilometers.

…that buses and coaches are safety champions?

Buses and coaches are the safest of all road transport modes and equal the safety of trains, despite sharing infrastructure with other users and modes. From 2007 to 2008, bus and coach passengers represented 0.57% of road fatalities in the European Union, which is even less than the 0.79% share attributed to agricultural tractors! Despite this exemplary record, safety remains the top priority for bus and coach operators.

…that travelling by bus and coach reduces congestion?

Considering the average occupancy rate of coaches, buses and cars in Europe, one coach can replace up to 30 cars while taking up the road capacity of only three cars. Much more can be achieved to reduce congestion if a spirit of partnership prevails, with governments, authorities, businesses and coach operators working together to implement pro-coach and pro-bus policies, such as priority lanes and schemes, parking and driver facilities, secure locations, suitable terminals and stops for scheduled services.

…that buses and coaches are environmental champions?

Buses and coaches are the cleanest and most carbon-efficient travel mode of all. For each passenger transported over 100 kilometers, buses and coaches use half a liter of diesel fuel and emit half of the CO2 emitted by trains. In most European countries, around 10% of the bus and coach fleet is renewed every year, integrating the latest clean and efficient technology. Bus and coach operators are also willingly sending their drivers to “fuel saving” seminars and eco-driving courses to further improve their environmental performance.

…that noxious emissions from buses and coaches have been reduced by up to 98% since 1990?

Thanks to the bus and coach industry’s tremendous investment in new technology, pollutants dangerous to the health of European citizens – carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons, nitrogen oxides and particulates – have been significantly reduced by up to 98%!

…that bus and coach drivers are the elite of the driving profession?

Due to the very nature of their work and responsibilities, it is mandatory for the over one million bus and coach drivers in Europe to submit to a special medical examination and undergo extensive training to pass stringent driving and theory tests, in addition to those required to obtain a driving license. Mandatory life-long learning has long been a reality for bus and coach drivers. With specific training and recognized competence, driving buses and coaches professionally offers real career perspectives.

…that 25 modern buses and coaches make no more noise than one built in 1980?

Technological innovations such as special insulation, the introduction of low rolling resistance tires and other noise control techniques applied at source have significantly reduced noise levels compared to 1980, making today’s buses and coaches the quietest mode of collective passenger transport! Further reductions can be achieved if, for example, infrastructure managers ensure the use of low rolling resistant surfaces on roads.

…that 90% of travelers by coach are satisfied with their trip?

Buses and coaches are the most flexible of all collective passenger transport modes. They can bring tens of thousands of people home after a football match or bring tourists to remote world-renowned locations. Buses and coaches are available in the exact size and numbers needed for every occasion. It is therefore no mystery that industry surveys regularly indicate that 90% of all coach travelers are satisfied or very satisfied with their coach trip.

http://www.iru.org

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