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Happy Earth Day!

A full busload of passengers

A full busload of passengers takes 40 vehicles off the road. (This one's just waiting to fill up :)

Happy Earth Day everyone! As we’re all taking the time to appreciate our planet today, I just wanted to mention some of the things TransLink and its family of companies do to help our environment out.

  • One busload of passengers takes 40 vehicles off the road, saving 70,000 litres of fuel, 175 tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions and 9 tonnes of pollutants per year.
  • Every year the combined distance travelled by all CMBC bus passengers is about 1 billion kilometres. During peak rush hour, it’s estimated that 25,000 fewer vehicles are on the road because people are taking buses instead of their cars.
  • Did you know if you took all of the SkyTrain passengers that travel from Broadway to Waterfront during rush hour and put then each in a car – you would have to build an eight lane highway? Four lanes to get them into the city in the morning and four lanes to get them home at night. That’s a big carbon footprint!
  • SkyTrain carries an average of 240,000 passengers per day. It carried 73.5 million passengers in 2008!
  • Star performers in air pollution reduction are the electric trolley buses. Because electric power is so much cleaner than the internal combustion engine, these buses contribute 99.5% fewer emissions than conventional buses.
  • Every year CMBC collects 300,000 litres of waste oil and sends it for recycling back into new oil. In addition about 20,000 used oil filters, 20,000 litres of used antifreeze and 20,000 litres of waste paint and solvents are sent for recycling.
  • Because CMBC does the heavy maintenance work on our buses, we can keep a diesel for around 20 years. In a diesel’s lifetime, it will actually consume about half a million litres of fuel.
  • Diesel-electric hybrid buses will save anywhere between 15-20% on fuel consumption, meaning they’re sending out about 15-20% fewer emissions into the air. If you factor in that fuel costs about $1 a litre, this will save $100,000 from 20% in fuel savings. (We’re getting 180 hybrid buses this year!)
  • As well, when we compare the hybrids to the buses they are replacing, the particulate matter levels (the smoke they send out) will be reduced by 90-100%.
  • Hybrid buses also have regenerative braking, and the hybrid synchronizes gears and the electric motor engages the clutch which acts a smooth ride so passengers won’t get that jerking motion. This all means we will save on wear and tear on the bus transmissions. Overall, while these buses have the perception of a high price tag, they stand to save us a lot of money in the long run!


  • By daniel, April 23, 2009 @ 5:07 pm

    is that a regular novabus lfs are was it the new novabus hev? when are the hev’s going to be in service?

  • By JC, April 30, 2009 @ 10:35 pm

    how do you count Skytrain passengers if there are no turnstiles?

  • By Jhenifer Pabillano, May 1, 2009 @ 8:59 am

    Fare Inspection Officers from Transit Security officers do ridership surveys over three four-month periods every year. You might have seen them at stations or on buses — they will ask to see your pass, and one of the officers is usually writing all the counts down on a form. They count the types of fares people are using, how many riders are on each mode, and fare evasion. They use quite large sample sizes so the accuracy of the estimate is pretty reliable: for example, about 9,700 SkyTrain passengers are counted each month.

  • By Eugene Wong, May 1, 2009 @ 3:53 pm

    That’s a very clever way of doing ridership surveys. I’m actually very impressed. They don’t have to give any disclaimers like other surveys do. It makes life so much easier for all parties.

Other Links to this Post

  1. The Buzzer blog » Happy Earth Day 2010! — April 22, 2010 @ 5:22 pm

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