This week is Catch the Bus Week – an annual event to put the bus in the spotlight and celebrate its unique importance to everyday life. If you want to stamp out your carbon footprint, you can do your bit by using public transport, which is an effective means of easing congestion and reducing pollution.
Two of Scotland’s five most polluted streets (the Seagate and Lochee Road) are right here in Dundee. Independent analysis recently conducted in the city found that (particularly in the case of the Seagate) it is not buses that cause these negative effects, but an over-abundance of under-occupied cars. Far from being held responsible, buses should be hailed as the solution to pollution. Per kilometre travelled, our passengers consume 75% less fuel and produce 75% less CO2.
Buses are a more efficient use of limited road space, especially when it comes to crammed urban settings such as the Seagate or key commuter corridors such as Lochee Road. Did you know that a single bus could take almost 60 cars off the road? Cars have an average occupancy of 1.2 passengers, whereas a double decker bus has a capacity of more than 70. Plus: at any one time, 90% of cars are stationary, whereas almost 90% of our fleet is on the move out in service.
The number one reason cited by non-users for avoiding public transport is the time factor. But, in turn, the number one cause for timetable delays is growing traffic congestion. Congestion is estimated to cost the UK economy £11 billion every year in lost time, and figures produced by INRIX (a research body) shows that Dundonians spend 7.1% of travelling time stuck in traffic - that's more than Glaswegians!
Our buses are a ready-made answer to these problems, as they are big, effective people movers which could take considerable strain off the road network. In the whole of 2016, our services were subject to 59 route diversions due to roadworks which are necessary to repair over-worn roads. So far this year, that number has already reached 70. With more passengers and fewer cars on the road, together, we could drive that number down.
At Xplore Dundee, we are already doing our bit to look after the environment. In recent years, we have invested £2.75 million in 14 hybrid technology vehicles which reduce emissions by 30%. Fuel economy is important to our business to ensure we can keep costs as low as possible. The United Kingdom is the 17th most expensive country in the world for fuel – with Brits being charged £5.32 per gallon, according to GlobalPetrolPrices.com. In fact, British drivers spend an average of £2,250 on fuel alone, along with hundreds more on insurance and other fees, which all add up to £3,453 in annual vehicle expenses.
But people could wipe almost £3,000 from the outgoings every year if they switched to a monthly direct debit with Xplore Dundee. Our scheme would help cut the cost of your commute, coming to an annual total of £528 (or less than £1.45 per day – which less than an hour’s car parking!)
Travelling by bus will help you save some money and save the environment. What would you do with £3,000…?