More than half of all people live in an urban area. By 2030, 6 out of every 10 people will live in a city, and by 2050, this proportion will increase to 7 out of 10 people. Ongoing urbanisation in many parts of the world requires prompt action to avoid not only congestion, but a complete breakdown of the traffic system and an unbearable living environment. This is an important arena for bus transport.
It’s not about convincing people to leave their cars behind and instead take the bus. It’s a matter of providing the transportation that people badly need. And this is where the bus holds all the trump cards.
Whatever the living standard of the country in question, the bus is the most economical, the quickest and most flexible solution available for passenger transport. The investment cost of a bus system is around one-third of that of a rail-bound system.
Bus transports offer great mobility and time savings
Bus routes can be up and running at short notice and can be re-configured repeatedly while infrastructural planning of an area is in progress. Right from the outset, planners must make the best use of this short implementation time, low investment cost and high flexibility to respond to people’s transport needs.
In many parts of the world, people need to view bus transport as a viable alternative to the passenger car: less stress, less pollution, more comfort, great mobility and time savings, as well as the ability to work en route, should be convincing arguments for any commuter.
The environmental arguments are self-evident. We are all entitled to breathe clean air in our daily environment. Emissions from a moving fleet of buses in a smart bus system are much easier to handle than those from hundreds of thousands of cars in a congested city.
Bus fleets running on renewable fuels
The main environmental gains will come from reducing the number of cars, but further steps can also be taken to reduce the impact of our bus systems. Right now, authorities and operators can choose to start running bus fleets on renewable fuels, while maintaining all the flexibility and moderate investment level of a diesel bus system. Scania offers alternative solutions using biodiesel, biogas and bioethanol that comply with emission standards up to Euro 6.
In the long term, once the infrastructure in a region has settled, electrified routes, battery propulsion and hybridisation will provide additional options. This assumes that cost and service life have come down to competitive levels. In a situation, where tackling CO2 emissions is the main challenge for transport systems, fuel savings and increased use of biofuels will always represent the way forward.