Planes, trains and automobiles are the frequent methods of transportation discussed when people talk about travelling. However, there is an unsung hero of travel that is often overlooked: the bus.
Buses prove a comfortable and affordable means of travel all over the world. As early as the 1820s horse-drawn buses were used. It wasn’t until the late 1830s, however, that bus services became popular thanks to steam powered buses in England. Buses quickly became a popular, sought after means of transportation thanks to the increasingly large number of travelers they could hold and the low cost of rides.
According to the American Bus Association, bus travel increased 7.5% between 2011 and 2012, making it the fastest growing travel industry in the U.S.
Today buses come in a number of forms and offer a wealth of services. Schools use buses to transport students to and from school and various other activities. Musicians and other performers use buses to tour around the country. Churches, rest homes and other organizations use buses to allow members to travel. Most cities have local bus services that allow people to travel anywhere within the city and nearby locations, for a small fee. Specialty bus companies, like Greyhound, bus ticket holders all over the country. And people can hire luxury charter buses to take various tours.
The use of buses seem unimportant until one actually thinks about all of their various benefits.
Local bus services, in particular, are popular in large cities. Riding the bus is a welcome alternative to having to brave traffic in congested areas. Buying a bus pass is so much easier, and cheaper, than owning a car in big cities. Similarly for those who can’t afford to own their own automobile, local bus services are invaluable, giving them a way to get to and from work, stores and other locations.
Charter buses are specialty buses usually rented by a tour group. For long tours, charter bus trips are appreciated because of large seats, televisions, bathrooms, lots of cargo space and other amenities. They allow you to truly travel comfortably on a bus.
Bus travel also proves better for the environment than most other methods of transportation. Because buses carry so many passengers, they automatically help cut down on air pollution. Motor coaches (luxury buses like Greyhound) that provide cross-country passenger services, in particular, help reduce carbon dioxide emissions. Studies show motor coaches are three times more effective at reducing carbon dioxide emissions that commuter rail travel, and six times more efficient at cutting emissions than transit buses.
Motor coaches also provide excellent gas mileage compared to other forms of transportation. They provide 206 passenger miles per gallon of fuel (MPG). The commuter rail only offers 92 passenger MPG, while domestic air carriers provide 44 MPG and single passenger automobiles offer just 27 MPG. This area of the bus industry offers great sustainability measures.
Whether you’re interested in local bus services, a charter bus company or motorcoach companies, taking a bus offers exceptional affordability and amenities. Book your ticket now, relax, and enjoy the sights out your window — all while not having to drive yourself!
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