The other day, I took part in the environmental panel debate at the tourist fair in Gothenburg. Representatives from the fuel chain, the bus operators and a manufacturer were asked: How can the target to double the public transports to 2020 in Sweden be met?
The panel from left to right; Jessica Nygren (Swebuss Express), me, Ulf Svahn (Swedish Petroleum Institute) and the moderator Ragnhild Larsson.
The bus operator already does a lot to make the bus the natural and most attractive choice for the travellers. Swedish fuel suppliers provides different sustainable alternatives such as biodiesel or hydrogenated oils. And, new buses in Europe meet the Euro V legislation and have constantly decreasing fuel consumption.
In Sweden very few realise that the buses and coaches already have least impact on the environment among all alternatives. When I compare the price “per passenger” for the vehicles I find the following approximate numbers:
Bus: € 3 000
Car: € 5 000
Tram: € 17 000
Train: € 50 000
For the infrastructure and for the maintenance in Sweden I have not been able to find a breakdown of the cost distributed for gods and people. It seems however that also here there is a strong advantage for the bus.
Why doesn’t Swedish cities put priority to support for bus infrastructure? It seems clear that it is the only rout that will meet the environmental targets!