Australia: Public Transport Greenhouse Emissions Similar to Cars

Guest Blog by Tony Recsei
Save Our Suburbs


Public Transport Greenhouse Emissions Similar to Cars

Contrary to the repeated claims of high-density advocates that public transport travel is environmentally far superior to travel in cars, it has now been found that this is not the case. Greenhouse gas emission data posted by Demographia shows that the average petrol car in Australia in 2006 emitted 188 grams CO2 equivalent per passenger km and the figure for the more efficient cars now is as little as 60 grams.

These figures should be compared with the average bus in Australia which emits 155 grams CO2 equivalent per passenger km and with the 105 grams for travelling by rail in Sydney.

The emission figures of the Toyota Prius and the Peugeot hybrid diesel cars are indications that even the surprisingly small advantage of public transport could soon be eroded away by technology.

The reality that public transport use is not significantly more environmentally sustainable is of huge importance for planning policies. For the past two decades the NSW State Government has been implementing a policy of forcing high-density into communities. The principal foundation of these policies has been the allegation that people living in high-density will be able to travel more sustainably by public transport instead of by car. We now know this is not so.

The rationale for the despotic policies that have destroyed home ownership and grossly overloaded existing infrastructure is baseless.