Cars the future, not mass transit

Ladysmith – RE: Gas at $5 a litre.


This would increase the cost of everything from food to a plumber coming to your house. Most everything we use on Vancouver Island is moved by truck. Conventional diesel bus transit uses the most energy per passenger-kilometre of most any mode of transportation. Worse than cars, trucks and passenger jet aircraft. The only thing worse would be cargo ships which burn bunker C oil which has much more sulphur than regular auto diesel.


Have a look at the figures per mode of transport in the U.S. Transportation Energy Data Book Edition 33 produced by Oakridge National Laboratory.


The key is passengers per vehicle.


They have buses at 9.2 and cars 1.55.


How often does one see a CVRD transit bus with more than five people on board? They are on the road 10-16 hours a day. They are not convenient. It takes nearly twice as long to get from point A to point B by transit than car.


Cars are becoming very fuel efficient. Many now produce less than 150 g of CO2e per vehicle kilometre. Compare that to BC Transit, as a whole, at 200 grams of CO2e per passenger-kilometre or worse, CVRD conventional transit, which produced 875.6 metric tonnes of CO2e in 2013/2014 fiscal year.


This is 2,400 grams of CO2e per ride. Nearly twice that of a car for a 10km trip. The future is driverless electric or hydrogen cars run with smart phone programs for ride or vehicle sharing such as the BCAA Evo or Uber or Lyft, not diesel transit buses. Carnegie-Mellon University is working on it now with funding from Google and Uber.


Paul Williams



Cowichan Valley Citizen

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