A lot of city dwellers profess an interest in taking the bus to work, but when pressed about why they don’t, there are plenty of reasons keeping them in the cars. Convenience is obviously one, but having to wait at a bus stop and then sit or stand on a crowded bus while cars go by is definitely another big impediment. But cities around the world are doing their best to harness the environmental benefits of bus ridership by making them more attractive to ride. How? One major way is by creating lanes dedicated to buses so that they can zoom past cars and trucks on roadways. Part of a concept called bus rapid transit, dedicated bus lanes have been around for decades and are used in South America, Europe and increasingly in North America and Asia.
A study of the 14-mile (22.5 kilometer) Bus Rapid Transit Corridor in Guangzhou, China, that nation’s third largest city, found that the system will reduce carbon dioxide by 86,000 tons (78,018 metric tons) per year in its first decade of operation. In addition, the study by the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy, found that Guangzhou’s dedicated bus system reduced particulate emissions that cause respiratory illness by 4 tons (3.62 metric tons) per year.
Read on to see how bus systems paired with subways provide a big green boost.