Public Transport’s Convenience Cost-Saving Power

21st May 2024

Owning your own car or van often comes with a significant financial burden, which is only increasing as time goes on. In comparison, the bus offers an unparalleled combination of affordability and convenience that simply cannot be ignored.

Many bus operators are participating in the Get Around For £2 scheme, valid until December 2024, where you can get a single trip for £2 or less. Comparatively, the average parking cost in England for only two hours is £3.54, and having the inconvenience of parking queues, plus the cost of fuel, the inconvenience of maintenance and MOT of a vehicle, makes bus travel a lot more affordable in comparison.  Varsity (2024).

For more information on the UK Government’s Get Around for £2 Scheme and to see participating bus operators, visit

INRIX (2017) have reported that approximately 44 hours a year is used just to search for a car park space – that’s almost 2 days! This not only costs us precious time but contributes to unnecessary fuel consumption and increased emissions emitted to the atmosphere. This furthers the importance of using public transport, where possible, to help save you time, money and your lower emissions.

A full double decker bus can take up to 75 cars off the road (Confederation of Passenger Transport, 2024) This significant reduction not only aids in alleviating traffic congestion but also helps enhance air quality, great news for children and parents walking to school!

Bus lanes make bus travel a fast, easy way of travel by avoiding grid lock roads and alleviating stress and have the added bonus of gliding past all the cars in ease to your destination.

If you are aged 65 or over or have a disability, you may be eligible for free bus travel during off peak periods. See more information here.

With its unbeatable combination of affordability and convenience, it’s a choice that not only saves you money but enriches your travel experience by the possible social side and by enjoying your surroundings. Instead of tiresomely sitting in traffic, why not hop on a bus and use the time to do everything you can’t do whilst driving, such as reading a chapter of that book you can’t find time to finish, or calling that restaurant you’ve been meaning to go to for your next date night.

Choo-Choose the Train

Our World in Data (2023) have reported that travelling by train has one of the lowest environmental footprints in public transportation. Their 2022 data showed that the carbon footprint of travel per kilometre, per passenger came in highest for a diesel car, being a massive 171 g, petrol car at 170 g, bus travel was 97 g, followed by National rail at 35 g. The only mode to have a smaller footprint that the train was coach travel, coming in at just 27 g. This is due to coaches being more efficient on fuel, Centaur (2023) have reported that a coach can travel 100 miles on just 1 gallon of fuel, whereas trains require1.5 gallons for the same distance. As a result, coaches produce lower emissions per passenger.

According to International Energy Agency (2023) urban rail train networks have lower emissions than other urban motorised transportation modes because they are powered by electricity. By taking the train compared to bus and car you are significantly lowering your carbon footprint. Opting for train travel over driving reduces CO₂ emissions by a staggering 67%. (Trainline, 2024).

It’s Getting Hot in Here

Park and Ride is another great mode of travel that offers a convenient, fast mode of travel to your desired location. Simply drive and park your car for free or cycle to your local Park and Ride – most offer cycle parking. This is a great way of minimising emissions in cities, which can be subject to higher temperatures and lower air quality due to concentrated pollution. Over time, high emissions in built-up areas can contribute to an “urban heat island” forming, as buildings, roads and infrastructure absorb and re-emit the sun’s heat more than natural landscapes and higher levels of Carbon Dioxide and other gases trap the heat in, like a greenhouse, making it dangerous for city dwellers, particularly during the summer months. In summer 2023, 664 people sadly died during the heat wave in London. Experts state that Londoner’s are 3 times more likely to die during a heatwave of 29 degrees or higher, so we need to take action to minimise this risk not only in London, but for all urban areas across the UK. Learn more about heat islands here.

Bus Vs Train Vs Car

Using public transport such as buses or trains helps reduce CO₂ emissions being emitted, helps improve air quality and also help reduce you monthly travel costs in comparison to driving a car.

According to University of California, Los Angeles (2021) the average emission of CO₂ per mile driven by each vehicle on the road is one pound. Using public transportation results in a commendable reduction of CO₂ emissions by 45%. These statistics underscore the substantial environmental advantages associated with embracing public transport alternatives like buses and trains.

According to the Rail Delivery Group by National Rail (2023), rail transportation generates 10 times less carbon emissions compared to travelling by car.

Train travel emits the least amount of emissions among these 3 transportation options. Opting for trains isn’t just about reaching your destination—it’s about making a conscious choice for a sustainable future. By embracing train travel you can take a proactive step towards reducing your carbon footprint. Although trains tend to be a higher priced mode of travel in comparison to bus travel, opting for a railcard can help reduce costs.

Getting stuck in traffic also increases short-term stress level according to Womens Health (2021) By opting for a sustainable mode of travel you helping to improve health in comparison to driving.

Opting for train or bus travel offers an added benefit: if you need to walk to either of these modes of transportation, it contributes to your daily recommended 30 minutes of exercise. This is also excellent for enhancing your mood and to give you a good start to your working day.



For just £30 a year, enjoy a 1/3 discount on train tickets with a National Railcard. It’s a smart investment – use the discount a few times, and you’ve easily covered the cost. National Railcards available:

16 – 17 saver railcard

16-25 railcard

26 – 30 railcard

Two Together railcard

Senior railcard

Family & Friend railcard

Veterans railcard

Network railcard

The above railcards are £30 for 1-year.

Disabled Person railcard is £20 for 1-year.

Flexi season ticket – If you are a hybrid worker, a Flexi season ticket may be your best option. The ticket gives you 8 days of travel in 28 days. Find more information here.

Club 50 Greater Anglia Railcard – The railcard for over 50s Find more information here.

Travel more, spend less. Get your Railcard today!

Get more information about railcards here.

The main benefits of using public transport are:

  • Money saving
  • Notable health improvements such as stress reduction
  • Possibility of contributing to your daily recommendation of exercise
  • Lowering your carbon footprint
  • Help to reduce the number of cars on the road, and in turn reducing the amount of emissions being emitted to the atmosphere, creating cleaner healthier air.

Try swapping your car journeys for public transport and experience the benefits.