The history of public transportation is fascinating and filled with twists and turns. Today when we think of buses, we probably think of the iconic yellow school bus or perhaps the larger buses that run in our cities. But believe it or not, buses have been around for nearly two centuries now. As early as 1820, horse-drawn buses provided a way for people to get around publicly. About a decade later in the 1830s, steam-powered buses became another means of intercity transportation. Images of these prototype buses lend insight into why today’s buses look the way they do. Today’s buses are of course bigger, faster, better for the environment, and they serve several travel purposes.
Charter Buses and Motor Coaches
One of the best options for transporting large groups of people going to the same location is via charter bus, also known as a motor coach. These large, tall buses have an average of 55 passenger seats. What makes this method of transportation superior to others? There are three major components to consider with charter buses: Comfort, economics, and the environment. Traveling via motor coach has significant benefits in all three of these fields.
Traveling by car, plane, or train can be uncomfortable for various reasons. Cars are relatively small and cramped in terms of space, and having to drive brings about its own slew of stressors. Airplanes, while statistically safe, can cause some discomfort in those with a fear of flying and heights. And unless you sit first class, seating is often claustrophobic. Many trains have similar issues with uncomfortable seating, and since trains can only travel where the tracks are, the route itself may not always be ideal.
Motor coaches, on the other hand, are tall, wide, and usually furnished with comfortable seats, some of which even recline. Most of these buses also provide access to WiFi, making it easy to pass the time or get work done on the Internet.
2) The Economy
Charter buses have a significant positive impact on the economy as well. You can think of a motor coach as a traveling burst of tourism. In just one night, for instance, over $11,000 can be generated for a local economy in tourist spending such as lodging and food thanks to stops made by charter buses.
The motor coach industry itself is mostly made up of small businesses, so traveling this way supports this growth as well. Statistics also show that for every dollar invested in the creating of new motor coaches, an additional $1.65 is generated throughout various sectors of the economy. This leads to over $1.2 billion being spent on tourism and travel annually.
3) The Environment
Perhaps the most important aspect of charter bus travel in the long term is its relatively low negative impact on the environment. Using any form of public transportation of private reduces CO2 emissions by virtue of taking more cars off the road. Motor coaches in particular, however, greatly reduce this carbon footprint. For a simple look at this difference, traveling via motor coach is three times more efficient in reducing CO2 emissions than travel by commuter rail, and six times more efficient than travel by transit buses.
This is in part because charter buses carry so many people, effectively removing up to 55 cars from the road at a given time, which also reduces highway congestion. If you’re environmentally conscious, getting around on a charter bus is by far the best way to reduce your own carbon footprint and still travel efficiently and safely.
We’ve come a long way since horse-drawn buses and steam powered coaches. Now, thanks to modern day motor coaches, a tour group can comfortably recline in a large bus with plenty of room, Internet access, and the peace of mind that the environment is better off for it. And the locales you visit along the way will be grateful for it, too.