CINCINNATI, April 18, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- Want to reduce your carbon footprint this Earth Day? FirstGroup America, the largest provider of ground transportation services in North America, suggests you leave your car in the garage and take the bus! First Transit buses, First Student school buses and Greyhound motor coaches replace a significant number of cars on the road, making them an environmentally sound transportation option. Using public transportation saves 4.2 billion gallons of gasoline annually, and research shows that by using public transit, a single commuter can reduce a household's carbon emissions by 10% and up to 30% if a second car is eliminated as well.
A single school bus can eliminate approximately 36 cars on the road each day. With more than 480,000 school buses on the road each day, that's nearly 17.3 million fewer vehicles on the streets, saving a total of 2.3 billion gallons of fuel each year as well as reducing congestion, emissions and road wear and tear.
In addition to taking up to 50 cars off the road, a new Greyhound coach provides as much as 450 miles per gallon. In comparison, passenger cars achieve an average of 28 mpg and domestic air carriers achieve 42 mpg.
"Today's buses are more environmentally friendly than ever before, thanks to cleaner-burning engines, specialized particulate filters and alternative fuels such as compressed natural gas and propane," notes Todd Bachand, FirstGroup America's director of environment.
Research shows typical school bus engines burn about half a gallon of fuel per hour of idling. Cutting back on idling not only reduces emissions; it saves significantly on fuel costs. "We strictly enforce our anti-idling policy, which states no bus will idle in excess of three minutes while not in transit unless certain exceptions exist," adds Bachand.
FirstGroup America's efforts to reduce its environmental footprint extend beyond using cleaner fuel and reducing emissions. The company has implemented a waste reduction plan, which has reduced the amount of garbage going into landfills, and increased the company's recycling by 20%.
The company utilizes right-sized containers to reduce waste and recycles fluids - including antifreeze and 100% of its motor oil. Additionally, FirstGroup recycles more than 640,000 pounds of used oil filters annually throughout North America. This is enough metal to manufacture at least 220 cars.
In 2012, the National Student Transportation Association awarded First Student with its prestigious Go Yellow! Go Green! Award, which recognizes a leader in the school bus industry that has demonstrated initiative and commitment in pursuing positive responses to growing environmental concerns.
About FirstGroup America
FirstGroup America - headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio - is North America's largest transportation company. With more than 87,500 employees, the company operates First Student, the largest provider of student transportation in the U.S. and Canada; First Transit, a leading provider of transit management and contracting services; First Services, a leading provider of contract fleet maintenance and management services, and Greyhound bus lines, the largest provider of intercity bus transportation. Parent corporation FirstGroup plc, is traded on the London Stock Exchange and serves more than 2.5 billion passengers each year. For more information, visit www.firstgroupamerica.com or follow the company on Twitter at http://twitter.com/FirstGrpAmerica.
SOURCE FirstGroup America