One aspect of the efficiency of a particular bus on a service is (put crudely) the number of bums per ton. This is the average number of passengers that use the service on a 95 percentile day divided by the average weight of the bus and passengers. If the weight is 12 ton, and the bus is carrying 4 passengers, there is 3 ton of bus for each passenger. In some ways it would be better in this instance if the bus stayed in it's shed and the 4 people took their own car to town (1 bum per ton).
Particularly on roads like High Street, the energy consumed to get an almost empty heavy bus to the top of the hill is high compared to a smaller lighter vehicle, and the emissions should be consequently proportionately less if a lighter bus was used, all things being equal.
Also, vehicles with a gross laden weight of less than 12t pay significantly less road user taxand possibly lower Registration. Therefore, lighter vehicles means lower operating costs from a number of variables and should be kinder to the roads and environment. Some are on the market now and with just a small amount of development work it should be possible to enhance the opportunities for low cost transport on hills.
- ↑ "RUC rates for distance licences for powered vehicles payable from 1 July 2013" on NZTA website, viewed 2013-12-21