Go public

Choose public transport over driving

We love public transport. It gets us home from the pub after one too many pints, we can read a book, use our phones or even have a conversation while we travel, and it’s a great low-carbon alternative to driving.

Life’s a journey. Replace a few weekly car trips with a train or bus for the next two months and enjoy the ride..

Why

Here are a few reasons to take action.

Click for more info or scroll to read them all.

Climate change

A whopping 19% of the average UK person’s carbon footprint comes from car travel.1 Just think of all the CO2 you could save if that trip to the gym or visit to your parents involved hopping on the bus or train - instead of behind the wheel.

60%

of all CO2 emissions from road vehicles is produces by passenger cars.2

Congestion and air pollution

A heavy traffic jam is every driver’s nemesis. Nobody likes to be stuck in traffic, particularly if you’ve got somewhere to be or - even worse - it’s hot and sunny outside. But with traffic on UK roads more than doubling in the last 30 years, congestion is on the up. This costs the economy billions of pounds each year2 and seriously affects people’s health.

Now, we’re not saying you won’t get stuck in traffic (or on a busy train) if you’re travelling by public transport - but removing more cars from the road will certainly help solve the problem.

(Image source.)

Health

One of the problems with the car is that it’s TOO convenient - it requires very little physical movement to get from place to place. In contrast, the short walk you’ll probably need to take from your home to the bus stop or train station (and at the other end of your journey), is a brilliant way to build regular exercise into your routine. In fact, taking the bus can help you achieve half your daily recommended exercise.3

And here’s another bonus: bus travel can be a third less stressful than driving3 - which of course has long and short term benefits for your mental, emotional and physical health.4

Money

Given that most of us have to buy a ticket to use public transport, you’re probably wondering why we’ve included ‘saving money’ as a key reason for taking the bus or train. Yes, public transport costs money, but so does driving. The difference is: you pay for the bus at ‘point of sale’, while you pay for your car in larger and irregular ‘lump sums’. So it feels very different.

In just owning a car, you have to fork out for vehicle tax, MOTs and any garage fees. On top of that, there’s the regular cost of filling up the tank, parking charges, congestion charges… and the horror of speeding or parking fines.

Time to read and reflect

In today’s busy world, finding time to read or listen to music can feel like an impossible task. Public transport provides the perfect opportunity to get started on that book you’ve been meaning to read for ages, keep up with that brain training app you never have time for, or just catch up on your beauty sleep. Not that you need it.

51%

of people read a book, magazine or newspaper while on public transport5

Love train

People consider train journeys to be the most romantic form of transport. And rightly so. In fact, people are so infatuated with the idea of bumping into their soulmate on the commute to work that there are columns in newspapers and whole websites dedicated to helping you find the person you shared that electric eye contact with on the 8:45 express to Clapham Junction.

Global Goals

In September 2017, an historic agreement was signed by UN member nations agreeing to work towards 17 Global Goals for Sustainable Development by 2030, otherwise known as the SDGs.

Achieving these ambitious goals will require action from governments, businesses, NGOs, and individuals alike. We can - and must - all play our part.

By making the 'Go public' pledge, you are contributing to the following SDG targets:

3.9: By 2030, substantially reduce the number of deaths and illnesses from hazardous chemicals and air, water and soil pollution and contamination

11.2: By 2030, provide access to safe, affordable, accessible and sustainable transport systems for all, improving road safety, notably by expanding public transport, with special attention to the needs of those in vulnerable situations, women, children, persons with disabilities and older persons

11.6: By 2030, reduce the adverse per capita environmental impact of cities, including by paying special attention to air quality and municipal and other waste management

12.8: By 2030, ensure that people everywhere have the relevant information and awareness for sustainable development and lifestyles in harmony with nature

13.3: Improve education, awareness-raising and human and institutional capacity on climate change mitigation, adaptation, impact reduction and early warning

How

Planning a route

If you’re not sure how to get somewhere by public transport, there are plenty of helpful resources available::

  • If you’re used to using Google Maps, their public transport planner is probably the best place to start planning your route.
  • Citymapper is a great app (although currently only covers London in the UK), listing and comparing all routes and modes of travel .
  • Traveline can help you find a route from anywhere to anywhere in the UK. They also have specific resources for local travel, such as Northern Ireland or the West Midlands . They even have a site for live bus departures.

Saving money

A lot of public transport is subsidised. Depending on your situation, it’s really worth checking out whether you’re entitled to any discounts or travel cards.

Success Stories

440

Pledges
in total

23,212kg

CO2
pledged

I have really enjoyed it , I will definitely continue

I found this really easy to take up, and although my journey was longer, I did manage to read two new books, and in general I felt more relaxed when i got to work.

Got a Metro Train pass and used it extensively. Especially useful when my young son is a train fanatic!

With all the parking restrictions and payments nowadays, it was so much less stressful (although sometimes longer) than driving

Replaced a number of uber/car journeys with walking or bus/tube.

I live in a relatively rural place compared to my work, so I found this really difficult to adhere to. I stuck to car share where possible for social events however generally speaking, it was relatively impossible.

Committed to 20 journeys (bus not train) managed 22 and still going strong

Toot toot, all aboard the energy saving bus!

Also walked between locations in London so avoided public transport as well

Sold the car - so yes, continuing :-)

I love how this has got me walking more too!

I use the bus almost all the time except when I need to travel for work. I deliver outdoor learning so need a car for all my kit. That is probably for about 10 days a month. I actually enjoy bus travel.

On a train right now. The extra travel time is offset by being able to do things on the journey.

Though slightly erratic, its easier in the long run.

I am enjoying travelling by train.

I have adopted the take the bus to work 2 of my 3 days that I work. I love it!! My journey time is almost as fast as taking the car. The walk to the bus stop is a refreshing wake up. When I am on the bus, I catch up on e-mails and texts. I look out the window when we travel over the Lion's Gate Bridge and marvel at the sea and the changing colours of the sky and the towers and the seawall around Stanly Park. I read the paper. I save about $28 per week. It's a habit, for sure.