Green Certified Vehicles

e Certification for Sustainable Transportation

What is e Certification for Sustainable Transportation?

The Certification for Sustainable Transportation’s (CST) eRating certification program is an independent, third party certification, education and labeling initiative for  operators and passengers of transportation vehicles.  The program uses research-based criteria to evaluate and certify vehicles.  

Who benefits?

The program benefits operators of certified vehicles by helping them save energy and reduce operating costs.  The program also benefits customers by helping them identify and choose the highest performing, lowest impact forms of transportation; an eRating certification label signifies that CST has thoroughly evaluated and certified the vehicle.  

green transportation certified

What does it mean?

The Green Coach Certification Research initiative (GCC) is part of a multi-year project developed at the University of Vermont, in close collaboration with the American Bus Association (ABA) and the United Motorcoach Association (UMA). This research focuses on a) the interplay of business and environmental concerns among motorcoach operators, tour operators, and riders and b) the development, testing, and evaluation of a “Green Coach Certification” program for the motorcoach industry. The GCC is based on principles of transparency and voluntary participation, and provides operators with the opportunity to be recognized for existing and emerging efforts to increase their already high level of environmental stewardship. 

This pilot/field test will help to answer a number of important research questions and provide the foundation for a long-term permanent environmental certification program for the motorcoach industry. During the 18-month pilot program, participating operators are eligible for a pilot GCC label/recognition for any motorcoach complying with at least one of the following:

  • Meeting or exceeding the industry average of 148 passenger miles per gallon.
  • Running an EPA 2007 compliant engine.
  • Running an EPA 2010 compliant engine.
  • Offsetting carbon emissions by 80 percent through an endorsed carbon-trading program.
  • Running on an alternative fuel such as a blend of Biodiesel.
  • Having a strict, documented, and verifiable energy conservation and recycling program.
  • Incorporating other emerging environmental technologies as prescribed by the GCC.
  • We love the NW, and are doing our part to keep it Green!
oregon charter bus by northwest navigator
mini-bus charter

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What’s the environmental impact of traveling by motorcoach?

Motorcoach travel is the most environmentally friendly form of transportation available, the greenest way to travel in North America. Motorcoaches currently provide over 206 passenger miles per gallon of fuel compared to 92 passenger MPG for commuter rail, 44 passenger MPG for domestic air carrier, and 27 MPG for single passenger automobiles. Each motorcoach has the potential to take 55 cars from the road reducing congestion, saving fuel, and cutting emissions.

The Union of Concerned Scientists recently released a report- “Getting There Greener: The Guide to Your Lower Carbon Vacation” in which they recommended going by motorcoach–reporting that “A couple traveling by motorcoach will generate nearly 50% less global warming pollution than they would driving a hybrid car.”

2. What is the difference between passenger miles per gallon and miles per gallon?

As most folks know, miles per gallon (MPG) is the distance a vehicle travels on a gallon of fuel. Passenger miles per gallon is determined by multiplying the MPG by the average number of passengers on any given type of transportation. Passenger miles per gallon is a metric typically used to determine the energy efficiency of a vehicle or type of transportation.

3. How many people need to be onboard a motorcoach for the MPG to be lower than one person in a hybrid car? (Let’s use the average motorcoach and a 2010 Toyota Prius as our test case.) What’s the average load factor for a motorcoach?

A Prius will get an average of 50MPG. The average load factor for a motorcoach is 36.4 passengers; that combines tour, charter, and sightseeing buses as well as fixed route motorcoaches. Using these figures, just 10 people on a motorcoach would still be more efficient than one person in a hybrid based on fuel consumption. But fuel efficiency is only one part of the picture. Newer coaches using “clean diesel” offer significant air quality improvement and in some cities, the exhaust coming out of the tailpipes is cleaner than what went in!