So, you always take public transportation because you think it is the “green” thing to do. Well, it turns out that driving an SUV may be greener than riding the train. A new study shows that if a broad range of factors are considered, the picture of what causes the greatest carbon impact on the environment changes.
The study focuses on the emissions of a mode of transportation over the long term. This means that the emmissions spent building roads, railways, airports, etc. must be factored into the equation. Of course, this also means that the emmissions spent on maintaining the transportation infrastructure must also be considered.
Another thing to consider is the occupancy level of the transportation. An SUV filled with four or five passengers could be more efficient than a passenger train that is only a quarter filled.
There are other factors to consider as well. I suggest reading the article. The study gives us a more complete picture of how green some things truly are.