US Transport Fuel Efficiency: 1995

Energy Efficiency: 1995
Mode BTUs Per
Passenger Mile
Airline 4,234
Amtrak 2,341
Automobile 3,467
Commuter Rail 2,780
Heavy Rail 3,790
Light Rail 3,919
School Bus 1,144
Transit Bus 4,650
Source: USDOT, USDOE & National Transit Database

Note: It may be surprising that electric rail modes (especially light rail and heavy rail) are so energy intensive. Most of electric rail's energy intensity is the result of massive energy losses in power generation and transmission. Most US electric power is produced by burning fossil fuels, such as coal, oil and natural gas. Even in areas with hydro-electric power, most new power generation capacity is fossil fuel produced.

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