A new website and app are making it easier to rank the ease and emissions of different travel options
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Spotted: While most people are aware that flying uses much more carbon than other forms of mass transit, they are likely to be less aware of the emissions to cost ratio of other modes of transport. To make things more confusing, at least in Europe, it is often difficult to book train tickets in advance when travelling through more than two countries, or to compare emissions on different services and routes. For example, is it better to fly or to take a train that uses electricity generated from coal?
To help travellers answer this type of question, entrepreneurs Marthijn Bontekoning and Jeppe Bijker started Green Tickets – an app and website that allows users to rank transport options to their destination by travel time, price, and CO2 emissions. Their goal is both to make it as easy to book a bus or train ticket as it is to book an airline ticket, and to provide transparency about emissions in a way that helps people make more informed decisions.
This transparency is very important because deciding the most sustainable method of transport can be more difficult that it appears. For example, Green Tickets calculates travel time from door to door, as many airports are far out of town, requiring additional travel before visitors can reach their final destination. Even airline emissions are not straightforward. For example, Ryanair has more seats on its planes than KLM, so they can emit less CO2 per passenger kilometre.
To compile its data, Green Tickets uses a variety of sources, including Google Maps for driving routes, open-source projects for European trains, and the back office of Skyscanner for flight information. The data allows users to quickly find the optimal itinerary for each trip, based on time of the year, availability, budget, carbon emissions, and personal preferences.
Everyone agrees that reducing carbon emissions is of vital importance, but not everyone agrees on how to achieve this. Luckily, there are a lot of ways of reducing emissions, and a lot of scope for innovation in this space. Some solutions recently spotted by Springwise include the use of sustainable aviation fuel and software that makes it easy to integrate carbon offsetting into travel booking.
Written By: Lisa Magloff