Air Pollution and Greenhouse Gases from Different Commuting Options

This set of graphs shows how air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions vary between different means of commuting. The pollutant emissions are shown as grams per passenger-kilometre, in other words the emissions from transporting one passenger one kilometre.

Smog-forming pollution (NOx and VOCs) from different means of commuting

Stacked bar chart comparing NOx and VOC emissions.


Greenhouse gas emissions from different means of commuting

Bar chart comparing greenhouse gas emissions.


Particulate Matter (PM2.5) emissions from different means of commuting


Emissions are in grams per passenger kilometre.

All figures are from Transport Canada’s Urban Transportation Emissions Calculator and assume 100% city driving.

The emissions are Canadian averages for each vehicle category. Any individual vehicle may be higher or lower than this average.

Greenhouse gas emissions include upstream emissions from the production of the fuel or electricity.

On average, emissions of particulate matter from diesel transit buses in British Columbia are lower than indicated on this chart as many have been retrofitted with emissions controls.

These numbers are valid for the vehicle fleet as of 2006. The emissions performance of vehicles will improve for future years as cleaner and more fuel-efficient vehicles come into the fleet. The greatest improvement will be seen for NOx and PM2.5 emissions from large diesel engines such as those used in transit buses.