PWT is focused on continually reducing emissions and minimizing the footprint of our operations.

Environmental sustainability is an essential aspect of Pacific Western Transportation’s corporate culture. In an important way, the passenger transport business is inherently sustainable. As a leading provider of transportation services in Canada, PWT is at the forefront of the global effort to get cars off the road in favor of more efficient modes of transit. Using innovative thinking and state-of-the-art technology, PWT is focused on continually reducing emissions and minimizing the footprint of our operations.

Alternative Fuel Sources

PWT’s student division has been utilizing propane as an alternative to diesel fuel since the 1980’s. We currently own and operate the largest propane-fueled fleet of school buses in all of Canada. As of 2020, this fleet has grown to a total of 730 buses! Not only is this initiative operationally viable, but it is a proven solution to reduce toxic emissions.

  • By using propane buses, we have removed 3,229 metric tonnes of CO2e from entering the atmosphere in 2019 alone! That’s equivalent to preventing 686 passenger vehicles being driven for a year.
  • Our propane fleet helps us reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions by 44% when compared to diesel.
  • In the event of a leak, propane becomes a vapor that does not contaminate the soil, air or aquifers.
  • Propane emits 60% less Carbon Monoxide than gasoline, 98% less particulate matter than diesel, and contains virtually no sulfur.

PWT’s Student Division ranks as the Largest propane fleet of school buses in Canada: our propane fleet acquisition and expansion required the creation of new training programs for both maintenance personnel and operators, also, it required significant additions to the current infrastructure to expand its refueling capacity.

As a private school bus contractor, we are the third largest propane fleet in North America: because of the nature of the precious cargo we carry, Safely Home, every day, we have a constant reminder of what truly matters. This is why we are dedicated to creating a sustainable future for our planet, and why it’s at the forefront of our day-to-day operations.

Propane Buses were brought in because their potential to become an efficient alternative to Diesel fuel: in 2017, overall School Bus sales in North America show propane as the most popular alternative fuel accounting for 6% of the market. The Alberta Energy Regulator forecasts propane’s demand will continue increasing from 2018 to 2025 by a 14%.

Our fleet of propane vehicles has contributed to the market expansion of proven clean fuel: the use of propane as alternative vehicle fuel resulted in the revision of Canadian legislation and standards, namely MVSR, CMVSS, NSCS, and CSA D250-16. Changes have also been introduced to Canadian legislation so propane can be easily dispensed at fueling stations across the country.

Pacific Western Transportation continues to explore new sustainable technologies for the transportation sector:

  • In Whistler, BC we operate a fleet of Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) buses
  • St. Albert, AB we have been operating Electric Buses for transit since 2016
  • In 2018 we launched ‘ELA’, the first ever 100% electric autonomous shuttle pilot in Canada, a project open to the public that continues to expand into various locations around Alberta and beyond

Bus versus cars

Compared to bus travel, travel by car produces 3x more global warming gases; 1.6x more common air pollution; 4.2x more toxic air pollution; 1.2x more water habitat alteration; 4.4x more land habitat alteration; 1.8x more common water pollution; 2.7x more toxic water pollution

Compare Online Carbon Footprint Calculators and offset emissions by investing in clean energy initiatives

How do you compare CO2 emissions for car journeys and public transport journeys?
We try to give you an overall feel for what the difference in CO2 emissions produced per traveler would be.

If the journey you have chosen is by car, we calculate the emissions for that journey following the actual route to be taken, if you then select a public transport comparison we estimate the emissions based on traveling the same straight line distance as the car using the different types of public transport. This is for comparison only and there may or may not be viable public transport links between the original car journey locations. If you want to actually travel by public transport use the appropriate planer to find your travel options.

Similarly, if we have planned you an actual public transport journey, when you ask for a comparison we estimate both car and other types of public transport emissions based on traveling the same straight line distance as the selected public transport journey. For the car, we estimate how much fuel would be used and hence emissions generated. In this case, we assume you would be traveling in a medium sized petrol car traveling on a combination of urban and interurban roads, with average congestion (resulting in the emissions being increased by 1.03 compared with the unrestricted values).

We compare the predicted CO2 emissions produced for a car journey with a specified number of occupants with an estimate of the total CO2 emissions that would be produced for each traveler on one or more types of public transport.

However, a car and public transport are different. In absolute terms of reducing CO2 it is always better to use a scheduled public transport service. This is because when you use a car the result is an extra journey is made and extra CO2 is emitted into the atmosphere. On the other hand, when you use public transport journey by bus, coach, plane or train the journey is always scheduled and would take place whether or not you traveled. So in real terms, there is no additional CO2 emitted.

What assumptions do you make about bus and coach journeys when calculating emissions?
To determine whether emissions for either a bus or a coach are shown we first estimate the journey distance.

We assume you will be traveling by bus on short journeys of less than 30KM. So on short journeys, we only show the predicted CO2 emissions for a bus.

On the other hand, if we estimate that the journey distance is longer than 30KM we assume you will be traveling by coach. So on longer journeys, we only show the CO2 predicted emissions for a coach.

To calculate bus emissions we use a factor based on the average bus miles per gallon and number of passengers carried and to calculate coach emissions we use a factor based on the average coach miles per gallon and number of passengers carried


Environmental Fact Sheet

  • Catching public transport is one of the most environmentally friendly forms of transport (see table below).

(The above graph was sourced from the former Australian Greenhouse Office.)

  • Even driving a fuel-efficient small car produces several times more greenhouse gas emissions than catching an existing bus service.
  • Each bus trip has the potential to take around 50 cars off the road.