Writer Josh Peterson on Green Planet makes the case for tripping long-distance by driving. While noting that motoring cross-country alone can cost the same as a plane ticket and is not the greenest method, Peterson calculates that as long as you buddy up with one or more passengers, car travel makes the most economic sense. Make the car a hybrid, and the travel becomes the greenest means of transportation. Peterson looks at how much a round-trip from Los Angeles to New York costs, tweaking the ride with some variables. Here's a condensed version of his findings:
Car According to Drivepricing.com, driving round-trip from L.A. to N.Y. in a vehicle that gets 35 mpg costs $476.82.
Add a passenger and the price drops to 238.41.
Add another and you'll spend only $158.67.
Bus Non-refundable, round-trip Greyhound tickets cost $297.60 from L.A. to N.Y. Downside: Bus travel is the slowest and least comfortable form of cross-country travel.
Taking the train round-trip costs $758.00. Downside: Trains are often delayed from between six to 12 hours, and food is not provided.
Air Planes are the fastest way to travel and a round-trip plane ticket from L.A. to N.Y. can run only $303.00. Downside: “Planes are infamous polluters.”