February 2, 2018

7 Min Read

Festivals and Buses: A Match Made in Heaven

Thao Tram Ngo

Before Sharethebus, people mainly traveled to music festivals by car – either by driving there themselves, cabbing, or being dropped off. This led to a slew of complications like inconvenient drop-offs, traffic jams, negligent parking (costly when added with parking passes or towing fees!), hefty cab rides, and ensuing trepidation. It was a logistical nightmare for everyone involved: the city, the festival organizers, and especially the attendees.


This makes music festivals and Sharethebus a perfect fit. Think of it like cheese and guava paste or all-dressed chips and tzaziki. It's not a combination that typically comes to mind first, but makes total sense once you give it a try. 


By honing in on the problem, we delivered a solution that relieves all pains related to travel organization. We saw our efforts prosper, and as a result, we’re doubling down on them this season. They’ll continue to grow alongside our dedication to improving the whole festival experience for the years to come.


But, why should that matter to you?


Benefits for Both Travelers and Festival Organizers


We know what you’re thinking: The bus? That’s pretty old school.  


While some more established bus companies still operate, well, very traditionally, our goal is to modernize the industry, and make it more appealing for all parties involved. In this case, we want to make taking the bus not only a better option, but also the most beneficial for both travelers and festival organizers alike.


Benefits of Traveling by Bus to Festivals


Festival Organizers

  • No need to worry about parking
  • Save money on gas
  • Get to the festival conveniently with all your friends
  • Meet new people along the way
  • More leisure time for resting, reading, etc.
  • Safer way to get around (no drunk driving!)
  • More space for luggage and camping equipment
  • Be more environmentally conscious
  • Make the festival more accessible
  • Make money in a space previously overlooked
  • Increase local tourism and travel
  • Reduce cars on the road and congestion
  • Decrease number of car accidents
  • Promote eco-friendly transportation
  • Extend the festival experience beyond the event


Partnerships with Major Festivals


In 2015, our first official year of operations, we partnered up with four major festivals: Amnesia Rockfest, Osheaga, WayHome, and Boots & Hearts. Without counting smaller festivals, we ran close to 200 trips, and moved over 1,890 festival attendees from cities across Ontario and Quebec.


Here’s a breakdown of what we were able to accomplish last year:

Graph on Major Partnerships during Festival Season 2015.png

Rockfest (June 18-21, 2015)

  • 200,000 attendees per year (100,000 per day)
  • 462 people traveled by bus
  • 705 bus tickets sold*
  • 32 bus trips ran


WayHome (July 24-26, 2015)

  • 105,000 attendees per year (35,000 per day)
  • 593 people traveled by bus
  • 665 bus tickets sold
  • 34 bus trips ran


Osheaga (July 31 - August 2, 2015)

  • 120,000 attendees per year (40,000 per day)
  • 177 people traveled by bus
  • 354 bus tickets sold
  • 8 bus trips ran

Boots and Hearts (August 6-9, 2015)

  • 105,000 attendees per year (35,000 per day)
  • 667 people traveled by bus
  • 1,258 bus tickets sold
  • 43 bus trips ran


*includes single-way tickets


People traveled by bus to these music festivals from all corners of Quebec and Ontario, including Montreal, Lachute, Sherbrooke, Toronto, Barrie, Oakville, and more!


Map of cities with incoming bus trips to Rockfest


Distance Traveled by Bus to Each Major Festival


Distance for All Passengers Combined

Amnesia Rockfest (Montebello)

134,855 km

WayHome (Oro-Medonte)

78,930 km
Osheaga (Montreal) 99,529 km
Boots and Hearts (Oro-Medonte) 44,518 km


357,832 km


Key Takeaways:

  • Largest festival (in terms of general attendance): Rockfest
  • Most bus tickets sold: Boots and Hearts
  • Most distance traveled to: Rockfest
  • Total distance traveled by festival goers = 9 trips around the world¹


This year, our number of partners has grown. We’ve increased routes across North America to not only serve the rest of Canada, but to provide transportation in the United States as well. The number one goal? To get you to your festival of choice, wherever that may be!


In addition to Rockfest, Osheaga, WayHome, and Boots & Hearts, some of the festivals you’ll be able to share the bus to this summer include Panorama, Country ThunderElectric Forest, Chicago Open Air, Country Jam USA, Calgary Folk Fest, Île Soniq, Heavy Montreal, and many others.


Don't see your event on the list? Let us know on Facebook or Twitter!


Traveling by Bus for a Greener Future


In the ongoing debate of buses versus cars, the biggest proponent for the former is all the environmental benefits they bring forward.


1. Fewer vehicles on the road


Considering a) attendance per festival, b) that a car carries on average 2.1 people², and c) that 1 bus carries 50 passengers:

Graphs comparing number of buses and cars going to festival


Detailed Breakdown



Number of Cars

Number of Buses













Boots and Hearts





If everyone were to take the bus instead of traveling by car, we can expect to see at least 25x fewer vehicles on the road and up to 50x fewer when compared with single-occupancy cars.

Graph comparing efficiency of buses versus cars

2. Lower levels of air pollutants


In addition to less traffic on the roads, traveling by bus translates into fewer harmful emissions:


  • Coach buses emit 0.03 kg of CO per passenger-km which is drastically smaller than the 0.11 kg emitted by cars,³ making buses roughly 4x less harmful to the environment.
  • For each km traveled, buses produce fewer pollutants than a single-passenger car: 80% less carbon monoxide, only 10% as many hydrocarbons per passenger-km, and only 75% as many nitrogen oxides per passenger-km.
  • For every person who chooses coach bus travel instead of driving alone, CO emissions are reduced by an average of 85% per passenger mile. 


The argument for greener traveling by bus takes into account its ridesharing capabilities: sharing the bus reduces harmful emissions per passenger while increasing distance traveled per gallon of fuel.


Fuel Savings and CO₂  Reductions: Passenger Car


Number of passengers

Passenger miles per gallon

Pounds of CO2 emitted per 100 passenger miles

Passenger car (24.8 mpg)





Fuel Savings and CO₂  Reductions: Coach Bus


Number of passengers

Passenger miles per gallon

Pounds of CO2 emitted per 100 passenger miles

Coach bus (6.1 mpg)









































As the bus fills up, the more eco-friendly it gets. In other words, +1 for ridesharing!


Key Takeaways:

  • A full bus carrying 50 passengers emits 17 pounds of CO per 100 passenger miles.
  • A passenger car carrying one person emits 82 pounds of CO per 100 passenger miles.
  • Therefore, a full bus produces only 0.17 pounds of carbon per passenger mile, which is way better than the 0.82 pounds produced by a single-occupant car.
  • Even buses operating below capacity with 11 passengers still have a better emissions rate than a typical car at 0.77 pounds.


3. Better fuel efficiency and higher passenger-distance traveled


As the number of travelers per vehicle increases, the bus gains in passenger-distance traveled while at the same time requiring less gas to move each individual.


  • Buses and coaches require 0.6-0.9 litres of gas to carry one passenger over 100 km while gas-powered cars require 7.6 litres.³
  • A bus can travel 146,000 passenger-kms for each tonne of CO emitted while a car can only travel 26,000 passenger-kms.³
  • A car would have to emit 5.6 tonnes of CO just to travel the same distance as the bus.³


Festival parking lot


Better Road Safety


Music festivals go hand-in-hand with waves of ubiquitous flower crowns and crop tops, summer heat, anticipation for your fave band to come on, a couple of drinks (or more), and just an overall good time.


But what happens after all the partying also matters. Some of the top causes for car accidents, such as drunk driving, are likely to occur during festival season. Getting people out of cars, and dissuading them from driving their own vehicle, could lessen the number of accidents on the road.


Eight out of the top 25 causes for road incidents can happen during festival season if you were to drive:


Top 25 Causes of Car Accidents¹

Distracted Driving

Running Red Lights

Unsafe Lane Change


Tire Blowouts


Running Stop Signs

Wrong-way Driving



Drunk Driving

Teenage Drivers

Improper Turns

Road Rage

Deadly Curves

Reckless Driving

Night Driving



Animal Crossing


Design Defects

Driving Under the Influence of Drugs

Drowsy Driving

Street Racing


Last year, Sharethebus saw an opportunity in North America, specifically in Quebec and Ontario where we focused our efforts in providing bus transportation towards major music festivals within the area.

Now that we’ve gotten proof of concept, we’re going nationwide, and adding some cool tech to boot! We’ve secured even more partnerships with festivals in both the United States and Canada, and witnessed increasing interest from festival attendees – making this year one for the books. And we’re excited to have you come along for the ride!


Which festivals are  you traveling to this summer? Give us a shoutout on Facebook or Twitter to let us know! 



¹ http://www.space.com/17638-how-big-is-earth.html 

² http://www.rita.dot.gov/bts/sites/rita.dot.gov.bts/files/publications/highlights_of_the_2001_national_household_travel_survey/html/section_02.html

³ http://www.busandcoach.travel/en/green/green_facts_and_figures.htm







¹  https://seriousaccidents.com/legal-advice/top-causes-of-car-accidents/

Thao Tram Ngo

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