Transport externalities have generally been discussed at the local level perspective. Aspects related to local atmospheric and noise pollution from vehicles, for instance, have been analysed in great depth and their impact in urban centres has been studied and discussed. On the other hand, some aspects related to the wider contribution of transport to environmental impacts have been neglected or considered of less importance. The main objective of this paper is to evaluate how urban passenger transport contributes to CO2 (carbon dioxide) emissions and to the greenhouse effect. The study takes into account road transport emissions in the Metropolitan Region of the Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro, focusing on the comparison between urban bus emissions and private car emissions. The conclusions reached highlight some viable transport policies to be adopted in the city and the importance of increasing public transport use if CO2 emissions from traffic are to be reduced.
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