Thursday, March 12, 2015

An End for the Old Buses?

Soon to be gone? Ancient buses wait on Carrera 10.
Bogotá officials say - once again - that those old buses wheezing and groaning along our avenues squealing their brakes and belching smoke will be gone in a few months.

Of course, they've been promising this for years, and yet they're still here. And this latest promise has a huge 'but': It'll only happen if two of the near-bankrupt SITP subcontractors can get on their feet financially, which will require a miracle.

There are good reasons to get those old buses off of the streets: They pollute and contribute to a street-congesting surplus of public transport. But the buses are also profitable, and so their influential owners want to keep them rolling - and polluting.

A recent headline in El Tiempo announcing the elimination of the old buses...
And a similar story from 1996 announcing the disappearance of the old buses...
An old bus belches its way along Carrera 10.
But if reducing pollution is the city's goal, then they should get rid of the dirty buses, whatever their age. And that might mean shutting down TransMilenio....

A TransMilenio buses issues a cloud of smoke in La Candelaria, along the Eje Ambiental.
By Mike Ceaser, of Bogotá Bike Tours

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