Thursday, May 14, 2015

Adiós to Those Old Buses?

A SITP bus and private buses on Carrera 10 in central Bogotá.
Once again, Bogotá's city government has promised to retire those old buses which do so much to pollute our air and turn the streets chaotic.
Can it be true? 'End of the hegemony of the old public transport companies.'
And let's hope that they actually fulfill their word this time, even tho they've been promising the end of these buses since the 1990s.

'¡Urgent, Petro Deceives!' A sign on a bus protests
the old buses' phase-out.
Unfortunately, however, lots of things could happen between now and then, including protests by the bus industry, which in the past have shut down the city; If they can't reverse the law, the bus owners might find a way around it, thru bribery or deception. According to a recent court ruling, during past campaigns in which owners were paid to junk the aged, highly-polluting buses, some bus owners managed to get paid for junking the same bus several times - sometimes without actually junking it at all. In other cases, bus owners have sent the bus's shell to the junkyard, while placing the old, polluting engine into another bus, where it continues belching smoke.

And, according to news reports, the city plans to integrate hundreds or thousands of those old buses into the SITP system, in which they will be repainted, undergo a name change and continue belching smoke.

A common sight: An old bus belches smoke on Calle 26.
By Mike Ceaser, of Bogotá Bike Tours

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