|A TransMilenio bus belches its way thru central Bogotá |
recently. How much cleaner will the new buses be?
Unfortunately, I can't discover anywhere how many total points we're talking about: Are we talking about 400 points out of a thousand, or 400 points out of a million?
But apparently the 400 points are significant, since Peñalosa promised that thanks to them many of the 1,000-plus new buses will be Euro 6: basically electric or naural gas powered.
That will be a relief for us breathers, since many of the older TM buses are veritable 'rolling chimneys' because they've exceeded their planned mileage and obviously have neither been maintained or equipped with filters.
Electric buses, at least, can never pollute, no matter how old they get or how badly they're neglected. (And, because Colombia's electricity is mostly hydroelectric, it generates relatively little greenhouse gas.)
The clean buses will cost more to buy, (altho less to maintain), and they will also require the installation of new infrastructure in TM statiions. So, they'll be expensive up front, but will save Bogotanos untold amounts in health expenditures and human suffering, as well as the economic benefits from increased tourism and businesses' willingness to move to a cleaner, more pleasant city.
But that makes me ask: If City Hall is willing to go to that expense and effort to make TM cleaner, why not bother to sanction monstrosities like this bus I saw yesterday belching its way up Calle 19?
Or this truck I spotted smoking away today along on Calle 13 near the train station?
By Mike Ceaser, of Bogotá Bike Tours