Clear The Air News Blog Rotating Header Image

November 28th, 2008:

Hong Kong Lags On Bus Emissions

Nov 28, 2008 – SCMP

I refer to the letters by Mary Chan (“Why allow polluting buses?”, November 17) and Charlie Chan (“Government and bus companies trying hard to curb pollution”, November 19). Hong Kong is still behind many major world-class cities in terms of introducing and implementing new pollution-reduction vehicles.

For example, more than 60 per cent of London’s huge bus fleet already meets Euro III emissions while the remainder have met Euro II standards. For Hong Kong, Euro II has not been implemented throughout the SAR. Only 84 per cent of buses will achieve this standard by 2011.

Nonetheless, unlike Ms Chan I still think buses are much more efficient than private cars and taxis in terms of emissions and space. Even if half-full, taxis are much less efficient as they occupy much more space just to transport a few (or sometimes only one) passengers. However, I do agree that overlapping bus routes should be adjusted to reduce stops.

Samuel Chan, Sha Tin

Incentives Don’t Cut Diesel Fumes

Nov 28, 2008 – SCMP

The most lethal thing you can breathe in at road level is particulate matter (PM) 2.5 emitted from the exhausts of old diesel vehicles, which exacerbates the PM2.5 in the air from our power companies.

Diesel emissions also contribute to our urban smog. The government has offered generous terms for the owners to trade up to newer Euro V vehicles.

This offer is akin to asking smokers to stop smoking.

The government needs to be more proactive and force these old diesel trucks and buses off our roads.

It would be interesting to know how many vehicles the bus companies here actually own rather than lease from the banks. Voluntary measures will not work so more stringent methods such as increased licensing costs need to be used.

James Middleton, Yuen Long