Beijing transport authorities are to phase out 2,500 buses which fail to meet emissions standards and buy 2,810 environment-friendly vehicles this year.
Eighty percent, of 2,350, of the public transport vehicles to be purchased by the city this year will be buses with diesel engines that have achieved the European IV standard for emissions, and 160 will be trolleybuses.
The city would buy another 300 buses which run on compressed natural gas, bringing their total number to 4,000, said Feng Xingfu, deputy general manager of Beijing Public Transport Holdings Ltd.
"Compared with the European III standard, European IV has cut particle emissions by a further 80 percent. European IV buses will have more engine power and improved fuel efficiency." said Feng.
"Beijing is in fact keeping in pace with European countries," he added.
Vehicle emissions are a major source of pollution in the Chinese capital. The municipal government has announced it will renew public transport vehicles that fail environment standards before the 2008 Olympic Games.
The public transport company has upgraded 11,000 buses since 2004, or 60 percent of the total. The number of renewed buses is expected to reach 20,000.
The design of the new vehicles will be more passenger-oriented. For example, the buses will be lower and more accessible to the elderly, and handrails will be more convenient for passengers, Feng said.
(Xinhua News Agency April 19, 2007)