If you’ve ever been to Jerusalem or Tel Aviv you’ll notice something really gross covering candy bars and packaged goods in convenient stores: a thick layer of black greasy gunk. Particulate matter from diesel buses is causing an alarming amount of pollution in the cities and if you drive along the coastal highway you can see an ochre-yellow halo of smog circling around the country in the horizon. Living inside that is certainly not healthy for anyone. Earlier this summer the Reading Power station responsible for about half of the particulate matter blackening lungs in Tel Aviv switched over to the cleaner burning natural gas piped in off Israel’s coast. That was good news to the ears of environmentalists but they still know more can be done. According to this newsflash, Egged has just bought 170 environmentally-friendly buses that meet EU exhaust emissions standard 3. ::GlobesAccording to Globes, a business daily newspaper, Egged Israel Transport bought the buses for NIS 200 million (about $45 million USD). They will enter service in a few months and operate on the Haifa-Jerusalem, Beersheva-Jerusalem, and Haifa-Tiberias routes. About 70 of the buses will be sent on the much-congested urban routes. Besides meeting the most advanced current air pollution standards, the buses will be more easier for passengers such as the elderly and handicapped to enter.
When EU emissions standard 4 comes on the market in 2007, more buses will be bought and imported to Israel, says Globes. ::Globes