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Bogota Ready to Roll Out Zero Emission Bus Fleet
Bogota, Colombia, 11/19/2012


Electric buses are ready to hit the street in the coming year in Bogota, Columbia, said Gustavo Petro, Bogota’s Mayor.

Bogota will have ecological bus lanes and routes with zero emissions. As the pilot-testing program is underway for next year’s roll-out, the first electric and hybrid buses (some using clean diesel) are already on the move in Bogota. They will form part of the Integrated Public Transport System (SITP in Spanish) and are part of the action underway in the capital city to contribute to the reduction of green house gasses that cause climate change.

Mayor Gustavo Petro shared this information at the recent United Nations Climate Change Summit that began on Monday. While other capital cities like Paris and Mexico have successfully limited the circulation of vehicles and have stimulated other modes of transportation that do not use gasoline or diesel and do not generate emissions, he said this idea in Bogota “collides with vested interests.” 

“When it was proposed to electrify the transportation system and limit the use of cars, it was opposed…people said no to the rails. I am from the left, and now with this device, the rails are on the left and the car tires are on the right,” said Petro who confirmed that the goal of his policy is to create a more efficient transportation system with clean technology.

District Environment Secretary, Susana Muhamad, said the results of the performance testing of the electric bus fleet in the capital will be available in February, 2013.

The Bogota Declaration

In development of the summit, mayors from Colombia and Latin America signed the Global Cities Covenant on Climate known as "The Mexico City Pact" two years ago.

In this pact, 138 cities of five continents where 250 million people live, there has been a voluntary reduction of greenhouse gas emissions with local measures taken such as the adequate management of waste and garbage and efficient use of electric energy and related campaigns.

The head of the government in Mexico City, Marcelo Ebrard, indicated that this agreement has worked. “As long as countries that are generating emissions do not commit to reducing them, we in the cities are showing that yes, we can take positive actions,” said Mayor Ebrard.

In two years, 269 cities on various continents have signed the pact. By November 2011, they achieved a reduction of 447 million tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2).

For his part, the vice president of the National Assembly of France, Denis Baupin, said an “ecological transition” is necessary. He added that in Paris they have reduced the circulation of cars by 25% as more people are using the subway system, trams, and their bicycles as part of the plan to reduce energy consumption.

Participants and speakers agreed that the tendency in the world is to use less private cars to get around in favor of other means of transportation.

Summit Agenda

Tuesday – The Fragility of Territory and Adaptation

On the second day of the summit, a study on the fragility of territory and the adaptability of cities will be presented. The panel will include the Chamber of Commerce of Bogota in which Eduardo López Moreno will speak. Bach Tan Sinh from Vietnam will also speak.

The planning and organization of territory is another topic to be discussed by such international speakers as Serge Salat, urban morphology researcher in France and Rex Burkholder of Portland, Oregon. Lorraine Sugar from the World Bank and Richard Smith from the United Kingdom will talk about financing.

Source: El Tiempo newspaper.

Topic(s):    Sustainable development