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ARC Bus Emissions Testing Results ‘Looking Good’

ARC Bus Emissions Testing Results ‘Looking Good’

The ARC’s commitment to ensure cleaner air for Aucklanders has been further strengthened with the commencement of a free bus emissions testing programme last week.

The ARC, in partnership with Waitakere City Council's Vehicle Testing Station, is offering free emissions tests for buses throughout the region. Stagecoach has been first off the mark to participate in the programme with testing of the entire fleet at its Swanson depot almost complete.

The test results indicate how well the engines are maintained and whether they match the manufacturer’s specifications for emissions. Results of the tests will be analysed by the ARC, who will then be able to provide advice to bus operators on maintenance programmes as well as using the information to develop policies on bus emissions standards.

ARC Passenger Transport Committee Chairwoman, Catherine Harland, says that Stagecoach’s enthusiasm to get behind the initiative shows that operators are just as determined to assess the impact of bus emissions on Auckland’s air – and make efforts to improve.

“Air quality is a key focus for the ARC, and for Aucklanders,” she says. “Questions have been raised about buses being major contributors to air pollution in the region and in particular visible smoke billowing from some buses has heightened community concern.

“The ARC’s bus emissions programme aims to evaluate as many makes, ages and models of buses as possible in the Auckland passenger transport fleet, this includes buses running on CNG and the City Circuit buses which use specially imported low-sulphur diesel. The testing will allow us to to find out exactly what the current situation is and then take practical, positive steps with the operators to lower emissions by improving maintenance programmes.

“Auckland’s public-private operating environment is unique. For the success of any initiatives which are likely to have significant impacts on private bus operators, it’s critical that the ARC is able to work in partnership with operators such as Stagecoach.”

Nearly all of the 81 buses at the at Stagecoach’s Swanson depot have been tested, and most of these older vehicles.

Stagecoach Auckland Operations Director, Warren Fowler, says the immediate results are ‘very good’.

“We’re pleased with the outcome of the testing to date, which has covered a range of different types of buses, including thoses that the public perceive as the ‘main offenders’. There are no new Euro-classified vehicles at the Swanson depot so the positive results are especially pleasing.

“Stagecoach is currently in the process of receiving 120 brand new ‘Euro-3’ standard vehicles and we expect even better results when these are tested. Our buses at the Mt Roskill and Central depots are the next to be tested under the programme and we’re expecting satisfactory results there too.”

The free service will be made available to other bus operators at the conclusion of the Stagecoach testing programme.

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