Green Lines

January 8, 2010

An effort to make the Vancouver Olympics the most environmentally sustainable is coming under fire from an usual corner.
Environmentalists are criticising a decision to use hydrogen buses during the games.

As Curt Petrovich has been reporting this morning, the buses are being called little more than very expensive window dressing.

* The buses cost more than two million dollars each... four times the price of a diesel model.
* The hydrogen fuel has to be trucked from a plant in Quebec.
* And during the Olympics bus emissions will actually increase when BC transit relies on more than 100 additional diesel buses to handle demand.

The David Suzuki foundation has panned the 89 million dollar project.
Former BC transit planner Stephen Rees says the money would be better spent bringing bus service to people who don't already have it.

"we can provide zero emission electric transport now - very effecitvely - using very old fashoined technolgoy like street cars or trolley buses."

John Tack is president of the canadian hydrogen and fuel cell association - who's industry members built the buses.

"The only thing that's coming out of the tailpipe is water vapour and heat - so that's where we need to go in terms of transportation in getting rid of pollution and green house gases."

The buses will keep rolling well after the Olympics.
BC Transit will evaluate how well they performed, in four years.

Peter Armstrong

Peter Armstrong