Call for new, cleaner city school buses

October 2, 2008 3:43:50 PM PDT
A white handkerchief was stretched over a normal school bus exhaust pipe for 15 minutes. It turned black. The bus was built in 2000. When the same experiment was tried on a new bus built this year, the hanky was still white after the same 15 minutes. The difference comes to 8 years and a $14,000 filter installed under the new, cleaner bus.

To be fair, the New York City Department of Education and the Coalition of Buses correctly point out they are following the letter of the law. They are not doing anything wrong, but the Environmental Defense Fund insists both can and should do better.

The EDF points to blackened squares of fabric as well as what they call unnecessarily high pollution readings and high New York City child asthma rates to make their point.

The EDF insists New York City school children are breathing high levels of pollution everyday inside older buses as they ride to and from school whether windows are open or not, which is why officials are urging that the city's new contract regarding buses raises the bar on clean air. That contract comes up in two years.

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