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May 30, 2011

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Home » Metro » Public Services

End of the line for downtown 'trains'

DOWNTOWN sightseeing "trains" are being scrapped after officials discovered the fumes they belch are more than twice the legal emissions limit.

The aging vehicles, a familiar sight on Nanjing Road Pedestrian Mall, are being replaced by environmentally friendly electric buses, local environment supervisors said.

"Tourist transport operating in such crowded areas should ideally be zero-emission," said Cai Zhigang, an official with the Shanghai Environmental Protection Bureau.

Eight sightseeing buses, which look like trains, have been wending their way up and down the pedestrian street for the past 10 years, carrying passengers for 2 yuan (30 US cents).

However, most of the vehicles are feeling the strain due to their relatively small horsepower. While each vehicle is no more powerful than an ordinary car, it carries more than 20 passengers.

A car is allowed exhaust emissions containing about 0.8 percent of carbon monoxide, according to the vehicle emission standard.

But the sightseeing bus emits about 2 percent of carbon monoxide, said Xu Xiaoyu, an environmental supervision official after checks.

"It's about the same amount as a light truck," said Xu.

Ye Ping, a manager with Bashi Tourism Co, said three electric buses have already been introduced, with the rest to follow in October.


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