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Government sets up franchised bus low emission zones starting today

     The Government today (December 31) set up franchised bus low emission zones (LEZs) in three busy corridors in Causeway Bay, Central and Mong Kok, in which franchised bus companies are required to deploy low emission buses (i.e. buses meeting Euro IV or higher emission standards) to improve roadside air quality.

     The three LEZs are located at Yee Wo Street in Causeway Bay, the junction of Des Voeux Road Central and Pedder Street in Central, and the junction of Nathan Road and Lai Chi Kok Road in Mong Kok respectively. The location maps are attached in the annex.

     A spokesman for the Environmental Protection Department (EPD) said, "At busy corridors in Causeway Bay, Central and Mong Kok, franchised buses can account for up to 40 per cent of the traffic and are one of the major sources of roadside air pollution. The use of low emission buses in these busy corridors can improve roadside air quality within the LEZs as well as in those districts where the low emission buses will operate."

     Currently, the bus routes running through the three LEZs are operated by the Kowloon Motor Bus Co (1933) Ltd (KMB), Citybus Limited (CTB) and New World First Bus Services Limited (NWFB). KMB and NWFB already have sufficient low emission buses for deployment to the bus routes running through the LEZs. About 96 per cent of CTB's buses running through the LEZs are low emission buses, and the company anticipates that the target will be fully met by March 2016.

     The EPD spokesman added, "Low emission buses include those buses meeting the emission level of Euro IV or above and Euro II and III buses retrofitted with selective catalytic reduction devices and diesel particulates filters. In case of traffic congestion, vehicle breakdowns and traffic accidents, etc, the franchised bus companies may need to deploy non-low emission buses to ply the LEZs occasionally in order to maintain normal bus services. However, these exceptional cases will be reduced further with the franchised bus companies acquiring more new buses."

     The franchised bus companies will report to the EPD and the Transport Department on a regular basis on the deployment of buses to the LEZs. These two departments will also closely monitor the implementation of the LEZs.

Ends/Thursday, December 31, 2015
Issued at HKT 11:01


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