How long do we have to smell the stinky buses?

10 o’clock in the morning. Budapest. Bus 9. There are around thirty passengers including elders and babies as well. The interior of the bus is filled with exhaust gas. In every stop passengers are trying to get closer to the doors to take at least a sip of fresh air.” No, this is not a scene from a disaster movie, this is a description of the reality that our organization receives quite frequently from people who are using public transportation in Budapest.

The Clean Air Action Group (CAAG) sent a letter to the Mayor of the city, István Tarlós to call his attention to the problem of the exhaust gases inside the buses. According to experts, the gases are getting inside the buses not only because these buses are old but also due to the lack of proper maintenance. It would be necessary to measure the exact concentration of the toxic substances in the exhaust and inside the buses on a regular basis. The cost of corrective maintenance on the basis of such measurements would be a just a small part of the budget of the Budapest Public Transport Company (BKV) and it would be a useful long-term investment since with better maintenance the buses would burn less fuel.

One of the scary facts mentioned in CAAG’s letter was the fact that in the last 20 years the number of people suffering from asthma in Budapest increased by 500%. Although in the last few years, BKV’s bus fleet has been partly replaced by new vehicles, the majority of the buses is still very obsolete.

The Clean Air Action Group calls upon the Mayor for an immediate intervention to assure proper maintenance of BKV’s buses.