The running engine
While the modern non polluting systems are encouraging, their impact is nullified by big traditional buses that wait for up to half an hour at the end of the line with the engine running. Most of the times, the only reason for that is just the habit. A matter of convenience. In fact, the last stop of a bus line is most of the time just that: a sign. In some cases, there is a small cabin for the driver, where he can drink a cup of coffee and symbolically celebrate the end of the trip. In the old days, the cabin hosted the supervisor who stamped the driver’s trip book. Unfortunately, cost cutting or automation made the supervisor a relic of the past.
No earlier than last Saturday, I saw two such buses that operate on a special line linking a big city and its main airport (50M+ passengers/year). For more than 10 minutes, the buses had the engine running. Needless to say that around the bus was an invisible cloud of warm air. On a summer hot day, this contribute to the pollution of the city. Alas, the bus driver didn’t kill the engine. I now that starting an engine consumes more fuel than the normal operation of the bus, but aren’t the hybrid engines designed for that ?
The best candidates for hybrid engines are the buses that pollute the most. Hopefully, in big metropolitan areas, the transition to the next generation of city bus fleet is already in effect. It is only a matter of time and budgeting. For the smaller towns, let’s cross the fingers.