Montreal, Canada is hoping to reclaim its former title of cycling capital of North America. The city intends to do this with the launching of the continent’s largest public bicycle transportation system. Going by the name of Bixi, a portmanteau of the words bicycle and taxi, the system will have 3,000 bicycles, each of which could be rented for $78 for one year or $5 per day.
The bike system is expected to bring down vehicular emissions in the city. Montreal Mayor Gerald Tremblay says the system was launched because the city needed “concrete examples of change” in light of current environmental challenges.
The Philippines could benefit from such a system. In a previous post, Pinoy Buzz wrote about using pedal power to solve Metro Manila’s traffic problem. But beyond making traffic a non-issue, setting up a Bixi-like system in the Philippines will clearly provide a boost to ongoing efforts against climate change.
Speaking of ongoing efforts, the Quezon City local government has just come out with an ordinance that requires operators and owners of the city’s public conveyances to make their vehicles more eco-friendly. It specifically mandates conversion of these vehicles from fossil fuel to compressed natural gas, liquefied petroleum gas, bio-ethanol blended gasoline and other biofuels. The ordinance sets a compliance period of three years.
Covered by the ordinance are all tricycles for hire, public utility vehicles registered, owned and operated by Quezon City residents or organizations and all vehicles owned by the city government.
The good thing about the ordinance is that it also prescribes penalties against non-compliance. It stipulates penalties raning from revocation of permits to vehicle decommissioning for violators.
Kudos goes to city councilor Bernadette Herrera Dy for crafting the ordinance. I just have one complaint: Why set the compliance period at three years? It should have been shorter like maybe a year. Just my opinion.
In any case, this ordinance is a good start. Hopefully other cities and municipalities will come out with similar measures. Better yet why not have one that covers the whole country.
I would love to see a law requiring the “greening” of all public utility vehicles. I’m particularly interested in seeing a more environment-friendly version of the so-called “King of the Road” the jeepney.
By the way, I realized just now that Councilor Dy’s ordinance will not mean anything unless it is implemented properly. If not it will just go the way of the Clean Air Act and its provision on smoke-belching. All motorists and I mean all motorists in this part of the world know that the anti-smoke belching provision of the law continues to be violated to this day.
Incidentally, the Clean Air Act will be 10 years old next month.