Do we really know how much the buses in Majadahonda affect to the environment?

We are used to being told to use public transport in a way that is less damaging to the environment, but is that entirely true? Is it really the best option with the number of buses circulating today? In order to give voice to the problems that public transport can cause, we want to address in this project the environmental problems related to air pollution that is occurring in the town of Majadahonda due to the expelled gases produced by buses of the town, a problem that few people are aware of because of what we have become used to hear.

Unfortunately, the air quality in the town is not optimal as it should be, a situation that, in the long term, endangers the health of people and the environment. This problem not only worries us but also all the inhabitants of the municipality and the areas close to it that can also be affected by this method of transport. Therefore, to try to stop this situation or at least improve it, we want to propose measures that could be applied against this problem.

In the words of Pedro Sacristan: ”I have lived in Majadahonda since 1977 and I use the bus frequently. I observe very assiduously that when the buses start from the stop, they release a thick cloud of black smoke, especially those with F, G and H as the first letter of the license plate ”. Very old buses from Madrid to Majadahonda pass through many of the stops in this town and do not have any type of addblue type devices or filters to reduce the nitrogen oxides generated by the combustion of diesel, which are the emission of those gases that pollute the air of Majadahonda so much. Without these filters, emissions can be very harmful to health, adding ,simultaneously, that there are a large number of bus stops throughout the town through which many buses pass daily.

Through an investigation that we have carried out we have been able to see how, unlike other towns , Majadahonda only have addblue filters on buses with the most recent license plates but the rest of the many buses that circulate at their stops do not have any filter reduction of gas emissions, some anti-pollution device that helps to improve the emissions of this public transport or another type of solution against those remaining buses that affect the residents of the town so much. (In the average of the last 4 years, Majadahonda has exceeded the target value of air in the Community of Madrid with 36% O3).

The identification of these buses without filters is very simple due to the abundant black smoke coming out of the transport exhaust pipe, the smell of burnt diesel, the blackness of the gas expulsion area in the bus itself … All these characteristics produce consequences on people who are close to transport, an alarming fact. The most frequent symptoms are itchy eyes, coughs and lung poisoning, among others.

The City Council, by not taking charge, may find new demands for leaving functions and the mayor with uncomfortable questions in plenary session by those affected.

Another point to discuss is the solution we offer. Against this problem we think that the best thing would be to replace buses that use petrol, diesel and fuel, which are the ones that are polluting the town, with hybrid buses instead. The residents of Majadahonda, will notice a great change in the streets and at the same time we would be helping to reduce global pollution of the environment when they start to circulate using this type of transport.

In addition, to this solution we have added the possibility of traveling by bike or electric scooter, in account of the pandemic, going outdoors without the making crowds in public transport plus being able to tackle, skip the traffic and travel at moderate speed would be a very good solution indeed.

Thanks to the information we have gathered, we can see that our solution has also been used in some towns. One of them would be Alcorcón when company Arriva Madrid, in September 2020 provided this service in the southwest of Madrid.

To be more specific, these new hybrid transports will be in circulation on Saturday 19 and Sunday 20 of 2020 on lines L1 and L2 in Alcorcón, with the aim of raising awareness about the negative consequences of the unnecessary use of buses that pollute. And make people aware of the benefits of using this new way of transport.

Autoras: Carla Clermont, Carlota Escolano y Lucía Fernández


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