In New York, bus depots are located in areas where coloured people live
A clear case of racism
If you thought that government departments of one of the richest countries in the world have a conscience, you are completely wrong. Residents of New York City along with several non-government organisations (ngos) have been waging a long, and tiresome, battle against the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (mta) in New York for cleaner policies for coloured communities and low-income groups, but to no avail.
Not surprisingly, mta's response was that weact's charges were baseless. They asked for the complaint to be dismissed. Further, they claimed the location of bus depots was driven not by race but by "legitimate business necessities". Of course, it was also noted that depots could not be built in other community areas due to "unacceptable community and environmental impacts". weact's "counter-response" to this was fortified by a statistical and zoning analysis. This showed that in Manhattan, the number of people of colour living within a quarter mile of a bus depot was 27 per cent higher; ergo, the higher risk of their suffering from adverse health effects. weact convinced the us Environment Protection Agency to test Northern Manhattan's air quality and found that small particles in the air exceeded us standards by over 200 per cent.
Notwithstanding all this, it is clear that mta is taking the diesel route. It had committed to maintaining its four-stroke diesel coach bus fleet at 450, but this has increased to 569. Moreover, it was to increase the four-stroke diesel transit bus fleet to 2,370 by 2006; but already by this year, the number's become 2,737. Furthermore, mta spokesperson Dana Lowell believes that the mta is likely to add another 136 diesel buses to the fleet by March 2005. By that time the mta will have only 476 cng buses and 335 hybrid buses -- nowhere near their committment.
With the mta claiming to have cleaned up its bus fleet and people of colour fighting for their health, the battle threatens to be a long one.
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