Rome sends rental buses back to Israel

ATAC terminates contract for 70 buses as they don't meet EU pollution standards.

The 70 second-hand buses leased by Rome's public transport company ATAC earlier this year are being sent back to Israel as their Euro 5 engines do not meet EU emission standards, according to local media.

ATAC has abandoned its plan to upgrade the buses to Euro 6 level, as required by EU legislation, deciding instead to terminate its contract due to the high cost involved in updating the 10-year-old vehicles.

The plan involved sending the buses to Germany for the complex mechanical process which would have cost about €6,000 per vehicle, or a total of €420,000.

The monthly rent for the 70 used buses was reported at around €500,000, including maintenance, of which ATAC had made an advance payment of 16 per cent.

However ATAC issued a statement saying that "all the necessary measures have been taken in time" to guarantee the municipal company against any potential loss.

Photo Corriere della Sera