Cash, bikes, bus passes offered for Canada's gas-guzzlers
OTTAWA -- Canada launched an incentive program on Wednesday to rid its roads of old gas-guzzling cars and trucks, urging citizens to trade them in for free bicycles, bus passes, or $300 cash.
The National Vehicle Scrappage Program will offer these incentives to people who retire their 1995 or older model vehicles, and hopefully turn to more environmentally-friendly transportation, the government said.
"We know Canadians want to do their part to help clean up the air we breathe," Environment Minister John Baird said in a statement.
"That's why we are launching a national program to get Canadians's smog-causing gas-guzzlers off the road."
Of the 18 million cars and trucks on Canada's roads, about five million were manufactured before 1996, when new tougher emissions standards were introduced.
These pre-1996 models produce about 19 times more air pollutants than newer cars and trucks, said Baird.
And although they make up less than one-third of vehicles on the road, older cars generate as much as two-thirds of the smog-forming pollutants caused by personal vehicle use, he said.
The government has committed $92 million (Canadian, US) over four years to implement the program, which is to be run by a national not-for-profit organization.
A rebate on the purchase of a new car or a membership in a car-sharing program will also be offered as incentives.