San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Costa Rican government lauds new clean-technology buses

President Laura Chinchilla on Wednesday signed an executive order for the Costa Rican Electricity Institute (ICE) to buy “the cleanest and cheapest energy available in the country” starting in January.

The order also includes a request to the Public Services Regulatory Authority (ARESEP) to oversee public institutions to comply with this guideline.

Environment Minister René Castro said that ICE “sometimes spends more on Bunker fuel than needed for electricity generation,” mostly during the dry season.

The announcement was made at the facilities of Autotransportes Pavas, where the company unveiled new hybrid buses. The vehicles also are larger, with the capability of transporting 120 passengers, and they run on Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG) or diesel.

Company owners said the new buses will allow them to lower their operating costs by 30 percent, and they emit 15 percent less pollution than traditional buses.

Chinchilla participated in a tour of the bus route, which runs between the western canton of Pavas and downtown San José.

On Nov. 26, the government signed a decree declaring of “public interest” the activities of import, use and distribution of LPG.

Contact L. Arias at

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