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FYI: More than 30 percent of the buses monitored in a City Council investigation were left idling longer than city law allows. The buses, which included both MTA vehicles and private commuter and tour buses, idled for an average of 7 minutes, more than twice the legal limit of 3 minutes. According to the Council, an estimated 53 percent of particulate matter in Manhattan air comes from diesel fuel. MTA has pledged to convert all its buses to “ultra-low sulfur diesel” by year’s end, which the EPA has said all on-road vehicles must do by 2006. Several Council members, including Speaker Gifford Miller, are planning to introduce bills that would stiffen penalties for violating idling time rules and require all buses operating in the city to be equipped with emissions-reducing technology. [10/10/03]