User-agent: Mediapartners-Google* Disallow: Buses World News

Buses World News

In brief: Worldwide montly news & informations about Buses, Busmakers, Passengers' and the Transport Industry


CHARTER BUSES - Skedaddle now lets you customize your route to the Mid-Atlantic

(Image via Creative Commons/ Paul Sullivan) 
-- Boston witnessed a surge in transportation startups in 2014. From parking apps to customized bus routes, it seems that almost every facet of the transportation sector is getting an infusion of new tech-enabled ideas. Now, Skeddadle, a bus-sharing service that launched earlier this month, is already expanding out of New England. Skeddadle's service differs from the likes of pop-up bus Bridj... Skedaddle allows users to reserve charter buses and invite as many fellow passengers along as the bus will allow. Think of it as a party bus, but on a larger scale... Now, co-founder and CEO Adam Nestler told BostInno that Skedaddle is moving serving into the Mid-Atlantic – specifically Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland, Delaware, Washington D.C., Virginia and North Carolina... Boston,MASS,USA -Bostinno, by Nick DeLuca -23 Jan 15


* Venezuela - Receives over 250 new Chinese buses

(Photo: AVN - Venezuelan public transport: New China's buses)
-- Venezuela received 258 new buses from China this week, under a series of bilateral deals that have seen Beijing make a slew of major contributions to Venezuelan public transport in recent years... All the new buses were produced by Chinese conglomerate Yutong, and most are slated for use in urban public transport... The delivery is the latest in a series of Chinese contributions to Venezuelan public transport... The first shipment of 350 Yutong buses under the latest bilateral transport agreement arrived in Venezuela in December 2014. In total, Venezuela is expected to receive 1500 buses under the deal. Venezuela has already purchased thousands more buses from the same Chinese company, under what Maduro has labeled a drive to “modernize” his nation's public transport system... Caracas,Venezuela -Telesur TV -24 January 2015

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BUS WORKERS SPEAK * UK: "Why are you late?" ...

* England - ... All the controllers say that !!!

(Pic: - London buses stranded by last week’s strike) 
London,EN,UK -The Socialist Worker, by Raymie Kiernan -20 Jan 2015: -- Strikes by London bus drivers have brought the state of the capital’s transport service to the fore. Most people think driving a bus must be stressful, but have little idea of the unrelenting pressure put on drivers. Mostafa, a driver, spoke to about the pressures of work bus driver: “The controlers talk down to the drivers like we don’t exist. They don’t understand what is going on... We get harassed. All they see is that buses are running close together. Every driver’s cab has an ‘ibus’ screen that shows how close their bus is to the one in front of them” ...   The pressure comes from the top. Mostafa points out, Transport for London’s (TfL) tendering process for contracts is not about providing a proper service to the public ... It’s all about mileage. The companies want to show TfL that the service is running perfectly to avoid getting penalised. They force drivers to do more than what their duties require them to do ...    That makes an already stressful job worse. Mostafa said, “We’ve got a bus full of passengers, while we are dealing with the traffic on the roads"...


ELECTRIC BUSES * Switzerland: With troubles

Electric buses suffer teething problems

Geneve,Swiss -WRS Radio/BBC World, by Mark -21 Jan 2015: -- The two Italian built electric minibuses running around the Geneva old town are still suffering from teething problems... The Ville de Genève donated the buses to the TPG in December, and very quickly problems with the doors and the motors meant they had to be replaced with diesel driven buses... They are now back on the road – but one of them has now developed a strange noise, so is off the road again... The TPG says it’s normal to have teething problems – and points out they are still under warranty...



* England - SMMT to host commercial vehicle air quality debate

(Photo:Prakash Singh/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images -Jan. 31: Indian commuters waited for a bus on a polluted morning in New Delhi) 
London,EN,UK -Fleet News -16 Jan 2015: -- SMMT will host a debate in February on the bus, coach and commercial vehicle sectors’ contribution to improving air quality... Aimed at national and local government policy stakeholders, fleet operators and vehicle manufacturers, the event will showcase clean air technology embedded in the latest buses, trucks and vans, and investigate potential policy frameworks for clean air in the UK... SMMT Improving Air Quality: The Commercial Vehicle Contribution, an invite-only event in London on February 11, 2015, will address concerns about emissions hotspots, and demonstrate how the latest vehicle technology is already playing a vital role in delivering on strict targets for UK emissions reductions... Delegates will hear from commercial vehicle and bus manufacturers, including Ford, Iveco, Mercedes-Benz, Optare and Renault Trucks UK, who will demonstrate how new and emerging technology, including the latest Euro 6-compliant diesel vehicles, have the potential to all but eliminate diesel nitrogen oxides (NOx) tailpipe emissions...

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* North Caroline - Chapel Hill Transit plans to replace 45 buses 

Chapel Hill,NC,USA -The Daily Tar Heel, by TRENT HOLLANDSWORTH -22 Jan 2015: -- A few new sets of wheels will soon be hitting the streets of Chapel Hill. The Chapel Hill Town Council has authorized Town Manager Roger Stancil to sign a contract for the purchase of up to 45 new buses for Chapel Hill Transit... The buses are part of a joint purchase between the town of Chapel Hill, the city of Durham and Triangle Transit. Placing all three orders together makes the price of the buses cheaper... Under this contract, the town can purchase up to 45 buses. These would replace the 42 buses in Chapel Hill that are out of date, including 13 out of 19 EZ Rider buses... The out-of-date buses were built between 1996 and the early 2000s. They lack security cameras and comfortable seating...

* Washington - Why aren't buses routinely replaced?

Everett,Snohomish,WASH,USA -The Herald of Everett -January 20, 2015: -- Where is the money? $264,358.95, $257,462.76 and $217,683.86 for a total of $739,504.57. This is the amount given to the Arlington School District in the past three years by the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction Student Transportation department. According to the law, these yearly funds are only to be used for replacement of the aging buses... This year's amount is the $217,683 — the reimbursement dollars decrease as the buses age. But, the amount will increase as the buses are replaced. Basic math tells us that every four years the district has received over $1 million for replacing buses. In the past six years, Arlington School District has received the wanted $1.5 million for the supposed 2016 need. So why does the district have a 28-year old bus? Furthermore, why would the district need the voters to approve a new levy when they get funds for yearly replacement already?...



* California - Separate buses are not equal

(Image by Rachel Atherly | Daily Trojan) 
Los Angeles,CAL,USA -The Daily Trojan, by JENNIFER FRAZIN ·January 20, 2015: -- When I tell people that I take public transportation, I am often met with worried stares. After all, urban centers have a pretty bad reputation when it comes to sexual harassment. I’ve bought into the warnings I’ve received about riding at night and having pepper spray on hand. If Los Angeles had introduced a women-only train car, I would’ve spent way more time in the city and much less time on public transportation worried about the length of my skirt... Unfortunately, my fear is far from irrational. In metropolitan cities around the globe, harassment is a serious issue for female commuters. A 2014 Thomas Reuters Foundation poll revealed that 32 percent of women in London have experienced verbal harassment on public transportation. The situation is even worse in Latin American cities, where six out of 10 women have reported physical assault on public transit. Given all this abuse, it is no wonder that many countries — including Japan, Mexico and Brazil — have introduced women-only train cars in an effort to curb the abuse... With all these displays of male privilege making headlines, the fact that women are the main users of public transport in most urban centers comes as quite a surprise. The United Nations Women website explains this phenomenon, pointing out that women and girls are more likely to move through cities in “criss-crosses and zigzags” in order to accomplish their duties as primary caregivers and members of the labor force... Women should not need to adjust their transportation routine to accommodate assailants, and they should not face victim-blaming if they reject available segregated transportation. Society needs to view women-only transit for what it is — a temporary fix, one more “You should have …” when the next victim speaks out..

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* England - Snow causes traffic chaos in South Yorkshire 

Yorkshire,EN,UK -The Star -24 Jan 2015: -- Heavy snow overnight has led to traffic and travel chaos... Both the Snake Pass and Woodhead Pass trans pennine routes are closed... All other main roads across the region remain open, with The Parkway in Sheffield clear... A number of Stagecoach bus services in South Yorkshire and North Derbyshire have been affected by the snow and the latest travel information is listed below... 

* Scotland - Aberdeenshire school buses are limited today

Aberdeenshire,Scotland,UK -Aberdeenshire Journals, by Laura Redpath -23 January 2015: -- Aberdeenshire school transport links remain disrupted following nearly three days of cold, icy weather... Inverurie Market Place School, Meldrum School, Methlick School will be open to pupils today, however transport is limtied... This week saw several schools in the region close completely as persistent conditions caused misery for commuters...



* Illinois - Pace unveils plan for ambitious $2.3 billion Rapid Transit Network

(Photo by Chuck Berman, Chicago Tribune 2011: Bus on shoulder. A Pace bus uses a bus-on-the-shoulder inner lane on the Stevenson Expressway -I-55- in 2011. That program and other bus rapid transit options are being considered for the whole Chicago area) 
Chicago, ILL,USA -The Chicago Tribune, by Richard Wronski -21 Jan 2015: -- A wide-ranging network of suburban bus routes could transform the way people commute and shop, connecting people to job centers in Naperville, Elgin and Elk Grove Village, according to an ambitious $2.3 billion plan shared by Pace on Tuesday... By example: Express buses with high-tech amenities would take riders from the south suburbs to O'Hare International Airport... And buses would travel on the shoulder of the Jane Addams and Edens expressways, bypassing car traffic... These bus routes, and dozens of others like them, could provide new public transit options for thousands of riders in scores of communities in the six-county area... By way of comparison, the network would serve the entire six-county area, whereas the once-hoped-for STAR Line would have primarily served only the northwest and far west suburbs. That suburb-to-suburb rail link, with an estimated cost of at least $1 billion, has been essentially discarded due to lack of funding... Steve Schlickman, executive director of the University of Illinois at Chicago's Urban Transportation Center, lauded Pace's effort in going after the federal program, despite the scarcity of federal funding likely to result...

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* England - Bus firm loses all four executive directors

(Photo: Lothian Buses) 
London,EN,UK -BBC News -21 January 2015: -- Lothian Buses is the biggest bus company in the capital, with more than 2,000 staff... Lothian Buses has revealed all four of its executive directors are to leave the company over the next two years... It follows a bitter boardroom feud between the men, who each earned between £200,000 and £270,000 in 2013... The chairman of Lothian Buses, Ian Depledge, said recent months had been "bruising and damaging" for the council-owned company... He said the move was necessary to restore confidence and stability. It is the biggest bus operator in the city... However, recent months have seen a series of leaks, which revealed a bitter boardroom row between the chief executive, Ian Craig, and the company's finance, engineering and operations directors...



* NSW - Buses taking up the public transport slack

(Photo: Nationals Ballina MP Don Page says more bus services are being offered in the northern rivers than in 2013)
Byron,NSW,Australia -Echo Net/Byron Echo, by Hans Lovejoy & Chris Dobney -January 21, 2015: -- Additional bus services are now in place on the north coast, according to retiring NSW MP Don Page (Nationals)... The announcement came after The Echo asked Mr Page what his government was doing about the lack of public transport in the region... Quoting the Northern Rivers Regional Transport Plan 2013, Mr Page said the ‘better way of meeting the public transport needs of the region is increased bus services’ ... "Since that report, I can advise in the Byron area, for example, that 24 additional bus services have been put on. Through improved connections passengers also have access to 125 more trips than in 2013, between Byron Bay, Ballina, Brunswick Heads and Mullumbimby. I acknowledge there is a need for more public transport, but the study released in 2013 found buses were a better and more cost-effective option" ... But Echonetdaily can reveal that, owing to a bizarre anti-compete clause included in commercial bus contracts, the government’s own CountryLink buses are not allowed to pick up passengers travelling less than 40 kilometres...




* North Dakota - Pembina based MCI sends buses to New Jersey, contributes to good year for company

(Photo by Eric Hylden/Grand Forks Herald - Elfstrom applies decals to a bus being assembled for New Jersey Transit) 
Pembina,ND,USA -Grands Forks Herald, by K Bohn -Jan 19, 2015: -- Every 3.6 hours or so, 10 hours a day, 4 days a week, a shiny, new 45-foot bus — powered by compressed natural gas — rolls out of Motor Coach Industries' factory here.. These days, those CNG commuter coaches as they are known, are bound for the East Coast, where they being delivered to New Jersey Transit... Motor Coach already has delivered about one-third of its present contract to provide 150 of the coaches to the state's public transportation system, according to Rick Heller, MCI president/CEO... While the vehicle shells are fabricated at its Winnipeg plant, the rest of the assembly on these D-class coaches — from engines to electronics, from wheels to wheelchair lifts — is done in this community of 590 tucked up against the borders of Minnesota and Manitoba...



* Kentucky - Electric cars are cool. But electric buses are awesome

(Photo: Electric bus Louisville)
Earthtechling,Louisville,KEN,USA -Tree Hugger, by Sami Grover -January 20, 2015: -- I've been bullish about the spread of electric cars, and genuinely hope that they continue to wrestle more market share from their fossil-fueled counterparts... But electric cars can only take us so far. Electric buses, on the other hand, are a lot more exciting and becoming more commonplace... As reported over at Earthtechling, Louisville, Kentucky has just launched a fleet of 10 fully electric buses (this should complement the city's impressive urban tree-planting efforts). And Cleantechnica tells us that in Google's backyard of Mountain View, California, the tech giant is partnering with Motiv Power to trial four electric shuttle buses to service the downtown area... There are several reasons these initiatives (and other electric bus efforts) are so important. Here are just a few of them...



* Georgia - 9 buses stolen in SW Ga. and sold to scrap yard 

Abbeville,GA,USA -AP/Times Enterprise -January 16, 2015: -- Authorities in southwest Georgia say someone stole nine buses used to haul watermelons and sold them to a scrap yard... WALB-TV reports the Wilcox County Sheriff's Office found invoice tickets at a scrap yard showing nine old school buses, which had been converted to carry melons, had been sold and crushed... Steve Mauldin of the sheriff's office says the owner of the buses, who lives in Florida, says that none of them should have been sold... Mauldin says an arrest warrant has been issued for a man named on the invoice tickets as the seller. He says a man by the same name was convicted in Crisp County last fall for taking buses that were also sold for scrap. That person was sentenced to 10 years on probation...



* Indonesia - APTB Buses permitted to stay in busway

(Antara Photo/Rosa Panggabean - The plan to limit access to TransJakarta buses has been criticized by the six companies that currently operate APTB buses) 
Jakarta,Indonesia -The Jakarta Globe, by Lenny Tristia Tambun -Jan 17, 2015: -- The Jakarta administration has backed down from plans to limit the operations of buses currently allowed to use the dedicated network of TransJakarta lanes, following a public outcry. Under the Busway-Integrated Intercity Transport, or APTB, program, non-Trans-Jakarta operators serving outlying suburbs and satellite cities are allowed to use the bus-only lanes inside the city limits to avoid the chronic traffic congestion on the city streets. However, City Hall says they have since become direct competitors to the TransJakarta fleet, with many commuters preferring to use APTB buses to get around the city without having to make the multiple connections that they would otherwise be obliged to make if using only TransJakarta buses. The administration argued that APTB buses should only serve a handful of Trans-Jakarta stops on the outer edges of the network and stay out of the bus lanes inside the city. But the plan has been criticized by the six companies that currently operate APTB buses, as well as by commuters and officials in the satellite cities of Bogor and Bekasi...



* California - Los Angeles bans alcohol ads on city buildings, buses

(Photo: Historic Los Angeles City Council vote bans alcohol ads from city-owned & controlled property) 
Los Angeles,CAL,USA -The Los Angeles Daily News, by Rick Orlov -20 Jan 15: -- The Los Angeles City Council on Tuesday approved a measure banning the advertising of all alcohol products on city property, including buses and other vehicles... L.A. has been attempting to deal with advertising of alcohol products for years on city vehicles and city property... Councilman Bernard Parks said he wants to see the measure expanded to include smoking products, including the increasing use of e-cigarettes. The city already bans advertising for tobacco products... 

* Colorado - New RFTA data reveal efficiency of bus system

(Photo by Aubree Dallas) 
Aspen,COL,USA -The Aspen Times, by Karl Herchenroeder -January 18, 2015: -- Though it’s a small sample size, the Roaring Fork Transportation Authority released GPS-generated data this week that give a glimpse into how efficient the agency’s buses are running... Tracking arrival times between Dec. 14 to Dec. 20, RFTA officials found the Castle/Maroon bus lagging significantly behind other in-town routes. With “on time” defined as “three minutes late or less,” which is within industry standard, the Castle/Maroon bus ran at 35 percent efficiency between 9 a.m. and 7 p.m. and at 51 percent between 7 p.m. and 2 a.m... RFTA Information Technology Director Phil Schultz said that a major factor delaying that route is the roundabout, which the Castle/Maroon buses enter four times on a full loop between stops at Castle Ridge and Highlands...



* Dublin Bus reports growth in passenger numbers in 2014

Dublin,Ireland -Dublin Bus (PR) -January 20, 2015: -- Dublin Bus has reported a further increase in passenger numbers for 2014. The company carried 119 million passengers on its 945 buses last year which is an increase of 4 million on 2013... In 2015, Dublin Bus will acquire an additional 90 new buses which will be delivered in the second half of the year... This positive trend in passenger numbers has also resulted in Dublin Bus commencing its 3rd recruitment drive since 2013. Last year the company employed an additional 160 new drivers to cater for this additional demand and to ensure that a quality service continues to be delivered for customers. The application process for professional bus drivers is open for 2015 and the company hopes to employ in the region of an additional 50 drivers this year... In December 2014, Dublin Bus signed a new contract with the National Transport Authority to provide public bus services in the Greater Dublin Area for a period of five years to December 1st 2019...



* Quebec / Canada - Cold causing Montreal bus breakdowns

(Picture from Radio-Canada - On Jan. 8 when the temperature plunged to -38 degrees, the Société de Transport de Montréal had 126 service calls, while on an average day they handle about 60)
Montreal,QBC,CAN -CBC News -Jan 17, 2015: -- STM reports its buses undergo twice as many repairs on frigid days. The extreme cold over the last two weeks has been wreaking havoc on Montreal buses, and with so many vehicles in the shop, the Société de transport de Montréal (STM) admits service has sometimes suffered... On an average day, there are 60 service calls for buses that need maintenance or unscheduled repairs... Renée Amilcar, the STM's executive director says, it takes 1,385 buses in running order to provide full service at rush hour... On Jan. 15, for example, of the 19,150 bus trips planned, 226 had to be cancelled because of mechanical problems... This means bus runs on the same line have to be spread out, and commuters spend more time waiting in the cold... The STM says the average age of buses is only six years old, meaning the cold causes problems for both new and old vehicles...

* Scotland / UK - Snow shuts down Aberdeenshire school buses

(Picture by Kenny Elrick - Drivers had to battle ice and snow across the country last night) 
Aberdeenshire,Scotland,UK -Aberdeen Journal, by Laura Redpath -19 January 2015: -- Some schools in Aberdeenshire will not have pupil transport today due to severe weather conditions... Schools remain open, but parents and pupils are advised to check with their school as bad weather continues to hit the region... Aberdeenshire Council has confirmed that coaches to and from the following schools are affected: ...




* England - Two thirds of services don't run as drivers walk in pay dispute

(Photo by Anthony Devlin/AP: A picket on Tuesday)London,EN,UK -Press Association/The Huffington Post -13 Jan 2015: -- Two-thirds of buses in London were not running on Tuesday as thousands of drivers went on strike over pay, forcing people to walk or cycle... Transport for London (TfL) said journeys were "significantly disrupted" because of the walkout by members of the Unite union... About a third of buses ran during Tuesday, although TfL said almost 90% of regular adult fare paying passengers travelled on the network... Unite is campaigning for a single wage rate across all 18 bus companies in the capital, saying there was a difference of around £3 an hour in some firms...

* London - Commuters face chaos getting home... as Mayor says union's pay demands are 'wrong'
(Picture: Glenn Copus: Commuters wait at a central London bus stop)
London,EN,UK -The London Evening Standard, by JOE MURPHY, JOHN DUNNE, and JOSH PETTITT -13 January 2015: -- Boris Johnson today warned of the cost of giving into union demands as millions of Londoners faced chaotic journeys home tonight because of a bus strike... The Mayor apologised to passengers after about two-thirds of buses were stuck in garages - causing major overcrowding on the Tube and huge queues outside stations... Transport for London warned of “significant disruption” continuing into the evening rush hour and admitted services would not return to normal until tomorrow... Mr Johnson said that giving in to demands for a Londonwide pay rate for bus drivers would cost £100 million and force TfL to increase faces and cut services...


BUSES vs. AIRLINES * Thailand

* Low-cost buses to fight budget airlines

(Photo: Bus Station of Suvarnabhumi Airport Thailand)
Bangkok,Thailand -The Bangkok Post, by Amornrat Mahitthirook -15 Jan 2015: -- Bus operators plan to fight the inroads being made into their business by low-cost airlines as more and more passengers forsake bus terminals for airport lounges... Low-cost air-conditioned buses will have no snack and drink services for passengers, but they will pay lower fares to rival the airlines... "Bus operators have seen a 40% drop in passengers over the past few years due to the price wars of the airlines," Suchinda Cherdchai, president of the Association of Interprovincial Bus Operators said, "We have to make some adjustments to stay competitive" ... Low-budget airlines are offering ticket prices of as low as 1,000 baht for a flight from Bangkok to Chiang Mai. The price for the most luxurious bus on the same route by Nakhonchai Air is 876 baht. The flight time between the two destination is about one hour while travel time on a bus is eight hours more... Bus operators plan to fight the inroads being made...



* Kentucky - Louisville gets its first fully-electric, zero-emissions city buses

Louisville,KEN,USA -Clean Technica, by James Ayre -January 16th, 2015: -- Louisville the land of bourbon whiskey and bluegrass; the Gateway to the South; and now, one of the first cities in the US to be home to a fleet of fully electric, zero-emissions, city-transit buses. Louisville’s Transit Authority of the River City recently debuted the new bus system — dubbed ZeroBus — at a launch event showcasing just how nice and shiny the new buses look... Other cities around the country that now have electric bus service, to some degree or other, include: San Antonio (TX), Tallahassee (FL), Stockton and Pomona (California), and Worcester (Massachusetts). Seattle and Nashville are expected to implement electric buses sometime in the near future as well...



* New York - Linn Shuttle adds propane-powered buses to its fleet

(Photo by David Patton/Democrat-Herald: Driver John Walton lifts the hood to show the engine on one of two new propane powered Linn Shuttle buses) 
Sweet Home,Albany,NY,USA -The Albany Democrat-Herald, by ALEX PAUL -13 Jan 2015: -- Two new propane-powered 24-passenger buses have been added to the Linn Shuttle fleet in a partnership that also includes Linn-Benton Community College and AmericGas, according to program manager Ken Bronson... Representatives of each group met Monday morning at LBCC’s Advanced Transportation Technology Center in Lebanon and unveiled one of the two buses... Propane burns cleanly, Bronson said, noting the engines are V-10 Fords... Each of the buses built by Blue Bird in Fort Valley, Georgia, cost $132,000, Bronson said... Advantages of using propane fuel include: lower cost per gallon; the majority of propane consumed in the U.S. is produced domestically; lower maintenance costs; cleaner emissions; propane is nontoxic...




* England - London bus strike: Recap as city is hit by travel chaos due to 24hr walkout

(Photo: Buses are seen parking inside the Waterloo Bus Garage as bus sorkers stage a one day strike)
The Mirror, by Sam Adams -Jan 13, 2015: -- Only 44 of London's 673 bus routes are due to operate today after Unite union members at 18 bus companies walked out today... 24hr bus strike has caused travel disruption for millions of passengers in London... The walkout, organised by the Unite union, is being held in protest over pay and conditions... Bus tickets and passes are being accepted on the Tube, DLR and London Overground throughout the day... Passengers have tweeted a mixture of support for strikers and resentment over the disruption the strike has caused - including added congestion on the Underground...



* England - Campaign for Better Transport: facing 'crisis' 

(Photo: A man using a bus) 
London,EN,UK -BBC News -12 January 2015: -- Budget cuts by councils have left bus services facing a crisis, a report by the Campaign for Better Transport says... The group says half the councils in England and Wales have cut funding for buses in 2014/15, amounting to more than £9m when compared with 2013/14... The CBT said its figures came from Freedom of Information Act requests... A Department for Transport spokesman said decisions about buses were best made locally but the government provided "substantial funding"... The CBT said local authority funding for bus services had been slashed by 15% since 2010, or £44m, with more than 2,000 routes being reduced or withdrawn entirely... Its report also says that: 
* Rural areas have been worst hit by cuts, seeing average budget reductions of 19% this year 
* In 2014/15, nearly 500 bus services were cut, altered or withdrawn 
* 22 councils cut bus funding by more than 10% in 2014/15 
* The overall reduction in Wales in 2014/15 is more than £900,000, with 86 bus services having been cut, altered or withdrawn


PASSENGERS TRANSPORT INDUSTRY * USA: Want a problem-free trip ... ? ?

* New York - ... Try the bus !!

(Photo: Frank Espich, Indianapolis Star - Despite less federal oversight, bus lines generate far fewer consumer complaints than airlines) NY,USA -USA TODAY, by Christopher Elliott -January 11, 2015: -- It's difficult to understate the rarity of Shannon Lee's complaint. It's almost as unusual as the topic of this story: bus travel... Bus complaints are almost non-existent, at least compared with airlines. The real reason behind this absence of passenger discontent may hold the key to making other parts of the travel industry better and more complaint-free... How did the decidedly unglamorous bus industry get so attuned to its customers? Transporting about 80 million passengers a year while keeping them happy is no small achievement. It may explain the unprecedented expansion of city-to-city express carriers. They grew 2.1% in 2014, while the number of flights dropped 3% during the same period, according to new research... Part of the secret to the industry's success is the "laid back" culture of bus travel, says Joe Schwieterman, director of DePaul University's Chaddick Institute, which will release its study today. Bus travel is cheaper than other modes of transportation, which affects passenger expectations. You get exactly what you paid for: scheduled bus carriers have on-time ratings that exceed 90%, Schwieterman says... Another thing: If you run a bus company, you can't run away from your customers. "You know that you have to offer a good product at a fair price," says Dan Ronan, a spokesman for the American Bus Association, a trade association. If you're a passenger on a medium-size bus line, such as C&J, which offers service between New Hampshire, Boston and New York, it's not uncommon to see the company's president, Jim Jalbert, in the parking lot... Buses can offer better customer service than airlines in almost every way. Competition made them do it. Maybe we need more of that...


BORDER TROUBLES * Suriname / Guyana: Bus drivers in Suriname blocked the road

* Suriname - Government moves to clamp down on foreign bus drivers

Paramaribo,Suriname -The Jamaica Observer –January 12, 2015: -- The Suriname government says while Guyanese bus drivers have the right to operate in the country, they must first apply for the necessary license to do so... The Ministry of Transport, Communications and Tourism (TCT) made the announcement after bus drivers earlier this month called on the authorities to find a solution to the problem where Guyanese bus drivers transporting passengers to the Suriname-Guyana border now travel to the capital, Paramaribo... The TCT said it has requested the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to help arrange a meeting with its transport counterparts in Guyana and that it has also requested information from the Guyana embassy about what is required from Surinamese bus drivers who want to take passengers beyond the western border... Bus drivers in Suriname blocked the road to and from South Drain in District Nickerie two weeks ago where the Canawaima Ferry berths, protesting the action of their Guyanese counterparts... The bus owners say they have been complaining of unfair competition from the Guyanese drivers for four years and it was time for the government to take action...

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Transport violations continue despite promises

(Photo: View Karachi's buses' terminal at peak hours)
Karachi,Pakistan -The Nation, by Talha Makhdoom -January 12, 2015-- Transporters continue to violate transport-laws despite Commissioner Karachi’s promise to address commuter security issues which are the prime reason behind road mishaps... In October 2014, Commissioner Karachi's told that the issue of commuter security is alarming. He said that it remained ignored as authorities’ were reluctant to address ‘minor issues’ like emergency exit gate in public transport, absence of fire extinguishers and over loading in buses. According the report, around thirty-five thousand Air-Conditioned and non-AC intercity buses are plying on National routes across the country... Thousands of commuters travel in vulnerable intercity buses due to negligence by transporters as basic public transportation laws are openly being violated... All these violations go unchecked due to a lack of coordination among the provincial administrations and other concern institutions... On the other side, as the transporters blamed the road condition for fatal accidents on inter-provincial routes, authorities appeared indecisive on to who would check fitness violations of transporters...



BUS FARES HIKES * Brazil: People's protest

* S. P . - Over 30 arrests as Sao Paulo erupts in protest over bus fare price

  (Video from RT: At least 32 people were arrested in clashes between protesters and police in Sao Paulo on Friday, as demonstrators voiced their opposition to public transportation fare increases. Police in anti-riot armour deployed tear gas against the protesters, who had gathered in the city centre and attempted to march onto a major highway) 
Sao Paulo,SP,Brazil -RT -January 10, 2015: -- A massive rally against a bus fare hike has turned violent in Sao Paulo, Brazil. Shops were pillaged and objects thrown, with riot police resorting to tear gas and rubber bullets... Thousands of people chanting “Freedom now” marched through Sao Paulo’s downtown on Friday and police started firing tear gas to stop them from entering a major thruway. Police estimate the crowd was 2,000 people strong, but local news outlets such as Folha De S. Paulo put the number at 10,000... At least 32 arrests were made, according to Reuters, with estimates in local press going up to some 50 busts... The increase in bus fares is a touchy issue for many of the poor (and some middle class) in the country. Last time they disputed the measures was in June 2013, when a price rise of R$0.20 (US$0.07) to R$3.20 (US$0.37) was averted as a result. This time, however, the local government wants to increase the fare by R$0.50 (US$0.19)... While chaos was ongoing in downtown Sao Paulo, people also came out in Rio, but only a crowd of around a thousand...

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* Tamil Nadu - Separate lanes for MTC buses at toll plazas on Rajiv Gandhi Salai

(Photo by M. Karunakaran - Decongestion measure: A separate lane will prevent vehicles from losing time at the toll gates. A view of the Perungudi Toll Plaza)
Tamil Nadu,India -The Hindu, by LIFFY THOMAS -19 Jan 2015: -- This system is being re-introduced by TNRDC. It was first tried out around six years ago... After six years, the Tamil Nadu Road Development Company (TNRDC) has opened a separate lane for MTC buses at toll plazas on Rajiv Gandhi Salai... In 2008, when tolling operations began on the stretch, the TNRDC, which maintains the roads, had earmarked a separate lane for MTC... A transaction at the toll takes six to 10 seconds. The waiting time gets longer during rush hour with many vehicles trying to jump the lanes. As there are no separate lanes for vehicle-pass owners or heavy vehicles, many lose time at the toll gates...



* Karnataka - Scraps 142 Marcopolo buses 

(Photo: Buses at BMTC Kempegowda Bus Station, Majestic, Bangalore) 
Bengaluru,Karnakata,India -The Times of India, by Manu Aiyappa -Jan 9, 2015: -- The BMTC decided to scrap the buses to put a stop to the mounting losses of Rs 1.5 crore a month to the BMTC and KSRTC... The state cabinet on Friday gave its nod to a proposal of the Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) to scrap 142 Tata Marcopolo buses since they had become "white elephants''... The BMTC decided to scrap the buses to put a stop to the mounting losses of Rs 1.5 crore a month to the BMTC and KSRTC. While 98 Marcopolo buses operate in Bengaluru, 44 operate in Mysuru... Though the vehicle's engine was good, fuel efficiency was low. BMTC also received many complaints including emission of dark smoke, engine noise and poor airconditioning. Recently, BMTC decided to convert these buses into non-AC ones. Though five buses were initially converted, hardly anyone preferred to travel in them... The buses were also involved in accidents recently and they proved dangerous to the general public mainly because of its low floor, the minister added...



GREEN BUSES * UK: Most polluted cities

* England - Bristol hybrid buses trial given £1m government grant

(Photo: Rupert Street, Bristol. Rupert Street, a busy bus route in the city centre, has the highest concentrations of nitrogen dioxide of any site in the Bristol network) Bristol,EN,UK -BBC News -9 Jan 2015: -- Hybrid buses that automatically switch from diesel to electric power in areas with poorer air quality are to be trialled in Bristol... The city has been given a £1m grant from the government to buy a number of hybrid buses, to coincide with its year as European Green Capital... The new diesel-electric hybrid buses will use "geo-fence" technology - which uses GPS or radio frequencies to define and recognise geographical boundaries - to automatically switch to zero emissions when entering particular areas of the city... The "trigger zones" will be set in places with poorer air quality and the council will use the data collected to evaluate the benefits for the city environment...

* England - Bath and Bristol streets exceed EU pollution levels

(Photo: A street in Bath which exceeds the recommended EU pollution limit) 
Bristol,EN,UK -BBC News, by Luke Hanrahan -Jan 2014: -- Rupert Street in Bristol had the highest levels of nitrogen oxide in the city... Dozens of streets across Bristol and Bath exceed European air pollution levels... Data from Bath and North East Somerset and Bristol City Council showed nitrogen dioxide levels were more than twice the EU limit in some roads... In 1999, the European Union set an objective for every member state to lower nitrogen dioxide levels to fewer than 40 micrograms per cubic metre of air by 2010... Local councils have a responsibility to monitor air quality. This information is then made publicly available... In 2010, 90 Bristol streets out of 123 monitored by the council registered levels above the EU limit...

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MORE WINTER TROUBLES * USA: How is the commute?

* New York - Express buses are delayed because of snow during Friday morning rush hour

(Photo from Staten Island Advance, by Thomas Checchi - Traffic on Clove Road is at a dead stop, heading toward the Staten Island Expressway and Verrazano Narrows Bridge. Whatever happened on the bridge and expressway has tied up traffic in every direction leading to the expressway) 
Staten Island,N.Y.,USA -The S.I. Live, by Maura Grunlund -January 09, 2015: -- MTA express buses heading toward Manhattan are delayed because of the snow that has hit during Friday's morning rush hour... Some of the slow downs may be caused by necessary speed restrictions on the Verrazano-Narrows and Goethals Bridges. The speed limit on the Outerbridge Crossing also has been reduced to 35 miles per hour... Lauren Irace Yentis posted on the Advance Facebook page: "I hate it.... even though i take express bus i get bad anxiety just being driven down the street to the bus... being pregnant and walking in this snow is annoying and scary at the same time" ...


TECHNO BUSES * USA: Detroit's ones

* Michigan - Detroit to receive 80 new buses this year; launch smartphone app to track arrival times

Detroit,MICH,USA -Metro Times, by Ryan Felton -Jan 9, 2015: -- News about public transit in this region typically doesn't draw a positive response, but this should, especially considering the frigid plunge in temperatures we've experienced in recent days: Over the coming months, the Detroit Department of Transportation (DDOT) will receive 80 new buses to upgrade its antiquated fleet; the first seven are expected to arrive in the next couple of weeks... The city says 10 of the buses from the fresh fleet will be longer, 60-foot articulated buses that provide additional capacity on DDOT's busiest routes. The other 70 will be standard 40-foot buses...
Besides the new "DDOT Bus" provides a smartphone app, which will provide real-time locations of buses and the arrival time of a bus at the riders' stop. The app, available on iPhone and Android devices, tracks buses using GPS technology, something every DDOT bus has... Those without a smartphone can use DDOT's "Text My Bus" program to find out where their bus is located at any given time. To use that, send a text message that only includes the cross streets of your current location to 50464, and a response will be sent with prompts to get specific information pertaining to routes and buses...