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Buses World News

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

24.4.15

PUBLIC TRANSPORT SERVICES * India: Passengers shunning them in Punjab

* Delhi - Government to introduce modern pollution-free buses for commuters

-- In order to improve the public transport system and discourage people from using private vehicles in the national capital, Delhi government will soon introduce modern, comfortable and pollution-free buses for commuters in the city... Government would improve the public transport system in Delhi and for that, it will bring modern and comfortable, pollution-free buses in order to discourage the masses from using private vehicles, Kejriwal said... The CM also urged the children of the school to urge their parents to use public transport in order to save the city from traffic hazards. .. He said that his government is serious towards environment and it is having discussions on environment issues, climate change, change, traffic hazards, air and water pollution, sanitation, greenery and energy conservation... 
(Photo: Delhi government will soon introduce modern, comfortable and pollution-free buses for commuters in the city. As the "TATA"/"Marcopolo shown above)   --  New Delhi, India - Economic/India Times - 22 Apr, 2015


* Punjab - Travellers shunning roadways' AC buses due to poor service


  --  Scorching heat has taken its toll on Punjab roadway's HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) buses, as passengers are shunning them due to faulty air conditioning... Roadways depot in the district has 23 HVAC buses out of which five have been off the roads for the past two days due to technical snags in their AC systems... As per the information, against a total capacity of 57 buses are traveling with only 25 to 30 passengers down from 35 to 40 during the summers of last year... Surprisingly, summers are the peak time for HVAC to earn profits... Sources said that spare parts of HVAC buses are very costly and this fact adds to the delay in repairs as the state transport department has to send a proposal to higher authorities for approval if the expenses incurred are more than `3,000... This has affected long route buses - which constitute most of the buses at the depot - that ply from Jalandhar to Delhi, Chandigarh, Amritsar and Jammu and Kashmir... Moreover, Jalandhar roadways depot has two HVAC buses, which earlier used to connect the city bus stand to Delhi Airport but their destination were changed Delhi ISBT which has resulted in a dip in the number of passengers... 
Jatinder Mahal, Jalandhar, India - The Hindustan Times - Apr 21, 2015

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PASSENGERS' PUBLIC SERVICE * USA: New Express BRT Chicago

* Illinois - This Express Bus will have wi-fi, phone chargers and fewer stops

-- Far Northwest Side bus riders looking to get up and down Milwaukee Avenue in a hurry will have a new option with the launch of the first bus rapid transit line from Pace... The Pulse bus rapid transit line will take riders from the Jefferson Park Transit Center to the Golf Mill Shopping Center in Niles starting in 2017, officials said... Heather Cherone outlines the new features on these buses: Traffic lights will be synchronized by onboard computers to keep buses moving along Milwaukee Avenue, with stops every half-mile rather than every few blocks like the No. 270 Milwaukee Avenue Pace bus, which will continue to operate, officials said... Pulse buses are expected to reduce travel times on the 7-mile stretch of Milwaukee Avenue by 10 to 15 percent, officials said... Pulse buses will offer Wi-Fi and cellphone-charging stations, officials said... Those stops will feature shelters with interior lighting, seating, bicycle racks and heat during the winter. Electronic signs at each stop will feature "real-time bus arrival information" and transit and neighborhood maps, officials said... Pace also plans a Pulse bus rapid transit line along Harlem Avenue, officials said... 
(Photo: A rendering of the planned Pulse Bus Rapid Transit stop at Central and Milwaukee avenues)  --   JEFFERSON PARK, ILL, USA - DNA Info, by Heather Cherone - April 22, 2015

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WEATHER TROUBLES * UK: Arctic conditions expected to freeze Britain until next weekend

* England - More sleet and snowfall on the way. Colder winter since 1995


-- Major service disruptions to Newcastle Buses and Ferries services... Due to extreme weather conditions, Newcastle Buses will be operating limited services until 7pm, after which bus services will cease to operate... All Newcastle Ferry services have been cancelled until further notice... Newcastle Buses will continue to operate the Route 110 Newcastle Shuttle on a loop service...
(Photo: UK weather forecasters predict temperatures as low as minus 11. The DFDS Amsterdam to Newcastle ferry King Seaways passes Tynemouth pier behind schedule)  --  NewCastle, EN, UK - New Castle Buses Info - 23 April 2015

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ADS WAR on MTA BUSES * USA: Order to display ad pro-Israel on buses

* New York - M.T.A. must run bus ad from Pro-Israel group, Judge says


  --   A federal judge in Manhattan on Tuesday ordered the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to display an ad from a pro-Israel group on buses after the agency declined to run it last year... The group, the American Freedom Defense Initiative, sued the authority in October, saying it had infringed on the group’s First Amendment rights by rejecting the ad. The authority had argued that the ad could be seen as a call to violence against Jews... The ad shows a man with a scarf across his face next to the words, “Killing Jews is Worship that draws us close to Allah,” attributed to “Hamas MTV.” Below that, it reads: “That’s his Jihad. What’s yours?”.. The judge, John G. Koeltl, of United States District Court, ruled that the ad qualified as protected speech and granted a preliminary injunction ordering the transportation authority to run the ad. He said the order would not take effect for 30 days so the agency could consider whether it would appeal the decision... 
(Photo from Reuters, by Brendan Mcdermid - Cyrus McGoldrick, a member of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, talks to a woman in front of an advertisement that reads "Support Israel/Defeat Jihad" at the Times Square subway station in New York, on Sep. 24, 2012. The ad, sponsored by the pro-Israel American Freedom Defense Initiative, appeared after the MTA lost a bid to refuse to post it on the grounds that it violated the agency's policy against demeaning language) -- NY, USA - The New York Times, by EMMA G. FITZSIMMONS - APRIL 21, 2015

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SAFETY BUSES * USA: ‘Vision Zero’ aims to make city buses safer

* New York - In second year, “Vision Zero” plan to end traffic deaths

-- The mayor’s “Vision Zero” plan to end traffic deaths in the city is shifting gears in its second year, according to a report released Tuesday... The program helped bring pedestrian deaths to their lowest point in the city’s history in 2014... The city’s plan for the upcoming year will focus more on trucks and buses, which were involved in almost a quarter of the pedestrian fatalities... There were 15 pedestrian fatalities caused by buses in 2014, even though there was an average of slightly less than nine deaths in the past three years. Seven involved MTA buses, according to a spokesman... Another 17 pedestrians were also killed by trucks, slightly up from the average... The city is working with the MTA to make buses safe for drivers and pedestrians by using audio warnings for turns and technology that uses cameras and radar to warn drivers of possible crashes... 
(Photo: Robert Miller)   --   NY, USA - The New York Post, by Rebecca Harshbarger - April 21, 2015

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BUSMAKER NEWS * USA & Canada: DOT rule could ‘cripple’ buses factories

* New York - The costs of multiple plants would boost the price of new buses and rolling stock

  --  The U.S. Department of Transportation’s local hiring pilot program and rule could inadvertently cripple two northern New York manufacturers that employ hundreds of workers... U.S. Sen. Charles E. Schumer said the measure would permit transit agencies receiving federal funds to require that workers for a supplier must be located in that city for the company to be able to bid on a contract... The measure, Schumer warned, is so broad it would cover manufacturers of railcars, locomotives, buses, trolley cars and trams, and force manufacturers to move from city to city to compete on bids. Canadian manufacturers Bombardier and Nova Bus have U.S.A. plants at the former Plattsburgh Air Force Base, where Bombardier is currently producing subway cars for the Chicago Transit Authority and other transit agencies. Nova Bus currently is building natural gas-powered buses for the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority, as well as transit buses for other cities...
(Photo: Nova Bus, which is part of the Volvo Group, signed an $11 million contract with Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority for 20 new NGVs)  --  New York, NY, USA - The Times Union, by Eric Anderson - April 23, 2015

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PURCHASING BUSES * USA: Articulating or Double-Decker ones ?

* Maryland - Ocean City leaning away from double-decker buses. Officials favor purchasing articulating buses


-- After hearing a list of issues that would come along with adding double decker buses to Ocean City’s fleet, the Transportation Commission voted this week to recommend the purchase of 60-foot articulating buses instead... A few months ago, the Transportation Commission began discussions regarding new bus purchases to meet the goal of increasing capacity and lessening drivers due to the issue of filling bus driver positions... The estimated cost for a 40-foot diesel bus is $425,000 that seats 35 with 18 standees. A 60-foot diesel artic bus is about $700,000 that seats 63 with 31 standees...  Last month Transportation Superintedent George Thornes stated, FY 14 funds can be rolled over to FY 15 to purchase two 60-foot artic buses but Thornes explained a five-year proposal should be formed for the MTA to plan into the future. Also, since there are only two artic bus manufacturers left in the country the option to lease artic buses is not in the picture...
Ocean City, MAR, USA – The Dispatch, by Joanne Shriner - 23 April 2015


* California - Preview Muni's biodiesel-electric hybrid buses at Boeddeker Park

-- Adding to your Earth Day to-do list, SFMTA announced this morning that Muni's new electric trolley and biodiesel-electric hybrid buses will be on display at Boeddeker Park. It's a fitting viewing location, considering the neighborhood's significant air pollution problems... The new buses are part of SFMTA's five-year plan to replace its entire fleet of buses and increase reliability for nearly 700,000 weekday riders. The new buses are being purchased in waves between 2013 and 2019... SFMTA  purchased 112 new biodiesel-electric hybrid buses in 2013, and debuted 62 of the buses in June of that year... Continuing the agency's mission to improve its fleet, Mayor Ed Lee announced in December of last year that SFMTA would purchase 61 hybrid diesel buses... Earlier this month, SFMTA also announced its "most significant service improvements in decades". The improvements include enhancing frequency for a number of lines impacted by rush hour and launching a "Rapid Network" to increase frequency for the system's heaviest-used bus routes...  
 San Francisco, CAL, USA - Hooline, by Brittany Hopkins - 22 April 2015

 
* Nebraska - New bus to transport middle school students


 -- The North Platte Public School middle configuration is moving forward and school officials have a vehicle to prepare for its eventuality... District administrators purchased a new Cornhusker International bus to transport middle school students for the coming year. According to the bid, the vehicle cost slightly more than $82,000 and will be part of a fleet of vehicles that will shuttle students between Madison and Adams... 
(Photo by Ralph Chapoco - A 72-passenger Bluebird bus North Platte Public School administrators and staff have is shown at the back of the bus barn and maintenance facility. The district purchased a similar vehicle for transportation use when students begin the coming school year for the middle school reconfiguration)  --  North Platte, NBR, USA - The North Platte Telegraph, by Ralph CHapoco - April 21, 20

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21.4.15

Are buses really better? * Australia: Experts disagree over answer to Perth transport woes

* Northern Territories - It's cheaper public transport system using buses instead of light rail ?

  --  A Colombian urban strategist has argued Perth can create a better, cheaper public transport system using buses instead of light rail, but not everyone agrees... Enrique Peñalosa the former mayor of Bogota (Colombia), told 720 ABC Perth that buses could be more efficient and move just as many people as rail... In Colombia, Mr Peñalosa's administration looked to buses as rail was too expensive to build and operate, and would have required ongoing subsidies... It's a message that is likely to find favour with Transport Minister Dean Nalder, who earlier this year announced the government was axing the promised $2.5 billion Max Light Rail project for Perth's northern suburbs, and replacing it with a rapid bus transit system...
(Photo from ABC News, by Giulio Saggin - Peak hour in Brisbane: Experts disagree on whether buses are a better mass transit solution, or just add to congestion) --   Perth, NT, Australia - 720 ABC , by Emma Wynne - 19 April 2015

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BUSES' MARKET * UK: 'Positive signs’

* England - For bus and coach makers, says SMMT

-- Bus and coach registrations were up by 15% in March -- the third consecutive monthly increase – according to figures from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT)... The March plate change boosted orders from operators, with purpose-built vehicles seeing the sharpest increase, at 73%. Purpose-built buses saw the highest increase, at more than 111%... Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, says the results are "a positive sign for the future of the bus and coach sector"... Single-deckers under 8.5 tonnes were the top performer in the purpose-built bus sector, rising by 271% in March...
 (Photo: UK city buses)  --  London, EN, UK - Transport Engineer, by Laura Cork - 13 April 2015

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ELECTRIC BUSES * USA: Metro Transit to test

* Minneapolis - Several manufacturers invited to bring their buses


-- Metro Transit is exploring the idea of adding buses powered solely by electricity to its fleet, and next week the public will have a chance to try them out... The agency has invited several manufacturers to bring their buses to town for some test drives... New Flyer, which has plants in St. Cloud and Crookston, will bring its Xcelsior model to the Twin Cities for demonstration runs on Tuesday and Wednesday. Buses may be showcased on Nicollet Mall in Minneapolis and along W. 7th Street in St. Paul, two corridors where electric buses could be deployed in the future... Manufacturers Proterra and Build Your Dreams (BYD) will have opportunities to show off their buses in May...
(Photo: New Flyer XE40 in Winnipeg with pantograph-type charging unit)  --  St. Paul, MINN, USA - The Star Tribune, by TIM HARLOW - April 14, 2015

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WEATHER TROUBLES* USA: Texas' hail storm

* Austin - Lake Travis ISD scrambles to find replacement buses after hail storm

  --  Hail damage to a vehicle is never something anyone wants to deal with, but hail damage to a fleet of vehicles is an even worse headache. On Saturday evening, a significant portion of the Lake Travis ISD bus fleet was damaged by the hail storm. To avoid delaying or even canceling school, administrators scrambled Sunday to borrow vehicles from neighboring districts... The hail busted windows, shattered mirrors and broke tail lights. School officials said mirrors are a bus driver’s best friend and without them it is not safe to drive, which is why almost 40 buses were out of commission... The director of transportation for the district said lives about five minutes from the bus barn and had damage at her home and knew there was probably some damage to the buses. When Rhonda Davis checked the buses Sunday morning, she found glass and debris... Officials at the district say until all the repairs are made, there are going to be some changes in how some students will get to-and-from school. All buses will continue to run at their regular times, but a student should expect their route to be serviced by a bus from the Austin, Dripping Springs, Eanes, Hays, Leander, Pflugerville and Round Rock school districts. The buses will likely not resemble their normal bus and will be identified by another number and school district name. However, the bus will be driven by the normal driver... The district said insurance will pick up the tab for the repairs and overtime to have bus drivers from other districts take the buses to LTISD... 
(Photo: Lake Travis ISD scrambles to find replacement buses after hail storm)  --  Austin, TXS, USA - KXAN, by Dave Byknish and Sophia Beausoleil - April 20, 2015

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ELECTRIC BUSES FLEET * Holland's Amsterdam

* Amsterdam - First municipality with all electric buses


 --   First Dutch municipality chooses the City of Amsterdam for a complete replacement of buses by renewable ones. The first forty of the city, a total of two hundred buses to replace diesel in two years by electric. In ten years all buses must be replaced by buses 'zero emissions' ...It is the way in the plans of the whole sector, which buses Dutch complete fleet of five thousand for 2026 in the public transport 'zero emission' wants... An important goal is to improve air quality, because that now exceeds several places in the city are the legal standard for particulate matter and nitrogen oxides. The power for the buses coming from the waste energy that burns garbage and thereby generates electricity... The transition to fully electric urban transport needs according to the CFP director a substantial investment. The city attracts a million, but that will not nearly be enough. Municipality and CFP counting on the government calls a fund created to cover upfront costs, which partly an appeal is made to European subsidies... An average diesel costs according to experts around 225 thousand euros and an electric 3 to 4 tons. Buses stream or save significantly on diesel, but need special charging points at the headend of the bus lines. Because they have a limited range (200 to 250 kilometers) and charging takes time, there may be something more is needed than the current number... The buses made by the Brabant company VDL. Is currently building the twelve buses Münster and Cologne. The cost per kilometer for electric bus will according to VDL within four to five years, roughly equal to the cost of diesel buses...
(Photo: Amsterdam will become the first city in the country to run a fully electric bus fleet)  --  Amsterdam, Holland - de volkskrant - 21 April 2015

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LUXURY BUSES SERVICE * USA: Complaints - * New Zealand's: Transformeds in mobile art galleries

* California - Luxe transit startup prioritises coffee over disabled access, says complaint


-- Former transit employee says Leap’s bus line violates the law by operating without providing alternatives for people in wheelchairs... A luxury bus line in San Francisco has been accused of removing access for people with disabilities in favor of a coffee bar, according to a complaint filed by former city transit employee Chris Pangilinan, who has used a wheelchair for most of his life... Pangilinan filed his complaint against Leap, a transportation startup, with the Justice Department, alleging that the company violated the Americans With Disabilities Act by operating publicly available vehicles without providing alternatives for people in wheelchairs. He also said he was looking at other companies that appeared not to comply with the law... 
 (Photograph: Josh Edelson/AFP - Leap luxury buses in San Francisco. A commuter works as he rides one of Leap’s luxury buses in San Francisco)  --  San Francisco, CAL, USA - The Guardian, bySam Thielman - 18 April 2015


* Wellington - Buses transformed into mobile art galleries

(Photos by Cameron Burnell/Fairfax NZ - One of the Go Wellington buses that have been transformed into mobile art exhibitions, featuring photographs of architecture and landscapes from across the Wellington region)
  -- One of the Go Wellington buses that have been transformed into mobile art exhibitions, featuring photographs of architecture and landscapes from across the Wellington region... Wellington's art scene can be difficult to avoid – especially now it has invaded the city's buses... NZ Bus has teamed up with the Hutt Camera Club to transform two Go Wellington buses into art exhibitions on wheels... Photographs of architecture and landscapes from across the Wellington region will adorn the ceilings of both buses, offering passengers a bit more to look at than just the person playing games on their smartphone next to them... Tonia Haskell, chief operating officer for NZ Bus' southern region, said the Art on Buses initiative was designed to make bus journeys a little brighter and showcase some amazing photographs at the same time... The two mobile art exhibitions hit the capital's streets on Friday... The initiative will run as long as it is popular with passengers. NZ Bus is also open to the idea of expanding it to include other forms of art on buses, such as poetry, Haskell said...

(Photo: The artwork that now adorns some Go Wellington buses) 
... Art on the Bus is part of NZ Bus' Better On Bus campaign, which has been running since September... The campaign features characters to cut down on annoying habits like playing loud music, having your feet on the seats, and talking loudly on cellphones... 
Wellington, NZ - Stuff / Motoring, by MICHAEL FORBES - April 19 2015

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13.4.15

BUSES PURCHASING WORLDWIDE * Peru: Metropolitano adds 14 buses - * Azerbaijan: New 300 buses

* Lima: “Chaos” on the Metropolitano transport system reached a high


-- Traffic and chaos on the Metropolitano reached a peak on Wednesday. Users posted photos of obnoxiously long lines and complaints regarding the lack of buses in services, primarily at peak hours in the morning rush hour... Today the Chief of Security of ProTransporte of the Municipality of Lima, Mariano Farías, told that 14 new buses for Metropolitano will run between 5:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. to alleviate traffic and allow better access to passengers starting today... The line will provide greater movement between stations Izaguirre, Independencia, Tomas Valle, and UNI where the congestion of passengers was primarily focused. From stations Naranjal, in Independencia, until the terminal Matellini, in Chorrillos the extra 14 buses will attempt to optimize service and meet the growing demand... The chief told  that the abnormal increase in passenger congestion could be due in part to reduced fare on feeder routes... Approximately 650,000 passengers use the Metropolitano line on a daily basis... 
(Photo: Difusión - Protransporte has added a total of 14 new buses to alleviate traffic) -- Lima, Peru - Peru This Week, by Hillary Ojeda - April 10, 2015


* Azerbaijan - Another 300 buses to be delivered to Baku

  --  Ziya Mammado: "Work on updating the bus fleet continues" ... During the first quarter of 2015 road transport sector has transported 34 mln tons of cargo and 372 mln passengers. The work on loading and unloading have been carried out in volume of 2.8 mln tons. During this period, investments amounted to AZN 210 mln... According to Oxu.Az, these remarks were made by Transport Minister Ziya Mammadov on April 10 at the Cabinet meeting chaired by President Ilham Aliyev on the results of the first quarter of 2015 and the tasks lying ahead...
Baku, Azerbaijan - News AZ - 11 April 2015

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PUBLIC TRANSPORT USA: Ohio: Buying New Buses - California: New buses yet parked

* Ohio: County transit systems buys new buses


-- The Butler County Regional Transit Authority has a dozen new buses traveling to and from Miami University in Oxford and ridership is now up 73 percent... With the help of the state and federal governments — those entities picked up 80 percent of the cost — BCRTA was able to buy the new vehicles, which were $445,000 or a total of $5.34 million, but Chief Operating Officer Matt Dutkevicz said it was money well spent... Ridership has continued to grow exponentially — 73 percent between 2013 and last year. People took 555,259 trips last year compared to 24,664 in 2009. A year ago BCRTA opened up a new route between the Market Street hub in Hamilton and Tri-County Mall in Hamilton County... The service was also enhanced with two-hour bus schedules on all routes instead of just morning and evening service. The routes that run the “triangle” between Middletown, Hamilton and Oxford run from 6:30 a.m. to 8:16 p.m. ... 
 (Photo - County transit systems buys new buses)  --  Butler County, OH, USA - The Journal News, by Denise G. Callahan - April 10, 2015




* California - 10 brand-new SMART hybrid buses sit idle, await parts

  --  In the parking lot of SMART's Oakland Terminal, 10 gleaming, new hybrid diesel-electric buses sit parked in a row... The metro Detroit suburban bus service has had the buses, which each cost about $600,000, since November, but they are not expected to be in service until late May, according to Beth Gibbonsspokeswoman for the Suburban Mobility Authority for Regional Transportation... Why would it take six months for SMART to put its new buses into service?... The 40-foot buses at the terminal on Barrett Drive in Troy still need the proper wiring harnesses for the automatic vehicle locator system, Gibbons said. That system uses global positioning system technology to help SMART keep track of its buses to inform the dispatching process and allow riders to plan their trips... When the buses are ready, they will be used to replace high-mileage standard diesel buses (some with more than 800,000 miles) currently in service. SMART is limited to 233 fixed-route vehicles based on federal fleet limitations connected to available funding, Gibbons said... the delay in getting the hybrids in service is not limiting the number of buses on the road, noting that federal guidelines require SMART to keep a portion of its fleet in reserve and the service's mechanics do a "phenomenal" job...
 (Photo by Eric D. Lawrence/Detroit Free Press - Ten hybrid diesel-electric buses have been sitting idle since November at SMART’s Oakland Terminal in Troy)  --  Detroit, MICH, USA- The Detroit Free Press, by Eric D. Lawrence - April 10, 2015

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BRT BUSES USA * Utah: Electric ones - * Michigan: Wants larger buses

* Utah - UTA shows off electric BRT bus


(Photo: BYD bus driver Ray Munoz knows what a great ride the bus provides. He has driven it up hills in San Francisco and on the flatlands in the Midwest)
  -- The world’s only 60-foot, zero-emissions, battery-operated bus came to Utah County on Thursday as part of a two-day test for potential future use by the Utah Transit Authority and Bus Rapid Transit... The bus is manufactured by the BYD Company, based in China, the company is just starting to put its vehicles into service... The prototype bus was built from frame up in Lancaster, Calif., and has been beta tested in the Los Angeles area and throughout the U.S.A. any buses used for BRT or receiving government funding must be built in the United States (of A.). The new Lancaster site provides that option...

(Photo: The lithium battery powered, 60-foot long bus UTA showcased in Orem)
  --  The bus holds 120 passengers when full and is completely handicapped accessible, with torque available immediately -- basically, it doesn’t need to build up speed and change gears, and it holds on a hill. The only real noise comes from an intermittent compressor in the back of the bus and the noise of cars passing by... The BYD bus is articulated, which means it bends in the middle to allow for better cornering. It boasts the longest drive range in the industry -- 170 miles on a single charge... Hugh Johnson, UTA regional manager, said the BRT route will have approximately 20 buses, with 16 in motion at any given time. They will most likely be hybrid electric buses in the beginning... 
Provo,UH,USA - The Herald Extra - 10 April 2015


* Illinois - Rapid it do so for Laker Line

(Photo 1. The type of bus the Rapid wants to buy for use on its Laker Line)
  --  Local officials used “Stand Up for Transportation Day” to try to push for more funding for a bus rapid transit line between Grand Valley State University’s Allendale campus and downtown Grand Rapids’ Medical Mile...
(Photo 2. The type of bus the Rapid wants to buy for use on its Laker Line) 
  --  The Rapid showed off the 60-foot articulated — or “bendy” — buses they plan to use on the Laker Line. The buses are big enough to carry 80 people, including standing room. Many of the parts for the buses are manufactured in West Michigan... But Laker Line organizers need more cash to make the $45 million project happen... The Rapid says its bus rapid transit that runs the Division Avenue corridor, the Silver Line, has been successful since its launch in August 2014. It says ridership has spiked 40 percent on that route, with nearly a quarter of a million rides between late August and the end of December... Spectrum Health says it has seen an 11 percent increase in ridership since the Silver Line started running, and an 8 percent increase in people who use the line 10 or more times per month...
 Grand Rapids, MICH, USA - WOOD/24 Hour News - April 9, 2015

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11.4.15

BUSMAKERS NEWS * China / S. Korea: Sales of Sunlong Buses

* South Korea - Chinese bus makers moving into Korean market in droves

-- Korea's bus market that has been dominated by domestic auto makers is changing quickly as Chinese-made buses are making inroads into a market thus far protected by the strict certification scheme... The first Chinese bus manufacturer that is leading the initiative is Sunlong Bus, China's No. 5 bus company. Since establishing a Korean office in 2013, it sold 110 25-seater buses in the first year. It increased the number of buses sold last year to 400 and set this year's sales goal to 1,000 including newly imported 35-seater buses. Given the nation's mid-sized bus market is about 6,000 a year, this is equivalent to about 20 percent... Despite the general perception that Chinese-made buses are cheap, buses manufactured by Sunlong Bus are not so cheap. For example, the price of a 25-seater Duego EX is 66.5 million won, about 5 million won more expensive than that of domestic comparable models... Following Sunlong Bus, other Chinese bus makers are aiming to enter the Korean market... 
Seoul, S. Korea - KOREA IT TIMES - April 10th, 2015

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9.4.15

ELECTRIC BUSMAKERS * USA: Proterra Wins $3M California Energy Commission Grant

* California - To expand advanced manufacturing of zero-emissions transit buses to West Coast

-- The California Energy Commission today awarded a $3 million grant to Proterra, the leading provider of zero-emission battery-electric buses... The grant will fund the design, development and construction of Proterra's new state-of-the-art zero-emission, battery-electric transit bus manufacturing line in California. Proterra's expansion was prompted by the strong growth in market demand for the new Proterra Catalyst™ vehicle... The proposed facility, to be located in the San Gabriel Valley, is expected to be operational by the fourth quarter of 2015 and will create more than 70 new local jobs. During the grant term, Proterra plans to manufacture an estimated 424 buses, resulting in a reduction of 900M lbs of CO2 over the lifetime of those vehicles. Proterra was the only bus provider selected for CEC funding and today also announced that existing customer Foothill Transit in L.A. County has placed another order for additional Proterra buses to meet increased demand from its ridership base...
(Photo: Proterra electric bus)   --  San Bruno, CAL, USA - PRNewswire - April 8, 2015

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PUBLIC TRANSPORT * UK: Complaints about London bus drivers

* England: TfL received 250 complaints in a fortnight last August including:  baby 'sent flying' to floor and one who 'hit cyclist while ogling woman'


--   A bus driver who slammed on the brakes so sharply that a baby was “sent flying” to the floor in his pram reportedly told the child’s terrified mother: “This is how I always drive” ... The mother is one of more than 250 people who lodged complaints with Transport for London in the space of a fortnight last August, according to information obtained under Freedom of Information laws... Other complaints include a bus driver accused of going “as fast as possible” the wrong way around a roundabout and another said to be so distracted by a female pedestrian that he hit a cyclist... There were also 37 complaints of speeding, 13 of running red lights or zebra crossings and three reports of drivers using phones at the wheel... On average Transport for London receives between 4,000 and 5,000 complaints a year. It said the figure must been seen in the context of the capital’s 2.4 billion annual bus journeys...  
(Picture: Glenn Copus - Buses at Finsbury Park)  --  London,EN,UK - The London Evening Standard, by CHARLES YOUNG & SIMON FREEMAN - 8 April 2015

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8.4.15

BUSES RECALL * USA: 8000 Starcraft vehicles

* Indiana - 8,000 Starcraft buses recalled


-- More than 8,000 shuttle buses manufactured by Starcraft Bus will be recalled as the result of a class-action suit. From 2002 to 2007, the maximum cargo capacity was mislabeled on buses the Goshen company manufactured, according to a news release from the law firm Richardson, Patrick, Westbrook and Brickman... It was discovered that the buses were not weighed with a full tank of fuel, as required by federal law, which can affect the safety standards of the vehicle. The problem was found when a church noticed the label on its bus showed it could not carry cargo, even though the vehicles came with luggage racks... The church’s bus was then weighed and was found to exceed the weight rating, according to the release. Originally, about 400 buses were recalled, but further investigation found a little more than 8,000 needed to recalled... Starcraft and its parent company Forest River will have to modify the recalled buses to comply with federal regulations and pay owners $1,500 for each seat removed, according to the release... (Photo: Starcraft Buses)  --  South Bend, IND, USA - The South Bend Tribune - Apr 4, 2015

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NEW BUSES FLEET * California: 96 modern buses for

* California - To give Sacramento Regional Transit a cleaner look


-- As part of an effort to spruce up its service, accessibility and image, Sacramento Regional Transit today will begin rolling out the first of 96 modern buses with sleeker exterior lines, more interior space for people using wheelchairs and form-fitting seats that will be easier for the agency to keep clean... The goal, officials say, is to give transit a clean and fresh feel, and make buses more accessible, in hopes of attracting new riders. RT has taken criticism lately from downtown business leaders and some commuters for a lack of cleanliness at stations, a sense of lack of safety on light rail and for not doing enough to increase ridership... 
(Photo: Sacramento Regional Transit is rolling out new buses with improved accessibility. RT operations chief Mark Lonergan shows one of the buses at the agency’s maintenance facility in north Sacramento. April 3, 2015)  -- Sacramento, CAL, USA - Sacramento Bee, by TONY BIZJAK - 5 April 2015

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PUBLIC TRANSPORT SERVICES * USA: Florida's Hart buses

* Florida - HART buses generate 2,700 complaints in 2014


--  It was Saturday evening and a bus rider was waiting for the No. 57 at Fowler Avenue and 56th Street. But the bus didn’t stop, didn’t even slow down, so the rider filed a complaint with HART, the Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority... Nearly 500 people reported that HART buses drove by and left them standing at a bus stop last year — the top complaint filed with the agency during 2014. Patrons made 2,627 complaints, mostly about buses that arrived too late, too early or not at all, and about rude drivers... But compare this number to annual ridership on HART buses, vans and shuttles that’s in the neighborhood of 15 million and growing, month after month... Put another way, HART averaged more than 50,000 daily passenger trips in 2014 while complaints averaged around seven per day... Still, complaints do help provide a fuller picture of what to expect for people who may be considering the bus, frustrated by the Tampa Bay region’s failure to develop options for gridlocked roads and intrigued by the prospect of saving money on fuel and reducing their carbon footprint... The agency has plans to drive the negative remarks down, including overhauling the HART website so customers can have live “chats” with HART employees and holding customer focus groups later this year...
(Photo by Jay Conner - Passengers make complaints about buses that arrive too late, too early or not at all, and against rude drivers. Passengers make complaints about buses that arrive too late, too early or not at all, and against rude drivers)   --   Tampa, FL, USA -The Tampa Tribune, by Mike Salinero - April 7, 2015



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BRT Systems * USA: TXS: Signals works 15 - 20% of the time - * California. San Diego's - * Illinois. Pace's ones

* Texas - Austin's award-winning Rapid Bus Signal System only works 15-20% of the time


-- Austin's bus system got two new lines last year, called MetroRapid. They're generally larger, run more frequently, have fewer stops (to run faster) and offer some amenities not found on the city's local buses, like WiFi. More than a million trips have been taken on the new rapid bus lines. They also have a higher price... But these rapid buses supposedly justify that higher price by getting you around faster. Capital Metro labels it a "premium" service, and one advantage they're supposed to have is they can hold green lights longer at intersections outside of downtown, extending the time before a light turns red and allowing the rapid bus to get through in time... The system is called "Transit Signal Priority" (TSP), and it's the first of its kind in Texas... But the problem is, the system's not really working as it should, and the rapid buses are running slower — and later — than Capital Metro planned for... Part of the reason for that is that the two new rapid lines were modeled and planned based on 2008 traffic data; the corridors the MetroRapid 801 and 803 routes travel have become much more congested since that time... Capital Metro, however, says there's a long way to go before the system is working as well as it could be...
(Photo by Spencer Selvidge/KUT News  --  A signal system is supposed to extend green lights for Capital Metro's "rapid" buses, but it's only working 15-20% of the time) Austin, TXS, USA - KUT.org, by Terrence Henry - April 2, 2015


* California - 6 Months In, San Diego’s New Rapid Bus Line boosts ridership but not speed

  --  Transit riders who wanted another trolley fought the Metropolitan Transit System on its newest rapid bus line. Now the line from San Diego State to downtown is six months old, and it seems riders have changed their tune... MTS says ridership on the Mid-City Rapid 215 line has increased about 16 percent since last year. It carries more than 7,000 riders along El Cajon and Park boulevards each day... But Mid-City Rapid hasn't delivered on speed. It averages 47 minutes at 7 a.m. and 51 minutes at 4 p.m. That's about 10 minutes slower than the 38 minutes planners initially estimated. And it's slower than the 15 bus, an older line serving a similar route... Part of the problem is traffic signals aren't yet synchronized to move buses more quickly down the road... A spokesman for the San Diego Association of Governments, which planned and paid for the project with funds from the region's TransNet and the Federal Transit Administration, said the lights should be synchronized in the next three months...
 (Photo by Megan Burks / KPBS: Bus wait times are displayed at a new Mid-City Rapid bus station April 6, 2015) -- San Diego, CAL, USA - KPBS org, by Megan Burks - April 7, 2015



* Illinois - Pace hopes to build a network of faster buses on major roads

  --  Pace commuters eager to scoot through the suburbs can learn more about the agency's new Pulse arterial bus rapid transit program and give their two cents at an April 22 forum... In 2017, Pace will debut the first Pulse bus on Milwaukee Avenue traveling from Niles to the Jefferson Park CTA stop. That will be followed by a Dempster Avenue express bus between Evanston and O'Hare International Airport that stops in Des Plaines... The two are part of Pace plans for a network of 24 corridors for arterial bus rapid transit. Proposed arterial corridors include Arlington Heights Road, Army Trail Road, Barrington/County Farm Road, Gary Avenue, Half Day Road, Higgins Road, and routes 25, 31, 53, and 83... Arterial Rapid Transit promises faster commutes than traditional bus service. There are fewer stops and quick boarding at stations, and a traffic prioritization program helps ensure buses stay on schedule... 
(Photo: A Pace's bus) Chicago, ILL, USA - The Daily Herald, by Marni Pyke - 6 April 2015

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PUBLIC TRANSPORT WORLDWIDE * United Arab Emirates: * Dubai, bus service history - * Abu Dhabi. Illegal buses / * Thailand: Black boxes requesteds

* The life and times of the Dubai bus since 1968

(Photo: People travelling in a Dubai bus in 2004)
-- It’s comfortable, it’s big, and in many cases, buses drop you at your doorstep. What began as a rickety 17-seater mini bus plying from Al Ittihad Road to Al Sabkha in 1968, the Dubai bus service has now evolved into a sophisticated mode of transportation, travelling across emirates, ferrying thousands of passengers everyday... After 30 years, the minibuses made way for bigger and buses. Public transport slowly progressed and air-conditioned Nissan buses were introduced in 1990... As per latest figures, the Public Transport Agency (PTA) of the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) operates a fleet of 1,299 vehicles, with 1,050 vehicles on the road during peak hours. It generated around 135 million passenger trips in 2014 through 107 routes... The public bus occupancy in Dubai in the first four months of 2014 went up to 42.6 per cent, while in the same period in 2013 it was 39.3 per cent. Dubai ranks third in the world in the public bus occupancy rate after Germany and France...

(Photo: Residents boarding a bus in 2005)
... To facilitate easier access and to encourage people to use the buses more often, the RTA has provided its passengers with air conditioned bus stops, journey planner mobile applications like the Wojahati app, easy connectivity with the Dubai Metro and door-to-door connectivity... Articulated buses (which have two rigid sections linked by a pivoting joint) were introduced on Dubai roads in 2007 and double-decker buses in 2008. In the current fleet operated by the RTA, 66 per cent are standard buses, 21 per cent articulated, nine per cent double-decker buses and the rest coaches... On an average, passengers make 365,000 trips every day on the RTA’s buses. Interestingly, Thursday is the busiest day, with 390,000 passenger trips, while Saturday sees the least passenger trips at 320,000. Fridays see an average of 330,000 passengers...
Dubai - The Khaleej Times, by Dhanusha Gokulan - 5 April 2015


* Abu Dhabi - Illegal private drivers seek passengers at bus station


-- Undeterred by the risk of steep fines or jail terms, drivers of private vehicles are illegally ferrying passengers in Abu Dhabi and to other emirates... Owners of these cars can be seen near the pedestrian bridge on Muroor Road across from the Abu Dhabi main bus terminal... They either approach passers-by near the bridge and at the bus stop or shout “Dubai, Dubai” or “Mussaffah, Mussaffah”, offering passengers a cheap alternative to licensed taxis... A driver, who identified himself as Ahmad, 40, from Islamabad, said a one-way trip to Dubai costs Dh150, compared to the Dh250 metered fare in a silver taxi... The illegal services are popular because they are cheap. Fares can be as little as Dh10, compared with at least Dh50 for a one-way trip from Abu Dhabi to Mussaffah and Dh120 to Baniyas in a registered vehicle... Department of Transport buses cost only Dh4 to Mussaffah or Khalifa City A, but the journey can take up to two hours... Last year, TransAD warned the public not to use unauthorised taxis because the vehicles were not properly equipped for passenger safety and may not be insured... 
(Photo by Fatima Al Marzooqi / The National - Private cars illegally ferry passengers between locations in Abu Dhabi every day. Fares are less than licensed taxis)   --  Abu Dhabi - The National, by Ramona Ruiz - April 6, 2015



* Thailand - 'Black boxes' urged for interprovincial buses

 -- The Land Transport Department will ask operators of interprovincial buses to install devices similar to ‘’black boxes’’ found in airplanes to monitor driver behaviour and reduce road accidents... Earlier, the department launched a pilot project to test the technology on interprovincial buses. It proved successful in reducing road accidents and saving fuel by 3.6%... Sixty buses of the state-run agency were fitted with the devices under the pilot programme... 
 (Bangkok Post photo - The Land Transport Department looks set to ask operators of interprovincial buses to install the so-called "black boxes" in their vehicles in a bid to reduce road accidents) Bangkok, Thailand - The Bangkok Post - 3 Apr 2015

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SAFETY SYSTEMS * Singapore: City buses would warn drivers of pedestrian movement at busy intersections

* Singapore - 3D lasers will help guide urban bus traffic under test program

-- Within the next 12 months Singapore will become the testing ground for a traffic safety system that connects laser radar sensors to city buses that would warn drivers of pedestrian movement at busy intersections. The stationary radar boxes will relay nearby pedestrian movements to drivers and warn them when an accident is imminent... The system will be deployed at two of Singapore’s busiest intersections and connect to 40 city buses before the end of March 2016, according to IHI Corp., the Tokyo-based maker of the 3D laser detection boxes that can pinpoint the location and speed of moving objects – in this case cars and people – every tenth of a second. Crucially, IHI claims the system works as well at night or in stormy conditions, a challenge for camera-based traffic safety systems, as it does on clear days... The so-called vehicle-to-infrastructure communication, or V2I, is still nascent and complicated by the need for considerable alterations to public infrastructure, as well as collaboration with regulators and automakers to make the technology viable, secure and widespread... 
(Photo from IHI Corp.: Laser traffic scanner. The traffic control system will link IHI's 3-D laser scanners to 40 city-state buses in Singapore in a test program that would connect vehicles to stationary scanners that will warn drivers when pedestrians are detected in the roads) -- Singapore - IB Times, by Angelo Young - April 06 2015

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