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Buses World News

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

30.5.07

Read This !!! FREE BUSES * Germany - A little history of Fuddenheim

A group of private citizens, decided some 15 years ago to introduce free public transport in order to combat air pollution and congestion

Fuddenheim,Prussia,Germany -The Beez/vnunetblogs.com - May 2007: -- The last decades a little war has been fought in the small town of Fuddenheim, located near the border between the Principality of Liechtenwald and South Prussia. A group of private citizens, led by Rinus Poortvliet and Rik de Knegt from Belgium, decided some 15 years ago to introduce free public transport in order to combat air pollution and congestion. Donations allowed them to buy a few buses which were operated by volunteers... At first, the commercial public transport company Omnifast GmbH hardly reacted. The schedules of the new service, called Linexx eV, weren't very attractive to the general public, they said, and on top of that they operated just a few lines. Commercial transport was much more professional and offered more choice... However, the free transport slowly became a hit and Omnifast couldn't ignore it anymore. So they hired a performance testing company called Artibus to compare both offerings. It published the report a little later, showing that a comparable ride with the free service took a lot longer and required more transfers. Careful investigation showed that the research was rigged. Measurements of Omnifast were excluding the waiting time required and were restricted to the lines were Omnifast offered a direct service... But dedicated to offer the best possible service, Linexx quickly improved their shortcomings. Now Omnifast was really in trouble. "Once you start using this service, you can never transfer to our professional services again." the chairman of Omnifast raged "This is a thing the General Conditions of Use (GCU) of Linexx explicitly prohibit." Which was not true. Omnifast was just not allowed to charge passengers for that part of the trip which was traveled with Linexx coaches. "Communism, that's what it is!" the chairman cried "They want us all to work for free!"... The end of the story is that the chairman of Omnifast yelled "Linexx is using our dedicated bus lanes, but we won't tell which ones."... When asked, he grumbled again: "We may go to court one day. But not now." Linexx reacted quickly, saying "We're sure Omnifast is using some of our lanes too. If they sue, we sue. But maybe it is better to refrain from having dedicated bus lanes altogether. Life is much easier that way."... Which may prove to be true, because later 'Die Woche' found out that lines downtown were not covered by the Omnifast agreement... The small war rages on in the streets of Fuddenheim. It just illustrates once more time how ridiculous people can get. We'll keep you informed...

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DANGEROUS BUSES * UK - Youth bus crime soars 56%

Reported youth crime on buses has shot up by 55% since the introduction of free bus travel for under 16-year-olds

London,UK -BBC/by Phil Taylor: philtaylor.org.uk -30 May 207: -- There were 5,701 reports in the year since the scheme went live in September 2005 compared with 3,666 in the previous year, official figures show... The Transport for London (TfL) figures were obtained by BBC London under the Freedom of Information Act...

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New Rules * India - Seats for senior citizens, challenged

Pune,India -The Pune Newsline -May 29, 2007: -- Senior citizens and the challenged can hope to get seats in buses now that the State government has amended section 102 of the Maharashtra Motor Vehicles Rules (MMVR), 1989, which empowers the driver or conductor of a public transport body to ask an individual to get of the bus if he is occupying a ladies seat... They can then offer it to the challenged or senior citizens. The amended section has ‘women, physically handicapped and senior citizens’ instead of the word ‘female’...

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Protesters * UK - Win first round in bus battle

Residents fighting to restore a vital bus service have scored a small victory in their battle with transport bosses

Sunderland,England,UK -The Sunderland Echo, by Danielle Beeton -30 May 2007: -- Nexus, which oversees public transport in Tyne and Wear, has launched two new dial-a-ride buses to serve the Dairy Lane Estate in Houghton, but residents say they will still push on with their fight to restore their service bus... Commuters and elderly residents were left stranded when bus company Go North East axed the 148 route which served Houghton's Dairy Lane Estate for "commercial reasons"... OAPs were particularly hard-hit by the decision, which left them facing an hour-long round trip on foot into town to do their shopping... (Picture: Coun Joe Lawson, left, and Vince Hills, of Nexus)

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Discrimination * Malta - Immigrants 'refused boarding' on buses

Two immigrant Eritreans have claimed that a bus driver at the Valletta terminus did not let them ride his vehicle because of their skin colour

Valletta,Malta -The Times of Malta, by Herman Grech -30 May 207: -- While the Malta Transport Authority said it would be questioning the bus driver about the alleged incident this morning, immigrants at the Marsa centre say that such occurrences are not uncommon... The two men had been shopping at the open-air market in Valletta last Sunday and planned to return to the Marsa open centre on the No. 3 bus... But, as soon as Aman Hiyabu Drar, 30, and Yonas Maosho 35, set foot on the bus at 11.20 a.m., the driver ordered them off, immediately shutting the door behind them, they said. There were just four other passengers on the bus and plenty of space available...

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Public-private Partnerships * USA - Metro projects to help measure cost-effectiveness of

Two of Metro's bus rapid transit projects will be part of a federal pilot program to measure the potential cost savings of public-private partnerships. A move that could expedite the development of the transit corridors, officials announced today

Houston,TX,USA -The Houston Chronicle, by ROSANNA RUIZ -May 29, 2007: -- One private firm or a consortium of private companies will be responsible for all construction and project management under the terms of the Public-Private Partnership Pilot Program, known as Penta-P, U.S. Transportation Department officials said... Washington Group Transit Management Co. was selected earlier this month to handle Metropolitan Transit Authority's four corridor projects, including the North and Southeast bus rapid transit lines chosen for inclusion in the federal program. Although no formal agreement has been reached, the company would maintain and operate the lines, assume partial risk and share in the profits... Metro and the Idaho-based parent company still are negotiating those issues.

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New Buses * UK - "Green" ones unveiled

A new fleet of environmentally friendly buses has been launched to serve passengers across Doncaster and Rotherham...

Mexborough,England,UK -The South Yorkshire Times -30 May 2007: -- Transport company First unveiled the 20 state-of-the-art buses, which have cost £3.4 million, at the Magna Centre in Rotherham last week... The low floor double deckers have been brought into service this week on the busy X78 route which travels daily through Conanby and Conisbrough and links Sheffield, Doncaster and Rotherham... All of the new eco-friendly buses are fitted with the latest EU approved Euro 4 engines that significantly reduce the level of CO2 emissions...

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BUSES' PURCHASE

* China - Beijing Public Transport orders 250 CNG bus engines from Cummins
Beijing,China -Automotive World (UK) -30 May, 2007: -- Beijing Public Transport Holdings (BPT) has ordered 250 Cummins Westport B Gas Plus engines to power Beijing Jinghua Coach's compressed natural...

* USA - Metro orders hundreds of new buses
Seattle,WA,USA -The West Seattle -May 29, 2007: -- King County plans to purchase up to 500 new buses that will help deliver one of the biggest bus service expansions in Metro history... Most of the buses will be articulated hybrids manufactured under a contract believed to be the largest of its kind in North America... Metro has selected New Flyer Industries, General Motors Corp. and Cummins Engine Co. as the major commercial partners in delivering the next generation of buses. All the buses will meet or exceed the latest federal environmental standards... The expanded and more frequent service is designed to make transit more attractive to drivers. Metro's goal is to get up to 50,000 drivers out of their cars and riding buses by 2016...


* Pakistan - 15 new buses for girl students
Islamabad,Pakistan -The News, by Myra Imran -30 May 2007: -- The Ministry of Women's Development (MoWD) will provide 15 new buses to girls' colleges in the public sector. Director General Empowerment Javed Iqbal Butt told that the government had already approved Rs60 million in the upcoming budget for this purpose...

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BUSMAKERS' NEWS WORLDWIDE

* India - Tata buys more shares in bus body builder Automobile Corp
India -Automotive World (UK)/The Economic Times -29 May, 2007: -- Tata Motors has increased its share holding in Automobile Corporation of Goa, a bus body building firm, from 10% to 21% through a rights issue, has reported... "Tata has increased its stake in Automobile Corp to 21.29% because of its" ...

* France - Valeo supplies stop-start system for Gruau bus
Paris,France -Automotive World -29 May, 2007: -- Valeo has announced that the Parisian public transport company RATP (Régie Autonome des Transports Parisiens) is running a Gruau microbus fitted with a Valeo Stop-Start system on the Bièvre-Montsouris local service. The system has been installed on...

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29.5.07

Urban Affairs * Canada - City Embraces Density, and Congestion

To metro Atlantans, congestion is a dirty word. "Congestion is our friend. Density is good"

Vancouver, British Columbia -The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (Atlanta,GA,USA)/Cox News Service, by Maria Saporta -May 27, 2007: -- But when a delegation of 117 regional leaders recently visited this Canadian city, they were introduced to a whole new concept... "Congestion is our friend," said Larry Beasley, former city planning director for Vancouver, who has been recognized worldwide as helping create a new urban model. "Density is good"... In the 1970s, Vancouver residents waged a 10-year battle to keep freeways from its urban core. They successfully defeated a plan that would have run a highway through its Chinatown and run along its downtown waterfront... Now a traffic light at the edge of city limits signals that the interstate from Tijuana to Canada has come to a stop and is now a city street..."We are the only North American city of any significance without an interstate at its core," said Gordon Price, an urban affairs professor at Simon Fraser University, who used to serve on Vancouver's City Council.
Instead of the city drying up economically and becoming inaccessible and unlivable, downtown Vancouver has become one of the most thriving urban areas in North America...

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PREVENTION * Guatemala - Presidential Guard Watch Buses

Guatemala -Prensa Latina -May 28, 2007: -- Some 250 members of the Guatemalan Presidential Guard are watching urban buses to prevent assaults and extortion, the National Security Council reported on Monday... According to Retired General Julio Balconi, technical secretary of the Council, it is an additional effort in conjunction with the National Civil Police and the Army to curb the wave of violence affecting urban transportation...

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BUSES` PURCHASING

* India - About two thousand new buses to be added to fleet of UPSRTC
Faizabad,Uttar Pradesh,India -The Zee News -May 28, 2007: -- About two thousand new buses will be added in the fleet of UPSRTC in the next two to five months, Uttar Pradesh Transport Minister Ram Achal Rajbhar has said. Talking to newsmen here last evening, he said it was the policy of the BSP government to make better public transport facilities available to common man... He announced that two ac bus service will also run daily from Akbarpur to Faizabad, Lucknow and Kanpur and its fares will be twenty per cent less than normal AC buses...

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Reports * Australia - Melbourne’s public transport country's most expensive

Melbourne,VIC,AUST -Australasian Bus and Coach -29 May 2007: -- With fares due to rise on Monday by up to $5.20 on some monthly tickets, the Public Transport Users Association (PTUA) has compared Melbourne's fares with those of Perth, Adelaide, Brisbane, Sydney and Canberra - and found the city's fares are higher than other cities in all but a few cases... The PTUA believes that with overcrowded trains, slow trams and infrequent buses, fares should be coming down, not going up. For short trips, only Adelaide is more expensive. For longer trips, Melbourne is easily the most expensive, with a daily ticket costing almost $2 more than a similar ticket in Sydney...

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Annual bus registration * Australia - Charges move higher from July 1

Australia -Australasian Bus and Coach -29 May 2007: -- Heavy vehicle registration fee will rise by 3.5 percent from July using the legislated annual charges adjustment process... A significant increase in road expenditure over the previous three years resulted in an adjustment factor of 5.6 percent... The annual registration fee for a type 1, two-axle bus will rise to $346; while the yearly charge for a type 2 two-axle bus will increase to $576 and for three- and four-axle buses the fee will jump to $1,439... For three- and four-axle articulated buses, the annual registration fee will rise to $576...

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BUSES` SALES

* Ireland - Dublin Bus selling 50 double-deckers
Dublin,Ireland -Breaking News -29 May 2007: -- Dublin Bus is selling off 50 second-hand double-decker buses in a bid to modernise its fleet on the capital’s streets... The transport firm today advertised for buyers on the Government’s tender website and set a June 20 deadline for tenders... The 1995/1996 Volvo vehicles are 9.8 metres in length, are fully automatic and have a capacity for 74 passengers...

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28.5.07

* USA - Bus Plan Backfires

The saying goes, “The road to hell is paved with good intentions.” In the case of my plan to combat global warming by taking the bus, the saying applies more literally than usual.

USA -khudari.net/Omars' Blog, by Omar Khudari -26 May 2007: -- I looked into the fuel efficiency of mass transit buses and found some surprising data. According to the U.S. government’s 2005 Transportation Energy Data Book, buses use more energy on average per passenger mile than cars—even more than SUVs! These are actual averages, based on the average car load of 1.57 persons, and the average bus load of 8.7 passengers. If you look at the bus vs. a person driving a car alone, buses are more energy efficient—but not much (only about 34%)... This led me to an interesting paradox: my own efforts to take the bus will make a difference. I can measure my CO2 savings in pounds. However, if everybody took the bus, it wouldn’t help so much. The MBTA would react to increased ridership by adding routes and frequencies until they hit their target average load (whatever that is)... The bright side of the bus, if there is one, is that mass transit does good for society in ways other than reducing carbon emissions: it reduces congestion, and it provides transportation for people who cannot afford cars. However, for the sake of fuel efficiency, I am currently tuning up my bicycle... ("Reflejos" by nachopop's photostream - Estación de autobuses Pza. Felipe II )

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BUSES' PURCHASE PROSPECTS

* Ghana - 200 buses for needy schools
Accra,Ghana -Joy Online -26 May 2007: -- The government is to purchase 200 buses for distribution to needy senior secondary schools throughout the country, the Minister of Education, Science and Sports, Papa Owusu-Ankomah, has announced...

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New Public Transport * UK - Desire for StreetCar tested in North East

People trial a new form of public transport - Go North East is to pilot a new StreetCar vehicle

Newcastle,Tyne and Wear,UK -bdaily -26 May 2007: -- Designed to look like a modern tram, the StreetCar aims to bridge the gap between buses and trams, operating on rubber wheels on dedicated road space in congested areas... taking advantage of existing bus priority lanes, it offers a sophisticated mode of transport that has the potential to provide a high quality alternative for car users on some routes... StreetCar has a low floor for easier access and a ramp for wheelchair users. Passengers have a choice of conventional seating, a lounge-style area at the rear or ‘perches’ providing support for standing travellers. Noise absorption material throughout the vehicle provides sound-proofing for both passengers and drivers. The vehicles are also fitted with anti-pollution measures to keep carbon emissions to a minimum...

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TECHNO NEWS

* India - Navi Mumbai buses to take e-ticketing route

Mumbai,India -The Hindustan Times (New Delhi,Delhi), by G Mohiuddin Jeddy -May 26, 2007: -- The Navi Mumbai Municipal Transport (NMMT) is undergoing a technological revolution this summer... The transport body has introduced e-ticketing in its buses which will be operational from July 15. The system has been installed in 15 buses... The system, apart from issuing bus tickets, will facilitate passengers in booking their railway and air tickets, in paying bills and taxes, among many other services... The NMMT is also planning to install Global Position System (GPS) and Vehicle Tracking System (VTS) at all bus depots and buses to help the waiting passengers know the expected arrival time, position of the buses and other details... (Photo Wikipedia: BEST Bus Mumbai)

* UK - School buses fitted with CCTV
Cardiff,UK -ic Wales/Western Mail, by Darren Devine -May 26 2007: -- Three Welsh schoolchildren have been suspended from school bus services following the introduction of CCTV cameras... A report before Anglesey County Council’s policy overview committee yesterday said cameras were introduced on three vehicles last November at a cost of £9,000 as part of a drive to improve safety. The pupils were suspended from bus services to Ysgol Uwchradd Bodedern, Anglesey...

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Passengers' Experiences


* Turkey - Knight in a white van - “What? You provide free transportation to and from work?”


Istanbul,Turkey -Today's Zaman -26 May 2007: -- ... After moving to İstanbul I knew it was impossible for me to drive in this massive city, the cheap and convenient public transport offering a better alternative... İstanbul traffic is unimaginable. Car and gas prices also make buying and driving a car uneconomical for me. Also, I quickly discovered that Turkish people, generally so nice, kind, and helpful, turn into aggressive lunatics when behind the wheel... Thankfully my new boss told me that the school provided a free service bus that picked up school personnel from Erenköy, alleviating my fears. Service buses are normal and indeed an expected commodity provided by almost every workplace in İstanbul... White vans with the school or company logo on the side, they can be seen everywhere during rush hour in the morning and at night. For companies it’s one of the best ways to make sure employees arrive and leave on time. For the city, it helps cut pollution and reduce traffic congestion. For those on the service buses, it takes away the stress of dealing with traffic and parking...

* Chile - Transantiago: A cautionary tale of public transportarion in
Santiago,Chile -pauliescan.spaces.live, by Paul Francois/Fellow Traveller -26 May 2007: -- The story of Transantiago began with the urgent need to do everything to reduce the smog in Santiago, which is surrounded by mountains and suffers the problem of thermal inversion in winter which can effectively prevent the pollution from escaping... One third of the population of Chile, and an even higher proportion of its industry, is located in Santiago, the majority of its freight movement is by diesel - powered trucks spewing black fumes into the air. In addition 60% of the working population of Santiago go to work by private car, in spite of a continuously expanding subway system. Transantiago hopes to get people out of their cars and into the public transport system by combining the use of the subway and the buses by permitting transfers granting a ride of up to 90 minutes for a single fare... In 1990 when the military regime ended there were 14000 buses on the streets of Santiago. In 10 years the number had been reduced to 8000 by creating monopolies on main routes and putting them up for bids. Transantiago aims for a further reduction to 5600 which, apart from reducing the number of deaths from traffic accidents from 1 every 3 days, should significantly reduce air and noise pollution and diesel consumption... The government did not choose to nationalize the system, so it gave concessions to 5 large companies to provide main routes with articulated buses carrying up to 180 passengers and feeder routes with smaller buses... Transantiago was born on February 10, 2007. "Public" transportation has always been a problem in Santiago because, with the exception of the subway, it is privately owned with hundreds of owners. Buses race against each other to fight for passengers as the drivers are paid a percentage of fares instead of fixed salaries. The result is too many badly maintained vehicles, accidents, smog, noise and violent assaults on the drivers as the passengers pay cash... In the meantime the pressure is on to fine-tune the operations for the first week of March 2007... The Government is fining the bus operators for not putting the stipulated number of buses on the road and not providing minimal facilities for drivers at the terminals... Transantiago continues to limp along in spite of new routes being added and a frantic program of construction of sheltered bus stops. The system is running at a considerable loss covered by Government subsidies. Meanwhile the news media are having a field day blaming everything on Transantiago from lower productivity to increased stress in the workplace...

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26.5.07

Air alert day today * USA - RIPTA buses free

It'll be hot and muggy today, and that's prompting an air alert by state environmental officials

Providence,RI,USA -AP/abc6News -May 25, 2007: -- RIPTA buses will be free today, and people are being encouraged to avoid driving... The Department of Environmental Management says they expect the air quality to get bad this afternoon as temperatures are forecast to hit 90... The air could be particularly bad in southern Rhode Island... The DEM is also asking people to avoid mowing the lawn or using charcoal lighter fluid... They're also recommending people limit their outdoor exercise as a way to avoid breathing problems...

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"GREEN" NEWS * USA - Seattle To Have More Than 700 Hybrid Powered Buses

Seattle's efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and target global warming are among the most aggressive in the U.S.

Seattle,WASH,USA -trucktrend.com -May 25, 2007: -- Due to this strong environmental leadership, the city has one of the greenest transit agencies in the nation... Powered by hybrid technology from General Motors, GM's strategy is to save as many gallons of fuel as possible by applying the technology first to high-volume and high fuel-consuming vehicles such as mass transit buses and SUVs... Currently, more than 700 buses with GM's 2-mode hybrid system have been delivered to 54 cities across the U.S. and Canada, saving an estimated 1 million gallons of fuel annually. The addition of these 500 buses, will bring the total to more than 1,200 buses, saving an estimated 1.75 million gallons of fuel annually... In fact, the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) conducted a one-year comparative study between conventional diesel buses and diesel hybrid electric articulated buses currently in Seattle. The report showed that the hybrid powered buses had a 27 percent higher fuel economy on average when compared to the convention diesel buses and total operating cost were lowered by 15 percent...

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TECHNO-NEWS * USA - AC Transit Launches Free WiFi On Buses

Cross-bay commuters have something to look forward to in the mornings because AC transit has officially launched a fleet of 90 buses that are outfitted with free WiFi for riders...

San Mateo,CAL,USA -NBC11.com -May 24, 2007: -- The 78 MCI buses that make the daily commute across the San Mateo and Dumbarton bridges to San Francisco and the Peninsula are now equipped with WiFi, allowing laptop users to access the Internet from their bus seats, according to AC Transit. The other 12 buses with WiFi are part of the Dumbarton Bridge Consortium... The buses have special decals and are dark green to make them easily recognizable for commuters, the agency reported. Each bus is equipped with an antenna and router that is tied to the bus's power system. Riders simply enter the bus and turn on their wireless device to connect to the system... (Photo courtesy of Alameda County)

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BUSES` SALES

* USA/Canada - New Flyer receives orders for 965 buses
Winnipeg,CAN -Canada NewsWire /CNW -May 24, 2007: -- New Flyer of America Inc. and New Flyer Industries Canada ULC, subsidiaries of New Flyer Industries Inc., the leading manufacturer of heavy-duty transit vehicles in Canada and the United States, have recently secured major orders for 965 buses of which 890 are firm and 75 are options totaling over US $389.6 million in new and repeat business from transit properties in the United States and Canada...
Some highlights of these awards include:
- Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) Board in Chicago, IL has authorized an additional option for 400 ultra-low sulphur (clean) diesel 40-foot buses. This brings the total number of buses ordered from New Flyer by CTA to 1,050 since 2005.
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Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) in Boston, MA received Board authorization to exercise options for 155 clean diesel 40-foot buses. This brings the total of buses ordered from New Flyer by MBTA to 310 since 2006.
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The City of Montebello, CA Board authorized the purchase of 150 gasoline-electric 40-foot buses for the City of Montebello and other named agencies in a consortium. This will bring the total number of New Flyer gasoline-electric buses in California to 242 once delivered. New Flyer is the only heavy-duty bus manufacturer in North America to supply this clean air technology.
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The Ministry of Transportation of Ontario, Canada has partnered with a number of communities for a new order of 66 clean diesel 40-foot buses plus 75 option buses...

* New Zealand - New Buses for Auckland and Wellington
Auckland,NZ -Scoop/NZBus PR -25 May 2007: -- NZ Bus announced today that it has negotiated the purchase of 60 new diesel buses, with an option to purchase a further 90 buses, at a combined cost of $60 million, for its Auckland and Wellington operations... The first 60 buses will enter service between December 2007 and March 2008, replacing the older vehicles within the fleet... The delivery arrangements for the remaining 90 buses will be confirmed once outcomes are known from government sector reviews of procedures for bus service contracting and related legislation...

* USA - Seattle addition 500 more hybrid-articulated buses
Seattle,WASH,USA -trucktrend.com -May 25, 2007: -- ... Due to this strong environmental leadership, the city has one of the greenest transit agencies in the nation. Now with the addition of 500 more buses, they will have the largest fleet of in history with a total of 736 buses and hope other major cities will quickly follow suit...


* UK - British Airways is investing more than £25 million in a fleet of environmentally friendly airport vehicles
London,UK -Cheap flights -25 May 2007: -- BA will move its Heathrow operation to the new terminal next March, and eco-conscious passengers will benefit from the use of DaimlerChrysler Citaro buses from June... The Citaro buses, which will be able to carry around 45 passengers, are the greenest buses currently in use at Heathrow, meeting the most stringent Euro 5 environmental performance standards. Euro 5 standards require a 43 per cent reduction in nitrogen oxide compared to Euro 4...

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24.5.07

Premium bus rides * Jamaica - JUTC using cricket buses for high-priced service

Kingston,Jamaica -The Jamaica Gleaner, by Susan Gordon -May 23, 2007: -- The Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC) has possession of 35 of the 50 new buses acquired for Cricket World Cup, but yesterday the state-run agency said its fleet still remains more than 100 buses short of the number needed to service the city... Five of the buses are to be cleared and put into service by next week. The 15 buses include 10 articulated buses and five Man buses... (Picture: A worker cleans one of the new Jamaican Urban Transit Company luxury buses parked at an open lot on Lady Musgrave Road in St. Andrew in this March 2007 Gleaner)

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Plug-in Hybrid Electric Buses * USA - School District receives one of the nation`s first ones

First Hybrid School Buses Built by IC Corporation Can Attain Up To 70-100 Percent Increase in Fuel Efficiency, 90 Percent Reduction in Emissions

Charlotte, NC,USA -Earthtoys (press release) -May 17, 2007: -- With fuel prices nearing record highs, the Charlotte-Mecklenburg School District will have a new plug-in hybrid electric school bus for the 2007-08 school year that could help offset increasing fuel costs while helping protect the environment... The school district will become one of the first school districts in the U.S. to operate the new hybrid school bus that has the potential to double fuel efficiency and reduce emissions by up to 90 percent...

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DEBATE: Congestion Pricing * USA - Talking about

Friday morning over 200 people braved the early morning traffic to attend our Marketplace of Ideas panel on congestion pricing

New York,NY,USA -DMIblog, by Elana Levin -23 May 2007: -- The policy on the table: the most hotly debated, part of Mayor Bloomberg's recently revealed plan for a greener New York - an $8 congestion fee for driving into Manhattan's Central Business district during peak hours... We had the opportunity to learn about the ins-and-outs of congestion pricing first-hand from Nicky Gavron, Deputy Mayor of London and point person on her city's successful congestion pricing plan... The panelists laid out the range of needs and concerns in this debate, from those of small business owners in Queens to the high rate of children with asthma living along congested through-ways... If what the distinguished guests on the panel said is right then congestion pricing isn't just generating hot air, it's New York's future... (Photo: Deputy Mayor Gavron and Councilman Gioia)

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* UK - Couple's victory over bus music

A couple who campaigned against other passengers playing music on the buses have claimed a victory following the launch of new posters

London,UK -BBC News -23 May 2007: -- Tom Wright and girlfriend Valeria Martinelli, from Leyton, east London, set up an online petition last summer... About 3,000 people backed their campaign which called for London's buses to be music-free... But union leaders have voiced concerns over a ban, saying it would force drivers to police buses which could potentially leave them vulnerable to assault... (Picture: More than 3,000 have signed the couple's petition)

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Buses vs. pedestrians * New Zealand - Wellington struggles to stop

Welllington,NZ -Stuff.co.nz/The Dominion Post, by MATTHEW TORBIT -23 May 2007: -- Local authorities are struggling to curb the number of pedestrians being struck by buses in inner-city Wellington, despite a tougher speed limit and public awareness campaigns... Stagecoach on-road operations manager John Hodgson said, there was no golden answer to the problem of wandering pedestrians, but suggested bollards to separate the road from footpaths along parts of Willis St and Lambton Quay... (Picture by ANDREW GORRIE/Dominion Post - BUS STOPPED: A woman was injured when she was hit by a bus in Wellington, the latest in a series of incidents as the city struggles to curb the number of pedestrians being struck by buses)

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DANGEROUS STATION * Algeria - Bus station dominated by the law of the jungleon

A bus station so-called « Boumaati » witnesses an increase in crime phenomenon in addition to the lack of cleanliness

Algiers,Algeria -Echorouk Al Yaoumi -May 22, 2007: -- Some people say they are security agents and ask carriers to give them money. Actually, they are gangs who steal money from the carriers in this bus station... “Boumaati” bus station is located in a popular area named El Harrach (Algiers). It is one of the most important and active bus stations in Algiers in view of the large number of passengers and customers there... Every day, more than 1800 use this bus station where there are over 700 buses distributed on 14 lines... It was 8:30 a.m. when two young men with somber faces came to the bus station. They pretended to be security agents and obliged the buses owners to give them money (20 to 100 DA). People could not say no to those gangs because they were afraid of them...

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* UK's Buses News

* TV ‘on the buses’ with local Police

A TV programme last night put the spotlight on Lancashire police's zero-tolerance approach to bad behaviour on buses


Blackburn,England,UK -This Is Lancashire -22 May 2007: -- The Tonight Programme with Trevor McDonald, on ITV, looked at violence and threatening behaviour on public transport... Part of the show focused on nuisance passengers as they boarded buses doing the school run from Burnley bus station... Officers were seen handing out written warnings to 23 young passengers for offences such as swearing and playing loud music...
* Patrols to target trams and buses
Yorkshire,UK -The Yorkshire Post Today (Leeds,Yorkshire), by Paul Whitehouse -22 May 2007: -- High-profile patrols by police and travel inspectors are to be introduced on buses and trams in South Yorkshire to maintain confidence in the safety of public transport... The project will start next month and continue throughout the summer and is being jointly operated by police and transport companies to maintain the reputation of buses and trams as a secure way to travel... Police and transport inspectors will travel on buses and trams throughout the county, the patrols aimed at providing reassurance for passengers and also to carry out checks on passengers' tickets... The scheme is being supported by South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive, which is responsible for ensuring the county has an adequate public transport system...
* Warnings over bus regulation
Glasgow,Scotland,UK -The Herald, by PAUL ROGERSON -May 23 2007: -- Scottish transport giants FirstGroup and Stagecoach yesterday fired further shots across the bows of ministers seeking to increase regulation of metropolitan bus services south of the border... The long-awaited publication of a draft Road Transport Bill saw them issue new warnings about handing more power to local authorities... The Bill will update existing powers to give local councils more freedom and flexibility to bring in road pricing schemes... It will also enable them to take greater control of bus services through so-called Quality Contracts, which would specify local bus networks, timetables and fares, and allow councils to let contracts to single operators...
* Bus firm invests in 'green' vehicles
Inverness,Scotland,UK -The Inverness Courier, by Gerard Burke -22 May, 2007: -- The largest bus company in the Highlands has spent almost £500,000 to cut the amount of harmful exhaust gasses emitted by its vehicles... Rapsons received a further £160,000 from the Highlands and Islands Strategic Transport Partnership (HiTrans) towards the £650,0000 cost of buying five new low-emission buses... Buses replaced by the new vehicles in Inverness will be transferred to the firm's operations in Skye and Lochalsh, allowing the company to phase out some of its older vehicles...

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Red Light Cameras * USA - Metro buses, police cars among 70,000 caught by

Have you gotten a ticket from a red light camera? You’re not alone

Houston,TX,USA -KHOU (subscription), 11 News/The Houston Chronicle -May 22, 2007:: -- About 70,000 citations have been issued because of Houston’s 50 cameras... But it’s not just regular folks getting busted. Some of the vehicles caught running reds belong to law enforcement and the city... Metro buses, police cruisers and public works trucks have all been caught running red lights, reports... (Photo: Houston Chronicle: A red-light camera catches a school bus)

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* India - Buses News

* RTC launches 10 new Express buses
Visakhapatnam,Andhra Pradesh -The Siasat Daily -22 May 2007: -- As part of providing quality service with more amenities to the city bus passengers, the Visakhapatnam region of the Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (APSRTC) introduced 10 new Metro Express buses in the city... The special features of the Metro Express buses are - middle door with wide opening and second entrance ahead of the front left wheel; dark grey tinted window glasses for more protection from sun light; saloon tube lights for more illumination; audio system with FM radio; wider two by two expansive cushion seats; interior ceiling with PVC laminated aluminium sheet for good appearance; usage of better paints for aesthetic appearance... (Photo by D. Gopalakrishnan - A COMMON SIGHT: Youngsters travelling on footboard causing inconvenience to other passengers)

* Delhi Metro to have feeder buses with GPS facility
New Delhi,India -IANS/The Mangalorean -23 May 2007: -- The Delhi Metro will purchase its own feeder buses fitted with the Global Positioning System (GPS) to make the metro stations easily accessible to commuters from far-off places in the capital... Initially, around 60 buses will be purchased and run on 36 routes. They will be given to private operators. "The number may be gradually increased subject to the viability of the project and decision of the DMRC" Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) chief spokesman Anuj Dayal said...

* Double deck buses hold fond memories - Once scheduled to be scrapped these buses are now the pride and joy of the Undertaking
Mumbai,India -The Afternoon Dispatch & Courier -May 22, 2007: -- The double deck buses of the Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport Undertaking (BEST) had been destined for the scrap yards since the past few years, as the organization had found them uneconomical. But in a remarkable reversal, BEST has decided to maintain few of the double-deckers as a symbol of pride... When asked if BEST was willing to maintain a few of the double deck buses for the sake of pride, despite all of the difficulties and losses to the organization, Walawalkar answered with an emphatic, "Yes, we are ready face the situation."... Double deck buses had been introduced to Mumbai in 1937 in order to better cope with the growing traffic...

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Hidrogened Buses * USA - Hydrogen-Fueled Buses Fleet Arrive in Orlando

Florida's only hydrogen station opened Wednesday for the first U.S. fleet of Ford shuttle buses powered by the alternative fuel, testing a technology that can lower greenhouse gases

Orlando,FL,USA -AP -May 23, 2007: -- Eight Ford Motor Co. shuttle buses will ferry customers, tourists and employees at Orlando International Airport, the Orange County Convention Center and other tourist spots throughout central Florida... Florida has four of the 12-passenger vehicles from Ford now and will receive four more of the Ford E-450 buses later... The state is paying $250,000 each for the $1 million-plus vehicles... The commercial shuttle buses can travel 150 to 200 miles before refueling. The shuttles get five to 10 miles per gallon, equivalent to the mileage of diesel powered buses, said Nick Twork, Ford technology spokesman... One of the hydrogen-fueled buses releases about 1 percent of the carbon dioxide released by a Toyota Prius, a gasoline-electric hybrid... Ford delivered five of the buses to Canada in 2006. The company plans to deliver 30 of the buses throughout North America by the end of the year...

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22.5.07

POLICIES * UK - Bus firm to change, on children

Suffolk,England,UK -East Anglian Daily Times, by JOHN HOWARD -21 May 2007: -- More children will be allowed to travel for free on buses in the region after a travel company changed its charging policy... From next month, First will allow two young children to travel free with each fare paying adult, after receiving dozens of requests for a review... (Picture: Parents will be able to take young children on board for free)

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* Australia - Brisbane buses catch Origin fever

Brisbane,Australia -ABC, by Penny McLintock -May 21, 2007: -- Footy fever has spread to Brisbane's public transport in the lead-up to Wednesday's rugby league State of Origin clash... Six bus drivers from Virginia, Bowen Hills, Carina, Garden City, Toowong and Richlands have decorated their buses in support of the Queensland Maroons... Councillor Victoria Newton judged the best decorated bus, awarding Richlands the winning honour... Richlands driver Nikki Izard says its a fun way to show support for the Queensland team... (ABC - Nikki Izard from the Brisbane City Council Richlands depot, with fellow supporter, won the competition for best decorated State of Origin bus)

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Driver faints * Germany - Danish coach shunts trucks in Germany

Erlangen, Germany -Europe News/Monsters and Critics.com (Glasgow,UK) /DPA -May 21, 2007: -- A coachload of travellers from Denmark narrowly escaped death when their driver fainted at the wheel and careered through a parking area, German police said Monday... The driver, 58, complained of stomach pains and decided to stop at the Steigerwald lay-by on the A3 highway near Erlangen in Bavaria state on Sunday, but he lost consciousness before he could stop... Travelling at 50 kilometres per hour, the coach shunted three trucks on the parking area and kept going back towards the autobahn... The driver recovered consciousness on the on-ramp and halted the damaged bus. None of the 28 occupants were hurt...

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21.5.07

TECHNO-NEWS

* UK - Moovera and Vodafone Collaborate on Wi-Fi for Public Transport
Sittingbourne, UK -Thomas Net -April 19, 2007 -- Moovera Networks, a leading developer of mobile wireless broadband technology, and Vodafone UK have announced the successful commercial launch of high-speed Internet access on Europe's most frequent express coach service, the Oxford Tube... Passengers traveling on the Stagecoach Group plc service between Central London and Oxford now have email and web access on the move at speeds up to 1.4Mbps thanks to the combination of Moovera's mobile Wi-Fi equipment and Vodafone UK's 3G broadband network, which now covers 80% of the UK population...

* France - Valeo Stop-Start technology Equips a Microbus of the Parisian Public Transport Company - When the bus Stops, so Does the Engine
Paris,France -The Auto Channel -May 21, 2007: -- The RATP is using a Gruau Microbus fitted with a Valeo Stop-Start system on the "Bièvre-Montsouris" local service. The system allows the engine to be switched to standby when the bus stops, saving on fuel consumption and reducing noise levels... This experiment, the result of a research partnership between the RATP, Valeo and the manufacturer Gruau, was selected and approved by ANR (French National Agency for Research) and PREDIT (French Program for Transport Research) in 2006, with the financial support of ADEME as part of the national "clean and cost-cutting vehicles" program... The Microbus is fitted with a Stop-Start starter-alternator which has been integrated into volume-produced vehicles since 2005; the Microbus, however, has an additional function, the regenerative braking system...

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BUSES PURCHASING * Colombia - Volvo Receives Order For 187 BRT Buses

A growing number of cities in the world are choosing to build intelligent transit systems based on bus traffic, so-called BRT systems

Stockholm,Sweden -The Auto Channel -21 May 2007: -- Volvo Buses has received an order for 187 buses to the first phase of the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system in Santiago de Cali, Colombia... A growing number of cities in the world are choosing to build intelligent transit systems based on bus traffic, so-called BRT systems. The Transmilenio BRT system in Colombia’s capital city, Bogotá, is the world’s largest and most efficient... It has substantially improved the traffic situation in the city, reduced the number of accidents and contributed to a considerably improved air quality...

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* South Africa - If you think SA buses are bad, try India

My most hair-raising bus trips have all been in India, where the drivers, to a man, rely on acts of God to save them from disaster, rather than blame them for it...

Cape Town,South Africa -Cape Times/IOL, by John Scott -(originally published Jan 3, 2007) -May 2007: -- An expert on long-distance buses in other countries, I confess I have never travelled by bus from one city to another in South Africa... To be fair to South African buses, they may not be the worst... All have images of one or other Hindu god or goddess dangling above them in the driver's cab, with pictures of their favourite guru pasted on the windscreen for good measure... They drive on their horns, which often take the form of a shrieking whistle. This is to clear the road in front of pedestrians, rickshaws, motor scooters, bullock carts, holy cows, chickens, pariah dogs, beggars and other oncoming buses. Many of the roads aren't wide enough to accommodate two buses, so both drivers blow their horns at each other and the one with the least nerve gives way first... You don't want to travel near the front of these buses if your own nerves aren't strong, though on one trip the bus was so full I had to sit beside the driver on the engine... On another I had to get out with the other passengers and push...

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Car Parking Problems * Belgium - A bus company knows solution for

Brussels,Belgium -Wikinews -May 21, 2007: -- The Belgian bus company De Lijn parked a red MGB on top of one of their buses... Do you have a hard time finding a parking space? Take the bus or tram if you go to the city. That's the message Belgian bus company De Lijn (The Line) is sending to promote public transport as a solution for car parking problems. As a part of their media campaign, they have some tongue-in-cheek suggestions, such as parking your car on top of a bus... Another idea they are using in their media campaign: maybe you could park your car on the bottom of a canal? The bus company is using an invented diving company called Cardive, which has divers that offer to dump your car in the canal. The divers walk around in cities and hand out free bus tickets and maps of the bus network... (Wiki's Photo: The car with licence plate BBC 000 is on display until May 31)

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Legislative effort * USA - To cut bus emissions should be supported

The state has a problem with diesel emissions from school buses

Stamford,CT,USA -The Stamford Advocate -May 21 2007: -- Though pollution filters that would help protect children from particulate matter and toxins in diesel exhaust work well, they are not used here in Connecticut... Working to reduce diesel emissions could significantly lessen asthma, which is a significant problem for school children... According to the Clean Air Task Force, Fairfield County is out of compliance with federal Clean Air Act standards for fine particulate matter... Providing school buses with filters to reduce exhaust would help. Some filters would reduce pollution by about 90 percent...

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Dangerous Drivers * USA - Ignoring buses

Macomb,Ill,USA - The Macomb Journal, by Tobyn Leigh -May 21, 2007: -- As the weather warms and school draws to a close, minds tend to wander and are not always where they should be... Sometimes children don't watch where they are going, and drivers ignore the flashing amber lights and lowered red stop sign of a stopped school bus... Bus drivers are on the lookout for offenders and will report the license plate number of violators. Unger worries that the stiffness of the penalty for a first conviction, a suspended license, serves to discourage courts from bringing down the strong arm of the law upon offenders... (Photo by PAM MCDOWELL/Journal Photo - State law requires motorists to stop for school buses with lights flashing and stop arms engaged)

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Re-regulation * UK - Transport giants mull legal move over bus proposals

They are considering a potential legal challenge against proposals set to be outlined in the draft Road Transport Bill due at the end of this month...

Glasgow,Scotland,UK -The Herald, by PAUL ROGERSON -May 21 2007: -- Scottish transport giants FirstGroup and Stagecoach are understood to have consulted lawyers over potential government moves to re-regulate metropolitan bus services south of the border... In a bid to persuade councils to take the electorally difficult step of introducing congestion charging, it is believed the bill will offer them the incentive of taking control of bus operations under beefed-up "quality contracts". Routes would be franchised out under these contracts to a single operator...

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BUSMAKERS' "GREEN" NEWS

* USA - Lithium-ion batteries within DaimlerChrysler’s Orion bus division

Watertown,Mass,USA -Green Energy News (Baltimore,MD,USA) -19 May 2007: -- Lithium-ion batteries won’t be confined in the future to hybrid passenger cars and light trucks. Within DaimlerChrysler’s Orion bus division the next generation hybrid transit bus will be available with lithium batteries from A123 Systems... A123 Systems is designing and building turnkey energy storage systems (ESS) specifically for BAE Systems, which builds the hybrid drive system used in the Orion VII hybrid transit bus. BAE Systems HybriDrive propulsion system is in use in three of the four largest hybrid bus fleets on the planet...
* USA - Hybrid Buses Breaking Down
New York,NY,USA -The New York Post, by JEREMY OLSHAN -May 21, 2007: -- Hybrid buses may be good for the environment, but they're also good for the mechanics... NYC Transit's fleet of more than 600 Orion VII buses have repeatedly suffered power-generator breakdowns... Manufacturer Orion Bus Industries hasn't fixed the problem, according to MTA documents, so the agency plans spend $200,000 on a consultant to find a solution...
* Ireland - New era nears for travellers
Belfast,UK -The Belfast Telegraph, by Ciaran Rogan Head of marketing, Translink -May 21, 2007: -- Translink have committed to build a new state-of-the-art bus centre at Lisburn which will offer passengers a range of modern facilities... The project has commenced and is due to be completed in March, 2008... Lisburn also has an excellent city service offering hourly services to its residents. Translink are committed to the ongoing improvement of all our bus and rail services...

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