User-agent: Mediapartners-Google* Disallow: Buses World News: August 2007
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Buses World News

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

30.8.07

CONTROLS * Malaysia - JPJ to conduct checks at bus terminals

"The buses would not be allowed to leave the terminals if they fail to meet safety standards"

Taiping,Malaysia -The Malaysia Star, by CHAN LI LEEN -26 Aug 2007: -- Officers from the Road Transport Department (JPJ) will be stationed at all express bus terminals permanently to check vehicles and drivers before departures... JPJ enforcement director Salim Parlan said, "the buses would not be allowed to leave the terminals if they fail to meet safety standards"...

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Study * Pakistan - Moving people to suburbs doesn’t help Karachi traffic

The alarming law and order situation, absence of NMT environment and bad transportation system are some of the reasons for the declining trip per person...

Karachi,Pakistan -The Daily Times -August 25, 2007: -- ... Public transport’s share is decreasing but still maintains over 50% of the mode share, indicating that in the absence of NMT modes the low income group has no other option...This road-based public transport system is mostly in the hands of a private sector with very little public sector involvement. Buses/minibuses constitute only 2% of the total passenger vehicle fleet but serve more than half of the passenger demand. Nevertheless it receives no preferential treatment in terms of dedicated lanes or traffic management. The existing public transport system is not capable of meeting the increasing travel demand primarily because of infrequency of buses, limited hours of service and shortage of routes and vehicles... The number of vehicles and lines in operation are much lower than the actual demand. Out of 403 lines only 219 are functionally operating... Moreover, the deficiency in vehicle fleet is due to the fact that a majority of Karachi’s urban public transport (69%) comprises low capacity (27/32 seater) mini buses/coaches. Due to this fleet deficiency, the ratio of available seat capacity on public transport to population in Karachi is 1:40 as compared to 1:12 in Mumbai... (A case study of Beijing and Karachi’ by Intikhab Ahmed Qureshi, Lu Huapu and Yea Shi that was made available online Aug 7.)

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Driver Shortage * USA - Could delay school buses

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools has notified parents some school buses could be delayed when school starts next week while it tries to fill 90 driver vacancies and resolve “last minute issues with bus routes"

Davidson,NC,USA - The Davidson News, by David Boraks -26 Aug 2007: -- An announcement on the school system website says delays are most likely in the northern and southern ends of the county. They include some buses to and from Davidson Elementary, Cornelius Elementary and Bailey Middle schools... With so many vacancies, some drivers will be asked to make extra runs to cover unfilled routes. School officials asked parents to be patient... (Historic Photo: Bus 1072 ran on the streets of Charlotte until 1991.)

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BUSMAKERS' NEWS

* Sweden - Gov't Wants Volvo Buses' Hybrid Development

Stockholm,Sweden -barnardinefxxxgab.blogspot -August 25, 2007: -- Volvo has developed a parallel hybrid. This therefore implies that a smaller diesel engine and an electric engine will act in parallel or independently to drive the bus. This invention optimizes both diesel and electric power for the best possible performance and least possible environmental return... For instance, the diesel engine can be completely turned off at bus stops and traffic signals. The bus is started solely because of the help of the electric engine, which is the result in an emission-free and very silent operation. And until some distance from the bus stop, the diesel engine is not started again... Volvo Buses expects to be able to largely trim down the weight of the bus as compared with todays buses. That would be made possible because of the lightweight body. As an aftermath, this would also result in a further reduction in fuel consumption... (Photo: Volvo Group premieres hybrid technology for heavy vehicles)




* USA - Millennium Transit is back again, has a contract for 16 buses


Albuquerque,NM,USA - The Albuquerque Journal, by GOLD_12th -Aug 25, 2007: -- Despite major setbacks, including the loss in April of a $94 million contract with the state of New Jersey, officials at Roswell's Millennium Transit say the bus factory should restart production soon... The company has a contract to provide 16 buses to the city of Beaumont, Texas, and is currently evaluating its inventory and making plans to begin their construction, plant manager Ted Smith told this week... (Photo: RTS Express Buses from Millenium Transit)

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COMPLAINS * Australia - Buses drive past, crowded and late

Brisbane,Australia -NEWS.com.au, by Edmund Burke & Hannah Martin -August 26, 2007: -- Overstretched driver resources and city roadworks are set to compound an already disrupted Brisbane bus network as records show full buses are driving past hundreds of stops each month... Thousands of commuters were left standing in long lines during last week's big wet in the state's southeast as buses failed to match timetables and those that arrived at designated stops were already overcrowded... Some officials are expecting this to go down as the worst month yet for bus passengers being left behind... David Matters of the Rail, Tram and Bus Union said staff resources are overstretched and most bus drivers were being asked to work about eight hours' overtime per week... He said their job was being made more difficult by increased traffic problems and roadworks... (Picture - FRUSTRATING: Commuters wait in long bus queues in Brisbane's CBD)

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NEW BUSES * Quatar - Mowasalat to launch 360 new school buses

The Public Transport Company (Mowasalat) is all set to launch 360 new school buses with several special features in the beginning of the new academic year in September

Doha,Qatar,UAE -The Peninsula -August 26, 2007: -- The company had already signed a contract with the Ministry of Education in this regard. This is the third batch of school buses being introduced over the past two years, raising their total number to 1231, Ahmed Al Ansari, Mowasalat's marketing manager, told yesterday... The technology used in these buses is a combination of Mercedes and Man. They were assembled in China using European technology, he added... (Photo: The interior of the new Mowasalat school buses)

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Alternative * Australia - Brisbane buses trial animal fat fuel

The Brisbane City Council is trialling a new, cleaner fuel in its bus fleet

Brisbane,Australia -ABC net -Aug 24, 2007: -- Lord Mayor Campbell Newman says the new environmentally friendly B-20 fuel blend will be trialled on 25 buses at the Virginia depot... Cr Newman says it is made from vegetable oil and animal fats mixed with alcohol and could lower pollution levels and improve fuel efficiency... "We want to have a mix in our fleet. Some of our buses are powered by compressed natural gas which is a clean fuel in itself, but also then in the future biodiesel, ethanol and perhaps hydrogen [could be used]"...

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BUSES' PURCHASE PROSPECTS

* India - Govt to buy buses soon, says CM
New Delhi,India -Express News Service -August 24, 2007: -- A day after the High Court directed the government to increase the DTC bus fleet within three months, Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit today said the government has decided to hasten the process of procuring new buses... It was also decided at the meeting with Transport Department officials that the government would approach the court for increasing the time limit... Dikshit said 525 new buses would be added to the DTC fleet in first week of September... The Transport Department has decided to buy another 3,000 buses, for which tender document was being prepared... (Photo: India, overcrow train, as the buses, a picture of the past?)

* India - Punjab to purchase 300 buses soon
Jalandhar,India -The Hindu News -Aug 25, 2007: -- The Punjab government will soon purchase 300 new buses - 250 ordinary and 50 air-conditioned - to strengthen the state roadways' fleet, Transport Minister, Master Mohan Lal, said Friday... Asked whether the fares of air-conditioned buses would be equal to ordinary buses, as promised by the Chief Minister, the minister said a letter has already been written to the finance ministry to decide about the fares of the AC buses...

* India - KSRTC plans to introduce 1,000 buses
Thiruvananthapuram, Kerala,India -The Hindu -26 Aug 2007: -- The Kerala State Road Transport Corporation (KSRTC) has chalked out a scheme to introduce 1,000 buses every year, Chief Minister V.S. Achuthanandan has said... Flagging off the KSRTC’s new Superfast bus that was built in the corporation’s bus body building unit at a function held in the central station at Thampanoor on Friday, the Chief Minister said the KSRTC
has also plans to increase the number of schedules to 6,000...

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23.8.07

Woman Banned * USA - From City Buses Due to her Weight

At more than 400 pounds, Lulu Clay was kicked off the CATS Special Transportation Bus

Charlotte,NC,USA -wbtv.com -23 Aug 2007: -- ... Then, she says she was banned from riding all CATS buses because of her weight. CATS officials said her weight plus the weight of her automated wheelchair was too much for the lifts on their fleet of buses... She got a letter last week indicating that she could no longer ride any city-operated bus. WBTV has learned this is a fight that has been going on for several months and Lulu isn't going away...

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New Buses * USA - Expand Arlington's ART Fleet

Arlington County,BA,USA -Read Express, by Michael Grass -August 22, 2007: -- The new bus fleet deployed this week on Arlington Transit's No. 41 bus route, the system's busiest, linking Columbia Pike with the Ballston and Court House stations... The sight of the new bus was a surprise of sorts, since ART's pre-existing fleet looks all boxy and awkward, more like a prison-transport vehicle than public transit... The new, more appealing and energy-efficient buses are 35 feet long and 102 inches wide and have 30 seats inside. They also feature automated bus stop announcements for your listening convenience...

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BUSMAKERS' NEWS * UK - Scottish firm in bid to make greener buses

A Scottish company is planning to use hybrid technology to build greener buses, which produce fewer carbon emissions than any other currently in mainstream use

Scotland,UK -Environmental Transport Association (Weybridge,UK) -22 August 2007: -- ... The firm, Alexander Dennis (AD) has said that the hybrid technology it is developing could cut fuel consumption by nearly 40 per cent and would make a dramatic difference to emissions of carbon and pollutants when installed in single and double-decker buses... Researchers working with AD hope to eventually develop a bus which produces no emissions, by storing self-generated energy, which could in turn keep the bus running...

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Venezuelan oil * UK - London buses running on

London,UK -Financial Times/Courrier International (Paris,France) -23 Ago 2007: -- The mayor of London Ken Livingston has struck a deal with Venezuelan president Hugo Chavez that does not impress the daily... "Now London buses will run on his [Chavez's] cut-price oil under a deal worth up to $32m with the city's mayor. ... Mr. Livingstone, representing one of the world's richest cities, has lined up alongside Iran, Cuba and Belarus in the queue for handouts from Venezuela, a country with a per capita income of $6,000. Even by 'Red Ken's' quixotic standards, it is an unedifying spectacle. In return, Venezuela will receive a proselytizing mission from London officials to advise on traffic management and urban planning. ... The £16m gift horse from Venezuela will halve bus fares for up to a quarter of a million Londoners on benefits. That might well help his re-election in next year's mayoral elections"...

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* Usa - Noblesville requires bus drivers to check buses

Noblesville,IND,USA -The Indianapolis Star/The Noblesville Ledger, by Betsy Reason -August 22, 2007: -- Bus drivers for Noblesville Schools are required to walk through their bus and check all of the seats after every route, according to Superintendent Lynn Lehman... Mike Delpha, the district's transportation director, said Monday's incident in Carmel -- where police say a 5-year-old girl was left on a school bus for seven hours -- serves as another reminder to his 91 full-time and substitute bus drivers of how important it is to check the buses...

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Jurisprudence * India - No insurance liability for overloaded passengers

In India, overcrowded means of transport are the norm

New Delhi,India -ashisha.com -22 Aug 2007: -- You look at buses / trucks / jeeps / taxis, all of them seem to be over-crowded and full of passengers. In the case of an accident, the insurance company is inundated with cases filed by the passengers. So now there is a clarification about the limits to how much the insurance claims can be filed: "Insurance companies cannot be compelled to pay compensation to all passengers in road accidents involving overloaded vehicles of public transport as the liability is restricted only to authorised number of passengers, the Supreme Court has ruled. In other words, if a 42-seater bus overloaded with 90 passengers meets with an accident, the insurance company is liable to pay compensation only to the extent of the authorised 42 passengers"... (Picturer by rontravel: Indian double-decker buses - Hampi, India)

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Public Transport System * Malaysia - Is in a deplorable situation

I would like to focus some attention on the condition of public transport in lpoh

Petaling Jaya,Malaysia -kula.blogsome, by L.H.J. -22 Aug 2007: -- Ipoh’s public transport system has not shown much improvement, besides the addition of a few air-conditioned buses... Almost every bus is in a run-down and dirty state. There is no standard bus fare, leading to varying charges by bus conductors. Some bus conductors do not issue tickets even after the passenger has requested it several times... The bus service slows down immensely after 6pm and comes to a halt around 7pm... The lack of public transport is one of the main reasons why Ipoh is a noticeably quieter town when night falls... Public transport is an extremely important factor in a city’s development, and I urge the authorities to look into this matter and improve the quality of public transport in Ipoh, especially the bus service... (Photo by umdiewelt.de: Local bus in Ipoh - For Eddie G: Doit)

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SAFETY * Ireland - Minister shocked by children not wearing seat belts

Junior Minister for Education Sean Haughey today branded as shocking that three-quarters of post-primary pupils are not wearing seatbelts on school buses

Cork,Ireland -The Evening Echo -22 Aug 2007: -- Speaking as the new school year draws closer, he said the message must get through to children to “belt up safely”... He referred to a survey carried out by Bus Eireann earlier in the year which revealed the majority of pupils were not complying with the new law, introduced following the Navan school bus crash in 2005 which claimed the lives of five teenage girls.

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COMMENT * Malaysia - Strict enforcement can keep roads safe

They seem to say that their services should still continue though they have been blacklisted by the Road Transport Department and have yet to settle the numerous police summonses for traffic offences

Malaysia -The Malaysia Star, by V.K.CHIN -August 22, 2007: -- The reaction of bus operators is really surprising and can only be described as “bizarre” in the explanation as to why companies whose vehicles had received summonses should continue with their services... They are of the opinion that it is all right to keep their vehicles on the road because their drivers were the ones who committed the offences. Therefore, there is no reason for them to stop their operations... To them, it is not unusual for drivers with dozens of bookings for speeding and dangerous driving to continue in the job... Every time there is a fatal accident where many people are either killed or injured, the usual chorus of warnings, complaints, indignant or condemnation would appear in the media.
The tragedy is that no lessons would be learnt from Bukit Gantang unless all parties involved in ensuring road safety, namely, the transport ministry, JPJ, police, the Commercial Vehicles Licensing Board, Puspakom and non-governmental organisations come together to tackle this serious problem... It is futile pointing fingers as to who should be responsible for road deaths. In fact, all of them should share the responsibility and blame... What is the use of issuing tickets to offenders without any follow-up to punish those who ignore the law? When booking them, the officers have all the personal details of the bus drivers, including the company they work for... It is therefore not difficult to track down such offenders to execute the warrants of arrest since their workplace is known...

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SAFETY * Canada - Cameras on Buses Working

Video surveillance cameras on Guelph Transit buses appear to be working

Guelph,Ontario, Canada -The Guelph Tribune, by Paige Hilton -Aug 21, 2007: -- ... "Since the cameras were installed, we're not aware of anyone being assaulted or spat upon," said manager of transit services Randall French... All buses now have emergency alarms that are also linked to the video surveillance. The surveillance quality increases when the alarm is sounded, French said... Buses also now have tracking devices installed so transit workers can alert police to the bus's exact location when the alarm is sounded...

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* Pakistan - Loya Jirga says Pushto-speakers should leave transport business

Karachi,Pakistan -The Daily Times (Lahore,Pakistan) -21 Ago 2007: -- * Transporters are robbed on the Northern Bypass: Shahi Syed... * 18,000 transporter vehicles have come down to 11,000... * A 52-seat bus costs Rs 3.5 and Rs 11 in fare isn’t enough to make a profit... The Pakhtoon Action Committee or Loya Jirga proposed Tuesday three solutions to the traffic problems in Karachi, one of which urged Pashto-speakers to think about alternate businesses and abandon the transport business...

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21.8.07

Partnership * UK - New drive for better buses

The city's Quality Bus Partnership (QBP) is being relaunched as part of a joint commitment to develop links between City of York Council and the city's bus operators

York,UK -The York Press, by Gavin Aitchison -21 Aug 2007: -- A partnership aimed at improving and promoting bus services in York will be given a fresh lease of life today... The partnership is an independent body bringing together the council, local bus operators and the Confederation For Passenger Transport... The revitalised QBP will build upon the successes of the existing partnership. Key priorities of the new partnership include improvements to the performance and reliability of services, improved bus information and the development of improved facilities for coaches...

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BUSES' PRODUCTS & SERVICES

* Dubai - ACS wins contracts worth $21m to supply ticketing system to
Dubai -The Gulf News, by Shakir Husain -August 20, 2007: -- American firm Affiliated Computer Services (ACS) said on Monday it has won two contracts worth $21 million (Dh77 million) to supply electronic ticketing system to Dubai and expects its technology to make it easier to travel on the city's public buses...

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Commuter Land * New Zealand - She's one in a million

Margie Rice was a first-day commuter when Auckland's Northern Express bus service began in 2005, and yesterday she was feted as its millionth passenger

Auckland,New Zealand -The New Zealand Herald, by Mathew Dearnaley -August 21, 2007: -- ... The Mairangi Bay language teacher was festooned with gifts from North Shore Mayor George Wood and Auckland Regional Transport Authority chief executive Fergus Gammie on a mid-afternoon bus from Britomart to Constellation Drive, which was almost full despite beating the travel peak across the Harbour Bridge... All 50 passengers received a red rose, chocolates and a free ticket as they boarded the bus, but it was not until a brief stop en route that Mrs Rice was singled out as the millionth passenger since the service began in November, 2005... She received more free tickets and a bottle of French champagne to mark her out from the crowd... (Photo, by Kenny Rodger - Margie Rice has been a loyal passenger to the Northern Express service from its first day)

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Hydrogen Buses * Canada - British Columbia Gets 20 New Ones

BC Transit has been awarded a contract to produce 20 hydrogen buses

Victoria,BC,CAN -Hydrogen Cars Now, by Hydro Kevin (California,USA) -21 Aug 2007: -- These hybrid electric fuel cell buses will help the province cut greenhouse gases by the target of 33-percent by the year 2020... The $46.4 million contract was presented to New Flyer Industries of Winnipeg. The hydrogen buses are expected to last for 20 years, have a top speed of 55 mph and a range of 300 miles. These same hydrogen buses are expected to be a large part of the hydrogen transportation system showcased during the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.. The buses will be part of the British Columbia Hydrogen Highway system that is being built from Victoria to Whistler that also includes Vancouver, Richmond, Surrey and Squamish... (New Flyer Hybrid Bus: DE40LFR with Low Profile Roof)

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GLOBAL WARM * Finland - Helsinki City Transport to install air conditioning in trams and buses

Helsinki,Uusimaa,Finland -The Helsingin Sanomat -21 Aug 2007: -- Helsinki City Transport (HKL) plans to start equipping its buses and trams with air conditioning from the beginning of next year. This summer both drivers and passengers of public transport have been plagued by the heat... The plan involves all buses serving local public transport within the capital city, as well as the articulated tram-cars acquired in the 1980s. The cost estimate for the trams is approximately EUR 1.2 million, and the refitting is estimated to take two years... (Photo: LAURA OJA/HS - Tram driver Noora Isoniemi consumes several litres of water during her working day)

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20.8.07

COMMENT * Malaysia's Long Haul Bus Rides

Was an accident waiting to happen

Singapore -Electric New Paper Singapore, by Chong Shin Yen -August 20, 2007: -- He claims he can be on the road 20 hours each day for 10 consecutive days... For drivers like him, rest is two to three hours' sleep on a vacant seat... Malaysia's worst express bus accident near Bukit Gantang on 13 Aug that killed 20 people has put the spotlight on their poor working conditions and long hours... One more died on Friday, a 3-year-old boy who had been pulled out of the bus with serious injuries... The driver was among those who died... (Pictures by Nanyang Siang Pau New Straits Times - Crushed: The ill-fated express bus in the Bukit Gantang accident had fallen into a 5m-deep ditch)

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* USA - Could buses run faster on paint?

Boston,MAS,USA -MBTA book club/ intransit/bostonnow.com -19 Aug 2007: -- Silver Line buses were supposed to whisk passengers between downtown and Dudley Square via dedicated lanes on Washington Street... Is anyone surprised that drivers break the rules by driving and parking in the lanes? New York’s had the same problem, and will import a European solution: painting the entire lane. It’s worked on drivers in London; Edinburgh; Rouen, France; Seoul, South Korea; and Melbourne, Australia. If it works on New Yorkers, it might work here... (Photo by David L. Ryan/ Globe Staff - Jason Demasi drove a Silver Line MBTA bus through an empty Ted Williams Tunnel. Only MBTA’s Silver Line and Massport’s Logan Express buses have access to the eastbound tunnel)

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Hot School Buses * USA - Concern School Board Members

There is a growing concern about how the scorching heat is affecting students and drivers on local school buses

Nashville,TN,USA -NewsChannel5.com -Aug 19, 2007: -- ... The school board is concerned about the issue. The schools want to keep their students and drivers safe, but finding a fix to the hot bus problem is not easy... "Very intense heat. I'm told the hottest we've seen here since 1952," said School Board member David Fox... That is a concern for Fox and the rest of the Metro School Board because the city's some 570 regular school buses don't have air conditioning...

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INSPECTIONS * USA - State Highway Patrol inspects school buses for safety

State Highway Patrol teams are checking Ohio's nearly 20,000 school buses to make sure children will be safely taken to school in the coming days

Cleveland,OH,USA -AP/WDTN -August 19, 2007: -- ... All school buses in must pass an annual inspection and periodic spot checks for leaks and brakes failure, as well as safety checks of the seats and windows inside the bus... Officials say the state's safety program and mandated classroom training for bus drivers is of the most stringent in the country...

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* India - BMTC to issue 30 crore shares through first-ever such IPO

19.825 crore shares to be offered to the public - Shares will have a face value of Rs. 10 to be issued at a premium yet to be decided

Bangalore,India -The Hindu, by Ravi Sharma -19 Aug 2007: -- The public could soon become shareholders in the Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC)... The corporation, which runs 4,606 buses in Bangalore, will shortly go in for an initial public offering (IPO), becoming the country’s first State Government transport undertaking to come out with a public issue...

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EVACUATION BUSES * USA - Sandbags, buses readied as Texas officials prepare for Hurricane Dean

With lessons from Rita
Houston,TX,USA -AP/Houston Chronicle, by MONICA RHOR -19 Aug 2007: -- Even with powerful Hurricane Dean days away and its path uncertain, officials in sodden south Texas left little to chance Sunday, readying planes, gasoline and hundreds of buses to get residents out in a hurry...


* Jamaica - ODPEM withdraws evacuation buses

Jamaica -Radio jamaica -19 August 2007: -- Assistant Deputy Director-General of the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM), Cecil Bailey says the agency has withdrawn buses which were being provided to evacuate persons from flood prone communities...

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19.8.07

Robot Buses * USA

* Robot Buses Pull In to San Diego's Fastest Lane

San Diego,CAL,USA -wired, by Bob Parks -(Originally published) 24 July 2007: -- It was the second hour that did it. When his 60-mile commute became a full fingers-drumming-on-the-dashboard 120 minutes, San Diego County CTO Samuel Johnson was finally convinced that something had to change. His idea: buses that practically drive themselves. Over the next three years, workers will carve a narrow lane down the shoulder of the increasingly congested Interstate 805, exclusively for buses and commercial trucks modded with lane-keeping sensors and adaptive cruise control. Neither technology is new, but most automakers tune adaptive cruise control to keep cars farther apart than normal, making traffic worse. In the robot lane, vehicles will be packed like train cars. They'll still have drivers — everyone has to leave the freeway sometime — but they'll be out of the main flow... "Fixing this problem is going to require some radical thinking," says Jake Peters, founder of transportation startup Swoop Technology, which is designing the system. "And, hey, it could be a way to make a trillion dollars"... (Illustration by Ames Bros. )


* San Diego working on, for mass transit
One reason highway traffic is so bad in some parts of the country, and the world for that matter, is because there aren't any good choices for mass-transit
San Diego,CAL,USA -AutoblogGreen, by Jeremy Korzeniewsk -18 Aug 2007: -- ... If consumers don't have any good reason to choose riding a bus over taking a car, history has shown that they're just not gonna do it... The fact that the automation of the buses in San Diego would allow more people to be crammed into a smaller lane would mean that congestion would go down, and the buses would not be interfering with other traffic. Think of the buses as a train, except the train is not bound to specific tracks. When the buses get to their desired exit, the driver takes control back from the computer brain and the rest of the stops would take place... So, using adaptive cruise control and lane sensors, San Diego hopes to reduce congestion and speed up the morning commute. Sounds like a good idea to us!...


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School Buses Heat * USA - Officials mull cooler buses

Gainesville,GA,USA -The Gainesville Times, by By JEFF GILL -19 Aug 2007: -- The West Georgia school system bought seven air-conditioned buses in 1995 and then another 21, its entire fleet, in 2000, said Skip Veljkov, the district's transportation director... He said the system made the move partially to "control discipline" but also to "provide comfort for children"... But the Gainesville and Hall County school systems don't have such a luxury in their nearly 250 buses combined, except for the relative handful of buses that serve children with special needs... (Photo by Robin Michener Nathan/The Times - Gainesville school bus driver Linda Crowe performs an inspection, which includes checking the coolant under the hood and the tire pressure before going to New Holland and Centennial Elementary schools)

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NEW BUSES FLEET

* USA - Lynchburg adds fuel-efficient buses
Lynchburg,VA,USA -Richmond Times Dispatch (Richmond,VA,USA) -Aug 19, 2007: -- Greater Lynchburg Transit Co. has acquired two small, fuel-efficient buses and expects to receive eight full-size, hybrid-diesel buses in January... The two 19-seat minibuses cost about $80,000 each, said Michael Carroll, the transit system's general manager...

* USA - Buses that bend are costly
Raleigh,NC,USA -The News & Observer - Aug 18, 2007: -- The town of Chapel Hill had planned to spend about $2.5 million on four 60-foot "articulated" buses, which bend in the middle and carry twice as many passengers as a regular bus -- almost like two buses in one... But the money turned out to be only enough for three of the giant vehicles, still three more than any other Triangle community... This is the first bus of its type operated in the Triangle, according to a town news release...

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BUS MARKET * India - Auto makers hitch ultra luxury ride

The luxury bus market is catching the fancy of domestic auto majors

Mumbai,India -The Business Standard, by Swaraj Baggonkar -August 19, 2007: -- With the sales of luxury buses growing up by over 40 per cent every month, leading companies such as Ashok Leyland, Tatas, Firodias, Eicher Motors, Daimler, MAN-Force, Tatra Vectra and Asia Motor Works are jumping on to the bus bandwagon... Improved highways, which can support these large luxury buses, and the tourism boom impelling tour operators to expand their bus fleet sizes to meet the new demand, are the key reasons for attracting players. Also many state transport corporations are replacing their old buses with some luxury coaches, especially in large cities. As a result, the 15,000-20,000 units a year luxury bus market is attracting more players...

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Private Buses * India - Good response to new Delhi bus plan

Chinese company in the race to run buses

New Delhi,India -The Hindu, by Gaurav Vivek Bhatnagar -19 Aug 2007: -- With over 60 cooperatives and companies – including a foreign player -- coming forward to apply for running of private buses here... In response to a notice inviting Expression of Interest issued by the Delhi Government’s Transport Department, the stage has been set for gradual phasing out of Blueline buses that have spelt death on the Capital’s roads... Number of DTC buses likely to go up to 5,000 by next year... (Picture by BBC News - Ol images?)

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Cars Ban * China - 1.3M vehicles cause Beijing Olympics

Sure, Beijing Olympics is a famous sporting event in Asia. But would you believe the preparation for that grand event has caused the banning of 1.3 million cars!

Beijing,China -AFP/Talk About Cars!, by Sarah McBride (Springfield, Mass,USA) -August 17, 2007: -- The ban affects state-owned vehicles as well as the city’s 2.4 million private-owned cars, which are allowed to run on alternate days based on odd and even license plate numbers... The traffic measure is aimed at slashing air pollution in the territory... The daily commute got tougher on Friday for Lu Xiandan and millions of other stressed out Beijingers as they coped with a ban on 1.3 million cars in a dry-run for next year’s Olympics...

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Award - India * Volvo City Bus B7RLE was awarded with the Commercial Vehicle Technology of the year 2006

By Car India & Bike India Magazine together with NDTV

Mumbai,India -nokiaccbytu -19 Aug 2007: -- ... The jury commented while giving the award, Volvo city bus deserves a special recognition for changing the overall outlook of the commuters towards city travel. Volvo has paved the way for a modern city bus system in India... Since its introduction in Bangalore City last January 2006 many passengers have chosen to ride the Volvo City Buses instead of using their personal vehicles. This event in turn reduces city traffic and lowers down harmful C02 emissions... (Photo by mystinenportaali)

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18.8.07

NEW FLEET * USA - Bus ride just got more comfy

Jacksonville,FL,USA -The Jacksonville Times-Union, by David Bauerlein -17 Aug 2007: -- The Jacksonville Transportation Authority is pumping new blood into its bus fleet. Passengers of the 2007 models will ride in greater comfort. Mechanical breakdowns, which become more frequent in summer heat, are less likely on the new buses. The JTA is adding 35 new buses at a cost of about $11.55 million. JTA will add a dozen more new buses this year... (Photo: OUT WITH THE OLD (left) ...JTA averages two bus breakdowns a day. Older buses like this 1992 model - with almost 767,000 miles on it -are more prone to mechanical failure.... IN WITH THE NEW (right)The metallic paint on the outside sets it apart from older JTA buses. Inside, the new buses also provide some upgraded creature comforts)

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Black Box * Malaysia - Will keep driver and bus in check

The VDO Fleet Manager 200 Plus: "Basically, accidents occur due to either human or mechanical errors and this system monitors both"...

Ayam bag, Malaysia -The Sensintrovert -17 Aug 2007: -- A little black box may help reduce the number of accidents involving express buses or other commercial vehicles. The device, called the VDO Fleet Manager 200 Plus, is manufactured by Siemens and distributed locally by Telematics Mukaya Sdn Bhd... If a driver brakes or accelerates suddenly, speeds, over-revs or sways in and out of his lane, a loud buzzer in the vehicle cabin will go off to warn him and the control centre will also be alerted... The supervisor at the control centre can take the necessary action which includes slowing down the vehicle or even stopping it... Telematics Mukaya Sdn Bhd business development vice-president R. Rejenikanthen said that should an accident occur, the black box, which is the size of a video cassette, would provide a second-by-second analysis of the crash...

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STORY * USA - So this is the tale of two Buses

Both with the same paint, same number of wheels. But oh, so different. One is EVIL.

Chicago,Ill,USA -Life in the city -17 Aug 2007: -- ... So alike, only one number apart. The 65 and 66... The 65 is a kind and gentle bus, giving quick and fun rides where you need to go... The 66 is mean, a cruel creature that stops every ten feet and is packed with angry, nasty people who are mad about stopping every ten feet. The 66 should add another 6 to its name as a warning to all not to get on. I think it must be a special punishment to have to drive the 66, a sort of detention for bus drivers... Anyway the point is - don’t get on the 66 bus, ever, no matter how tempting it is. Take the 65, they give out free lollipops and sing songs which makes it a much more pleasant experience...

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BUSES' PURCHASES

* UK - City to get fleet of 'super buses'
Birmingham,UK -The Birmingham Mail, by Nick McCarthy -Aug 17, 2007: -- New "super buses" are set to be introduced on six major routes across Birmingham, in a bid to encourage more people to use public transport... The plush new fleet will run more frequently than current services, improving the journeys of thousands of passengers... The buses will feature air conditioning and collect passengers from refurbished bus stops with CCTV security cameras, electronic information boards and text message updates on services...


* Zimbabwe - Government Buys 200 Buses From China

Government has ordered over 200 buses and 100 engines from China to refurbish Zupco's old * Zimbabwe - Government Buys 200 Buses From Chinafleet to service rural areas as it gears for a glitzy 2008 parliamentary and presidential election campaign

Harare,Zimbabwe -The Zimbabwe Independent, by Constantine Chimakure -17 August 2007: -- ... Impeccable sources in both government and Zupco told that the Reserve Bank would finance the purchase of the equipment... The sources said Zupco would use the engines to refurbish its grounded AVM and DAF buses, which will service rural areas...

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TRANSPORT INTELLIGENCE * USA - RBA has money, now needs buses

The Regional Bus Authority approved a contract Wednesday that will provide it with $6.5 million in operating and capital funds in the next two years, as well as leverage millions of dollars in federal funds.

Munster,IN,USA -NWI Times, by Keith Benman -August 16, 2007: -- ... The bus board's vote in favor of the contract with the Northwest Indiana Regional Development Authority was the last step needed to secure the money. The RDA unanimously voted in favor of the plan two months ago... Considering it takes 18 months just to order and take delivery of a new bus, the RBA has its work cut out for it, RBA President Dennis Rittenmeyer said. Leasing buses may shorten that time... Several board members said the two-year time frame of the grant should not keep the RBA from thinking long-term... (Photo by wikipedia - Ashwood Ln. in White Oak Estates in Munster, Indiana)

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Passengers' Complains * UK - On the Buses

However as every Londoner knows, the problem with travelling bus in London today, is that you are likely to suffer serious injuries as you are thrown around the bus interior

London,UK -The Polytechnic, by Jon Goodbun -16 Aug 2007: -- ... A number of recent reports have documented the rise in passenger complaints, and have typically described these as complaints about the lack of driving skills... However, it seems to me that whist some of the drivers may not care about the experience of their passengers, it is a design failure which is at issue here. Quite simply, from observation it is clear that the main problems are occurring in new buses which seem to be far to powerful for the job required. My driver was able to accelerate strongly from a stopping position, and would then need to brake hard to stop. In both cases we were thrown around. Yet there is no need for buses in London to move like this. It is well documented that the average speed of traffic in London is 10 mph, so I would say there is no need for buses to have engines that go faster than say 30mph. Equally, there is no need for these vehicles to be able to accelerate quickly... (Picture: Routemaster -front- buses did not have the excessive power problems suffered by more recent rear engine vehicles -rear)

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"GREEN" NEWS * USA

* Centro Buses to Run on Biodiesel
Syracuse, NY,USA - WTVH -15 Aug 2007: -- Fifty-five of Centro's buses are now converted to run on biodiesel fuel. It's part of the agency's commitment to becoming more environmentally friendly... Biodiesel is a little more expensive and has to be trucked in from out of town, but Centro's Executive Director says it's worth it. He calls it the next logical step toward a greener Central New York...

* New law prompts districts to change school buses
A new law that prohibits school buses from idling while parked on school grounds is prompting some school districts to modify their buses
Shelburne,Vt,USA -The Boston Globe (Boston,Mass) -August 16, 2007: -- ... The Chittenden South Supervisory Union recently outfitted 48 buses with a new electronic system that allows the buses' red loading lights to flash without running down the battery when the engine is shut off... The changes cost about $400 per bus, said Chittenden South District Transportation Supervisor, Ken Martin... (Photo by images.businessweek.com - Orchard House: Orchard Road, Shelburne, Vt. )

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STRIKES * Ireland - Unofficial strike halts Tralee buses

Tralee,County Kerry,Ireland -RTE.ie - 16 August 2007: -- Bus Éireann says it expects services from Tralee to resume shortly after an unoffical work stoppage... A spokeswoman for the company says that a number of drivers from the National Bus and Rail Union took part in the strike...

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School Buses' Heat * USA - Causing Discomfort and a Virtual Sauna

"It's hot and I sweat a lot.” said Dothan High School student, Ananca Greer.
Dothan,AL,USA -WTVY, by Alex Zequeira -Aug 16, 2007: -- While extreme temperatures continue to cause discomfort those who go outside, it is also doing the same people who ride in vehicles without air conditioning; especially school bus drivers and the students that ride with them... For many of these students, the ride home is not a comfortable one... A standard school bus is not outfitted with air conditioning, making the inside of a school bus a virtual sauna...
* No AC on School Buses Makes for Hot School Days
Chattanooga,TN,USA -WDEF News 12, by Bethany Mowry -August 16, 2007: -- Air conditioning provides relief for folks trying to stay cool, but for many students riding school buses, 'that' isn't an option... It's the end of the day for these school kids and the beginning of their hot commute home... The concerns parent Marjorie Wooten, add, "It's a hot box, that's what a school bus is at this type of temperature, it's a hot box"...

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17.8.07

* China - Dramatic Anti-Air Pollution Plan

Restrictions On Private Cars Are Tested, In Preparation For Olympics

Beijing,China -Xinhua News Agency/AP/KDBC El Paso -17 Aug 2007: -- City officials yanked hundreds of thousands of private cars off Beijing's streets Friday to test whether a partial ban could clear health-threatening smog and ease gridlock during next year's Olympic Games... An estimated 400,000 private cars were affected by the ban on the first day of the four-day trial... The city is using an odd-even license plate number system, so only vehicles with license plates ending in odd numbers were allowed on the roads Friday... Violators were to be fined $13 and ordered to return home, a Beijing Traffic Police spokesman, who would only give his surname, Yan, said Thursday...

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Safety * Malaysia - CEOs of bus firms to be accountable for

Chief executive officers of bus companies will be held accountable for safety standards

Putrajaya,Malaysia -The Malaysia Star, by DEVID RAJAH -August 15, 2007: -- Chief executive officers of bus companies will be held accountable for safety standards, hiring and training of drivers and fleet management, under measures approved by the Cabinet, said Transport Minister, Datuk Seri Chan Kong Choy... He said this was to prevent bus companies from hiring bad drivers or using faulty buses... The measures are: .... Road Safety Department director-general Datuk Suret Singh, who was also present, said, "The time has come for CEOs to be taken to court. Safety should the first and last priority,” he said... (Picture by english.aljazeera.net - 08/13/2007 - Many killed in Malaysia bus crash)

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DANGEROUS DRIVERS * Australia - Bus drivers drag-racing

'Impossible' for buses to drag race - drivers said

Sydney,Australia -NEWS.com.au -August 17, 2007: -- It is physically impossible for buses to engage in drag racing at a western Sydney bus interchange, bus drivers say, and claim the racing allegations are payback for a workplace spat... The drivers admitted, however, that there may be "one or two cowboys'' driving above the speed limit, and while not condoning speeding, they said it was due to unrealistic timetables... Bus drivers have been caught on camera racing, running red lights, speeding and crashing, putting passengers and other road users at risk... The "hoonish'' behaviour reportedly involved drivers from Hillsbus, Westbus and Busways... (Photo: SYDNEY bus drivers have been caught on camera drag racing through a tunnel and photographing their feats to see who can reach the highest speed)

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16.8.07

High-tech buses * USA - Mass Transit moves in a surprising direction

MARTA is building a next-generation transportation system - And get this, the cutting-edge ride will be on a bus

Atlanta,GA, USA -The Atlanta Journal Constitution, by PAUL DONSKY -15 August 2007: -- But these are no ordinary buses. They'll be able to control traffic lights, keeping them green longer. And they'll be able to bypass long lines of cars stopped at red lights via special bus-only lanes... The service, linking the Stone Mountain area and MARTA's Kensington rail station, will feature a limited number of stops and sleek new buses with rail-car-like touches, such as wider aisles and lower floors to enable riders to board without walking up steps... The buses won't have their own dedicated lanes and will have to battle rush-hour traffic like everybody else... But MARTA officials say the innovations should help the buses move along at a faster clip. The transit system hopes that persuades commuters who wouldn't dream of riding a conventional bus to try the new service... (Photo: MARTA: Some streets in east DeKalb will sport hot new rides for bus passengers when these vehicles begin their routes. If the rapid-transit idea is a success, MARTA may try it in other areas)

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Survey * Australia - A free ride is just the ticket

Two-thirds of Australians want free travel on buses, trains and ferries, funded from Federal Government surpluses, a nationwide survey says

Sydney,New South Wales,Australia -The Sydney Morning Herald, by Linton Besser & Sunanda Creagh -August 16, 2007: -- ... In a Galaxy poll commissioned by the Greens, 66 per cent of taxpayers said they were prepared to shoulder the tax burden to participate in a trial period of free public transport - though the shortfall in fare revenue from ferries, trains and buses in Sydney alone would be at least $1.07 billion... Modelled on similar experiments overseas, the trial would entice large numbers of motorists over to public transport and significantly ease the congestion choking each capital city, the Greens say... Only 26 per cent were opposed to running such a trial...

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