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

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

21.12.07

BUSMAKERS * China - Golden Dragon buses exported to Middle East and North Africa

Shanghai,China -Xinhua/Gasgoo.com -December 20, 2007: -- China's large bus maker Xiamen Golden Dragon Bus Co exported a batch of luxury tourism buses to North African country of Algeria last week... Prior to the exports to Algeria, Xiamen Golden Dragon exported 132 buses to Saudi Arabia in Middle East. In total, the company has exported 900 buses to Saudi Arabia in a four-year timeframe... Xiamen Golden Dragon Bus Co., Ltd. is a joint venture company established in 1992 in developing, manufacturing and selling large-and-medium-sized luxury buses and light vans with trade mark of "Golden Dragon"...(Photo: Xiamen's Golden Dragon bus model XML6118)

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SECURITY * USA - MTA plan aims to ensure safety on buses

City police would get word of 911 calls at the same time as MTA police

Baltimore,MAR,USA -The Baltimore Sun, by Michael Dresser -December 20, 2007: -- Bus operators are being encouraged to call police and stop the vehicle at the first sign of disruptive behavior as part of a plan to curb violence on public transit, the Maryland Transit Administration announced today... Responding to a series of assaults recently on its buses in Baltimore, the MTA also said it would step up the presence of its own police force and forge a closer working relationship with the Baltimore Police Department and the city school system... Among other steps, the MTA plans to speed notification of city officers when an incident occurs on a bus or other transit facilities in the city. Under this change, city police would receive word of 911 calls involving MTA facilities at the same time as MTA police...

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COMPLAINS * Japan - METRO bus drivers draw passengers' fury

METRO's year-end report finds that more people are unhappy with the service they get from the public transit system



Houston,TX,USA -KHOU/11 News, by Lee McGuire -December 21, 2007: -- ... As the workday ends, the adventure begins for Veronica Young. She is not a fan of the bus system, but a passenger anyway... “They run stupid. I hate the way they run,” said Young. "You'd rather ride a car than take a bus"... This year there are more people like her than ever before... According to METRO's year-end report, customers are losing patience with Houston’s public transportation system... Complaints about buses being late are up 39-percent. Complaints about bus driver behavior are up nearly 43-percent... (SEE VIDEO: METRO's year-end report finds that more people are unhappy with the service they get from the public transit system)

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PUBLIC TRANSPORT SYSTEM * Nigeria

* El-Rufai Buses - a Nightmare

Nigeria -AllAfrica.com (Washington,DC,USA) -20 December 2007: -- The Nation Wide Transport Scheme, popularly known as "el-Rufai bus," is becoming a nightmare to the community instead of the assistance for which it was bought. The service modus operandi of the bus is now a thing of concern to the commuters... First and foremost, the bus employees seem to always be "aggressive" or "irritated" if I may use these words. A simple task of allowing passengers to board the vehicle is an issue. I believe that a vehicle has its limits, that is, the maximum number of seats; but in this particular bus, passengers are "jam-packed" beyond the maximum that the bus can take. When the seats are occupied, passengers are made to stand in the bus and in some instances, the number of passengers that stand is usually very alarming. I say alarming because the way people are stacked could be hazardous to the health of the passengers who might be in the bus for about an hour or so... Another issue is that of the employee's attitude to work. The way they conductors talk to passengers is not encouraging at all. The other day, I happened to board one of the buses, when the conductor was pushing the passengers into the bus. In an effort to create more standing space for more passengers, the conductor stepped on an elderly man's shoes. Upon complaining, a fight ensued between the conductor and another passenger. The result was a battered face that I'm sure will end up in stitches, even though the case was reported to the police, who knows what will come out of the police case? The conductor was actually bragging that he will show the passenger, may be because he is an employee with the company; he wants to intimidate the passenger... (Photo from www.motherlandnigeria.com)

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20.12.07

Seat pre-sale * Canada - To Toronto-Montreal buses

Coach Canada says it is offering some $1 tickets for travel between Toronto and Montreal...


Toronto,ONT,CAN -The Canadian Press -19 Dec 2007: -- A total of 10,000 seats will be available at that price on travel dates between Jan. 16 and March 11, the bus company said in a news release... The number of $1 seats per departure varies depending on the day of the week. The best chance of getting seats at that price is for midweek travel - Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday, a spokesperson said... Bookings must be made online at www.coachCanada.com, with a 14-day advance purchase required... The bus line offers several departures each day between the two cities... (Video from YouTube, by newflyer3000 -Oct 11, 2006: A 2 minutes 37 seconds ride on one of the "Ex-Montrealers" of the Toronto Transit Commission on rt.96 Wilson. These GM New Look T6H-5307N were acquired in late 1998 from STCUM of Montreal, QC)

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Imagine This * USA - Riding Buses & Subways For Free

One Man's Plan Would Raise $4 Billion For Mass Transit

New York,NY,USA -WCBS/TV New York/CBS, by Marcia Kramer -20 Dec 2007: -- What if people could ride for free on buses and subways in New York City? Longtime transit lawyer Theodore Kheel has just such a plan, but if you use any kind of a motor vehicle you might not like it one bit... To some it seems like Mayor Michael Bloomberg's congestion pricing plan on steroids... At 93, Kheel is no lightweight. He's a labor lawyer and a transit expert. He has advised mayors and governors for decades. He says his new plan would be a lifesaver for every New Yorker who rides mass transit... While Kheel's plan would make subways and buses free it would be the motorists who would pay and pay big time. Kheel's plan would raise an amazing $4 billion a year for mass transit... (SEE VIDEO) - (Photo by CBS: A longtime traffic advisor has a plan that would allow for free city bus and subway service and raise $4 billion a year for mass transit, but in the process would alienate anyone with a car)

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SOLAR SYSTEM * USA - Metro Buses Going 'Green'

Solar Panel System To Save Metro $200,00 Per Year

Los Angeles,CA,USA -CBS 2 -Dec 19, 2007: -- Metro officials Wednesday showed off their new 498-kilowatt solar power system at its Carson bus division's maintenance facility. With 1,632 solar panels, the system is claimed to be the largest solar power installation in a single transit site in the United States... The Metro Transit Agency expects to save $200,000 per year in enrgy costs... The $4.2 million system was paid for in part with $1.2 million in incentives from the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power and Southern California Gas Company's Self-Generation Program... (Photo: Metro officials expect to save $200,000 in power costs with the new solar plant)

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Criticize Decision * USA - To Leave Kids On School Buses During Storm

Waterbury,Conn,USA -NBC30.com (Hartford,CT) -December 19, 2007: -- Parents met with Waterbury school leaders on Wednesday night about the city's decision to leave students on school buses during a snowstorm earlier this month... The Dec. 7 storm stranded hundreds of students on buses. The city halted the fleet because conditions from the sudden snow squall were too treacherous, officials said... Parent Lakesha Banks said there was a breakdown in communication with parents. She didn't find her 3-year-old son until he came home at 7:45 p.m., she said... (Photo: The Dec. 7 snowstorm stranded hundreds of students on buses)

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New bus stop * UK - Put where no buses stop ! ! !

Northampton,England,UK -The Northampton Chronicle & Echo -20 Dec 2007: -- Red-faced highways officials will have to remove newly-painted markings for a bus stop when it emerged no bus has operated on the road for several years... The blunder came to light when eagle-eyed pedestrians noticed the new bus stop in Mill Lane, Kingsthorpe, an area that is currently not served by any bus... (Picture: The newly-painted bus stop in Mill Lane, Kingsthorpe)

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Regional Transport * Australia - Qld Govt launches better solution in



Spring Hill,Queensland,Australia -The Queensland Business Review -20 December 2007: -- A "revolution" in Queensland's regional transport services - qconnect – has been launched in Cairns today by Transport Minister John Mickel... He says qconnect will deliver to regional cities the kind of benefits South East Queenslanders enjoy from TransLink...

Qconnect initiatives include:

* Standardised fares and zones on buses in regional towns and cities
* Transport services designed to connect with each other for easy transfers
* Modern, accessible transport infrastructure (including bus stops)
* Secure taxi ranks (including CCTV, lighting, pedestrian barriers, rank marshals and security guards)
* Wheelchair accessible taxis in regional towns...
(Video from YouTube, by pinoydeltafan1988 -November 27, 2007: "CitySights Bus - Brisbane, Queensland, Australia" Just a taste on what to expect when you're on a Brisbane CitySights bus)

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Transport * UK - Blueprint for ‘son of Routemaster’

The open-platform bus that allows passengers to hop on and off without waiting for the driver to release the doors could return to London’s streets, only this time it would be able to carry wheelchairs and prams


London,UK -The Times, by Ben Webster -December 19, 2007: -- ... The “son of Routemaster”, as the new design has been dubbed, strongly resembles the original, which is still one of the capital’s best-recognised symbols, despite being withdrawn in December 2005... Capoco, one of the world’s leading bus design companies, which helped to develop the majority of London’s 8,000 buses, has produced detailed plans for a Routemaster replacement that could enter service within three years... It would burn hydrogen rather than diesel, meaning the only emission would be water vapour... (Video from YouTube, by d90yqv -August 09, 2006: "Last day of the Routemaster bus in London". A short film showing the final day of the running of Routemaster buses on the 159 route, shot between Kennington and Trafalgar Square, via Westminster Bridge and Whitehall. A sad day)


* The fight-back against a "ghastly dehumanised moron" picks up pace
London,UK -Not a Sheep -19 December 2007: -- Ken Livingstone once said that "only some ghastly dehumanised moron would want to get rid of the Routemaster" bus, then he went ahead and did just that... Thanks to Guido Fawkes we can see that Boris Johnson "is backing the futuristic clean, low emission, hydrogen-powered wheelchair and pushchair friendly double decker bus"...

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BUSES' TROUBLES * Australia - Accelerator glitch stops buses

City Council buses have driven the public transport system to a new low – accelerating on their own while having two brakes on and no driver pumping the gas...

Brisbane,Australia -The Courier Mail, by Patrick Lion -December 19, 2007: -- The entire fleet of 40 Mercedes-Benz 500LE buses was indefinitely sidelined last night over mechanical problems involving sticky accelerators that council fears may cause a serious accident... The move comes after a series of incidents over the past two months involving different buses that were cleared after mysterious powerful engine surges... (Picture from wikipedia: Transperth Blue CAT, Mercedes-Benz OC500LE (Volgren) bus)

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Cold Weather * Canada - OC Transpo Will Review Buses in Snow

Ottawa's Director of Transit Services says OC Transpo will review any problems caused by Sunday's record snowfall


Ottawa,Ontario,Canada -580 CFRA Radio, by Josh Pringle -December 18, 2007: -- ... A number of OC Transpo articulated buses spun-out Monday morning in the 37 centimeters of snow on the roads... Councillor Christine Leadman suggests OC Transpo and the City of Ottawa make it a priority to find an alternative to using the articulated buses... But Alain Mercier tells, the city must make the articulated buses work in Ottawa... Mercier says the city will look at the storm in terms of the effects on the transit system... He adds OC Transpo learned lessons after problems with the articulated buses during a storm in December 2005... (Video from youtube, by heylon -March 01, 2007: "Riding on the TTC during the snow storm in Toronto, Ont.,Can.")

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BUSES PURCHASE * USA - JISD board OKs purchase of 7 buses

Jacksonville,TX,USA -The Jacksonville Daily Progress, by Raymond Billy -18 Dec 2007: -- Jacksonville students will soon enjoy safer traveling arrangements, school district officials say. At Monday’s meeting of the Jacksonville Independent School District Board of Trustees, board members unanimously approved spending $568,552 for seven new school buses...

* System will buy 12 air-conditioned buses
Albertville,AL,USA -The Sand Mountain Reporter, by David Clemons -December 20, 2007: -- Twelve new school buses — with air conditioning — will be added to the Albertville City Schools fleet... The city school board voted Tuesday to accept Southland International’s bid of $75,862.31 each for 12 buses...

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Hydrogen * Canada - Deal will see fuelling stations for new fleet of 'green' buses

BC,Canada -Gas world.com (Truro,England,UK) , by Guy Gregory -18 Dec 2007: -- The B.C. government is two more stops along the road to its so-called "Hydrogen Highway" with a deal that will see the construction of two fuelling stations for a fleet of hydrogen-powered buses... BC Transit has signed a $20m contract with Air Liquide Canada Inc. of Montreal to supply hydrogen for the new, non-polluting buses, which will begin to arrive next summer... Air Liquide, along with two other companies, will build fuelling stations in Whistler and at a BC Transit centre in Langford, near Victoria... The first fuel cell buses will be tested in Victoria next summer, and when all the vehicles are ready to go they'll be based in Whistler as part of public transportation for the 2010 Olympic Games... (Photo: BC Transit has signed a $20m contract with Air Liquide Canada Inc)

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Increases * USA - New York Transit Agency Approves Fare & Toll ones

Fares will rise an average of 4 percent next year on New York City's subways, buses and commuter trains and some bridges and tunnels after the board of the largest U.S. mass-transit agency approved the increase

N.Y.,USA -Bloomberg, by Chris Dolmetsch -Dec. 19, 2007: -- ... The increase, the first since 2005 for the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, will begin to take effect in March. The state agency says it needs the money to maintain service, ensure safety, handle more riders and close a budget shortfall projected to climb to as high as $2.1 billion by 2011... Transit agencies throughout U.S. are raising tolls and fares to fund improvements and expansions as ridership increases because of rising gas prices and crowded highways. An expanding economy is also boosting passenger loads in the New York City region... (Photographer: Chip East/Bloomberg News: Commuters fill a downtown Lexington Avenue subway train in New York, on Aug. 8, 2007)

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19.12.07

* Israel - Bus passenger wins suit for years of service disruptions



Jerusalem,Israel -The Jerusalem Post, by ETGAR LEFKOVITS -Dec 18, 2007: -- A court has awarded a bus passenger NIS 17,800 in damages in a precedent-setting lawsuit against the Egged bus company, court documents released Tuesday showed... The claimant, Yitzhak Carmeli of Kiryat Ye'arim, sued the national bus company in Jerusalem's small claims court following a decade of repeated service disruptions on the Egged bus line between his home and the capital, and after hundreds of complaints to the bus company and the Transportation Ministry went unheeded... Judge Avraham Tenenbaum ruled on Sunday that the passenger, who rode the line four times a day, was right in all his complaints and fined the bus company the maximum amount allowed by law in such a case, adding that the claimant actually deserved to be awarded an even higher compensation... The judge wrote in his ruling that buses that leave late or change their routes inevitably end up hurting all the passengers and not just the claimant, adding that he encouraged other passengers to "stand up for their rights" and file complaints with the bus company if they encounter such unacceptable and inexcusable service disruptions... "The time of the public is not to be forfeited, not even one minute of its time," Tenenbaum wrote in the ruling, adding that sometimes harsh punishment needed to be meted out... (Video from YouTube, by bines -November 13, 2006: "Israel Bus Ride", let's take a ride)

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* UK - Move to increase bus passenger numbers

Bus passengers numbers in Greater Manchester could be boosted by 12 per cent, says a new report


Blackburn,England,UK -This Is Lancashire -19 Dec 2007: -- ... The Confederation of Passenger Transport claims the answer lies in getting better co-ordination between local authorities and bus companies... Its report says it could result in an extra 29 million bus passenger journeys, reducing car journeys by 3.8 million a year... "Moving Forward - New Opportunities, New Passengers" says that more people will be encouraged to use the bus by increasing the frequency of services, decreasing the length of time they take, improving punctuality and reliability and improving passenger waiting areas... "Buses play a vital role in Greater Manchester, providing mobility for people that live, work and study in the area," said Simon Posner, Confederation of Passenger Transport chief executive. "We need to ensure that bus services are meeting the needs of all these groups of people"... (Video from YouTube, by jp4712 -December 07, 2007: "Welcome to the Manchester Museum of Transport" - This short film is a look behind the scenes at the volunteer-operated Manchester Museum of Transport, the premier bus museum in the UK. The film takes a look at the vehicles, and the other parts of the Museum's collection, to see how the Museum's volunteers work to protect this aspect of the nation's heritage. The film is (C) Greater Manchester Transport Society 2007)

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18.12.07

Safety Fault * Australia - Takes 40 buses off Brisbane roads


Brisbane,Australia -ABC News -18 Dec 2007: -- The Brisbane City Council has warned there may be public transport delays tomorrow after 40 buses were taken off the road because of safety concerns... Public transport chairwoman Victoria Newton says a number of drivers have complained of sudden unexpected speed acceleration and a decision was made to take the buses off the road until the fault is found... She says the Brisbane City Council has almost 900 buses in its fleet and there should be minimal disruption to public transport... (Video from YouTube, by djackmanson -February 08, 2007: "Bus ride from Brisbane City to Bowen Hills" -Beastie Boys a-capella tracks available from http://www.beastieboys.com/remixers.php)

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DOUBTS * USA - Is satellite radio on school bus age-appropriate?

Concerned Catholic driver raises questions

Littleton,CO,USA -The Denver Catholic Register, by John Gleason -17 Dec 2007: -- Daniel Kenny is concerned and wants people to know what he’s concerned about. Kenny is a member of St. Frances Cabrini Parish in Littleton. He is also is a bus driver for the Littleton School District. It’s what’s happing on the bus that he wants people to be aware of... Bus Radio offers kids a music alternative to what they hear on regular commercial radio... The Archdiocese of Denver does not operate an overall bus system for Catholic schools and none of the buses operated by individual Catholic schools subscribes to Bus Radio. Still, Superintendent for Catholic Schools Richard Thompson said this should be of concern to all educators...

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NEW BOOK * USA - "Clean Cities" Introduce Clean Buses

GA,USA -13wmaz, by Teresa Southern -17 Dec 2007: -- A new book and knowledge about air quality is what students walked away from at a school assembly at Alexander II in Macon today... Georgia Clean Cities Coalition presented students a copy of, "The Magic School Bus Gets Cleaned Up"... The Magic School Bus is a popular series of children's books and also a television series... Charise Stephens director of Georgia Clean Cities said the book was a perfect way to bring home the importance of air quality...

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Left On Buses * USA - Meeting Called After Students Suffered That

Officials To Address City's Emergency Plan

Waterbury,Conn,USA -WFSB (Hartford,CT) -December 17, 2007: -- A special Board of Education meeting was planned for Monday night in Waterbury after hundreds of city students were stranded on city buses earlier in the month... When snow began falling in the afternoon on Dec. 7, city buses were ordered to pull over and some children spent hours sitting on the bus... About 900 students sat on buses for five to seven hours... Officials said that the wait was so long for younger students who were unable to use the bathroom, that many were unable to hold it any longer... Parents, school board members and city leaders were expected to gather Monday night at the Maloney Magnet School on East Main Street... Some of the ideas expected to be discussed include parking the buses at whichever school is nearby so that students could use bathrooms. Improving the city's communication with parents was also expected to be discussed...

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Environmental initiative * USA - Seeks to filter emissions

The quest for cleaner, greener buses

Longview,TX,USA -The News Journal, by ADAM J. HOLLAND -December 18, 2007: -- A state agency is trying to get school transportation departments involved in cleaning up the air for the students on board school buses... A new initiative from the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality pays for voluntary school bus emissions control upgrades, which is why some busing bosses have said they want in on it... Launched in November, the Texas Clean School Bus program makes $7.5 million in reimbursement grants available to install pollution control devices on diesel school buses. The commission reports the devices reduce particulate matter emissions that can aggravate respiratory problems, asthma and allergies in passengers... (Photo by Jacob Croft Botter/News-Journal: Children walk to the buses at Pine Tree Primary School in Longview)


* Pollution inside and from Sumner school buses will be reduced, officials say
Nashville,TN,USA -The Tennessean -17 Dec 2007: -- The air inside dozens of Sumner County school buses and that pours from the vehicles' tailpipes will be cleaner with the help of a newly awarded $250,000 federal grant, state officials say... The EPA grant will help pay to retrofit 40-50 buses in Sumner County’s 220-bus fleet with new high-tech filters and ventilation systems... Particles in emissions that result from burning diesel fuel will be reduced by about 85 percent, and carbon monoxide pollution will be cut 60-80 percent, according to the Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation... EPA Regional Administrator Jimmy Palmer presented the grant award to Environment and Conservation Deputy Commissioner Paul Sloan at a Thursday ceremony in Oak Ridge...

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Hazardous * South Africa - Unroadworthy buses

Cape Town,South Africa -The Independent Online -December 18, 2007: -- Four buses carrying passengers to Zimbabwe were impounded and 27 drunk drivers were arrested in roadblocks, Johannesburg metro police said on Tuesday... Spokesperson Chief Superintendent Wayne Minnaar said metro police confiscated licence discs of four buses in Braamfontein on Monday... "The buses were hazardous and unroadworthy. They had defective steering wheels, oil leaks and cracked windscreens"... "The buses were impounded by the department of transport and the owners have to pay R1 500 each to have the buses released," said Minnaar...

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New buses * Canada - Just the first step

Major transit investments needed now to avert coming transportation crisis

Victoria,British Columbia,Canada -The Times Colonist -December 18, 2007: -- Count the addition of 16 new double-decker buses to B.C. Transit's fleet as a useful start on the much larger improvements needed to help the region escape a transportation mess... Transit says the new buses will be used to expand service and relieve overcrowding on peak runs. There have been increasing complaints about jammed buses unable to pick up waiting passengers. The new buses will add about seven per cent to system capacity... The $12.8-million purchase is welcome. But much more needs to be done to lure drivers out of their cars and on to the buses... Regional transit is trapped in a catch-22 situation familiar to many businesses. The service isn't adequate to attract new customers now commuting by car. Without more customers, it's difficult to justify -- or pay for -- expanded service... We could wait for mounting traffic congestion to reach a crisis point. But that would be foolish. The costs of congestion are already significant, as anyone who commutes from the West Shore can attest. The Capital Regional District projects a 50-per-cent growth in the number of daily trips within the region over the next 20 years, an indication of bigger problems ahead... The need to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions adds to the urgency... (Debra Brash, Times ColonistPublic transit has a big role in helping the capital region avoid a traffic crisis)

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Electric Bus * Spain - Service starts in Castelló

Castelló City Council in Spain has announced new services for a new type of bus line

Castello,Valencia,Spain-Autoblogreen, by Xavier Navarro -Dec 17th 2007: -- ... The city itself didn't have many opportunities for a tram system, so they decided to look somewhere else. And they came up with a French solution: a guided electric bus... The chosen model, called Cristalys, is a shorter version of the Civis currently working in Clermont-Ferrand in France. The system has been called "TVRCas" (Transporte de Vía Reservada de Castellón)... The model is accessible for wheelchairs because the motors are inside the wheels. The EV bus is guided by a cam placed on the top of the windshield which "reads" the painted lines on its assigned platform. There's a driver that can override the system in case of failure... According to the official site, the bus will run every 20 minutes linking the center of the city with the outskirts. It seats 8 passengers, but it can carry up to 35 (standing up). Maximum speed is 37 km/h (22 mph) but that should be plenty, since the average speed of urban buses is calculated at 15 km/h (9 mph). The bus' batteries need four hours to recharge...

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STRIKE * Australia - Darwin bus drivers plan to doit

Public bus drivers in Darwin say they intend to go on strike this Friday...

Darwin,Australia -ABC Darwin -December 17, 2007: -- Ian Gallagher from the Transport Workers Union (TWU) says members voted this morning to stop work for 24 hours because of an increase in violence on their buses... Drivers had planned to strike last Friday but the Industrial Relations Commission banned the action because the Union did not give a full three days notice as required by law... Mr Gallagher says drivers have waited to see action for two years and they have had enough... "Number one option has always been for the police," he said... "The Government came out with these transport safety officers and we want to make the best"...

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Free Bus Travel * UK - Campaign hope on kids’ ones

Transport leaders have unanimously backed a Merseyside call for free bus travel to and from school for pupils

Liverpool,UK -The Liverpool Echo, by Neil Hodgson -Dec 17, 2007: -- ... Bosses of the six Passenger Transport Authorities, who serve more than 13m people and have a combined annual budget of more than £1bn, signed up to the proposal... Cllr Mark Dowd, chairman of transport authority Merseytravel and of the Passenger Transport Authorities’ Special Interest Group, issued the call for the scheme in the ECHO ahead of a meeting of all the country’s PTAs in Glasgow... He proposes a system that would enable every child aged 16 and under in England to travel to and from school for nothing...

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NEW BUSES * UK - Bus passengers to receive £30m boost

Almost £30million is to be spent on 70 new buses for Norwich

Norwich,England,UK -The Norwich Evening News, by DAN GRIMMER -17 December 2007: -- Almost £30m is to be ploughed into improving bus services in Norwich, with almost 70 new buses set to be running on the city's roads within the next two years... Cash is set to be pumped into replacing First Eastern Counties ageing buses, with 20 brand new low double-decker buses replacing the flagship X1 service, which runs from Lowestoft to Peterborough via Norwich, Great Yarmouth and King's Lynn... A further 46 buses will be replaced by 2010... (Picture: Almost £30 million is to be spent on 70 new buses for Norwich)

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Snowstorm * USA - Also obstructs bus travel

Grumpy. Hungry. Mad. Bored.


Kansas City,Missouri,USA -The Kansas City Star, by LYNN FRANEY -Dec. 16, 2007: -- Dozens of people sat frustrated at Kansas City’s Greyhound Bus Terminal over the weekend, when scheduled buses to Denver were canceled over and over again, leaving people stranded... A bus arrived Sunday afternoon, giving them — finally — a way out of Kansas City... Randy Paulan had it even worse. He left Des Moines Friday night after being told the buses were still running to Colorado from Kansas City. But when he got to Kansas City, he learned the Denver-bound buses were canceled because of a snowstorm that dumped up to 13 inches of snow on some parts of central Kansas... That meant he had to sleep in a Greyhound parked in the parking lot for that purpose Friday night. Saturday night, he spent $55 on a motel room so he could grab some sleep and a shower... (Video from YouTube, by timygonzalez -December 24, 2006: -- "Denver Snow Storm 2006 " A day at work/home during the Colorado Snow Storm, December 2006.Un dia en mi trabajo/casa durante la tormenta de nieve en Colorado)

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‘Green’ Buses * UK - GreenPark welcomes

Reading,England,UK -The Reading Evening Post -17 Dec 2007: -- A new fleet of greener buses has begun ferrying workers to and from a South Reading business park... GreenPark, near Madejski Stadium, took delivery of the low-emission vehicles last month to replace its old fleet of double-deckers... Running on bio-diesel, the buses are some of the first in Britain to meet the Euro 4 engine emissions standards, meaning they produce less carbon dioxide and nitrogen oxide... The vehicles have been co-funded by GreenPark and Reading Borough Council and will be operated by Goldline Travel, a division of Reading Transport Limited... (Picture: The low-emission buses are launched at GreenPark)

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NEW BUSES * USA - UTA adds new ski buses to fleet

270,000 passengers last year


Salt Lake,UH,USA -The Salt Lake Tribune, by Nathan C. Gonzalez -17 Dec 2007: -- The Utah Transit Authority has helped get winter enthusiasts to and from nearby ski resorts for 31 years... Now UTA officials hope to make the short ride to Sundance, Solitude, Brighton, Snowbird and Alta resorts a little more comfortable with nine new UTA ski buses... The nine wider vehicles have room for 23, are more powerful, efficient than their predecessors... (Video from YouTube, by TaxidermyGuy -February 10, 2007: "Taxi tour of Salt Lake City and ski resort")

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TICKET PRICES * Australia - Sydney buses price hike

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Ticketless * India - Taking a bus ride

Bangalore,India -The Deccan Herald, by S Lalitha -17 Dec 2007: -- Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) is touching a record-high figure this financial year with regard to the number of ticketless travellers and the penalty amount collected... Blame it on increase in migrants to the City, lack of integrity on the part of public or even pilfering by conductors. Whatever the cause attributed, the fact is that the Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) is touching a record-high figure this financial year with regard to the number of ticketless travellers and the penalty amount collected... The fine collected for eight months of the present financial year has already touched Rs 52.13 lakh with 64,702 passengers booked for travelling without ticket. The penalty collected for ticketless travel for the whole of last year was only Rs 54.76 lakh... There has been no change in the number of trips checked for the corresponding period during previous years. “We expect the penalty figure to touch around Rs 65 lakh this financial year,” Divisional Traffic Officer Naveen told Metrolife...

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* USA - The old dog is getting a new look.

New buses, terminals for Greyhound - Company aims at youth, Latinos

Dallas,TX,USA -AP/The Detroit Free Press, by DAVID KOENIG -December 16, 2007: -- Greyhound Lines Inc. says it has spent $60 million over the past three years to freshen up its fleet of 1,250 buses and its largest terminals... Next, the company plans an advertising campaign designed to bring back former customers and attract new riders, especially Hispanics and those between 18 and 24... Greyhound officials say the makeover is part of an upgrade that began in 2004, when the company eliminated many small-town stops and routes to speed up service between larger cities... Patty Herbeck, Greyhound's director of marketing, said the company has refurbished more than 900 buses with new seats and paint jobs and spruced up 125 of its roughly 940 terminals by repainting, renovating restrooms and adding plasma-screen televisions in waiting areas...

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Report * UK - School buses 'cutting congestion'

Manchester,UK -BBC News -16 December 2007: -- Yellow school buses are cutting congestion and improving pupils' behaviour and attendance in Greater Manchester, according to a report... Greater Manchester Passenger Transport Authority (GMPTA) pays for the services to 22 schools, providing journeys for more than 2,000 pupils... A report to the authority said the buses had taken about 265,000 car miles off the road this school year... Anti-social behaviour on school buses has reduced by 75%... Schools have also praised the services, based on the American school buses, for improving attendance records, the authority said...

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Labour Shortages * Canada - This is becoming a global problem

ONT,Canada -Canadian Transportations & Logistics, by Stephen S. Poloz -December 14, 2007: -- We hear about labour shortages a lot there are not enough doctors, carpenters, plumbers, or skilled workers in general (except, perhaps, economists). This is becoming a global problem. Economists will tell you that labour shortages are not supposed to happen. When something is in short supply, excess demand pushes the price up. This reduces demand and increases supply. When it comes to skilled labour, the supply response is by necessity gradual, and may be very difficult, since it requires education and, perhaps re-education of transitioning workers... The solution? Grow the company without labour force growth. That means increasing automation in domestic plants, relying on only the most skilled workers, and expanding the business in other countries. A global production structure, facilitated by international trade, is the quickest route to higher productivity growth, as experience in the U.S. illustrates. Thats why global cross-border investment has been growing by some 30% per year in the last 3-4 years, and why a country like the Czech Republic can see inbound investment growing by 42% per year...

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BUSES SALES * USA & Canada - Daimler gets order for 1,052 hybrid buses

New York.NY,USA -The Detroit News (Detroit,Mich) by Eric Morath -December 17, 2007: -- New York and Ottawa have ordered 1,052 diesel-electric hybrid buses from Daimler AG, the German automaker announced today... The order, from two of North America's largest transportation systems, will nearly double the number of diesel-electric hybrid transit buses on the road... New York's Metropolitan Transportation Authority ordered 850 buses from Daimler Buses North America, and Ottawa' OC Transpo ordered 202 Orion VII buses...

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15.12.07

NEW BUSES * Canada

* Bus fleet getting 16 more double-deckers

Hamilton,Ontario,Canada -Canada.com/Times Colonist, by Bill Cleverley -December 15, 2007: -- The first of 16 new double-decker buses will be rolling down the streets of Greater Victoria by next summer in the largest expansion of the region's fleet in more than a decade... They'll be deployed on routes throughout the capital region, said Don Amos, chairman of the Victoria Regional Transit Commission... "Some will be in the Western Communities, some in the core and some in the peninsula," said Amos. "We're particularly finding that the Western Communities need as much service as possible"... Double-deckers can seat more than 80 passengers, about double the capacity of a single-level bus... (Photo by Debra Brash/Times Colonist: A double-decker bus makes its way through a blur of traffic along Douglas Street yesterday -- and rides high in transit expansion plans for Greater Victoria).


* A bit of a wait for six new buses



Hamilton,Ontario,Canada -The Hamilton Spectator, by John Burman -Dec 14, 2007: -- Six new articulated buses running on Upper James Street will someday connect Hamilton airport to downtown and GO Transit service... The province announced yesterday it will provide $5.5 million to pay for the diesel-electric hybrid buses... But Hamilton has to find the money to operate the route between downtown, the GO Centre, Mohawk College and the airport... (Video YouTube, by newflyer3000 -September 15, 2007: "Burlington Transit New Flyer Invero D40i " A very short film clip recorded onboard bus #7022-03. The bus was serving on rt.1 Plains / Fairview West at the time, this route connects Burlington and Hamilton in Ontario, Canada)

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Unsafe Buses * Australia - NSW 'asleep at the wheel' on



Australia -ABC Net -Dec 14, 2007: -- The New South Wales Opposition says the State Government has put commuters at risk by failing to react to a bus recall two years ago... Two-hundred gas-powered buses were taken off the road this week after after a fault was found in the steering of a bus last Thursday... The cancellation led to delays across the system, with commuters told to expect average delays of about 10 minutes... Opposition Leader Barry O'Farrell says the steering fault is nothing new... Mr O'Farrell says a warning of the problem was posted on the federal Transport Department's website in 2005... Services are not expected to return to normal until school holidays begin... (Video YouTube, by afewclips -May 15, 2007: "On bus heading to Waverley to hand flat keys back" - Going on bus to Waverley, heading to PRD Nationwide Wills Bros)

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INVESTMENT * UK - Better buses for Lancashire

Lancashire is to get a slice of a £71m funding boost to revamp the county's older bus services

Preston,Lancashire,UK -The Lancashire Evening Post -14 December 2007: -- Stagecoach is pumping millions into revamping its fleet with lowered buses as part of a rolling programme expected to be completed within a decade... Around £4m has already been ploughed into services across Lancashire and Cumbria this year to replace services in Longton, New Longton, Southport, Longridge and on the 133 Preston-Leyland-Wigan service... The 555 service from Lancaster to Keswick is currently being revamped. Eventually, every one of the 550 buses across routes in the two counties will be updated... A spokesman at the firm revealed the scale of the investment following complaints from angry passengers on one major Lancashire route...

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Solar Bus * Australia - Tindo: the world’s first solar-powered electric bus.

The Adelaide City Council has raised the standard in International sustainability with the introduction of the world’s first solar-powered electric bus

Adelaide,Australia -The Adelaide City Council.com -12 Dec 2007: -- ... It’s the first electric solar bus is recharged using 100% solar energy, and is a free everyday service for the people of Adelaide through the Council’s Adelaide Connector Bus service... Manufactured by New Zealand company Designline International, the bus doesn’t have a combustion engine, which makes it a very quiet, zero emissions vehicle... It features high quality, state-of-the-art components sourced from some of the world’s leading transport and technology companies including MAN and Siemens...
And in a further ‘green’ development being introduced by the Adelaide City Council, the bus will be recharged using a solar photovoltaic system supplied by BP Solar and installed at the soon-to-be-completed Adelaide Central Bus Station. This system is the largest grid connected solar photovoltaic system in the State, and means the bus is also carbon neutral...
The air-conditioned solar electric bus can carry up to 42 passengers, with 25 standard seats, two seats especially designed for disabled passengers, and roomfor 15 standing passengers... The solar electric bus and the recharging system at the Adelaide Central Bus Station represent a significant investment by the Adelaide City Council into a sustainable future for the City of Adelaide, while providing leadership in sustainable public transport options for cities around Australia...

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"GREEN" BUSES * USA - HISD requests funds for environmental clean-up program

Houston,TX,USA -The Houston Business Journal, by Ford Gunter -December 12, 2007: -- The Houston Independent School District has applied to the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality's program to clean up school bus emissions... Under the Texas Clean School Bus program, which was officially launched on Nov. 10, TCEQ has $7.5 million from the state legislature to reimburse school districts statewide for the expense associated with reducing particulate emissions from school buses... HISD has asked for $249,600 to retrofit 312 buses...

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NEW BUSES PROSPECTS * USA - CTA wants new hybrid buses as cuts loom

Chicago,Ill,USA -The Chicago Sun Times, by MONIFA THOMAS -December 13, 2007: -- At the same meeting at which officials discussed heavy job cuts that will come next month without new state funding, the Chicago Transit Authority announced Wednesday that it is exploring the idea of leasing 150 new hybrid buses to replace the oldest vehicles in its fleet... The 12-year-lease of buses from New Flyer Industries would come at an annual cost of $13.2 million... But the CTA expects to save nearly $7 million a year in fuel, labor and maintenance costs, since the buses would replace vehicles that are at least 12 years old and past their useful life... (Photo The Sun-Times file: CTA Chairwoman Carole Brown, inset, announced Wednesday that the CTA is exploring the idea of leasing 150 new Hybrid Buses to replace old vehicles next year)

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BIODIESEL Study * USA - Examines biodiesel efficiency

First-year results of the study have shown that biodiesel performs similarly to diesel fuel in trucks

Washington,DC,USA -Agriculture Online -14 Dec 2007: -- A new study underway examines the benefits of a 20% biodiesel blend (B20) in an over-the-road trucking company... Logging the miles: The study consists of two groups of 10 Decker Truck Line Inc. semi tractors running with flatbed trailers on matched routes to either Minneapolis or Chicago. The control group uses 100% No. 2 petroleum diesel. The B20 test group uses a blend of 20% biodiesel from Renewable Energy Group, Inc. and 80% No. 2 petroleum diesel. Data is routinely analyzed for fuel efficiency, maintenance records and fuel quality... More than 1.5 million miles had been logged by the end of the first year leading up to October 1, 2007. Overall fuel efficiency, including idle time, was slightly reduced in the B20 group. Average fuel consumption for the control group was 6.29 miles per gallon (mpg) and for the B20 group it was 6.15 mpg. The fuel efficiency difference of 2.2% between groups is not considered significant, especially when compared to driver variability... Driver fuel efficiency ranged from 5.72 mpg to 7.40 mpg for the control group, a 23% spread. For the B20 group, fuel efficiency ranged from 5.76 mpg to 7.00 mpg, an 18% spread among drivers... Winter driving resulted in relatively few problems regarding cold-flow issues. Fuel for both groups was treated with a commercial fuel additive, and No. 1 diesel, a 40% blend, was used for a brief time during a severe cold snap in February 2007. No drivers experienced fuel gelling problems... Other study notes: Early in the study, a few filter plugging problems occurred in trucks using the B20 blend. After changes were made in blending of the biodiesel fuel in early February 2007, the rate of filter plugging for the B20 group dropped significantly... He notes that many people have told him anecdotally that biodiesel has increased their mileage and that may be the result of "cleaning out" an older engine... Says Don Heck, coordinator of biotechnology and biofuels programs at Iowa Central Community College in Fort Dodge, Iowa, "Right now, the B20 performs similarly to the 100% diesel fuel in this study"... At the conclusion of the study, engines from both the control group and B20 group will be torn down for a closer analysis of engine wear...

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14.12.07

* Trinidad & Tobago - 'Long bus' breaks in two pieces

Passengers prayed as their articulated bus jackknifed and slid along a rain-slicked highway during midday traffic yesterday

Port-of-Spain,Trinidad and Tobago -The Trinidad & Tobago Express, by Richard Charan South Bureau -December 12, 2007: -- ... Five women were aboard when the bus broke into two sections and skidded to a stop. Their prayers were answered. No one was injured... They would not have known that driver of the bus, Ram Maharaj, was also a praying man-a Hindu pundit... Maharaj is one of the most experienced drivers with the Public Transport Service Corporation (PTSC), whose million-dollar bus crashed yesterday, said a former co-worker... The bus driver told police a car drove into his path and he swerved to avoid a collision... Passengers said the driver tried for several seconds to keep the bus from crashing off the highway. He brought it almost to a stop before it jackknifed... The woman sitting in the rear of the bus was taken to hospital for minor injuries...

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