User-agent: Mediapartners-Google* Disallow: Buses World News: January 2009
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Buses World News

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

31.1.09

LANGUAGE's DIFFERENCES * Singapore - English-speaking bus drivers, please

The reason: Neither driver spoke English

Singapore -Asia One Motoring -29 Jan 2009: -- He can see only vague outlines. When he travels on buses, he needs bus drivers to alert him when his stop approaches... But Mr K. Saseedaran Nair, 45, a form1er mini-mart owner, was diagnosed with a rare genetic disease known as Leber's Hereditary Optic Neuropathy syndrome less than a year ago... He felt helpless when he realised that the driver of the bus he was taking, SMRT Service No 187, did not understand a word he was saying... But the bus driver, a Chinese national, replied in Chinese... 'I was taken aback that he did not understand even simple, basic English,' said Mr Nair... After about three minutes, a passenger came forward to help, but the driver could not understand the other passenger either...

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SUBSIDIES * South Africa - Transport union appeals to MPs for urgent action to ‘save bus industry’

CapeTown,South Africa -The Business Day, by Linda Ensor -28 Jan 2009: -- Urgent action was needed to avert the subsidised bus industry’s collapse and the loss of thousands of jobs as a result of the state’s failure to pay subsidies to bus companies for the past four months, the South African Transport and Allied Workers’ Union (Satawu) said yesterday... Parliament’s transport committee, which heard Satawu’s appeal for urgent intervention, decided to call treasury and transport officials to brief it next week... In the meantime, the state should provide contingency funding before the end of the month, the committee said... The accumulated shortfall in bus subsidy payments of R1,2bn arose because the transport department’s bus subsidy budget was exhausted in November...

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TECHNO BUSES * Turkey - Develop hybrid buses

Ankara,Turkey -The Green Car Website (UK) -27 Jan 2009: -- ... However, it seems that England’s capital city is not alone in its pursuit of hybrid buses - with Turkey also looking to introduce the vehicles... Turkey has a world-renowned public transportation system, which runs in a highly efficient and well-organised manner. Now, according to a report in the Ankara newspaper Hurriyet, the Turks have developed their own hybrid buses at the Scientific and Technological Research Council of Turkey (TUBITAK)... According to Hamdi Ucarol, a researcher from TUBITAK, the electrics and hybrids don’t use energy waiting in traffic and the batteries charge when the brake is applied and when the vehicle travels downhill...

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School Bus Industry * USA - Encourages Parents and Children to 'Love the Bus'

School Bus Drivers to be Honored for Valentine's Day and Throughout February

Washington,DC,USA -PR Newswire -Jan. 27, 2009: -- As part of the third annual National Love the Bus program, the American School Bus Council (ASBC) is encouraging parents, students and teachers to thank the men and women who take more than 26 million children safely to schools each school day... The Love the Bus program, founded in 2007 and coordinated by the American School Bus Council (ASBC), is celebrated on Valentine's Day and throughout February in school districts across the country as a way to raise awareness and appreciation for the hundreds of thousands of school bus drivers who safely transport school children to and from school each day on 480,000 buses, the largest and safest transportation system in the country. It is also an opportunity for parents and children to learn more about the safety and environmental benefits of school bus transportation...

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CIVICS-BUS * USA - C-SPAN Bus Rolls Into Town

Brooksville,FL,USA -The Hernando Today, by TONY MARRERO -January 27, 2009: -- Vanessa Bailey knew the answers she'd get even before she put the questions to the group of eighth-graders from West Hernando Middle School... "Do you watch C-SPAN," asked Bailey, a marketing rep for the nonprofit network known for its unflashy coverage of U.S. government... Silence from the nine students, and a couple of guilty smiles... "Why don't you?" Bailey asked. "You can be honest." ... "It's boring," replied 14-year-old Alex Sprinkle... Bailey smiled. Those words have been uttered more than a few times on the C-SPAN Civics Bus that rolled onto the middle school's campus Tuesday morning, she said... (C-SPAN marketing representative Vanessa Bailey explains the cable network's mission to students in Don Kern’s American history class on the C-SPAN Civics Bus when as it visits West Hernando Middle School on Tuesday)

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NEW BUSES FLEETS * USA - Bigger, better buses

The bus fleet at Jacksonville Transit just got 60 percent larger

Jacksonville,NC,USA -The Jacksonville Daily News, by MOLLY K. DEWITT -January 27, 2009: -- Last week the organization received three new, larger buses to add to the five already in operation. The new buses boast an additional 12 seats, a wheelchair lift and a bike rack on the front of the vehicle... The original five buses have 18 seats. However, when the two wheelchair spaces are in use, the number of seats drops to 14. The new buses also have two wheelchair spaces, but only drop to 26 seats when they are in use... The total cost for all three buses is $379,513. The federal government will pay for 83 percent of the cost, the state government will pay for 8 percent and the city will cover the remaining 9 percent, said Ron Massey, Jacksonville's assistant city manager... (THE DAILY NEWS / CHUCK BECKLEY - Bigger, better buses: Ed Richards, Fleet Maintance Supervisor, checks out the larger and wider handicap loading platform of one of the new bigger Jacksonville Transit Buses)


* USA - Columbus' 137 brand-new buses

Delaware,OH,USA The Delaware News, by KHALILA PERRIN -January 28, 2009: -- The Columbus school board approved the purchase of 137 new buses -- the district's first batch of new buses since seven were ordered in 2006. The decision came during the board's Jan. 20 meeting... Funding for the new buses comes from the taxpayer-approved $164 million bond issue OK'd in November. The ballot issue also included a 7.85-mill operating levy... This marks the first wave of purchases using the new bond funds, which the administration also has earmarked for new textbooks and computers. It will cost the district $10.5 million to purchase the 137 new 65-passenger vehicles. The aim is to replace half of the district's 543-bus fleet in segments over the next four years...

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27.1.09

PUBLIC TRANSPORT in SHOTS * Thailand - The Buses of Saphan Taksin

Saphan Taksin,Thailand -Thai Mass Transport Systems, by thaitransit -January 27, 2009: -- The Saphan Taksin area is located next to the Chao Phraya River in inner Bangkok. The area is named after the modern road bridge that links the Sathorn and Khlong San areas of Bangkok. Saphan Taksin is the current terminus for the BTS elevated metro and the most important boat pier on the Chao Phraya express boat service... The day I photographed the area the traffic on Charoen Krung road was rather light and with a reasonable flow which was good for a change in this area.
1. This is a shot of a Route 120: Mahachai – Khlong San bus. Taken as it was approaching the bus stop in Krung Thonburi road. Bus number 120 – 14. Bus type unknown...
2. This is a shot of a Route 6: Phra Pradaeng – Banglamphu bus. Taken as it was heading south along Charoen Nakhon road. Bus number unknown. Bus type unknown...
3. This is an image of a Route 111: Talat Phlu – Bukkhalo (loop service) bus. Taken as it was heading south along Charoen Nakhon road. Bus number BMTA 5 – 40116. Bus type Hino non aircon. Note this is a free bus...
4. This is a shot of a Route 84: Om Yai – Khlong San bus. Taken as it was turning into Charoen Nakhon Road. Bus number BMTA 6 – 50099. Bus type Isuzu non aircon...
5. This is a shot of a Route 84n: Aue Arthon Village (Salaya) – Khlong San bus. Taken as it was turning into Charoen Nakhon road. Bus number BMTA 6 – 56114. Bus type Isuzu aircon...
6. This is an image of the Taksin cross river ferry waiting to depart from the thonburi side of the Chao Phaya River. Each boat holds 110 people. During peak periods boats depart stuffed full every 2 minutes. Off peak boats depart every 5 – 10 minutes. Taken looking east across the river.

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SAFETY * UK - Police target thugs attacking buses in Blacon

Chester,England,UK -The Chester Chronicle, by Ben Coulbeck -Jan 26 2009: -- Police in Blacon have vowed to crack down on anti-social youths who are targeting buses... Drivers of First buses, taking passengers through the Chester suburb, have feared for their safety after stones have been hurled at their windows... At bus stops, youths have switched off the engine using the emergency stop button on the side of the bus forcing the driver out of his seat and leaving ticket money unguarded... In a bid to make Blacon’s bus routes safer for the bus company and passengers using the service, Cheshire Police will now be sending community support officers on buses to monitor the situation...

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CTA Riders Seeing Red * USA - Red light violations by CTA buses up in 2008

Chicago,ILL,USA -The NBC Chicago -Jan 26, 2009: -- CTA bus drivers say they're under increasing pressure to keep to schedules, which may explain an increase in the number of buses being caught on camera running through red lights... An increase in Chicago Transit Authority buses running through red lights jumped last year and the cost of those violations goes to Chicago commuters and taxpayers... The number of citations issued to CTA buses for running red lights at photo-enforced intersections jumped from 641 in 2007 to 1,194 last year, according to statistics the CTA provided based on a Tribune request... The Tribune reports that the CTA is permitted to use public funds to pay the fines under the Illinois Vehicle Code's section on "automated traffic law enforcement system," which authorizes municipalities to issue citations to the registered owners of vehicles that run red lights... CTA officials said there is no excuse for aggressive or dangerous driving... (Photo: CTA bus drivers say they're under increasing pressure to keep to schedules, which may explain an increase in the number of buses being caught on camera running through red lights)

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STATISTICS * USA - Motorcoaches America's Top Commercial People Mover, Study Finds

Washington,DC,USA -PRNewswire/USNewswire -Jan. 27, 2009: -- The motorcoach industry is the number one commercial people mover in the United States, accounting for 751 million passenger trips in 2007, up nearly 20 percent from the previous figure of 631 million passenger trips in 2005, according to a newly updated industry census released today by the American Bus Association... The December 2008 study, "The Economic Impacts and Social Benefits of the U.S. Motorcoach Industry: Binding the Nation Together by Providing Diverse and Affordable Services to Everyone," was produced by research firm Nathan Associates Inc., and updates previous census reports issued in 2005 and 2006... "The motorcoach industry is the number one [commercial] people mover," the study reports. "In 2007, the industry provided 751 million passenger trips. The industry provided nearly 9% more passenger trips than commercial airlines (excluding foreign-flag air carriers) and 67% more than Amtrak and commuter rail combined"...


* Golden Gate Bridge traffic down, bus ridership up


San Francisco,CAL,USA -The Marin IJ, by Mark Prado -25 Jan 2009: -- If Golden Gate Bridge traffic has seemed a little lighter or Golden Gate Transit buses a little fuller in recent months, it's not your imagination... Traffic on the span dropped 3.6 percent from July through December compared with the same period in 2007, while bus ridership increased 3.9 percent in the six-month period, according to Golden Gate Bridge District figures released last week... (Photo)

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BUSMAKERS' NEWS * USA - San Jose may get bus maker

San Jose,Silicon Valley,CAL,USA -The San Jose Business Journal, by Lisa Sibley -January 26, 2009: -- A hybrid bus company wants to open a manufacturing facility in San Jose... Officials in San Jose’s Electronic Transportation Development Center as well as Mayor Chuck Reed support the proposed move by Proterra LLC of Golden, Colo., but city officials are also looking at other green companies that could benefit the region’s growing cleantech sector... Proterra and its partners design, develop and manufacture hybrid-electric, plug-in hybrid and battery-electric, zero-emission buses and vans that can be used as transit, school and commercial buses... Proterra CEO Dale Hill said the company plans to unveil a prototype bus, developed through a public-private partnership, at an event tentatively set for Feb. 6 at San Jose City Hall... The vehicle — with a lightweight body composition, lithium titanate battery packs and a solar roof array — could save approximately 11 million gallons or $45 million, in fuel annually for large-scale users such as the San Jose Unified School District or Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority. (Photo by Kathleen Lavine/Denver Business Journal -Dale Hill, CEO of Proterra, says California legislation supporting clean transportation could be an advantage)

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BILL * USA - NJ: No texting while operating train, bus

Trenton,N.J.,USA -NewsDay -January 26, 2009: -- A bill barring train conductors and bus drivers in New Jersey from text messaging or sending e-mails while their vehicles are moving is advancing... The Assembly transportation committee released the bill Monday... The bill was drafted in response to a fatal commuter train crash in California that killed 25 people... It allows electronic communications only in emergencies...

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REPORT * Ireland - Enough Dublin Bus vehicles for demand

Dublin,Ireland -Irish Times, by CHARLIE TAYLOR -January 26, 2009: -- Dublin Bus has enough buses in its fleet to meet demand from passengers even with the loss of a number of services through cutbacks, Minister for Transport, Noel Dempsey insisted today... Publishing a report on the cost and efficiency of bus services, Mr Dempsey said since 2000 the capacity of the Dublin Bus fleet had grown by more than 35 per cent... The Deloitte report, which was commissioned in mid-2008 before cutbacks were announced at both Dublin Bus and Bus Éireann, concludes that the Dublin Bus network is "overly complex with a significant amount of service duplication"... The report calls for timetable changes, additional direct routes for the city, and elimination of out-of-service buses and routes that end at depots... The report supports the setting up of a "bus gate" at College Green, a reduction in "bunching" of buses on routes and real-time information for passengers as provided at Luas stops. It also calls for on-street ticket vending machines and a push to encourage passengers to transfer to pre-paid smart cards to reduce handling costs and the amount of time commuters spend boarding buses...

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HYBRID BUSES * Turkey - Creates and Tests Ones As Part of Project Ğ

Istanbul,Turkey -Green Prophet, by Karin Kloosterman -Jan 24, 2009: -- If you’ve ever had the pleasure of living in or visiting Turkey, you’ll find it’s very hard to get lost off the beaten trail. The public transportation system there is so well oiled; bus owners of private buses or the smaller minibuses –– the dolmus –– are so well organized, you can literally scoot across the country by just telling one of the bus assistants (who approach you), where you’d like to go... A country-wide initiative to reduce greenhouse gases in the transportation sector –– called Project Ğ –– aims to increase the use of hybrid vehicles in large urban areas. The new hybrid bus initiative is part of it...

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ALTERNATIVE FUEL * USA - Thumb district looking at propane power for buses

Pigeon,Mich,USA -Associated Press/The Chicago Tribune -January 25, 2009: -- Officials say propane could be a cleaner and more economical alternative to diesel for Laker School District buses. Student services director Kathy Dickens says the district in Michigan's Thumb region hopes to use a federal grant to buy at least one propane-powered bus, which emit about 90 percent less soot than modern diesel engines... Chuck Burch of Cardinal Bus Sales in Lima, Ohio, says Laker Schools also could take advantage of a federal program giving refunds of 50 cents per gallon to districts that use propane. He says propane costs 70 cents a gallon including the refund... Burch is bringing one of the buses to Pigeon on Feb. 4 to discuss propane power with school officials from Huron, Tuscola and Sanilac counties. ..

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BILL * USA - Would launch pilot bus-only lane program in local counties

Austin,TX,USA -The Austin Business Journal -24 Jan 2009: -- Sen. Jeff Wentworth, R-San Antonio, has filed a bill that would create a motor-bus-only lane pilot program for state highways in Travis, Williamson, Bexar and Denton counties... If passed, would require appropriate mass transit authorities to initiate the pilot program no later than Dec. 31, 2009... State highways that would qualify for the motor-bus-only lanes are those that enforce a speed limit of 35 miles per hour or less. Motor buses would not travel more than 15 miles per hour greater than the speed of vehicles on the main part of the highway...

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Biodiesel Buses * USA - Teaching… Using Those Ones

Holts Summit,MO,USA -Domestic Fuel, by John Davis -23 Jan 2009: -- A Chicago school bus company owner, who was the first in the country to switch 90 percent of his 2,000 bus fleet to biodiesel, is using a modified version of the green-fueled kid-hauler to spread the gospel of biodiesel... John Benish is the parent of four young children and the owner of the largest privately-held school bus company in the country - Cook-Illinois... He converted one of his buses into a traveling museum to teach kids about alternative fuels and created a website for kids to encourage them to get directly involved in protecting their environment. He says his motivation is to help reduce the rising incidence of asthma among school-age kids...

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24.1.09

BUS' PRODUCTS * USA - Commercial Vehicle Group Unveils New Coach Bus Passenger Seat

New Albany,PH,USA -Canada NewsWire via COMTEX -Jan. 23, 2009: -- Commercial Vehicle Group, Inc., today announced that it unveiled its new National Seating coach bus passenger seat at the United Motorcoach Association Expo in Orlando, Florida... The new seat was specifically designed for the global motor coach industry. The three point integral seat belt design meets European Motor Coach Safety Standards and will be available across National Seating's full line of coach bus passenger seats beginning in the second quarter of 2009... (Fox Business' Interior Systems photo)

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22.1.09

Beware * India - The "killer Blueline"

Private bus companies take a deadly toll on Indian pedestrians. Here's the problem: they're needed

New Delhi,India -GlobalPost, by Jason Overdorf -January 22, 2009: -- ...This bizarre story is not as unlikely as it seems. Kumar was the 118th person to be mowed down in 2008 by one of Delhi's “killer Blueline buses", as the local press has christened the 4,500-odd buses contracted out to private operators by the Delhi government... To be sure, the Bluelines are symptomatic of a larger problem. With more than 100,000 traffic fatalities a year and a mortality rate about seven times that of the roads in developed countries, according to the World Bank, India's roads are among the world's most deadly. And Delhi, where the number of vehicles is growing faster than any other city in India, presents a frightening vision of the future... Every few months pavement dwellers — sometimes whole families — are run over in their sleep by drunk drivers. Road rage assaults and even murders are on the rise, and nobody, but nobody, follows the rules. Last year, for instance, police statistics show that incidents of dangerous driving in India's capital nearly doubled, increasing to about 125,000 from 69,000 in 2007... Pedestrians have good reason to be cynical. The Bluelines are actually this decade's solution to last decade's problem — the relaunched and rebranded version of the Redline buses that enjoyed their own reputation for mayhem. Initially, the government opted to pay the Blueline operators by the kilometer, rather than letting them compete for ticket revenue, in an effort to stop the racing and careening into the bus stops that was thought to account for most accidents... But when bus owners decided that it was more convenient, put less wear and tear on the fleet, and earned them just as much money not to stop for passengers at all, the kilometer scheme was scrapped and the Bluelines became nothing more than the Redlines with a less-bloody sounding name... (Picture by Arko Datta/Reuters: A double-decker bus goes past Victoria Terminus in Mumbai)

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Report * UK - Says bus service 'unsound'

Powys,Montgomeryshire,Gales,UK -BBC -21 Jan 2009: -- An action plan has been drawn up to improve public transport in Powys after a council report found it to be "unsound"... Internal auditors at Powys Council identified 10 "weaknesses" with the bus service in the county... Among the problems highlighted was the "inadequate" monitoring of drivers' criminal records bureau (CRB) checks... Powys Council said many of the report's 28 recommendations had been implemented... Internal auditors scrutinised the department running public transport after it put new bus contracts out to tender in July 2007... (Picture: Powys council says improvements have been made to bus services)

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SMART CARDS * UK - Buy your bus tickets using your phone

Waving your mobile in the face of technology

Harrow,England,UK -The Inquirer, by Emma Hughes -22 January 2009: -- The Department for Transport has now completed its first live mobile ticketing trial for buses using the ITSO smartcard standard mandated by the government... This primary trail took place over a six-month period in the north west of England involving 36 passengers traveling using two bus operators. The tickets were paid for using a near-field communication (NFC) mobile phone... In order to find out if this plan was to succeed two steps needed to be taken, firstly to see how feasible it was to use an NFC phone as an ITSO ticket carrier and secondly to work out if ITSO compliant products are actually able to be remotely loaded and validated on NFC enabled customer devices...

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TALIBAN DEMANDS * Pakistan - End to music on buses

Bus drivers in northwest Pakistan have begun removing audio and video equipment from their vehicles after Taliban militants threatened suicide attacks against those who played music or movies for their passengers

Peshawar,Pakistan -AP, by RIAZ KHANP -21 Jan 2009: -- ... Transport workers in Mardan town received letters this week from militants saying that buses offering such entertainment were guilty of spreading "vulgarity and obscenity," Walid Mir, general secretary of the town's transport union, told The Associated Press... The militants said they would check the buses and that suicide attacks would be carried out against vehicles that still had audio and video equipment — prompting union members to act quickly, Mir said... The Taliban letter complained that traveling in buses that provide audiovisual entertainment was a "source of mental agony for pious people," according to a text obtained by AP... "It is obligatory on us to stop such violations. We request you to remove the vulgar systems ... otherwise suicide bombers are ready," the letter said...

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Public Transport * Ireland - Deteriorates further as Bus Éireann implements Dempsey's Job Cuts

Dublin,Ireland -inishtrahoull.blogspot -20 January 2009: -- Bus Éireann, the national bus company and backbone of public transport in Ireland, is to cut 320 jobs, and its bus fleet will be reduced by 150 vehicles... In addition to the job cuts and reduction in its fleet, the plan also includes a pay freeze up to the end of 2009 as well as the deferring of payment of the terms of the Towards 2016 agreement... In 2007 Bus Éireann made a profit of € 7 million, but last year it had losses of € 9 million, and that figure was projected to reach € 30 million in 2009... The company says that "the unprecedented economic downturn" led to a 4% decrease in Bus Éireann customer numbers in 2008. It estimates that there will be a further 5% to 6% fall in passenger numbers in 2009...


* OPINION: Dublin Bus needs reform, not easy option of cutbacks

Dublin,Ireland -The Irish Times, by CIARÁN CUFFE -January 22, 2009: -- Sweeping changes to Dublin Bus’s routes and work practices are needed in order to attract more passengers and meet the needs of the capital... Dublin Bus requires radical reform to meet the needs of bus users... The company made a profit of €4.7 million in 2007, but lost €10 million last year and will lose €31 million this year unless action is taken... Last week management chose the easier option of service cutbacks instead of the reforms required to modernise the company. Buses play a valuable transport role and help cut carbon emissions but until they are a more attractive option Dublin Bus will struggle. The brand must be built on reliability, efficiency and punctuality...

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PASSENGERS' STATISTICS * UAE/Dubai - RTA Public Transport Agency Commutes More Than 94m Passengers In 2008

Dubai -Dubai City Guide -21 January 2009: -- The Public Transport Agency at Roads & Transport Authority revealed that till the end of last year it managed to commute more than 94 million passengers in more than 2 million trips by public transport buses operating over 85 routes... The CEO of Public Transport Agency Essa Abdul-Rahman Al-Dossari stated: “The aim is to provide a coverage spanning 95% of Dubai area in less than three years and raise the percentage of trips made by mass transit modes up to 30% by 2020” he said...

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RIDERS' STATISTICS * USA - Big jump in riders for bus and rail

NFTA cites economy, high gas prices

Buffalo,NY,USA -The Buffalo News, by Sharon Linstedt -21 Jan 2009: -- The Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority posted its largest jump in Metro Bus and Rail ridership in at least two decades in 2008... Ridership totals released Tuesday show a 10.5 percent increase in public transit use, with 2.68 million more passengers counted last year than in 2007. The NFTA tallied 28.2 million riders in 2008, up from 25.5 million in the prior year...

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20.1.09

FREE BUSES * USA - To rove downtowns

Raleigh,NC,USA -The News & Observer, by Bruce Siceloff -Jan. 20, 2009: -- Getting around downtown is about to get easier... In the next few weeks, Raleigh and Durham will crank up similar versions of the downtown circulator -a different kind of bus that loops through the city center every few minutes, for free-... If the circulator works the way it should, we won't need the car quite so much when we're downtown. And when we drive downtown, we won't have to worry so much about exactly where we park... The circulator is designed for people who travel downtown by car, bus or train -- to work, dine, shop or play. And for people who live downtown...

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TECHNO-BUS * USA - Long Island Bus using new battery technology

Long Island,NY,USA -Newsday, by ARIELLE BRECHISCI -January 20, 2009: -- MTA Long Island Bus has developed what MTA and New York Power Authority officials say is a more environmentally friendly fleet that is also the nation's first commercial user of sodium-sulfur battery technology... The system takes electricity from the power grid at night, when rates are lowest, and stores it to power natural gas compressors the following day at the Mitchel Field depot in Garden City, officials said... The 220-bus fleet runs on compressed natural gas, considered more environmentally suitable than diesel fuel. The bus company and power authority began working on the project three years ago, and started using it commercially on buses in April...

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WEATHER TROUBLES * UK - Snow stops buses, closes schools

London,UK -BBC News -20 January 2009: -- Schools were closed and bus services cancelled in Londonderry on Tuesday after heavy overnight snowfalls across the north west.
Bus services to Creggan have been cancelled, and there is a reduced service between Hazelbank and Creggan crossroads... Services to Lone Moor Road, Gobnascale, Ballymagroarty, Newbuildings and Hazelbank have been restored. Several secondary schools in Derry and some rural primary schools are closed.
Conditions are extremely treacherous, and drivers are advised to take extreme care when travelling...
(Charlie McMenamin took this picture of Derry City in the snow from Sheriff's Road)

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Losses * Ireland - Bus Eireann to cut jobs and buses

Dublin,Ireland -RTE.ie - 20 January 2009: -- Bus Eireann plans to cut staff numbers by around 320 and reduce its bus fleet by 150, blaming the effects of the economic downturn... In 2007 the company made a profit of €7m, but last year it had losses of €9m and that figure is projected to reach €30m in 2009... The redundancies will happen across all grades, but the majority will be bus drivers. The company currently employs 2,700 people. It says the reduction in the bus fleet will lead to a phased re-organisation of its route network... (Picture: Bus Eireann - Passenger numbers dropped 4% in 2008)

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TORCHED BUSES * India - Karnataka bus torched over border issue

Bidar,Karnataka,India -My News.in, by Dayanand Patil -19 Jan 2009: -- A Northeast Karnataka Road Transport Corporation (NEKRTC) bus was torched by Chavva, a Maratha youth organization, in Latur, some 150 km from Bidar, on Sunday prompting NEKRTC to announce suspension of its services to Latur... The vehicle was set on fire in protest against lathicharge on Marathi people who were protesting the Assembly session at Belgaum in Karnataka... Police sources said a group of around 15 youth stopped the Karnataka State Road transport bus at Rajiv Gandhi chowk area of Latur...

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BUSMAKERS' NEWS * WORLWIDE

* Germany - Five Mercedes-Benz CapaCity buses in service in Tübingen

Neckar,Baden-Württemberg,Germany -The FINANCIAL (Tbilisi,Georgia) -19 Jan 2009: -- On 28 November 2008, Omnibus Groß GmbH, based in the town of Rottenburg am Neckar, became the first private bus and coach company in Germany to put the Mercedes-Benz CapaCity high-capacity bus into service... The five buses, all of which will serve the town of Tübingen, could have a lasting effect on future urban transport concepts. "The climate-protection initiative launched by the Tübingen transport operators means that innovative vehicles like the CapaCity can already start meeting the transport requirements of the future", says Holger Suffel, managing director of EvoBus GmbH...

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OPINION * USA - Transit Investment Fuels More Jobs

Oakland,CAL,USA -New America Media, by Carli Paine -Jan 19, 2009: -- ... Transit connects people and employers. It pollutes far less than cars. And, perhaps most important in this economic crisis, it creates and sustains jobs far better than the leading transportation investment option—highway construction... In fact, public transportation creates 19 percent more jobs than the same investment in building roads or highways, according to an analysis of a 2004 United States Department of Transportation jobs creation model... And, according to the California Transit Association, for every $1 billion invested in new public transit projects, some 31,400 jobs are created and $3 billion is pumped into the local economy... In the United States, transportation is the second highest household expense, after housing. But people who live in a neighborhood well served by public transportation are able to reduce their spending on transportation from 25 percent of their household budget to just 9 percent... With transportation contributing one-third of all global warming pollution nationally, it's clear that we need transportation solutions that give people reliable, affordable alternatives to driving for every trip. Public transportation produces 95 percent less carbon monoxide (CO), 90 percent less in volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and about half as much carbon dioxide (CO2) and nitrogen oxide (NOx), per passenger mile, as private vehicles... The national economy is faltering badly. It is time the federal government recognized and supported public transportation's role in propelling our economy into the 21st century...

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NEW "GREEN" BUSES * USA - APSRTC to add 100 eco-friendly bio-diesel buses to its fleet

Hyderabad,India -The Hindu Business Line-19 Jan 2009: -- The Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (APSRTC) will add 1000 eco-friendly bio-diesel fuelled buses to its fleet this year. The APSRTC is currently operating 1200 bio-diesel buses in the state apart from 100 compressed natural gas buses in Vijayawada city... With a fleet utilisation of 99.37 per cent and breakdown rate of a negligible 0.10 per cent, APSRTC has already set many benchmarks in public transport in the country. “Operational, technical and managerial efficiencies have helped the corporation turn-a round and earn profits. While vehicle utilisation per bus per day is 357 km, employee productivity too rose to 58 km per day per employee, which is the best in the country,” Mr Dinesh said...

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18.1.09

NEW BUSES * Abu Dhabi - To add new public buses to Musaffah

Abu Dhabi,UAE -The UAE Interact -18 Jan 2009: -- Bus passengers between Musaffah and Abu Dhabi can expect shorter waits from next month, a transport official said... Saaed al Hameli, the general manager of buses for the Department of Transport, said more buses would run to Musaffah in February as the department aimed to gradually improve the service from one every 40 minutes to one every 20 minutes... Although the department added nine bus routes for Abu Dhabi island in June and kept the service free until March, routes to the suburbs of Musaffah, Baniyas and Shahama were little improved...

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17.1.09

BUSMAKERS NEWS * WORLDWIDE

* Ivory Coast/ Africa - Builds own buses

Abidjan, Ivory Coast -AfricaNews, by Kingsley Kobo -17 January 2009: -- The engineering arm of Ivory Coast's national transport firm, Sotra, has locally manufactured three brand new buses in the country. Sotra, imports most of its vehicles from Europe and Asia over decades, but decided to adventure in local production that culminated in their first boat-bus in 2003... The public has highly lauded the company’s initiative with some saying it would help the country and private individuals cut cost on expensive foreign vehicles. In 2005, Sotra announced that it was embarking on a “complete bus project” – dubbed building of buses by Ivorians for Ivorians. Our correspondent said the launching of Sotra’s first three buses came as a surprise to many some of whom were successfully transported across Abidjan, the Ivorian capital...

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WEATHER TROUBLES * USA - Buses fail, forcing school cancellation

Burlington,VER,USA -The Hawk Eye -17 Jan 2009: -- The Burlington School District was forced to cancel school Friday after record low temperatures took a toll on several school buses... Transportation Director Phil Rupe said they haven't determined the exact cause, but the arctic air may have caused gelling of the diesel fuel. He said an ignition switch broke on a third bus... When the buses shut down before even leaving the lot, they made the decision to cancel, Morrison said... The buses were exposed to the coldest temperatures on record for Friday's date...


* Buses freeze out, schools stay closed

Marshalltown,IO,USA -The Times-Republican, by ANDREW POTTER -January 17, 2009: -- After two days off due to the weather the Marshalltown Community School District was ready to finally get back to school Friday, but something was not ready... The buses !!... The district could not get several buses started and had to cancel school for the day, which was originally slated to start on a two-hour delay... Don Meyer, transportation director with the school district, said about seven buses did not start and a few others were not running well... (T-R PHOTO BY ANDREW POTTER - Seven Marshalltown school buses did not start Friday morning and a few others were not running well forcing school to be closed)

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STUDY * USA - Bus transit better than light rail for Md.

Baltimore,MAR,USA -The Baltimore Business Journal, by Tierney Plumb -16 Jan 2009: -- Enhanced buses are a better option than light-rail cars along the proposed Purple Line in Maryland, according to a study from theWorld Resources Institute... The D.C.-based institute says that buses would be cheaper and combat global warming better than a light-rail system... The report came out the same day Montgomery County Planning Board voted 4-1 in favor of building light rail for the line instead of bus rapid transit... The 16-mile route would run from Bethesda in Montgomery County to New Carollton in Prince George’s County, with connections at Metro stations at Bethesda, Silver Spring, College Park and New Carollton... The Montgomery County Council is scheduled to vote on the form of the transit line the week of Jan. 19...

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STATISTICS * UK - New car sales fall 30% as more board the bus

Belfast,N.Ireland,UK -The Belfast Telegraph, by Linda McKee -16 January 2009: -- New car registrations plunged by almost a third last summer compared to the same time the previous year, new figures released by the Department of Regional Development have revealed... Meanwhile, the amount of petrol and diesel delivered to Northern Ireland between July and September 2008 plummeted 16%, from 206,264 tonnes the previous summer to 173,435... Only 12,974 new cars were registered, dropping from 18,803 the previous summer, and 2,442 new and used light goods vehicles were registered for the first time, a decrease of 29% on the corresponding quarter of 2007... Meanwhile, bus and rail passenger receipts showed an increase...

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JOBS CUT * Ireland - Dublin Bus to cut 290 jobs, reduce fleet by 120 buses

Dublin,Ireland -The Irish Times, by CIARA O'BRIEN -16 Jan 2009: -- Dublin Bus is to cut 290 jobs and reduce its fleet by 120 buses in a bid to reduce losses at the firm... The State-owned firm also said it would not pay the 3.5 per cent national pay award due in April, nor the 2.5 per cent increase from October 1st. The 10 per cent reductions in staff and the fleet come after a review of Dublin Bus's services in the city, which identified trends such as a sharp decline in passenger numbers as employment contracted, growth in newly developing areas of the city and a reduction in consumer spending... Passenger journeys fell by 4 to 5 per cent last year, with further decreases expected in 2009... The jobs will be cut throughout the organisation, including executive, clerical, operations and maintenance positions...

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16.1.09

BUS RAPID TRANSIT * USA - Mesa touts new rapid bus line

Mesa,AZ,USA -The Arizona Republic, by Gary Nelson -Jan. 14, 2009: -- Mesa is blowing the horn for its new bus rapid transit line, which got rolling the same weekend as light rail but didn't get nearly as much publicity as the trains... Nor has it gotten nearly as much ridership... Valley Metro spokeswoman Susan Tierney said weekday ridership averaged about 950 people for the bus system's first few days of operation... That's about 95 people per day for each of the 10 big buses that Mesa received courtesy of Maricopa County taxpayers. But the city thinks ridership will grow as people become aware of the Metro Link and as its infrastructure comes together later this year... (Photo by Mark Henle/The Arizona Republic - Mesa City Councilman Scott Somers waits to board a rapid bus at the Superstition Springs Park and Ride)

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BIO DIESEL * USA - Cold leaves bio-diesel school buses at a standstill

Saint Paul,MN,USA -KSTP/TV -15 Jan 2009: -- Bloomington Public Schools have made the decision to close all their schools for Friday in part due to the cold weather. But it's the because of the fuel that school buses use that's creating the bigger problem.
District officials said they’ve experienced problems with a number of its school buses on Thursday morning because sub-zero temperatures created clogging issues for their bio-diesel fuel systems...
Spokesperson Rick Kaufman explained the bio-diesel fuel breaks away in cold temperatures around 10 degrees above zero. This part of the fuel then sinks to the bottom of the fuel tank where the fuel filter is and then clogs the fuel pump, inevitably shutting the vehicle down... Kaufman said stand-by buses also experienced the same fuel system issues Thursday, which led to students having to wait at bus stops in dangerous weather ... The state requires all school buses to use this type of fuel...

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Bus Passengers * USA - Exposed to Meningitis

Boise,Idaho,USA -Fox 12 KRTV -Jan 14, 2009: -- There are more than 1,200 Greyhound buses operating in the United States and those buses make 2,500 stops a day. In most cases a drivers biggest obstacle is the weather, but on Sunday it was something far more serious... The trip started in Denver and then progressed through Salt Lake City, Burley, Twin Falls, Boise, Nampa and Portland. For the most part the trip went as planned. But during its stop in Salt Lake, a passenger from Nevada got off, went to the hospital and died of meningitis... The Idaho Department Health and Welfare is now reaching out to the other 24 passengers on the bus who may have been exposed to the illness. Fortunately it's not easy to catch without direct contact... But if it does happen, Ezell went on to say that meningitis is very serious and it can progress extremely rapidly...

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15.1.09

INFRASTRUCTURES * Dubai - Bus stations plan approved

Dubai,UAE -UAE Interact -15 Jan 2009: -- His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, has approved plans for three public transport bus stations to be built at Karama, Al Quoz and Satwa. The innovative designs will offer a range of facilities and services to bus commuters including commercial outlets and restaurants...

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FUELS * USA - DART ponders natural gas or diesel for new fleet

Natural gas or diesel?

City of Garland,TX,USA -WFAA-TV, by GARY REAVES -January 14, 2009: -- DART officials have been trying for a year to decide which fuel will power the next generation of buses... A year ago, diesel looked to be much cheaper but not anymore... DART was scheduled to choose new buses to replace 537 old ones last year. While next generation diesel is supposed to cost less and pollute about the same, many, including the City of Garland, for example, prefer natural gas... SEE VIDEO)

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TECHNO-BUSES * UK - School buses get free WiFi from Icomera

UK -geek.com, by Matthew Humphries -January 14, 2009: -- The way in which children travel to school varies widely. Some live close enough to walk, others get a lift from their parents, and then there’s the school bus collecting kids from lots of different pick-up points before transporting them safely to school grounds... One school bus company in the UK has decided its time to bring technology into the mix on its buses. The Green Bus company has teamed up with cellular broadband gateway providor Icomera to install free Internet access on its buses...


* Thailkand - Fleet-tracking system for Vietnam

Bangkok,Thailand -The Nation, by Jirapan Boonnoon -January 15, 2009: -- Mobile Innovation plans expansion, new solutions for Thai fleet operators... Bangkok-based fleet tracking and management systems company Mobile Innovation plans to expand its business in Vietnam in the near future... The company's president Tomohisa Matsumura said Mobile Innovation, a joint venture between Japan's NTT Docomo and Thailand's Loxley, would offer innovative solutions in Vietnam such as intelligent fleet tracking and management... It combines advanced wireless-communication and global positioning system (GPS) technologies with digital maps and comprehensive analysis and management software. It is offered on an application service-provider (ASP) basis...

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