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

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

26.5.09

TECHNO NEWS * USA - NYC buses getting new technology

Got your hands full? No problem. New technology will make it easier for riders to exit New York City buses...

New York,NY,USA -Newsday -May 26, 2009: -- When the bus stops, sensors will notice a passenger approaching the rear door and automatically open it... The system is expected to be especially helpful for senior citizens, riders carrying packages and passengers with small children... NYC Transit says the first buses with the sensors are due in January... (Photo: imagecache: Early Sight Seeing Bus New York City)

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Advertising Market * USA - Transit Authority Feeling the Pain From a Crippled One

Citing a sharp drop in sales and rates, a company that sells many of the ads on New York buses and trains is behind on payments

New York,NY,USA -The New York Times, by Yana Paskova May 24, 2009: ... The worst advertising market in decades has had a devastating, and well-documented, effect on newspapers, magazines and television networks. But now another recipient of ad dollars is being hurt by the market slump at a time it can little afford it: mass transit... In recent months, a company that sells many of the ads that appear on buses and trains and in stations in New York, Boston, Minneapolis and other cities has come up short in its payments to transit agencies, citing a sharp drop in ad rates and sales... New York is among the hardest hit... The company, Titan Worldwide, fell short a total of $7.5 million in mandatory payments to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority from February through April, citing lower than expected ad sales. That would be enough to buy 16 new buses for the authority, which recently received a state bailout in the face of multibillion-dollar budget deficits over the next few years... (Photo by Yana Paskova/The New York Times)

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* Dubai - RTA bus service to cover 140 routes this year

Myhaisna,Dubai -Xpress, by By Derek Baldwin -24 May 2009: -- By year’s end, the Roads and Transport Authority estima that its fleet of 1,693 buses will have made 4.5 million trips along 140 routes delivering 147 million passengers... And thanks to a new tracking system going online sometime next month, the RTA is set to make the public transport busing system even more efficient, says Essa Abdul Rahman Al Dossari, CEO of the RTA’s Public Transport Agency... The new AVM or Automated Vehicle Monitoring system will track all buses in real time along all routes on a large screen in a control room, Al Dossari said on Sunday...

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Bus Makers * India - Worried over States missing deadline for buying vehicles

Several still in process of issuing bids and finalising tenders

New Delhi,India -The Hindu Business Line, by Priyanka Vyas -May 23, 2009: -- Commercial vehicle majors are wary about the State governments meeting the deadline of procuring buses under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission by the end of next month... Of the 14,400 buses that various State governments were to purchase as a part of the stimulus package announced in January, 7,800 units have been ordered so far... Even with the Central Government officials asking the state government officials concerned to speed up the process, several States are lagging behind. Industry officials feel there could be a time lag of five months before actual deliveries could start taking place... Till now, States such as Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka, Kerala, Maharashtra and West Bengal have finalised contracts. Several others are still in the process of issuing bids and finalising tenders...

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23.5.09

REGULATIONS * USA - California takes direct aim at rogue coach companies with 'one-strike' measure

Sacramento,CAL,USA -Bus and Motor Coach News -15 May 2009: -- The California General Assembly is considering adopting what may be the toughest charter bus regulatory legislation ever proposed in the U.S... Passage of the bill is being advocated by the California Bus Association because it wants to weed out substandard companies, says CBA lobbyist Josh Pane... As currently written, Assembly Bill 636 would: Permanently revoke the authority of a charter bus company to operate if it is found to be running without the required state Public Utilities Commission permit, or if it knowingly employs a driver who does not have...

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TRUCKMAKERS' NEWS * WORLDWIDE

* China - FAW Building New Hybrid Production Facility For Buses and Cars

Changchun,China -Gasgoo/All Cars Electric, by Eric Loveday -May 21, 2009: -- FAW, a large scale Chinese automotive group, recently announced plans to build a new factory that will focus on building hybrid buses and cars... The factory is scheduled for completion as early as 2012. The new factory will give FAW the ability to build an expected 1,000 buses and 11,000 sedans each year... Though the company hopes to sell as many as 12,000 hybrid vehicles each year, previous prediction of sales volume by the company are much lower... Currently, the company is testing a fleet of 12 of its hybrid buses with expectations of 88 more hitting the road by years end... (Photo Thanks FAW: Hybrid Bus)

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Bus Industry * UK - National Express sells London bus division

London,UK -Reuters, by John Bowker and Hans Peters -May 21, 2009: -- British bus and rail group National Express is selling its London bus business to Dutch group NedRailways in a bid to reduce borrowings... The company, which analysts think may be forced into a rights issue to reduce its 1 billion pounds debt-pile, said on Thursday it agreed the sale for 32 million pounds ($50.54 million)...

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STIMULUS FUNDS * USA - Money to fund new buses

State to receive $15.1M from stimulus

Iowa City,IOW,USA -The Iowa City Press-Citizen, by Rob Daniel -May 21, 2009: -- More stimulus funding from the federal government has been awarded to the Johnson County area to buy new buses, according to the office of Rep. Dave Loebsack, D-Iowa... Loebsack announced Wednesday that about $15.1 million in funding from the U.S Department of Transportation was being awarded to Iowa to improve its transit system. The funds, part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, will be used to buy 168 replacement vehicles and four additional vehicles for transit systems throughout the state, according to a news release... In the Second District, which includes the Iowa City area, an unspecified amount of the funding will help rehabilitate the maintenance vehicle storage yard for Muscatine Transit and expand the maintenance bay and storage lot for the River Bend Transit, which serves four counties including Cedar and Muscatine counties... (Photo from wusa9.com/news: Dale City bus pix)


* Norton school district to run cleaner buses

Akron,OH,USA -The Akron/West Side Leader, by Maria Lindsay -21 May 2009: -- Buses, breakfast and student fees were on the agenda for the Norton City Schools Board of Education meeting May 18... Paul Stoneking, district supervisor of transportation, reported Norton City Schools will receive a $35,000 grant from the Environmental Protection Agency to retrofit 16 of the district’s 31 buses with special mufflers and filters to help them run cleaner by the start of the next school year... Six of the district’s newer buses are already equipped with the special mufflers and filters, 16 more will be retrofitted in the coming weeks, and the rest are too old to have the work done, he said. The life span on the equipment is about five years... (Photo from democratandchronicle: Environmental)

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VANDALS * USA - 20 percent of bus fleet affected by fire

Gainesville,GA,USA -Access North GA, by Ken Stanford -May 22, 2009: -- Gainesville school officials say 20 percent of the their bus fleet was either destroyed or damaged by Friday morning's fire... Eight buses were destroyed by the pre-dawn blaze and one was heavily damaged... The state fire marshal's office has been asked to help with the investigation into the cause of an early morning fire that destroyed eight Gainesville school buses... Gainesville Fire Chief, Jon Canada, said "we are looking at all angles" when asked at a news conference Friday morning if the fire was the work of an arsonist... School Supt., Merriane Dyer, announced shortly after arriving at the scene before daybreak that no buses will run today. She asked that parents, if possible, take their children to school and pick them up this afternoon. However, she said any absences today will be excused...

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22.5.09

DANGEROUS BUS DRIVER * USA - Peter Pan Bus Driver breaks federal & state laws while driving

Driver suspended after passenger posts video of him on cell phone while driving



New York,NY,USA -Video from YouTube, by CrazyNYer -3 May 2009: -- On a trip from Boston to NYC, a Peter Pan bus driver lets go of the wheel, files paperwork, eats and talks on the cell phone... His actions could have led to the deaths of people on the bus and highway... When the bus company was called, no one did anything. When the bus got to NYC and he was reported--not one person would listen... Also, that driver was to drive back to Boston an hour later... Peter Pan was owned by Greyhound, Robert J. Schwarz, executive vice president of the Springfield-based bus line said, Peter Pan officials were only contacted by the passenger Monday... "The incident is under review. Once the review is completed, we'll be meeting with the driver and union representatives" to decide what action to take, with termination as one of those options, he said...

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Nostalgic * UK - Cor, I am feeling rather GM Buses

Cor, I am feeling rather nostalgic now

Manchester,UK -DarkAeon’s Demented Declamations -May 16, 2009: --
... Someone on twitter posted a picture of an old bus, which in turn made me remember the old orange livery of the GM buses that used to be all over Manchester when, following deregulation in 1986, Greater Manchester Transport was dissolved and GM Buses rose from the ashes...See some cracking shots of Manchester back in the day the old Arndale bus station! ... The 22 is a special favourite of mine as we used to be able to get from my childhood home directly to my Nana and Grandad’s house on it!... The buses used to be really old, very musty, and have a faux-wood panel interior with brown/yellow/mustard/orange seat covers. Straight out of the 80s!... With such a ‘yuk’ factor in today’s world, you may be surprised to know that they still operate some of these GM buses – they were sold to Magic / Stagecoach and are still heavily used on the student routes across the city... Oh, and of course you mustn’t forget… you must ALWAYS get your feet off the ground if a Ring-and-Ride comes past…!

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Bus Experiment * USA - Works out to $400 a ride so far

It costs $1 to ride the Piedmont Area Regional Transit (PART) bus, but each passenger trip so far has been worth about $400

Martinsville,VA,USA -The Martinsville Bulletin, by MICKEY POWELL -May 21, 2009: ... Henry County and Martinsville each are paying $3,000 for RADAR, a nonprofit agency based in Roanoke, to run the bus service as an experiment from January through June 30. The Commonwealth Transportation Board (CTB) contributed another $114,000, for a total cost of $120,000... Henry County Planning Director, Lee Clark, said Tuesday that so far the bus has made about 300 passenger trips. Divide the $120,000 cost of the experiment by 300 passenger trips and the result is a price tag of $400 per trip so far... If the number of riders does not increase, Clark said, “we’re going to have to seriously reconsider” funding the system, and Monday agreed... Based on his research, Clark said he does not know of any public transport service that is self-sufficient. Such services, he said, seem to be “a benefit provided to citizens” that have to be subsidized... The low ridership has prompted local officials to alter the bus routes and waive the $1 fare during the first week of June...

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SOLAR POWER * USA - Santa Clara County's VTA tests out

Santa Clara,CAL,USA -The Mercury News, by Tracy Seipel -21 May 2009: -- As one of Santa Clara County's biggest users of electricity, the Valley Transportation Authority has been searching for ways to reduce its energy consumption... So when Mountain View-based Skyline Solar asked the agency if it could build a 27-kilowatt demonstration at one of its bus yards, VTA jumped at the chance... After all, the agency spends $5.3 million a year for electricity, most of which is for the light-rail system... The 24 solar racks at VTA's Cerone bus yard in North San Jose, unveiled last week, will operate for 18 months and reduce power use at the station by 2 percent... For the VTA, the partnership offers free electricity and a chance to experiment with solar power before investing in a larger-scale project... (Nhat V. Meyer/Mercury News - The new High Gain Solar (HGS) power plant built by Skyline Solar of Mountain View at the VTA Cerone Bus Maintenance and Operations Division in San Jose, Calif. on Tuesday, May 19, 2009)

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Biggest Gripe * USA - Bus drivers who don't stop to pick up riders

CTA complaints are down, agency says

Chicago,ILL,USA -The Chicago Tribune, by Jon Hilkevitch -May 20, 2009: -- CTA bus drivers who don't stop to pick up riders are responsible for causing the most common complaint to the transit agency, although the number of gripes in almost all the major categories has fallen since last year, according to new data based on customer phone calls and e-mails... In the first three months of this year, riders have contacted the CTA to complain about 468 "pass-up" incidents in which bus drivers failed to stop at bus stops or wait for people flagging down a passing bus, according to a summary compiled by the transit agency to track complaints, kudos and trends. More than 600 pass-up complaints were received in each of the last two quarters of 2008... Rude bus and train operators ranked as the second-biggest irritant to riders so far this year. Complaints about rude operators totaled 458 in the first quarter, down from more than 500 in each of the two previous three-month periods, the records show... The replacement of aging buses with a modern fleet as well as track work to reduce rail slow zones may account for a decrease in complaints about service delays, officials said. The reduction in complaints overall his year is occurring amid a ridership increase of 2.5 percent through April, compared with the same four-month period in 2008... (Tribune photo by Kuni Takahashi/May 19, 2009: The CTA says complaints from passengers, such as ones waiting at a stop Tuesday at Madison and Clark Streets in downtown Chicago, are down this year)

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The bus stop of the future… today * USA

MASS,USA -Crunch Gear, by John Biggs -May 19, 2009: -- This sassy little bus stop - it actually looks more like a cellphone, but who cares - is a design created by MIT architects and engineers. The system will let you tell when the next bus is due, figure out where you are, and even grab news headlines from the aether... It is “covered” in touch-sensitive e-ink screens and can sense where you are, where it is, and what the surroundings are like... MIT architects and engineers just unveiled a design for such a bus stop this past Saturday, at the Genio Fiorentino festival in Florence, Italy... Called EyeStop and developed by the MIT SENSEable City Lab, it takes the tedium out of waiting for the bus and showcases the potential of next-generation urban transportation design...

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Honor system fails * USA - Express bus taken for a ride

Honor system fails miserably when no one checks Bx12 ticket

Bronx,NY,USA -NY Daily News, by Mike Jaccarino -May 19, 2009: -- The Bx12 may be fast, but its prepay ticket honor system lets unscrupulous riders pull a fast one on the MTA... Fare-beaters are running rampant over the honor system that governs Bx12 Select Bus Service buses in the Bronx - at the very time the cash-strapped MTA needs the money most... Bronx Boro News counted five farebeaters within one hour on a recent day, 23 more in a half-hour another day, and 15 more within an hour another day, all at the Williamsbridge Road stop on Pelham Parkway... The Bx12 express buses, marked by flashing blue lights, allow riders, before boarding, to buy tickets from either a MetroCard or coin-operated terminal, the idea being to make the bus ride quicker... The MTA is supposed to have cops and members of its Transit Department of Security riding to check for tickets... (Photo by Harbus/NY Daily News)

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Bus Rapid Transit * South Africa - For cleaner cities

Johannesburg,SA -SA’s Bus Rapid Transit System -May 18, 2009: -- ... By 2020 Johannesburg is estimated to have about 4 500 people for every square kilometre. By then, the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system is expected to be within 500 m of most people’s front doors. The planned Bus Rapid Transit BRT systems will operate along dedicated bus lanes. It will provide faster and more affordable mass transit systems... Johannesburg’s new BRT system, known as Rea Vaya (meaning “we are moving”) will eventually be bigger than Beijing’s system - spanning 330km... BRT systems are in the pipeline for other local cities hosting World Cup events, including Cape Town, Pretoria, Durban, Bloemfontein and Port Elizabeth... The main focus in South Africa is on Johannesburg’s ambitious plans which will form the backbone of, if not the framework for, a new-look city... At least three other metropoles - Tshwane, Cape Town and Port Elizabeth - are to introduce initial phases of BRT systems, to be operational before 2010...

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FARES * USA - Passengers to pay more for bus ride with Centro

Syracuse,NY,USA -WSYR/TV -18 May 2009: -- Effective Monday, riding a Centro bus in many parts of Central New York will cost passengers more. The bus company was raising fares for the first time in nearly 15 years... Centro says the fare increase is due partly because tax revenue is down $1.5 million this year. Most riders are against the higher prices... (Photo: Carousel Center Parking Centro)

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SAFETY BELTS * USA - NHTSA to require seat belts on commercial buses

Washington,DC,USA -The Detroit News, by David Shepardson -19 May 2009: -- The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration plans to require safety belts on commercial buses, the agency told Congress on Monday... The issue has gotten significant attention in the wake of a number of highly publicized, deadly commercial bus accidents; seat belts on motor coaches have been long urged by the National Transportation Safety Board... The NTSB makes recommendations on safety, but doesn't have legal authority to require changes; NHTSA has legal authority to set auto safety standards... Ron Medford, the acting top official at NHTSA told the House subcommittee on Commerce, Trade and Consumer Protection that NHTSA would propose mandatory safety belts on motor coaches this year, and finalize the requirement after a period of public comment..

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World’s Largest Ambulance * Germany - Mercedes-Benz Citaro Bus Takes the Title

Stuttgart,Germany -The Motor Report (Australia), by Mike Stevens -May 18, 2009: -- ... Dubai’s Centre of Ambulance Services has taken delivery of three Mercedes-Benz Citaro bus mobile clinics, built to ensure that rapid medical assistance can be rendered on the scene at major emergencies, rather than the life-threatening delays in getting victims to hospital...Thanks to the converted Citaro’s extra space and equipment, up to 20 people can be cared for in the fully equipped mobile clinic, complete with an intensive care unit and an operating theatre... Developed by conversion-specialists Gebr. Heymann GmbH, and Von Bergh Global Medical Consulting, the Citaro-based ambulances are available in three variants... Among the facilities and equipment aboard the mobile clinic ambulances are three observation bays, an ECG, and an InSpectra shock monitor, which measures oxygen saturation in tissue-matter, warning doctors of the onset of shock minutes before it occurs... The buses also carry the world’s smallest X-ray unit, with an output so low that protective lead screens are unnecessary... (Pictures: Mercedes-benz Citaro ambulance)

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BUSMAKERS' NEWS * WORLDWIDE

* Germany - MAN board member under investigation

Munich,Germany -Associated Press/Forbes (USA) -17 May 2009: -- A member of German truck maker MAN AG's executive board said Sunday he is among the 100 people under investigation for alleged bribery and has asked to be temporarily relieved of his duties... Perter Erichreineke said in a statement he was among those at the company who have been under investigation since Munich prosecutors launched the probe at the end of April... They suspect that the company had put in place a "system to boost sales of trucks and buses" in Germany... Prosecutors did not say who was being investigated... Munich-based MAN has said that it will give its full support to the investigation and stressed that its policies specifically prohibit the payment of bribes to procure business...

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NEW BUSES* Nicaragua - Gets Free GAZ Buses After Supporting South Ossetia

Managua,Nicaragua -The Moscow Times (Moscow,Russia)-18 May 2009: -- Nicaraguan President, Daniel Ortega, on Friday accepted delivery of 130 buses donated by the Russian government to help ease the country's public transportation problems... In September, Nicaragua became the only country besides Russia to recognize the independence of the breakaway Georgian republics of South Ossetia and Abkhazia after they declared their independence... The buses, provided by GAZ Group, were made at the Kurgan Bus Plant, and each seats 27 passengers. They will be used on suburban routes connecting Managua with regional cities... After the ceremony, Ortega and Kondrashev went on a tour of Managua in one of the buses... (Photo by Esteban Felix / AP - Ortega holding up a toy bus as he accepts 130 buses, background, Friday)

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PUBLIC TRANSPORT SYSTEMS * WORLDWIDE

* France - Paris from the my eyes

Paris,France -Travel pod -May 16, 2009: ... Paris! offcourse the beautifull city of light... or the city of love to be more poetic in words is truly a mesmerising place... Famous for architectural and historical relics like Eiffel Tower, Chateau de Versailles, Arc de Trompe to name a few, is very rapidly also becoming famous for a rather annoying urban menace : Congestion, pollution and overwhelming traffic... Paris is well-served by its public transportation system, which is operated by the RATP (Régie Autonome des Transports Parisiens), and includes the Metro, bus system, and RER... The city is well-served by an inexpensive and reliable bus system... Buses have the same fares as Metro tickets (and you can use tickets and passes on either system). To determine your route, examine the maps inside any bus stop. The bus will not automatically stop at each location, you must press red arret demande buttons to alert the driver before your stop... (Photo: ktransit: Transit Paris)


* Canada - Bus Service in Vancouver

Vancouver,BC,Canada -Public Transport in Singapore, by Tan Kin Lian -May 16, 2009: -- I took the bus service in Vancouver yesterday. Here are some interesting observations: ... There are only 2 bus services on the main road near my hotel. It takes me to downtown and allows me to transfer to the Skytrain service or other buses along the way. The waiting time is short. My bus arrives within 5 minutes... Another passenger complainted that he waited 10 minutes and saw four buses arriving in the opposite direction... The bus driver was polite and helpful. When I told him of the place that I visited, he told me the stop to get down. He also said that he would announced it on arriving at that stop. He did... It was quite clear that the bus driver was well educated and probably well paid. In my view, it is better to pay an adequate salary to attract the right type of people to do this job and do it well... (Picture from wikipedia: West Vancouver Blue Bus)


* Dubai - Creek commuters prefer abras to new water bus

Dubai -Gulf News, by Ashfaq Ahmed -May 17, 2009: -- Despite hectic efforts of the Dubai Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) to promote its water bus, most passengers still prefer to use traditional Abras to commute in the Dubai Creek... A spot survey revealed that people crossing the creek demand an affordable mode of transport... Gulf News spoke to passengers on the creek and found out that the luxury water bus service introduced last year has so far been a washout as the boats operate with very few passengers unlike abras which operate at full capacity most of the time... (Picture by Arshad Ali/Gulf News - The new water bus service on Dubai Creek is felt as being too expensive for most passengers, which results in a rather low rate of 4.4 passengers per trip)


* India - Public Transport System in Mumbai

Mumbai,India -Travel on the Dollar -May 20 2009: -- Public Transport in Mumbai involves the transport of millions of its citizens by train, road and water... Public Bus Service (BEST)... The BEST bus are a very convenient way to travel around Mumbai ... During Peak hours it is best to get buses from the starting stops so that you do not have to stand the entire journey. Now a days the destination is written on the front and side of the bus along with the route number. Generally the front is in Hindi and on the side is in English; so it is easy for both the locals as well as the tourists... There are three types of buses: The Ordinary Bus takes longer time to reach destination as it stops at most locations... The Limited Bus stops at only important locations... The only disadvantage of traveling in a bus is you’d get tired soon because of the pollution and crowd during peak hours. A solution for this is the AC bus... This system is run by a government organization Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport, the “B” formerly standing for “Bombay”. It has a fleet of red single and double-decker buses. There are air conditioned and low floor buses as well... (Picture: Mumbai Traffic Intersection - below: BEST Bus in Mumbai)

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NEW HYBRID BUSES * USA - BARTA has entered the hybrid age.

BARTA puts 5 hybrid-electric buses into service in Reading area

Reading,PA,USA -The Reading Eagle -16 May 2009: -- On Friday the bus service put five new hybrid-electric buses into service, replacing some from its aging diesel fleet... The hybrid buses run on a combination of diesel fuel and electric power, resulting in a 30 percent to 60 percent fuel savings, said Dennis D. Louwerse, BARTA executive director... Also, the buses release 90 percent less pollutants into the air, he said... The buses cost $514,000 each... BARTA has not decided which routes the hybrids will be used on permanently, Louwerse said, adding that because the buses generate energy through braking, they get the best fuel efficiency when used on urban routes... BARTA plans to purchase four more hybrid buses as part of the $5.6 million it has received in federal stimulus money...(Photo from Barta bus)

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BUSES' PURCHASE * India - Govt to buy 830 buses for city

Bangalore,Karnataka,India -Business Standard -May 16, 2009: -- Karnataka government proposes to purchase 800 ordinary buses and 30 Volvo buses during the current year, as part of its plans to replace the ageing bus fleet in Bangalore city... Addressing a press conference, here today, R Ashok, minister for transport, said the government intends to decommission old and worn-out buses from the fleet of Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC), once the new buses are purchased... The new Volvo buses will be used to introduce luxury bus services to Mysore and Mangalore with the aim of attracting tourists to these places, he said. Ashok said the transport department has completed the process for recruitment of 3,000 drivers and conductors for state transport undertaking... The department has also recruited 1,200 technical staff, he said adding that for the first time a major recruitment drive has been conducted in the state... (Picture from wikimedia.org: MTC orange line bus)

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Group to Port Authority * USA - Add express bus lane to N.J.

New York,NY,USA -APP.com, by Larry Higgs -May 14, 2009— A mass transit advocacy group called on the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey to make improvements for the growing number of bus commuters crossing the Hudson River, including providing an express bus lane for the return trip to the Garden State... The return express lane is among the recommendations in a report the group released Thursday. An express bus lane back to New Jersey during the evening rush would shorten the ride for bus commuters and get buses out of general traffic, it said. Now, the express bus lane is operated during the morning rush for New York-bound commuter buses. It was created in 1971, using a westbound lane of I-495 through the Lincoln Tunnel... Tri-State's concern is that commuter bus traffic and use will grow faster than the rate of improvements. The report said 9,000 buses move 315,000 people across the Hudson River every day... (Photo from wikipedia.org: Lincoln tunnel)

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19.5.09

Rules * Denmark - Bus firm tells Muslim women "to remove their veils"

Copenhagen,Denmark -AFP/FOCUS News Agency, by Robert -13 May 2009: -- Observant Muslim women in Denmark will have to remove their face veils when their travel passes are being checked, one of the country's leading transport operators Arriva said Wednesday AFP informs... Danish bus companies have introduced the rule after two incidents where Arriva drivers refused to allow passengers wearing the face veil, or niqab, to travel on their buses... Those passengers who refuse to show their faces will be forced to buy another ticket to get on board, he said, adding that the policy would also apply to some Arriva train services in Denmark... (Photo from farm2.static.flickr.com: A muslim women driving a bus)

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Recovery Plan * UK - Bus drivers may lose their jobs

London,UK -BBC News -14 May 2009: -- Reading Buses has said it may have to make some of its drivers redundant after a dramatic drop in the number of fare-paying passengers... Takings are down by £100,000 a month - a 14% drop, the firm said... Bosses said the decline is due to the economic downturn and the revenue from fares is expected to drop further... Up to 25 driving jobs are threatened as part of a recovery plan, which also includes cutting services over the summer and putting up fares in October... (Some fares on Reading Buses will also go up in the autumn)

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Future Transit * USA - Select Bus Service’s second phase



New York,NY,USA -The Second Avenue Sagas, by Benjamin Kabak -13 May 2009: -- ... I’m going to take some time today to talk about some future expansion plans for New York City’s transportation network... Our tale this morning starts in the Bronx with something called Select Bus Service. This program is a joint pilot effort between the MTA and New York City’s Department of Transportation. It features dedicated bus lanes and pre-boarding fare payment systems. It has resulted in a 24 percent decrease in travel times, and passengers along Fordham Road love the service... Next year, as part of this so-called Phase I rollout, Select Bus Service will come to Manhattan. Sections of First and Second Avenues are slated for service...

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Transport Reform * Malta - Bus owners have no veto

La Valetta,Malta -The Times of Malta -13 May 2009: -- The Transport Ministry said today that it was not excluding the Bus Owners’ Association from talks on the transport reform. Nor was it excluding it from tendering for a new contract. But submissions by all tenderers would be treated equally... The association, however, needed to realise that consultation did not mean having a veto... The ministry said the association could not be awarded the 10-year contract it had referred to because the EU had turned down the proposal made by the government in agreement with the Transport Authority... While the government would seek to conclude these talks before issuing the call for tender, it was being made clear that it would not subject itself to any veto which the association might think it had by letting the talks continue unnecessarily, the ministry said... In its statement, the Bus Owners' Association accused Transport Minister, Austin Gatt, of trying to create trouble in the country over the way he announced that a call for tenders for the operation of bus routes would be issued in July...

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