In brief: Worldwide's weekly news & informations about Buses, Busmakers, Passengers' and the Transport Industry
HYBRID BUSES * USA - Daimler sells another 96 Orion VII clean diesel
Transit Agencies Order More Clean Diesel Than Diesel-Hybrid Buses
New York,NY,USA -AutoBlogGreen, by Sam Abuelsamid-January 25, 2010:--Daimler's North American busunit has received orders for nearly 100 more of its Orion VII transit buses powered by either new clean diesel engines or diesel-hybrid drivetrains.The bulk of the orders (91 buses) come from four transit agencies and are for the conventional clean-diesel models with the latest Bluetec after-treatment systems. The emissions controls consist of urea-injection catalytic reduction to cut NOx emissions and particulate filters to eliminate soot...The remaining five orders were for Orion VII hybrids for the Ulster CountyArea Transit and Dutchess County Bus Systems in New York state. Ulster County already has two of the hybrids in its fleet and is adding three more...Hybrid buses gained a lot of ground in North America over the past several years but economics likely played a big part in the small proportion among these new orders.Municipalities around the country have been particularly hard hit in the current recession and the significantly higher purchase cost of the hybrids tilted the deal, even though the advanced powertrain buses offer lower operating cost over the life of the vehicles...
The ORCA (One Regional Card for All)is the Seattle area’s version of Smart Card transit fare technology
Seattle,OR,USA -Greater City Providence, by Jef Nickerson -January 17, 2010: ... The ORCA (One Regional Card for All)is the Seattle area’s version of Smart Card transit fare technology which is taking root around the world. London has their Oyster card, Hong Kong Octopus, and the Chicago Card are among many other Smart Cards out there... What struck me about ORCAand why it applies to Providence is that the ORCA provides fare services for seven regional transit agencies, and the fare services can be bought in various configurations.For example, say you ride Sound Transit commuter rail into Seattle every weekday, then take a King County Metro bus from the train station to your office. You can have a discount monthly Metro and Sound Transit fare charge applied to your ORCA card. But say you occassionally take Washington State Ferry and occassionally use Community Transit buses? Not every day, so you don’t want a monthly pass for those services. No problem, ORCA can also deduct cash fares from your “e-purse” account built into ORCA... This makes using transit in the Seattle area seemless. As long as you have your ORCA card in your pocket, you know you can board any transit service. And if you ride a particular service often enough to warrant a monthly fare, ORCA handles that too...(Photo by Oran Viriyincy)
GREEN NEWS * USA - Pearl buses getting catalysts to reduce emmissions
Rankin,MISS,USA -Rankin Ledger -January 14, 2010: -- Starting Thursday, school buses of the Pearl Public School District will be equipped with catalysts to reduce emissions, environmental officials say... The Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality will begin installation as an effort to protect student’s health through reducing harmful emissions, department spokesman Robbie Wilbur said in a news release today... The diesel oxidation catalysts reduce particulate matter by 40 percent, hydrocarbons by 70 percent and carbon monoxide by 40 percent, according to the release...The catalysts are being put on buses built before 2006. Newer school buses don’t need them...
BUSES' SALE * Canada - Connecticut Transit to add 35 Nova LFS Artic buses to its fleet
Saint-Eustache,QC,CAN -PRNewswire -Jan. 14, 2010: -- Nova Busis pleased to announce that Connecticut Transit (CT Transit) has selectedNova Busto provide35 LFS Artic buses, with options on an additional 35 articulated vehicles over a four-year period...Valued at approximately $60 million, the order will be assembled at Nova Bus' Plattsburgh, NY plant. The company was selected particularly for its product design and performance, price and delivery schedule...In 2009, MTA New York City Transit purchased 90 Nova LFS articulated vehicles which are assembled at the Plattsburgh facility...(Photo from majhost: Nova Bus cab)
PUBLIC TRANSPORT * Russia - Travel to Moscow route buses until Expensive
Moscow,Russia -RIA Novosti/bmpost-January 14, 2010:-- Commercial passenger carriers in Moscow has no plans to raise fares despite the rise in tariffs for public transport with the new year, told on Wednesday, representatives of private transport companies... From January 1, 2010 Individual tickets on buses, trolleybuses and trams SUE Mosgortrans “has risen in price for 4 rubles to 24 rubles. At the end of December 2009, this largest carrier, which carries more than half of public transport in Moscow, launched the first hundred minibus taxi fare which also costs 24 rubles... (Photo from metromost.yauzaforum: Moscow bus)
Federal Funds * USA - Shift could aid D.C. area transit projects
Brighter outlook for transit projects
Washington,DC,USA -The Washington Post, by Ashley Halsey III -January 14, 2010:-- The Obama administration announced a major shift in transportation policy Wednesday that would steer more money to transit projects designed to spur economic development and help the environment...The change moves away from a Bush administration approach that gave funding priority to projects that would save the most passengers the most time for the money... Shifting transit funding priorities could help District officials' efforts to transform two lanes of K Street into a transitway to speed buses through the heart of the city and also aid Maryland in its efforts to secure federal money for the 16-mile Purple Line... The intent is to create smooth-flowing commuter bus traffic through the heart of the city, ultimately luring people from their cars onto faster, more efficient buses... Construction would be done in phases to minimize traffic interruptions...(Photo from elwan: 1600 K st. view 4 dvpmt)
Public Transport * Guatemala - Buses Are Colorful And Full of Chickens
¡Bienvenido a Guatemala! Pasaport stamped & walking up the street of fluttering blue & white flags
Guatemala -National Geographic Traveller, by Janelle Nanoson -January 6, 2010:-- Andrew Evans has made his way through Mexico and is now in Guatemala, riding this bus as we speak. Here's a summary of some of his best tweets since entering the country... Guatemala: where good schoolbuses go after they die... The chicken in a bag on the floor of the bus doesn't seem to appreciate the driver's hard breaking... Mayan woman washing clothes in a mountain stream; lays all the colors out on the rocks to dry. Like a crazy rainbow quilt...
BUSES' PURCHASE PROSPECTS * India - PMPML will get 500 new buses in next two months
Pune,India -The Punekar -13 Jan 2009: -- The Pune Mahanagar Parivahan Mahamandal (PMPML)will finally get 500 new buses in next two months with the Pune Municipal Corporation (PMC)standing committee sanctioning Rs 96 crore for the purpose... Earlier, plans for better public transport were never implemented and Pune continued to have a fleet of old and ill-maintained buses, rendering public transport a nightmare on the city roads. PMC standing committee chairman Nilesh Nikam said money has been given to purchase the buses under Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM).According to the proposal, he said, the PMPML will purchase 400 CNG-run semi low-floor buses and100 diesel-run low-floor buses... The total cost for the purchase of the buses is Rs 162 crore with financial assistance of Rs 81 crore from the Union government, Rs 32 crore from the state government and Rs 49 crore from the PMC...(Photo from wikimedia.org: Mercedes-Benz_bus owned by the Pune Municipal Corporation)
Dangeours Travel * South Africa - Batswana drugged on Durban buses
Travelling by buses to go and buy Asian imported cars in Durban, can be a risky business as some locals have realised
Durban,S.A. -Mmegi Online, by LEKOPANYE MOOKETSI -13 Jan 2009: ... Some people prefer to go and buy cars in Durban because it is cheaper there. But it can also be a costly affair... Mmegi has learnt that some people from this country have been drugged in the Durban bound buses after their drinks were spiked. They would later be robbed of cash and other valuables. The car buyers prefer to carry United States Dollars because the Durban cars are charged in that currency. Other travellers use travellers' cheques... (Photo from southafrica: SA-Roadlink-bus)
THESIS * New Zealand - How do you choose who you sit next to on a train or bus?
A Victoria Universityresearcher has been studying how we make the choice and why
Auckland,NZ -Auckland Train, by Jon C -Jan 11th, 2010: -- One of the things that is always fascinating to watch on the train is how incoming passengers glance around nervously and quickly weigh up who they would like to sit next to – if they have a choice... A PhD thesis by a Victoria university graduate, Dr Jared Thomas’, findings show the seating layout of public transport forces people into an intimate distance with strangers, causing a degree of social discomfort.He watched 1703 people on Wellington trains and buses and talked to 900 commuters about what seats they chose and why... Dr Thomassaidthere is evidence that interactive strategies—such as talking and positive body language with other passengers—are more successful than defensive strategies at reducing social discomfort...Dr Thomas, who is himself a public transport user, is currently working for Opus as a transport researcher. He says his research could be used by public transport agencies, passengers, and those who design carriages and buses...
‘Smart Cards’ * Viet Nam - HCMC bus operator to trial
Ho Chi Minh City,Viet Nam -Vao Viet Nam -January 13, 2010: -- The Ho Chi Minh City Public Transport Operation and Management Center will initiate a program allowing passengers to use “smart cards” on the Saigon-Binh Tay and Ben Thanh-Au Co-An Suongbus routes on a trial basis, the center’s manager said January 12... Both monthly and yearly cards will be available...Buses will be equipped with a card reader that subtracts funds from cardholders’ accounts. Passengers can charge more money to their accounts as necessary...The card will be valid for one year and there is no limit to how many times passengers can add money to their accounts... (Photo: A bus station in Ho Chi Minh City)
Cold Weather * USA - Causes problems for South Carolina buses
S. Carolina,USA -WTOC -Jan 13, 2010: -- The South Carolina Department of Education is dealing with a problem it has never seen before...The cold weather is keeping hundreds of school buses off the roads.There have been problems with the batteries, gear shifts and starters, among other issues. School officials and mechanics have been working overtime just to get kids to school on time... State law requires school buses be replaced after 15 years, but that hasn't happened.Almost 30% of South Carolina's school buses are overdue...
New Public Transport System * Malaysia - Gets off to a good start
" ... 'RapidBET' it is more frequent and punctual"
(Popular choice: Many passengers tried out the bus on the first day but the frequency prevented overcrowding) Malaysia -The Star On Line, by OH ING YEEN -January 13, 2010: -- The Rapid Bus Expressway Transit (RapidBET)got off to a good start yesterday as commuters lauded the shorter travel times... Two routes were introduced — Kota Damansara to KL Sentral and Pasar Seni via the Penchala Link (RapidBET1); and Bandar Sungai Long to Pasar Seni via the Grand Saga Highway (RapidBET2)... (Dedicated lanes: To cut down on travelling time, marked lanes for the BET buses have been set up at the toll plazas along the route) To help speed up the travel times, dedicated lanes marked BET have been set up at the toll gates along the route... The estimated reduction in travelling time is between 20 to 35 minutes, depending on traffic conditions...Chloe Leow, who commutes to work from Bandar Sungai Long, was pleased with RapidBET as it is more frequent and punctual... Siti Norfadzlynn Zain had not heard of the system but was glad that the travel time had been cut short...
Free Buses * USA - Circulator bus begins hauling passengers
Baltimore finally got its free shuttle bus called the Circulator off the ground
Baltimore,MAR,USA -The Baltimore Sun, by Mike Dresser-12 Jan 2009: ... It's been delayed, and only one route has been launched, but city officials have high hopes the free bus -- did I mention it's free -- will cut down on congestion, improve air quality and make getting around easier for commuters and visitors... The Orange route runs east-west. And two new routes are is expected in the spring: the Purple Route connecting Penn Station with Federal Hill and the Green Route connecting Johns Hopkins Hospital with Fells Point and City Hall...The money has a dedicated source of financing in the city's parking tax, which city officials say means it will be around awhile longer than other bus services that relied on grants...
BUSMAKERS' NEWS * Sweden - Volvo Buses wins Swedish Traffic Safety Award
Stockholm,Sweden -BUSINESS WIRE -January 14, 2010: -- Volvo Buses has been named the winner of the Swedish Traffic Safety Award 2010. The company was awarded the prize for its work on an alcolock specially adapted for buses...The Swedish Motor Vehicle Inspection Company is the prize’s main partner...In its commendation, the jury said that Volvo Buses was awarded the prize for developing an alcolock that was specially adapted to the requirements of the bus sector, such as enabling the rapid changeover of drivers out in services. The engine can be started without the need for a breath test, but the brakes remain locked if the driver fails the test. Read more about the alcolock here...
* Canada -Ballard Announces Sale of Fuel Cell Power Modules to Advanced Public Transportation Systems bv in Europe
The Netherlands -PRNewswire-FirstCall (Vancouver,BC,Canada)-Jan. 11, 2010:-- Ballard Power Systems announced that it has received a sales order for five FCvelocity(TM)-HD6 power modules from Advanced Public Transportation Systems bv (APTS), a specialty bus OEM in The Netherlands, part of the VDL Group. The 150-kilowatt power modules will be installed and integrated by Vossloh-Kiepe with hybrid electric drive systems in 18-meter (60-foot) articulated Phileas buses manufactured by APTS... Phileas is a new concept for passenger transport on high frequency dedicated bus lanes. When running on a free bus lane and equipped with magnetic markers for electronic lane assistance and precision docking, Phileas buses can offer the advantages of rapid rail transport... (Picture from green.autoblog: h2 Olympics power BC Transit gets first fuel cell bus)
STRIKE * Hungary - Budapest Public Transport Strike Boosts Cab Revenue
Budapest,Hungary -The Wall Street Journal (USA), by Veronika Gulyas-January 12, 2010: -- Public transport company BKV in Hungary’s capital city Budapest began an open-ended strike early Tuesday morning. As usual, the strike followed an unresolved dispute over wages and perks between the company and the majority of its trade unions... Although the strike has not affected all transportation — subcontractor-operated buses, the underground and trolley buses are running — the capital city is indeed in a state of chaos as service on most bus and tram lines is unavailable... Desperate times call for desperate measures: Some motorists have helped out commuters stuck at empty bus stops, while other residents choose to get on their bikes... At the negotiating table, trade unions are insisting on renewing a collective contract that expired at the end of 2009, while BKV has been offering similar conditions to the earlier framework, only under general wage regulations... (Photo AFP: No trams running in Budapest)
Empty vehicles drove past passengers stranded in the snow
Flintshire,North Wales,UK -Coach Broker, by Louise Williams -January 10, 2010:-- Anger is mounting in Flintshire, North Wales, after scores of passengers were left stranded in the snow after buses failed to stop to let them board, despite the vehicles being empty... During the heavy snowfall which fell last Tuesday, passengers waited in the freezing conditions for a bus to arrive. However several empty Arriva buses displaying an “Out of Service” sign, passed by the individuals waiting at the stops along a route in Deeside, leaving them stranded. Many had to rely on the kindness of strangers, who stopped to give lifts to some of the waiting passengers in their own 4×4 vehicles... (Photo: Bus company criticised after vehicles with "out of service" sign refused to pick up passengers waiting in the snow)
BEST BUSES * Dubai - Plans to increase the number of vehicles to 1,900 by the end of this year
Dubai,UAE -The Gulf News, by Ashfaq Ahmed -January 11, 2010: -- Dubai is using one of the best city public transport buses in the world in a bid to attract more people to use buses instead of private cars, said a senior official...Eisa Abdul Rahman Al Dossari,Chief Executive Officer of the Public Transport Agency (PTA) at the Dubai Roads and Transport Authority (RTA), told Gulf News that the PTA has not abandoned any of its expansion plans to ensure a fully integrated public transport system in the city... Al Dossari, however, ensured that all plans prepared by the PTA are in place. "We will increase the number of buses from the current 1,575 to 1,900 by the end of this year in addition to the completion of the bus depots"... The new units contain rooms, toilets, wash basins, dining halls and recreational facilities.Also comes under this phase is the construction of investment buildings spanning an area of 3,005 square meters containing food courts, shops, and a mosque...(Image by Hadrian Hernandez/Gulf News - The Public Transport Agency has plans to cover 95 per cent of the city's areas within the next three years with their state-of-the-art buses)
WORST BUSES * Indonesia - Six years on, Transjakarta services deteriorate
Jakarta,Indonesia -The Jakarta Post, by Indah Setiawati -11 January 2010: -- Transjakarta buses passengers have said they stopped using the bus rapid transit after being disappointed with the service, especially the waiting times and long queues... Felix recently wrote on the suaratransjakarta.org website that he used to think the Transjakarta bus was a comfortable mode of transport. A bad experience in the middle of last year, however, changed his mind...He said that day, he took a Transjakarta bus from the Jelambar shelter in West Jakarta at 6:30 p.m. to get to his office close to the Harmoni shelter. He arrived three hours later... “Recently, the service has been getting poorer. I took a bus from Sarinah at 5 p.m. and arrived home at 9 p.m.!”... David Tjahjana, the (unelected) chairman of the busway users community, said the demand for Transjakarta services outpaced the supply... “What worries me is that car-owning passengers will return to their private cars,” he told and added, this would only exacerbate traffic problems...David said long waiting times in shelters was caused mainly by the poor commitment of the police and the Transportation Agency to clear the busway lanes of other vehicles... Another issue contributing to the lengthy wait was the limited number of gas stations...(Photo from krisosa: Transjakarta buses)
WOMENS' BUSES * India - Here come special buses for safer ride in Delhi
New Delhi,India -The Economic Times -10 Jan 2009: -- Many women who travel in the capital's crowded buses and have been molested by male co-passengers can heave a sigh of relief. On Monday, special 'women only' buses will begin plying on select routes, thanks to a Delhi High Court order... The Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) is starting the service... The court however did not agree to the suggestion by the petitioner's counsel that Delhi should follow the Bangalore model wherein space is segregated for women in buses. The court said, "This is not feasible as, for this, the design of the buses would have to be changed"...
Rough Road Ahead * USA - For Bay Area public transit
Bay Area,CAL,USA -The Contra Costa Times, by Mike Rosenberg-10 Jan 2010:-- After enduring the most brutal year in the history of Bay Area public transit, train and bus operators are barreling down a track toward bankruptcy... The near-inevitable result will be costlier and longer commutes for all, whether you ride or drive...From BART to Caltrain to Santa Clara VTA, every Bay Area transit agency has increased fares and reduced train and bus service to plug deep budget holes. But the changes have produced fewer riders and even less revenue -- leading some to worry that the transit system has entered a death spiral... Already, more than a million riders are spending extra money and time each day just to get around. And a staggering 66,000 daily riders have abandoned Bay Area transit in the past year, more than enough to pack 40 freeway lanes during rush hour... Six major agencies -- BART, Valley Transportation Authority, Caltrain, SamTrans on the Peninsula, County Connection in the East Bay and Golden Gate Transit -- have lost at least 7 percent of their riders in the past year. Some officials fear they'll never get them back...(Photo from barryswensonbuilder: transit oriented development San Jose)