Buses World News
In brief: Worldwide's weekly news & informations about Buses, Busmakers, Passengers' and the Transport Industry
Bill * USA - Would Allow Private Vans and Buses in Transit-Only Lanes
Seattle,WASH,USA -PubliCola, by Erica C. Barnett -February 18, 2010: ... Senate transportation leaders pushed through a bill that would allow private bus and vanpool companies unlimited access to facilities, like bus-rapid-transit lanes and public park-and-rides, currently reserved for public transit... The bill, would allow any vehicle with the capacity to carry eight or more passengers (except stretch limos and stretch SUVs) onto bus-only lanes, even if the vehicle has no passengers... The bill, ostensibly aimed at encouraging private transit services like Microsoft’s Connector buses to Redmond, would also open up bus lanes to charter vans, airport shuttles, and unspecified “private nonprofit transportation provider vehicles”... It would also allow those vehicles to park in park-and-rides at all hours...
Labels: Bills and Laws
Techno-News * USA - Transfort buses get tech boost
Fort Collins,COL,USA -The Coloradoan, by David Young -February 19, 2010: -- Fort Collins' transit system is a bit more tech-savvy today thanks to a new wireless broadband networking device installed on all of its fixed-route buses... Twenty-nine Transfort buses are now equipped with the latest in mobile networking technology from Vancouver, British Columbia-based In Motion Technology... In Motion helped install its onboard Mobile Gateway on the buses to provide passengers better security and up-to-the-minute bus locations... The Gateway includes a built-in global position device, or GPS, and allows Transfort to hook up its onboard cameras to synchronize with a network of wireless services... Signs alert riders that they are being recorded, who noted the technology is intended to make passengers feel safer when riding buses... (Photo by V. Richard Haro/Coloradoan library - Transfort riders get off a bus at the Old Town depot in May 2008. Transfort has equipped 29 buses with mobile networking technology)
Labels: techno buses
SAFETY * USA - NTSB Removes School Bus Passenger Protection from 'Most Wanted List'
The school bus recommendation was specifically for reducing student injuries and deaths in frontal-, side- and rear-impact crashesWashington,DC,USA -School Transpsortarion News, by Ryan Gray -18 February 2010: -- The National Transportation Safety Board cited sufficient response by the feds over the past two years in enhancing school bus passenger protection but said several safety issues are still outstanding when it comes to commercial vehicles... NTSB lauded a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration requirement for three-point lap/shoulder seat belts in all Type A school buses manufactured after September 2011, similar specifications for voluntary lap/shoulder systems in larger buses and higher seat backs for school buses when reviewing its "Most Wanted List of Transportation Safety Improvements" today during a board meeting in Washington, D.C.... However, the NTSB Board said progress was lacking on a previously made recommendation to NHTSA that it increase motorcoach passenger protection. NTSB found that NHTSA has made insufficient progress in redesigning window emergency exits for easy egress, strengthening standards for bus roofs and protecting passenger from ejections by enhancing window glazing. It also said the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration has been too slow in preventing registered motor carriers from operating motorcoaches with mechanical problems or in disallowing unqualified drivers from getting behind the wheel... NTSB also said FMCSA's response to requiring electronic onboard data recorders remains unacceptable despite proposing limited use of EOBRs. A final rule requiring EOBRs is still pending as it awaits approval at the Department of Transportation... (Photo: Tulare's School Buses) * Wiscosin - Recent crashes put focus on school bus safety - Design of vehicle among features that protect children
Green Bay,WIS,USA -Green Bay Press Gazette, by Paul Srubas -February 19, 2010: -- Two recent minor crashes involving Lamers school buses are no indication of unsafe or lax practices, and company officials say they work hard to maintain safety standards... One of Gilling's drivers was cited for inattentive driving earlier this month after the bus he was driving rear-ended a car on West Point Road in Green Bay... Another of the company's buses was involved in a minor accident Monday. The bus, with 36 children on board, slid on a snowy stretch of St. Pat's Drive while heading downhill into a tight turn and rolled to its side... Four students sustained minor injuries, but none needed hospitalization, according to the Brown County Sheriff's Department... In both cases, the company implemented its standard policy by suspending the drivers pending an investigation... (Photo by H. Marc Larson/Press-Gazette - A school bus crashed Monday near the intersection of St. Pat's Rd. and St. Pat's Drive in Suamico)
Labels: passengers protection
RULES * China - To regulate primary school buses
Beijing,China -India Edu News (India) -February 20, 2010: -- In a first move of its kind, the Chinese authorities will standardise all primary school buses in the country to ensure safety of pupils when they commute between home and school... The standards, jointly issued by the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (GAQSIQ) and the Standardisation Administration, will come into force on July 1... As per new rules, all school buses will have seat belts as well as reserved seats for caretakers, Xinhua reported on Friday. Double-decker buses will not be allowed to serve as primaryschool buses. The buses will also have a device to record driving speed, time and mileage...
Labels: rules and regulations
BUSMAKERS' NEWS * WORLDWIDE
* India - Ashok Leyland to shift the offerings to fully-built busesTiruchirapalli,Tamil Nadu,India -My Digital FC, by G Balachandar -Feb 19 2010: -- With changing market dynamics and customer preferences in the bus segment in the wake of entry of new big players, Hinduja flagship Ashok Leyland is gearing up to have larger share of fully-built buses in its offering over the next three years... The company, which earlier used to market mostly bus chassis, is keen to increase the share of fully-built bus in it offerings from the present level of 30 per cent to 60 per cent next year and 85-90 per cent over the next three years. “Though some customers are still opting for chassis, there is a shift towards fully-built buses. We are also moving towards offering more fully-built buses,” R Seshasayee, managing director, Ashok Leyland Ltd said at the launch of Irizar-TVS new bus assembly lines at Viralimalai, about 320 km south of Chennai... (Photo from ashokleyland: Panther bus* USA - More layoffs are slated for a Mohawk Valley bus company
Oriskany,N.Y.,USA -WKTV, by PAT BAILEY -Feb 18, 2010: -- Daimler Buses of North America announced Thursday that 27 people will be laid off at Orion Bus in Oriskany... In December, employees were asked to enroll in the voluntary termination of employment program... Six from Orion did so, but their parent company, Daimler, decided more layoffs were needed... As a result, 27 union employees at Orion will be terminated next Friday... The company says the layoffs are a result of many factors, including the overall economic downturn... The Oriskany company employs 429 unionized workers...
Labels: busmakers' news worldwide
TRAVELLING THE WORLD * Lao - Trip from Hell
Savannakhet Loas,Savannahkhét,Lao Peoples Dem Rep -TravelPod -February 6, 2010: ... We were sitting in our Hotel Lobby in Hue waiting for our bus to Savannakhet, Laos...
Translation a little weak in LaosWe were very apprehensive about this bus. Even after visiting the travel agent in Hue, 3 times to confirm that we are definitely going to have a nice big bus for this 12 hour trip…. But we have been lied to by travel companies before... Knowing what I know now, we would have never purchased the "OPEN" ticket for travel from Ho Chi Minh to Mui Ne to Dalat to Nha Trang to Hoi An to Hue to Savannakhet... LESSON LEARNED: Buy each segment or ticket the day before or the day you plan to travel, direct from the bus station where you can view the actual bus...
Not our bus... A Mini Bus (Van) stopped in from off our hotel. As the driver's assistant got out and starting walking towards the hotel entrance, we both looked the other way, praying that this was not the bus for our 12 hour journey. I knew we didn’t pray hard enough when the guy called our names... We were the first two passengers picked up in this 15 passenger Van/Bus. Drove around and filled all but two seats before we headed out of town. I tried to convince Karyn that we were pretty lucky that this bus was not packed. But by then, not only was she not listening to me, she was not even looking at me... But then it got worse…way way worse… We finally left there with 25 people jammed into this the bus. Within the next hour, we made additional stops and picked up another 4 passengers. I didn’t think it was possible, but somehow our driver always managed to fit one more paying customer in...
Labels: travelers stories
Holiday rush * Viet Nam - Leaves visitors stranded in central provinces
Because Tet, they can not get seats on buses
HCM City,Viet Nam -VnnNews -February 19, 2010: -- Many people working or studying in the southern provinces who went to their hometowns in the central region are unable to return after Tet because they can not get seats on buses... Hundreds have been queuing up at bus stations or at roadsides to return to HCM City, Dong Nai, Binh Duong and Binh Phuoc but are unable to get tickets... The problem is worse on days deemed to be auspicious to begin the journey – like Wednesday which is the fourth day of the lunar New Year... On the day, hundreds lined up along Highway No 1A in Da Nang, waiting for buses but many were unable to get on...
Labels: stranded passengers
Public Service * Canada - Let the transit move you
Open Letter to Neophyte Transit Users. With that in mind I give you this:
Vancouver,BC,Canada -Olympic City Girl -February 20, 2010: -- Dear tourists, suburbanites and recovering oil-junkies, on behalf of regular transit users in Metro Vancouver, I’d like to welcome you aboard our SkyTrain, Canada Line, SeaBus and buses... I’m so glad you’ve come out to spur Vancouver, if only for a few weeks, to make like a proper urban centre with quick, efficient transit running late into the night and at regular, frequent intervals... To my shock and awe, the people of this good city are much smarter than I’d given them credit for. A good 30 per cent of those who drive have parked their cars in exchange for public transit and alternative transport as per Vanoc’s request. Although, I guess it’s not much of a surprise, since to drive downtown these days — as some insist on doing — you would have to be an utter masochist... TransLink is reporting its highest usage ever, 1.5 million people last Sunday, with the peak yet to come this weekend with the awesome weather (there are cherry blossoms out!) and continuing party downtown... (Picture from rinconeslejanos: Metro Vancouver)
Labels: public transport systems
AWARD * UK - Buses Are Getting Better wins award
Nexus won a national marketing award for its Buses Are Getting Better promotion in Tyne and Wear
South Shields,UK -The Shields Gazette -19 February 2010: -- Transport bosses are celebrating after scooping a top award... The campaign was named best UK Transport Campaign at the CIM Marketing Excellence Awards in London, beating rivals Northern Trains, Merseytravel and Publicis Modem for EasyJet... Buses Are Getting Better, run in partnership with bus companies, used real passengers from all walks of life to explain why they found travelling by bus the best way to get around... It also promoted buses as a greener mode of travel and safe form of transport thanks to measures like on-board CCTV and improved lighting at interchanges and in shelters... Bus travel in Tyne and Wear has risen five per cent over the year the campaign was running...Passenger numbers are at their highest level for a decade... (Picture from twita: Bus3)
Adults Boarding * Australia - School bus U-turn on
Adelaide bus drivers will be allowed to stop adults boarding designated school buses...Adelaide,SA,Australia -The Sunday Mail, by Fiona McWhirter -February 20, 2010: ... after the Transport Department reviewed rules surrounding the issue... Bus companies running metropolitan services and providing buses for students have been told they can resume their old practice of refusing anyone not associated with schools from travelling... But school staff such as teachers and parents and carers, who accompany students, will be permitted to board buses... The move comes after the Sunday Mail revealed last week the Public Transport Division had told bus operators they must allow adults to board school buses after a female passenger, who was denied a ride, complained of age discrimination... (Picture by Greg Higgs - School Bus J in North Adelaide)
Labels: passengers transports
Advertising on Buses * Philippines - Limit pol ads on buses to 2 x 3 feet
Manila,Philippines -ABS/CBN News -19 Feb 2010: -- Political advertisements on private cars and public utility buses are not against the law, but they should not obstruct the driver's view, according to a Commission on Elections (Comelec) official... Expressing his personal opinion, Comelec Commissioner, Nicodemo Ferrer, said stickers and other election propaganda on private cars and those often found at the back of buses are not against the Fair Election Act... Ferrer said the Comelec will be drafting guidelines with respect to the size of the ads on public utility buses... He suggested that images on the back or sides of public utility buses should not be bigger than 2 feet by 3 feet... Ferrer said this is to prevent abuse of the provisions on the Fair Election Act concerning the size of propaganda materials... What is important, he said, is that the images posted on vehicles should not obstruct the view of the driver... (Photo from 3.bp: Jeepney bus)* Despite Comelec’s warning, posters are still on buses, treesManila,Philippines -GMANews.TV, by LBG -20 Feb 2010: -- Despite the Commission on Elections' repeated warnings, posters and campaign materials of candidates in the May elections are still being plastered on buses and trees... The Comelec had declared as illegal large campaign materials on public utility buses and other public passenger vehicles... But the poll body said those on private vehicles are not covered by the poster ban because owners have the right to promote freely their candidates...
Labels: advertising on buses
BUSES' PURCHASE PROSPECTS * USA - Transit directors OK purchase of smaller buses
San Diego,CAL,USA -The North County Times, by CHRIS NICHOLS -February 18, 2010: -- In a move to save money and fuel and better fit its ridership, North County Transit District directors on Thursday approved the purchase of 24 new and smaller buses, the public agency's spokeswoman said... The 28-foot StarTrans buses could be on local roadways as early as August, officials have said... They will seat just over 20 passengers compared with the 70 who can sit or stand on the district's largest buses. Much of the existing fleet, which ranges from 32 feet to 40 feet, ferry a small number of passengers, especially on the less-used rural routes... The public agency provides bus and commuter train service across more than 1,000 square miles... Its contract will pay Chino-based Creative Bus Sales $3.5 million for the gasoline-powered vehicles.The district included an option to buy 24 more of the same buses in future years... NCTD's vehicle-replacement funds will pay for the buses... (Photo from interstatetransportation)
Labels: buses purchase prospects
Court * India - Blueline buses to continue in south Delhi
The Delhi High Court Friday gave another two-month breather to Blueline bus operators plying in south DelhiNew Delhi,India -ProKerala -Feb 19, 2010: ... Justice, S. Muralidhar, asked the government to explain why no-show cause notice was issued for the buses which have valid permits, and directed the government to file reply by April 13. Meanwhile, the interim order of the court allowing the buses to ply will continue... The government planned to phase out Blueline buses from the city by March 2010. About 264 buses which fall under this category are marked to be removed from Delhi roads... According to the government, when the phase-out from south Delhi begins, operators plying buses which are less than 10 years old will be given charge of some routes on which the older buses were operating... The allocation of routes will be done on a first come first served basis... The shortfall, if any, will be met with the new low-floor DTC buses which are augmenting the fleet every month now...
Labels: public services
Budget Balloons * USA - For buses in I-85 project
State committed $36.5M but now figure is $123.9MAtlanta,GA,USA -The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, by Ariel Hart -February 18, 2010: -- Metro Atlanta hasn't seen bus fare like this... After the state originally committed to purchase $36.5 million worth of commuter buses and park-and-ride lots as part of the HOV toll lane project on I-85 in Gwinnett County, now that figure is $123.9 million, according to an official at the Georgia Regional Transportation Authority... Where the immediate project called for 36 buses, it involves 82 across the region... And park-and-ride lots will be built in Cherokee County and other metro spots for the project, not just Gwinnett... All of this rerouting of an expensive project during lean fiscal times has people pointing at others in explaining how it unfolded, but curiously little opposition... (Photo from c2.api.ning: Atlanta skyline)
Labels: transport funds
RULES * Israel - Supreme Court Against 'Mehadrin' Buses
Judea,Israel -Israel National News, by Hillel Fendel -18 Feb 2010: -- A three-member panel of Supreme Court judges issued a restraining order against adding more bus lines to the separate-gender bus routes... The judges ruled that the State must also make sure that on the existing “mehadrin” buses, as they are called, separate seating for men and women are not enforced. Men and women may be directed to get on and off the bus via separate doors, however... The “mehadrin” lines are popular in areas populated by hareidi-religious Jews, but have caused controversy even there on occasion. Several women have reported being disgraced or even assaulted when they “dared” to sit in a spot reserved for men...
Labels: rules and regulations
Reportlinker 2010-2020 * USA - Adds Electric Vehicles
Cars, Buses, Two Wheelers, Industrial, Commercial, Mobility for Disabled, Military, Marine, Other... At last the full picture of China
New York,NY,USA -PR Newswire -Feb. 18, 2010: -- Reportlinker.com announces that a new market research report is available in its catalogue: "Electric Vehicles 2010-2020-Cars, Buses, Two Wheelers, Industrial, Commercial, Mobility for Disabled, Military, Marine, Other"... IDTechEx has therefore launched a new report on the whole subject called "Electric Vehicles 2010-2020"... There are chapters on Heavy Industrial, Light Industrial and Commercial... Detailed forecasts for these vehicle categories by numbers and value and the key components are provided for 2010-2020. The trends, technology and planned vehicles are clarified in 185 figures and 58 tables including the historical context... 66% of the manufacturers of electric vehicles in the world are in China. Over 90% of the world's electric vehicles are made in China, mainly for use in China. It has the largest potential market for electric vehicles. It mines and controls 95% of the World's rare earth reserves used in the hybrid car batteries, motors and other key components of today's electric vehicles. Of the 420 EV manufacturers covered in this new report, an appropriately high proportion are Chinese. This is particularly true of the chapters on Heavy Industrial, Light Industrial and Commercial, Mobility for the Disabled, Two Wheelers, Golf Cars and Cars, where the Chinese heavily participate, as yet little publicity, because so much of it is for the domestic market...
Fed Stimulus * USA - Millions Enroute: Buses, Blight, Bridges
$50 million is destined for the Kansas City area for federal stimulus transportation workKansas City,MO,USA -KCUR/89,3 FM, by Dan Verbeck -17 Feb 2010: ... The announcement came as part of the Obama Administration's national promotional blitz on the first anniversary of the economic recovery act... The millions will be managed by Mid America Regional Council and be spread both sides of state line... U.S. Transportation secretary, Ray La Hood, made much of transportation needs in poor parts of Kansas City where about half the money will be spent. The aim is to create jobs, soften urban blight and make mobility easier... MARC head, David Warm, says the urban "Green Zone" is the hub and most of the money will go there... Nearly half the money will expand bus mass transit... (Photo from lightrailnow.org: KC bus BRT cross)
Labels: stimulus funds
Bus Ads * USA - Are a bad idea
Jordan,NY,USA -Deseret News -Feb. 18, 2010: -- We feel the pain of the Jordan School District. Being cash-strapped with kids to teach is distressing. But the plan to post advertisements on school buses (put forward by Rep. Jim Bird of West Jordan) feels more than a little ill-advised and desperate... The ads would bring in revenue for struggling school districts. They would also create a very cozy relationship between the state school system and certain businesses. It's one thing for schools to partner with businesses for education purposes. That can be constructive and helpful. But it's quite another for schools to sell prominent space to promote specific products, especially on vehicles such as bright yellow school buses, which the public has come to regard as iconic... The door would be open to unhealthy relationships of influence between deep-pocketed companies and schools. Each ad could be seen as an endorsement from the public school system. Few products would qualify for that kind of relationship... (Deseret News archives - Legislation put forward by Rep. Jim Bird of West Jordan would turn Utah's yellow school buses into rolling advertisements)
Labels: advertising on buses
Priority seating * USA - Who should get it in on city buses?
Ottawa,ONT,CAN -CBC News, by POV -February 18, 2010: -- Senior and disabled transit riders in Ottawa appear to have lost a bid to win more ground at the front of the bus from stroller-pushing parents... On Wednesday, the city's transit committee decided not to vote on recommendations brought forward by advisory groups representing seniors and people with disabilities on managing the priority seating at the front of the bus. Instead, the committee chose to send an earlier staff recommendation on its transit stroller policy to city council... Seniors and people with disabilities had argued the staff recommendation wasn't tough enough. They wanted: Wheelchair users, people with disabilities and seniors to be officially given higher priority than parents with strollers for seats at the front of the bus... Strict limits on the size of strollers allowed on buses... (Photo: bus interiour)
Labels: rules and regulations
Amphibious Bus * UK - Britain's first one, nearly becomes a submarine
London,UK -Stagecoach -PR-, by Loz Blain -February 10, 2010: -- Great Britain's first amphibious bus service, proposed as a replacement for a ferry service that's set to close down next month, the "amfibus" is designed to deliver passengers across the Clyde with minimal transition time between its regular coach mode and jet-powered water crossing mode... Based on a regular Volvo bus chassis, the 12/8 meter amfibus incorporates a hull and flotation airbags to allow it to float on the water. On the road, it's controlled through a traditional accelerator and brake pedal, and on the water this switches to a pair of water jets. The engine is Euro 5 compliant, and can deliver a max speed of 60mph on and or 8 knots on water with a max passenger count of 50. It uses ramps to enter and exit the water...
A slight hitch
The bright yellow Stagecoach amfibus ground to an embarrassing halt on one of its first Clyde crossings on Monday. According to Stagecoach representatives, the bus was stopped after a clunking, grinding noise as it went to exit the river. The noise turned out to be a loose airbag at the rear - the coach is elevated out of the water by a series of such flotation devices connected to the suspension, and one of them had worked its way loose.
So, not a serious fault but certainly one to raise a few questions as the British government tries to decide whether the amfibus is worth subsidizing as a replacement for a financially troubled ferry service in the area.
The small ferry was losing as much as UK£400,000 per year due to lack of usage and the presence of a couple of bridges not too far from the crossing spot. Stagecoach has proposed that its UK£700,000 amphibious bus would be more of a drawcard, due to its tourist attraction value plus the fact that it travels non-stop from Braehead, through Renfrew, across the Clyde river to Yoker and on to Clydebank by road.
The test coach has already endured several weeks of use in Rotterdam Harbour in the Netherlands, and the technical setback has already been resolved - but it remains to be seen whether the British government will share Stagecoach's optimism that amphibious buses are a viable way of opening up new transport routes between Britain's many riverside towns...
(Photo: The amfibus in action on the River Clyde)
Labels: water buses
WORLDWIDE * SORRY ALL ...
Troubles with Buenos Aires' Internet connectionWe regret to report you that due to troubles with Buenos Aires' Internet connection, by failures of TELEFONICA DE ARGENTINA (Spanish-owned company), we could not inform from the 28th of January