User-agent: Mediapartners-Google* Disallow: Buses World News: April 2010
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Buses World News

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

18.4.10

PUBLIC SERVICE * CHINA - Shanghai: Passengers Transport Buses

Shanghai boasts one of the best transportation systems in China

Shanghai,SH,China -ilearn -12 April 2010: ... As a major port city and the largest city in Eastern China, this is the major hub for the eastern region. Shanghai is a busy regional transport hub, and is thus very easily reached by air, land and water... There are more than 1,100 bus lines in Shanghai. Buses are often fully-packed and at times, impossible to board. Once on board, keep your valuables tucked away since pick pocketing is easy under such conditions... The ticket prices are divided into several kinds which are according to the length of the routes and the condition of the bus, RMB1 for the routes less than 13 km long, RMB1.5 for the over-13 km long routes, RMB2 for air-con buses... For tourists and travelers, we do not recommend you to use bus since it is crowded and often gets caught in jams. Taxi and metro are your first choices... (Photo: Shanghai Bus)

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EasyCard * Taiwan - May be accepted on Taichung buses next year

Taichung,Taiwan -Focus Taiwan, by Hao Hsueh-chin & Fanny Liu - April 12 2010: -- All prepaid bus cards issued by other cities in Taiwan will be able to be used in Taichung City as early as mid-2011, the Taichung City government said Monday... Wen Tai-hsin, director of the Department of Transportation of Taichung City government, said that if everything goes smoothly, all prepaid transportation cards operated in other cities -- including Taipei's EasyCard -- will be able to be used in the central Taiwan region... The total cost for launching the integrated system is estimated at NT$100 million, he added... More than 1,500 card reader systems on buses in Taichung, Changhua and Nantou will need to be reconfigured, and the city has applied for a subsidy of NT$45 million from the Ministry of Transportation and Communications to integrate the system, Wen said... (Photo from wikimedia/wikipedia: Taiwan Bus Rosa Gbus)

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BUSES GARAGE * Canada - ETS opens state-of-the-art one

New $99-million bus barn is size of five football fields, first new facility in 25 years

Edmonton,Alberta,CAN -The Edmonton Journal, by Marta Gold -April 11, 2010: -- The first new transit garage to open in Edmonton in 25 years was unveiled this weekend, a sweeping, environmentally friendly expanse of concrete and steel the size of five football fields, complete with state-of-the-art ventilation, in-floor heating, natural light and even a solar panel... The Centennial Garage, at 15520 Ellerslie Rd., will officially open to bus traffic April 24, but transit employees, their families, local dignitaries and the media got an early look Saturday at the $99-million facility... The 2.8-hectare site will eventually hold up to 250 buses, taking the pressure off the city's three existing, overcrowded transit garages, which house the remainder of the Edmonton's 950-bus fleet. It will also support bus service for the LRT extension to Century Park, which opens the same day... (Photograph by: Ryan Jackson, edmontonjournal.com - One of Edmonton Transit's articulated buses is hoisted up at the new Centennial Garage located at 15520 Ellerslie Road SW, in Edmonton, Alberta, on April 10, 2010. The $99-million facility covers an area of more than five football fields)

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NEW HYBRID BUSES FLEET * USA - School districts start receiving hybrid buses

Cadiz,KY,USA -AP/WBKO TV -Apr 11, 2010: -- Twenty-two public school districts in Kentucky are scheduled to receive a total of 34 hybrid electric school buses in August... Melissa M. Howell, executive director of the Kentucky Clean Fuels Coalition, last week gave a presentation on the buses during a Trigg County School Board meeting. Both Trigg and Todd counties are slated to receive a new hybrid bus... She says the state Department of Education received a $12.9 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy to purchase the buses. In all, the state will have 213 hybrid buses, making Kentucky the state with the largest hybrid school bus fleet in the nation... (Photo by David McNew/Getty Images: School Bus)

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17.4.10

NGV Buses * Thailand - Transport Ministry pushes forward leasing scheme

Bangkok,Thailand -Siam Daily News –April 11, 2010: -- The Ministry of Transport will push forward the 4,000 NGV bus leasing scheme after people have voiced more agreement to use new NGV busses, according to a recent survey... Deputy Transport Minister, Suchart Chokchaiwattanakorn, stated that the ministry would push forward the operation of the project at haste following the survey conducted by the Bangkok Mass Transit Authority (BMTA), which revealed a rising acceptance of NGV busses... According to the survey, 81.06% of the respondents agreed to switch to using new NGV busses. 23.83% of the respondents said they could afford to pay 30-40 THB per day for transportation while 71.11% of the respondents agreed if the government would set a flat fare for NGV Buses at 30 THB... The survey was conducted among 5,730 passengers using bus services of the BMTA on their opinions towards the use of NGV buses, how it can contribute to the alleviation of global warming, and the reduction of personal cars... (Photo from media.photobucket, Thailand Bus to Mae Hong: The old rattler government buses, a real experience)

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15.4.10

PUBLIC SERVICE * USA - Bus line leads all to Chinatown

Richmond,VA,USA -News Observer, by SARAH OVASKA -10 April 2010: -- It was 4:30 a.m. at a bleak truck stop when the driver stopped the New York City-bound bus, waking the passengers and reeling off what sounded like very important instructions in Chinese... The passengers, who boarded in Raleigh, needed to grab their luggage and get on another bus that had come down from New York. The travelers on the second bus would take their places and head south to Raleigh... Confused? Imagine it in Mandarin... Such is life on the Sky Express bus, where $30 secures a one-way ticket from the Triangle to New York's Chinatown... Long a mainstay in Northeast cities with sizable Asian populations, the bus lines offer a no-frills way to get to New York for $50 to $100 less than other buses or trains... (Photo by TRAVIS LONG/News Observer - Bus driver Chen Guang checks tickets before departing for New York City on a recent Sky Express bus trip. The bus bound for Chinatown leaves every night at 9 p.m. and 1 a.m. from a parking lot in Cary)

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FREE BUSES * USA - Citylink buses are attracting more riders

Edmond,OK,USA -News OK, by DIANA BALDWIN -April 10, 2010: — The number of rides taken on thes service continues to climb, topping 11,850 in March... Shannon Entz also wants to expand the contract with McDonald Transit, the company running the bus service, by at least 10 hours so bus service will be available for UCO events and city celebrations... That is an increase of 1,736 rides over February. Since July, when the city-owned bus service started, people have taken 74,204 rides on the bus... The bus service is free...

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NEW BUSES FLEET * Nigeria - Replacing molue with BRT buses in Lagos

”44 (passengers) sitting, 99 standing; suffering and smiling” on molue -old mass transit buses-

Lagos,Nigeria,Africa -Punch, by Rasheed Bisiriyu -10 Apr 2010: ... There are still molue buses on Lagos roads. There are also the minibuses called danfo, which first appeared in the 1970's... Commuting in a contraption called molue is a reminder of life in the ghetto. There are drug peddlers, preachers and pickpockets, all of who try to carry out their different operations during each trip. There are hardly any view finders or side mirrors in such buses, the drivers often rely on the conductors hanging precariously at the tail board of the bus to offer direction when turning, reversing, entering or getting out of the road... But Lagos now has decent mass transit buses courtesy of the Bus Rapid Transit scheme. And the plan is to gradually phase out the molues, which have become rickety, antiquated and unbefitting of the mega city status... Lagos State Government has said that it will require about 15,000 new buses to effectively move the estimated 18 million people living in the state... Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority, the regulator of the Mile 12- CMS section of the BRT, had earlier reported that it moved 100 million passengers in two years... Badejo, while giving a breakdown of the buses, said that 10,000 units of the 15,000 buses would be needed for shuttle purposes, adding that the remaining 5,000 must be high capacity buses... According to him, about 220 high capacity buses carry an average of over 220,000 passengers daily on week days while an average of 145,000 passengers are moved during the weekend... (Photo: BRT buses parked at Ketu Bus-Stop)

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TRANSPORT STATISTICS * Germany - 1.1% more passengers used bus and rail transport in 2009

Berlin,Germany -Transport Weekly (Riga,Letonia) -8 April 2010: -- According to results of the Federal Statistical Office (Destatis), the number of passengers using means of public regular road and rail transport in Germany increased by 1.1% in 2009 from the preceding year. The larger enterprises of public regular passenger transport (enterprises with a minimum of yearly 250,000 passengers) carried nearly 10.7 billion passengers, more than 10.5 billion passengers in regular short-distance transport and 125 million in regular long-distance transport... The number of passenger-kilometres in regular transport fell by 0.7% to 134.4 billion. Of that 98.7 billion were carried in regular short-distance transport and 35.7 billion passenger-kilometres in regular long-distance transport... (Photo from blog.cocoia: bus)

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BUSES INSPECTION * South Africa - Roadlink buses to be scrutinised in KZN

Pietermaritzbur,KwaZulu-Natal.S.A. -IOL, by SIPHO KHUMALO -April 9, 2010: -- With immediate effect, on S.A. Roadlink buses will be allowed to enter the province of KwaZulu-Natal without being subjected to roadworthy inspection... In addition, no buses will leave depots in and around Durban without a pre-trip inspection carried out by experienced officers... These are some of the safety measures to be imposed on the troubled bus company's operations announced by the KZN Transport MEC, Willies Mchunu, in Pietermaritzburg yesterday... These would see all buses entering and leaving the province being subjected to mechanical tests by the department's Public Transport... The MEC said the measures were in response to public outcry on the operations of Roadlink, which has had more than 12 incidents in the province since 2006... Mchunu said the vehicle and driver would be checked for safety and compliance, licence, operator licence, professional driver's licence, passenger count and survey, fraudulent discs, driver's fitness and scanned for alcohol... (Photo from aleosp.files.wordpress: SA Roadlink bus)

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RIDER COMPLAIN * UK - Angry passenger wages war on the buses

Manchester,UK -The Manchester Evening News, by Katherine Vine -April 9, 2010: -- A passenger is so fed up with his bus being late he has written to transport bosses EVERY DAY for three weeks to complain... Anthony Henderson, from Partington, has also set up a Facebook page about the unreliable 255 Stagecoach service to central Manchester... The 27-year-old office worker calculated that over 20 days it was a total of four hours 55 minutes late... Anthony says the bus – which is supposed to run every half hour – sometimes doesn’t arrive at all... He first wrote to Stagecoach last year but when nothing changed stepped up his campaign in the last few weeks – prompting bosses to add nine minutes to the journey time from next week... (Picture: Anthony Henderson waits for the 255 bus)

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NEW BUSES FLEET * USA - New ChicaGo Dash buses ready to roll

Valparaiso,ILL,USA -The Post-Tribune, by JAMES D. WOLF JR. -April 8, 2010: -- The city unveiled its new fleet of buses on Wednesday, just outside City Hall... The four new ChicaGo Dash buses will go into service Monday, as required by the Federal Transit Authority... The new buses have seat belts, which are new to the industry, Kent said. Other new features include seven security cameras inside, a bike rack that can transport two bikes to the city, electronic destination signs on the buses' fronts and sides, and internal LED lighting. The new buses will continue to provide WiFi and satellite television, as the current ones do...


* USA - Money Awarded To Switch Buses To Diesel

Muhlenberg TWP,PA,USA -WFMX TV, by Kevin Fitzsimmons -April 7, 2010: -- State money will help the Berks County Intermediate Unit's school buses run cleaner... The agency's been awarded an alternative energy grant totalling $183,000. That money will help pay for new fuel storage tanks and biodiesel fuel blends for the BCIU's 180 buses... BCIU buses serve the Reading, Muhlenberg, Tulpehocken and Antietam school districts and use about 240,000 gallons of fuel each year...

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NEW "GREEN" BUSES * USA - MITS receives first 5 hybrid buses

Muncie,IN,USA -DN Online/Ball State Daily News, by Sharon Hernande -April 8, 2010: -- Two of the five new Muncie Indiana Transit System’s hybrid electric-diesel buses are now circulating the area, including Ball State University... The five new heavy duty transit vehicles will use a combination of soy biodiesel fuel and rechargable batteries, using less fuel and emmitting less exhaust, according to a press release. Electricity is generated by the engine and by the breaking action of the bus when it slows down or stops... The hybrid buses also have a smaller engine than traditional buses and can use soy biodiesel... (Photo from greentechnolog: Vail hybrid bus)


* USA - AC Transit pushes hydrogen fuel cells as oil companies pull back

San Francisco,CAL,USA -San Francisco Bay Guardian, by Adam Lesser -30 March 2010: ... AC Transit uses 6.5 million gallons of diesel per year... Jaimie Levin, AC Transit director of alternative fuels policy, has spent the last 10 years testing and deploying three hydrogen fuel cell buses, and he's ready for more... The first of 12 new hydrogen fuel cell buses begin arriving from Belgium at the end of April, doubling the number of fuel cell buses operating in the United States. They will run on multiple lines, which runs between San Francisco and Oakland... Levin promotes a mix of energy sources, but he argues that hydrogen is the best way to go, even if there's a big near-term problem: the price of a hydrogen fuel cell bus. The new buses cost $2.5 million each compared to a standard diesel bus, which runs $400,000. Levin describes the buses as research vehicles and works with the National Renewable Energy Laboratory to monitor their performance... (GUARDIAN PHOTO BY ADAM LESSER - Share Chevron helped greenwash its image by supporting AC Transit's hydrogen fuel cell program before pulling out this September)

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GPS on Buses * South Korea & Japan - Streets ahead in smart transport

Intelligent transport systems well developed in South Korea and Japan

Seoul, South Korea -CNN, by Nicolai Hartvig -April 8, 2010: -- GPS updates South Korea's 17 million drivers with traffic updates. Faster commute times, less accidents ands pollution has been the result... Juwan Yoo was tired of calling up the old-school telephone hotline to find out when his bus would come -- and excited about the iPhone's arrival in South Korea... So the 17-year-old developed the "Seoul Bus" application, which crawls public transport Web sites to give real-time updates for all bus stops in the capital and its surrounding provinces. More than 400,000 people have downloaded the free app, Yoo told... Yoo is now affectionately known as "the high school student" to South Korean traffic researchers and officials after he ventured into intelligent transport systems (ITS)... (Photo from i.ytimg: A South Korean bus)

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REPORT *USA - NRC: Improving Fuel Economy of Buses and Trucks Is Easy

Washington,DC,USA -Fast Company, by Ariel Schwartz -Apr 7, 2010: -- Trucks, buses, and tractor trailers are some of the biggest gas guzzlers around. You might think, then, that improving the fuel economy of these hulking vehicles would be difficult. But according to a recently released report from the National Research Council, improving fuel economy could be fairly simple... Next100 points us to the report, Technologies and Approaches to Reducing the Fuel Consumption of Medium- and Heavy-Duty Vehicles, wihch explains that advanced diesel engines and hybrid powertrains--both high-tech solutions--could play a role in cutting fuel consumption. The NRC reports: Using advanced diesel engines in tractor-trailers could lower their fuel consumption by up to 20 percent by 2020, and improved aerodynamics could yield an 11 percent reduction. Hybrid powertrains could lower the fuel consumption of vehicles that stop frequently, such as garbage trucks and transit buses, by as much 35 percent in the same time frame... So advanced engines and powertrains shouldn't be ignored altogether. But the NRC also advocates driver training and higher fuel taxes--two simple ways to cut consumption. A fuel tax would spur companies to invest in fuel-saving technologies by providing monetary incentive, while a training program that teaches drivers to utilize fuel-saving practices (i.e. keeping tires inflated, minimizing idling, etc.) could lead to fuel savings of 2 to 17%...

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Enviro-friendly Gadgets * USA - Older school buses getting enviro-friendly gadgets ones


(Photo by Meredith Spencer/The Vicksburg Post - Donald Johnson of Waters Truck and Tractor installs one of the new diesel oxidation catalysts on a bus)

Vicksburg,MISS,USA -The Vicksburg Post, by Danny Barrett Jr. -April 7, 2010: -- Public school students in Vicksburg and Warren County might be breathing a bit easier due to green technology installed this week on the oldest buses in the Vicksburg Warren School District’s fleet..

(Photo: A pile of the old catalytic converters)
Diesel Oxidation Catalysts, or DOCs, are replacing traditional catalytic converters on eligible buses statewide built between 1998 and 2006, including 35 here.
The newer converters contain a porous, honeycomb-like structure that is coated with a material that triggers a chemical reaction to reduce pollution. No maintenance is needed for DOCs and they don’t affect the fuel economy of the buses, according to
the Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality, which bought and paid for installation with money from the federal stimulus act and grants from the Environmental Protection Agency. Emissions of particulate matter should be cut 40 percent and hydrocarbons cut 70 percent as a result of the DOCs, according to MDEQ...

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BUSMAKERS' NEWS * WORLDWIDE

* USA - American busmaker Gillig and its workers, a stimulus success story

CAL,USA -Fav Stocks/by The White House Blog -9 April 2010: -- The other day, I heard a great success story from a man who thanked me for the work DOT’s Recovery Act grants had stimulated. He had in mind, specifically, our Federal Transit Administration grants that have allowed local and regional transit districts to upgrade and expand their fleets in times of strapped budgets... Because of the Obama Administration’s stimulus, he said, the Gillig Corporation, a 100% American bus manufacturer in California, had not only been able to retain its workforce in threatening times, but had added workers and was even working a shift on Saturdays... Now, I’ve heard a lot of anecdotes like this in the past 14 months. Recovery Act grants have allowed transit agencies to purchase over 12,000 new buses, rail cars, and paratransit vans. In Tennessee, for example, a grant to the Memphis Area Transit Authority allowed them to order 26 new vehicles from Gillig... (Photo: The first of 14 new Gillig-made buses for the Whatcom Transportation Authority)


* Germany - MB buses meet EEV emissions standard without diesel particulate filter

Stuttgart,Germany -Transport Weekly (Letonia) -15 April 2010: -- The Mercedes-Benz bus range for travel and regular transport services is to feature even more environmentally friendly specifications in the future. Over and above the proven BlueTec 5 diesel technology, the buses are now being made available in EEV (Enhanced Environmentally Friendly Vehicle) versions. The optional EEV emissions standard is currently the strictest European emissions standard, with limits which are below those of the Euro 5 standard. This translates into even lower pollutant emissions, thereby undercutting the Euro 5 standard in terms of particle emissions, for example, by around 30%, but without a fuel economy penalty. The most significant aspect of this result, however, is that it has been achieved solely by means of internal engine measures and without an additional particulate filter in the case of the Mercedes-Benz BlueTec engines. Previously the BlueTec engines were able to fulfil the optional EEV emissions standard through a combination of SCR (Selective Catalytic Reduction) technology and an additional diesel particulate filter. This system will also continue to be available...


* Hungary - Bus makers establish business cluster

Budapest,Hungary -Real Deal/MTI-ECONEWS -April 08, 2010: -- Nineteen Hungarian bus makers have established the Hungarian Bus Makers Cluster, government commissioner in charge of a programme supporting the bus-making industry Istvan Forian said at a press conference on Wednesday... The aim of the cluster is to promote cooperation among Hungarian companies in the industry, increasing their chances amidst fierce international competition, Mr Forian said... The founders of the cluster are Alfa Busz Projekt, Auto Rad Controlle, Auto Univerzal, I-Cell, IK Femtechnika, IK Jarmutechnika, Ikarus Bus, Jaszi-Autokut, Kti Kozlekedestudomanyi Intezet Nonprofit, Liberatus Hungary, Magyar Autobuszgyarto, Nor-Service, Omnex, Oroshazaglas, Raba Jarmu, Silex, Trezor-Liktor, Tuv Nord and Vill-Cad...

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11.4.10

Subsidy Support * New Zealand - Alarm At Govt Plan To “Commercialise” Public Transport

Auckland,New Zealand -AKT. by Jon C -Apr 7, 2010: ...
The revelation came during a discussion about a nice problem to have – too many people want to use Hamilton buses, in particular the issue of overcrowding on the increasingly popular Orbiter bus service in Hamilton is worrying authorities... The committee heard that growing school rolls – due to new students and more young people staying in education – and increased demand generally had all contributed to fuller buses on the clockwise and anti-clockwise Orbiter routes which circle Hamilton... Overcrowding problems with frustrated passengers unable to be picked up were particularly evident on the morning anti-clockwise route, the committee heard... Environment Waikato’s regional passenger transport committee has been told of an” initiative” by the Minister of Transport to “examine increased commercialisation of public transport/”... EW’s land transport operations manager Bevan Dale said that plan would result in “subsidy support for only those routes that are non-profitable”... Committee members raised a range of concerns about this, including a feeling that passenger bus services would never be fully commercial in New Zealand ... (Photo from stephenrees: Tindo bus, NZ)

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Fare Collection * USA - New Technology for New York City Buses

Cubic Receives $10 Million Contract to Provide Ones

New York,NY,USA -CNN Money -April 07, 2010: -- The MetroCard® system that Cubic designed and delivered to New York City Transit 17 years ago remains one of the top-performing fare collection systems in the world, processing more than 8 million transactions a day. By September, the system's reach will expand further when Cubic Transportation Systems, Inc., delivers 200 new advance-pay fare machines for Select Bus Service routes... Under a $10 million contract signed last year, Cubic will provide more than 200 MetroCard Fare Collectors to NYCT in an effort to speed bus service to handle increased ridership. Studies show that NYCT buses spend more than 20 percent of their time stopped waiting for passengers to board, transit officials say. With fewer stops, and dedicated traffic lanes and stoplights that change in the buses' favor, Select Bus Service routes are a cost-effective alternative to building new subways... Cubic's MetroCard Fare Collectors will let people use their MetroCard to pay before the bus arrives... (Photo from 4.bp.blogspot: new york metro card)

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Rapid-Transit Buses * USA - West Valley City has Utah's first ones

Utah's first MAX bus route, the 35M, just got speedier

West Valley,Utah,USA -The Salt Lake Tribune, by Cathy McKitrick -6 April 2010: -- MAX, Utah's first rapid bus transit, began operation Monday on 3500 South, running every 15 minutes between Magna and Millcreek. The bus has a dedicated lane in West Valley and with limited stops and traffic signal priority it is billed as faster and more reliable than traditional bus service, and helps reduce travel time to 25 minutes each direction... Construction of the $8 million bus-only lane piggybacked on that project, Carpenter said, noting that future extension of the bus-specific lane to 5600 South will require similar coordination... Route 35M makes 15 stops and carries 4,100 riders a day, Carpenter said, adding that future fast buses will likely be hybrid diesel-electric vehicles... (Photo courtesy Kevin Conde: West Valley City Special lane » Dedicated portion of 3500 South speeds up east-west travel)

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Bus-a-move! * USA - Drivers' hit spots

Some city intersections may need a new street sign: Beware of buses

New York,NY,USA -The New York Post by MICHELLE KASKE & TOM NAMAKO -April 5, 2010: -- NYC Transit reveals riskiest corners... Two Upper East Side corners are among the top five locations for bus accidents in the city, according to data obtained by The Post... In 2009, there were 29 accidents at East 57th Street and Third Avenue -- the most in the city -- that involved buses hitting pedestrians or vehicles... Second was Sutphin Boulevard and Archer Avenue in Jamaica with 20 collisions, followed by Flatbush Avenue and Avenue U in Brooklyn with 19. And just down Third Avenue, at East 59th Street, there were 17 accidents, the fourth most in the city... But not all the blame should fall on the bus drivers... Some say bad traffic signals and signage are at fault, while others point to aggressive pedestrians forcing buses to make sudden stops... Russell Garton, a doorman on that corner for the last five years, said it's not just buses. He says he sees at least four fender benders a week... She said that bus operators go through annual safety courses and have to take the state road test every two years... Some people blame a lack of traffic-police presence at the intersections... (Photo by Brigitte Stelzer - MEAN STREETS: Third Avenue and 57th Street is the city's top bus-crash site)

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BUS & ARTS * USA - City buses feature photos of local food and farmers

Transit’s ‘art buses’ make their debut in Asheville, North Carolina

Asheville,NC,USA -Mountain Xpress/City Farmer News, by Michael Levenston -27 March 2010: -- Three Asheville area artists have won the city’s first “Art on Transit” competition, the Parks, Recreation and Cultural Arts Department announced recently. Each artist will be awarded a $750 honorarium, and their design will grace both sides of a single bus. The winners were: Ray Noland’s “Jeweled Forest,” a color-splashed, whimsical forest; Naomi Johnson’s photos of local food and farmers; and Nina Ruffini’s “Message,” featuring bunnies adrift in boats... A five-member jury, which included a bus driver, met and considered more than 60 submissions. The jury picked six finalists and suggested the three winners, which were unanimously confirmed by Asheville’s Public Art Board... The work will remain on display for at least four months, according to Diane Ruggerio, the city’s superintendent of cultural arts. Ruggerio said she hopes “Art on Transit” will become an annual project... (Naomi Johnson’s photos of local food and farmers)

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CNG BUSES * Vietnam - Interest rising in CNG as alternative to gas, diesel

Ho Chi Minh City,Vietnam -Vietnam News -April 5, 2010: ... Converting to the more environmentally friendly fossil fuel has been slow due to the cost of converting old systems to those that can accommodate Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) ... Last year, bus operators in Ho Chi Minh City expressed interest in switching to CNG as the gas is also more cost-effective than regular fuel... The Sai Gon Passenger Transport Company and HCMC Bus Cooperative Alliance each imported one CNG bus... The Asian Development Bank (ADB) and other environmental organizations have funded $250 million for a program to increase the use of CNG in Vietnam... Le Trung Tinh from the HCMC Department of Transport, said that HCMC now has about 5,000 buses with 1,300 of them in need of modernization... If authorities help businesses pay for clean-energy buses, the city would be able to convert 1,300 of the buses into more environmentally friendly vehicles... (Photo from SGGP - A driver fills up a taxi with gas in HCMC)

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Public Transport * Singapore - Bus service standards up

Singapore -Straits Times, by Maria Almenoar -Apr 5, 2010: -- Bus operators SBS Transit and SMRT have turned in their best service performance since financial penalties were introduced in 2007... Between the two operators, only one service by SMRT failed to leave the terminal on time... SBS Transit, which runs about 75 per cent of the services in Singapore, met all service standards in the latest review... The PTC review noted that both operators had also met all the standards of bus passenger loading, minimal bus breakdowns and bus frequency among other parameters on the checklist... Operators were required to have at least 80 per cent of their bus services operating at a headway of 10 minutes during weekday peak periods, down from 15 minutes... Also, at least 90 per cent of all feeder bus services must run at headways of not more than 10 minutes during weekday peak periods... (ST PHOTO: STEPHANIE YEOW - This was up from 85 per cent. The PTC review noted that both operators had also met all the standards of bus passenger loading, minimal bus breakdowns and bus frequency among other parameters on the checklist)

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8.4.10

STRIKE * Romania - Spontaneous strike staged by ground transport staff in Bucharest

Bucharest,Romania -Financiarul -2 April 2010: -- Some 400 employees of Bucharest Public Transport Company (RATB) staged on Thursday morning a spontaneous strike, accusing the management of wage cuts and lack of the Easter bonuses... RATB employees are discontent with the company austerity budget, with the consequence the absence of the Easter bonuses this year. For this reason part of the drivers of buses, trolley-buses and tramways have staged a spontaneous strike at Titan auto base, not going into traffic this morning, head of RATB public relations Mihai Vladarau told, underlining that the majority of public transport means in Bucharest do not operate... (Photo from wikimedia/wikipedia: Bucharest Iveco bus)

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SOLAR BUSES * USA - Can the power-assist prototype be a sustainable solution?

Palo Alto,CA,USA -Energy 2.0, by clothilde -March 31, 2010: -- The Californian Sunpods Inc manufacturing company produces innovative, modular and tested solar power stations. One of their latest projects, is to build the first solar power-assist for buses. This system will help Bauer Intelligent Transportation meet strict anti-pollution standards laid down by the State of California... Sunpods Inc ’s solar power-assist system is made up of four solar panels which are fixed on the roof of the bus. They can charge an on-board battery bank to power the air-conditioning and wireless connectivity equipment when the bus is inactive. Tested on a Bauer Intelligent Transportation bus since January 2010, this solar power-assist system is already demonstarting success, respecting anti-idling standards without discomforting passengers... (Photo: Low-floor bus MAZ 203)

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Objection * India - Delhi govt paid higher rates to procure low-floor buses

New Delhi,India -DNA -April 1, 2010: -- Delhi government today came under attack from the Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) for paying Tata Motors a higher rate for procuring low-floor buses which may not be suitable for some of the city roads... During 2004-09, the DTC purchased 3,156 AC and non AC low floor buses to cover a large area comprising rural and suburban regions, the CAG said that making a homogeneous bus fleet would not only increase the cost of operations... In its report for the year ending March 2009, the CAG pointed out about the procurement order for 1,500 non-AC and 1,000 AC low floor buses in September 2008 and said the vehicles were purchased at "rates over and above the justified rate" prescribed by a technical committee of the corporation... It said the offer of Tata Motors was lowest with the bid price of Rs55.20 lakh for a non-AC bus and Rs64.19 lakh for an AC bus. But the technical committee of the DTC had, however, worked out a justified price of Rs42.92 lakh for non-AC bus and Rs50.56 lakh for AC bus... After negotiations the government directed the corporation to procure the non-AC bus and AC buses at Rs51.89 lakh and Rs61.62 lakh respectively...

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7.4.10

STOP CALLING * Canada - Lost in transit

Ottawa,ONT,CAN -The Ottawa Citizen -April 3, 2010: -- No one is above the law -- not the prime minister, not the premier, not the mayor ... not even bus drivers... So when the Canadian Transportation Agency fined OC Transpo this month for not calling out bus stops to passengers, the city's transit operation had to do something -- and that was to put "silent shoppers" on the buses to monitor the drivers... Anyone who has taken a bus knows that many major stops are not called out. Most importantly, visually impaired riders need the stops called so they know when to disembark. But even non-impaired passengers need the help. During the winter months especially, it's difficult for riders to see through dirty windows. Nighttime can also be difficult. It's easy to get disoriented riding a bus that's motoring down the likes of Carling Avenue... Meanwhile, the city hopes to have an automated stop-calling system on all buses by the end of the year. The system, approved last November, cost some $12-million and has been a huge procurement headache. One wonders if the hassle and expense would even have been necessary had OC Transpo been able to get the drivers to call out the stops in the first place... (Photo from ottawaproject)

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Bus Rapid Transit * India - System buses to drive into Bopal?

Ahmedabad,Gujarat,India -DNAIndia, by Jitendra Dave -April 3, 2010: -- The Ahmedabad Janmarg Ltd's (AJL) Bus Rapid Transit System (BRTS) is going places and may also reach Bopal and Ghuma... The civic body has already awarded contracts for carrying out work on the second phase of the project. Sources said that it may further take the transport system to Bopal village and even to Ghuma... The centre's urban development ministry has given its sanction for AMC's present BRTS network plan. The centre grants 35% of the BRTS project cost under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission (JNNURM)... (Photo from wikipedia: Ahmedabad BRTS bus)

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SLOW BUSES * New Zealand - Speeding Up Public Transport

One of the biggest flaws with buses in Auckland at the moment is that they are generally so incredibly slow

Auckland,NZ -The Auckland Transport Blog -3 April 2010: ... There are probably just a few routes around Auckland where catching the bus is faster than driving – such as the Northern Busway and perhaps some arterials with bus lanes like Dominion Road and Onewa Road. A big reason for why buses are so slow is that they spend a huge amount of their time not moving – largely due to incredibly slow boarding times... Of course Auckland is not alone with this problem, and this youtube video of San Francisco shows their problems with slow public transport, and the steps being taken to speed things up...


Video from YouTube, by StreetfilmsVlog — March 18, 2010 — Some of the most important changes for San Francisco's Muni system are also the simplest ones. In the first of our five-part series on creating a faster Muni, we focus on bus stop boarding. By instituting a prepaid boarding system called proof-of-payment, Muni could dramatically quicken the boarding process, speed service and improve reliability.

I think one of the biggest benefits of Auckland’s integrated ticketing system, once it eventually happens, will be the faster boarding times that the non-contact RFID smart-cards will allow. I certainly hope that consideration is given to allowing people to board buses from the rear doors – particularly during busy peak hour periods... As well as speeding up buses, quicker boarding times will also allow buses to be more reliable. Because boarding times are so slow, if one particular bus ends up having to pick up a lot of people it will lose ground to its timetable. Then, inevitably, the bus behind it will start to catch it – with that process added to by the fact that it doesn’t have to pick up those passengers. This is what leads to buses “bunching”, particularly on the Link Bus route here in Auckland... The other essential element of improving our bus system is to build more bus lanes. Particularly on the Link Bus route!...

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