In brief: Worldwide montly news & informations about Buses, Busmakers, Passengers' and the Transport Industry
INCENTIVE * Cuba: Letting drivers rent buses, make money
"This is only the beginning. The state can't do everything, and they are seeing if this system gives results" said one driver
Havana,Cuba -Reuters (USA), by Rosa Tania Valdes & Jeff Franks & Doina Chiacu -May 17, 2010:-- The Cuban governmenthas begun renting its smaller city buses in Havana to the bus drivers in another minor move under President Raul Castroto ease the state's hand in Cuba'ssocialist economy... The programme, launched several months ago and still not announced by the government, appears to be part ofCastro'sdrive to improve the communist island's troubled economy by giving more incentive for Cubans to work harder... Improving public transportation is one of the major challenges facingRaul Castro, who replaced ailing older brother Fidel Castroas president two years ago... Few people inCuba own cars and the public transit systems they depend on are notoriously insufficient... The smaller buses are used inHavana to connect the city center with the suburbs... The government has fixed ticket prices at five Cuban pesos, equal to 22 cents U.S. And it provides fuel and the bus in exchange for a daily payment from the drivers of 824 pesos, or the equivalent of $37 U.S... The drivers keep anything they make above that amount, and so far they say they are earning more than the average Cuban salary of about $20 a month... The new system appears to be benefitting passengers, who say buses are coming much more frequently and on a timely basis than in the past...(Photo from ic2.pbase: One Havana bus. Miramar)
PARTY BUSES * New Zealand - Inspectors to tail teenagers' ones
Auckland,NZ -The New Zealand Herald, by Alanah May Eriksen -17 May 2010:--Manukau'sliquor licensing agency is drawing up a list of school ball dates, and will send inspectors to follow buses to after-ball parties in a bid to stop alcohol being supplied to minors... The agency has vowed to block all "after-balls" supplying alcohol to minors following an early-morning bust at the weekend of a van-load of booze meant for party-hopeful teens... Principals in the area have given the agency and police a list of school ball dates...The Herald on Sunday said a large white van full of ready-to-drink spirit mixes and beer, driven by an adult who was said to be the parent of a student, left the venue... After the alcohol was removed, police cars followed the buses to make sure students still went to the alcohol-free event, rather than elsewhere... Mr Radichsaid policecould lay several charges including unauthorised sale and supply which carries a fine of $40,000 or up to three months in prison for sale and supply of liquor to a minor, and providing a place for the consumption of liquor...Policeon Wednesday sent a letter to about 40 Auckland high schools saying they would not accept excuses for supplying alcohol to under-18s at parties...The Auckland City Council's chairman of city development, Aaron Bhatnager, said the council was also acting against after-balls...
TRANSPORT SERVICES * Argentine - Buses and Buenos Aires
Going back on a bus !
(Video from Youtube, by argenvia2 -20 June 2009: Mi first video about buses -say "colectivos"- of Buenos Aires. Zone Almagro, and 11 Square, Buenos Aires, ARG) Buenos Aires,CABA,Argentine -This is David Cummings alias The English Gaucho -16 May 2010: -- I am a bus man! Well I don’t drive them as the great Reg Butler did but I use them regularly when I am here in BA and I like them.It means I don’t have to drive, it is cheap and it gets me there and my ecological footprint is less than if I drove a car around the capital – every little bit helps as they say... I got on, I paid my fare, the bus driver drove, he observed all the rules i.e. he didn’t jump traffic lights or try to kill pedestrians neither did he try to test how much stamina the old have before they pleaded for mercy – no the driver and bus trundled on their way and when I got off I didn’t feel dizzy or exhausted from hanging on for dear life as it's momentous highlights flashed before me . No sir, that experience was waiting for me here in Buenos Aires!... Now, for sure, there is no doubt about it, bus fares here must be the cheapest in the world – it costs just AR$1.25 pesos (about 12 pence) to go anywhere in the capital – that is not just a bargain it is a steal...It is a wonderful public transport system here, however, with some flaws. Most tourists that come here miss out on a unique experience by not using it – or do they? ... There is no doubt it’s a great system and in spite of my little digging I still use it because it’s so cheap and so efficient - just a tiny bit dangerous! Come here and you should at least give it a go – just have a valium on the big day ...
Replacing * Canada - Bus Rapid Transit with Light Rail
Is the Ottawa model — raise ridership with buses, and then think about more expensive rail options — falling flat? What went wrong? ...
(Video from YouTube, by newflyer800 —13 Feb 2009: 2008 Orion VII HEV NG 5001 on route 4 Hurdman, run 4-1 which is rare, seen in this video going on the Transitway)
Ottawa,ONT,CAN -The Transport Politic, by Yonah Freemark -May 17, 2010: ...Ottawawas too successful, encouraging the city’s citizens to take an average of 125 trips by public transportation a year, more than any equivalently-sized North American city.The transitway has so many riders that it puts 2,600 daily buses onto two downtown streets, and by 2018, the system will have literally no more capacity. By 2030, Ottawa would have to get a bus downtown every eighteen seconds to accommodate all of its riders — an impossible feat... So Mayor Larry O’Brien and his staff have concocted what is now a C$2.1 billion project to run light rail in a three-kilometer tunnel under downtown.The 13-station system will be designed for very high capacity, up to 25,000 riders per direction during the peak hour (up from 10,000 today), thanks to platforms long enough to handle six-car trains and even platform screen doors in the underground stations...By dramatically increasing the average number of passengers per vehicle thanks to long trains and by switching to clean and cheap electricity from diesel fuel, the city will find notable economies in rail. It will also produce far fewer greenhouse gases — saving 38,000 tons by 2031...
SMART CARD * UK - Newport Bus brings in one, for passengers
The bus travel smart card is said to be first of its kind in Wales
Newport,Gwent,UK -BBC News -17 May 2010:... A bus firm is launching a photo ID "smart card" which it says will make frequent bus travel easier and cheaper... Newport Bus is offering the credit card-size "passport" card at weekly, monthly and annual rates...The assembly government, which is sharing its equipment with the firm, has a Wales-widesmart card scheme for 650,000 concessionary pass holders...Later this month Newport Bus is to launch a top-up payment card for less frequent bus users... The firm said the scheme makes it the first in Wales to run a commercial smart card system for bus passengers...(Image: Newport University student Gemma Aubrey, 21, show off her Passport card)
FUTURE BUSES * UK - New Routemaster bus design unveiled
London,UK -Channel 4 News -17 May 2010: -- The London mayor unveils the design for a replacement for the iconic Routemaster double decker bus which is due to begin carrying its first passengers in 2012... The new, and inevitably red, bus will have two doors, as well as the iconic open platform allowing passengers to jump on and off where they want. The bus has been designed to be 40 per cent more fuel efficient than existing diesel double-deckers... It will have two staircases, and be manufactured from lightweight materials and glass to produce a "light and airy feel inside"... Critics said the buses were fuel inefficient and inaccessible for disabled people...Opponents have questioned the cost of introducing the new Routemaster, at a time when Transport for London's finances are under huge strain...Figures revealed it would cost £7.8 million to bring in just five new buses...
ELECTRIC BUSES * China - Plugs in next wave of electric cars by putting buses first
Beijing,China -China Daily/Autobloggreen, by Sebastian Blanco-May 16, 2010:-- Plug-in buses are not a new idea but transportation planners in China seem to think that there is a benefit to getting them on the streets that goes beyond reducing fuel costs... A plug-in hybrid school bus developedby Enova Systems andIC Bus, for example, saw a 70 percent drop in diesel use, but the real benefit to the emerging plug-in bus network in cities like Beijing, where 50 such buses are in use now and 250 more are scheduled to go into service this year, could that they are paving the way for passenger plug-in vehicles.Since the buses are used on fixed routes, it's easier to get the battery-swap and plug-in infrastructure in place for them than it might otherwise be for a fleet of plug-in passenger cars.Once the system is there, expanding it to smaller vehicles is much more doable.Shanghai, writes China Daily, is planning on installing "400 more roadside charging points and seven to 10 large charging stations by the end of this year."With the Chinese government working to provide subsidies for plug-in vehicle purchases and a population ready for electric vehicles, the plan is a logical one... (Photo from: The toe stubber)
Copenhagen,Denmark -Good Blog, by Andrew Price -May 11, 2010:-- In Copenhagen, 100 city buses just got special "Love Seats"—complete with special red upholstery—for people to sit in if they're open to flirting, or maybe just chatting, with other passengers.AsMartin Wex, a spokesman for the Danish bus company Arriva, explains"We cannot guarantee that you will find the person of your dreams. We are just offering the possibility for people to communicate, to smile a bit more and possibly, to win someone’s heart"...
LUXURY BUSES * USA - Party Buses In Los Angeles ? No Ways To Save Money
Los Angeles,CAL,USA -xForce Articles-15 May 2010:-- With party buses Los Angeles, one thing is a point taken – They just don’t allow individuals to save any money, if that is a thought doing headlines in people’s minds.Basically, with party buses Los Angeles, irrespective of the time an individual books them, the charges are going to be sky high for most part of the day and eventually, people may pay 30-40% more than what they would have paid, if they would have arranged for another bus to ferry their guests...But then, the feel of travelling in party buses Los Angeles is probably much more different than traveling in any other bus. This is probably due to the luxury, style and comfort provided to them in the luxury bus, which is not something provided to them in any regular bus.The point is – Are these party buses Los Angeles, worth paying the sky high charges? Are there any cheaper alternatives to them at all?The bad news is – The more you try to hunt down an answer to this question, the more disappointed you would be, because of the fact that these party buses Los Angeles do have a standard pricing margin...Fleet management companies wouldn’t want to go overboard with the costing of these party buses Los Angeles, and thus would do their best to price the rentals for party buses Los Angeles in a normal cost range... (Photo from: crownlimola: LA party bus interior)
Ludington,MI,USA -The Ludington Daily News, by Kevin Braciszeski-May 15, 2010:-- Ludington’s out-of-town school bus routes could change from double runs to single runs next school year and bike trails may be built in the district’s school forest... Superintendent, Cal DeKuiper,has saidthe change will save the district $70,000 even if it buys two more used school buses.The change would reduce the district’s bus travel by 250 miles a day, or about 35 gallons of fuel a day for the 7-mile-per-gallon buses...In-town bus routes would stay the same with children in grades K-5 being picked up at neighborhood bus stops and students in grades 6-12 walking to Pere Marquette, Foster or Lakeview schools to catch buses to the high school/middle school complex...DeKuiper has also said the district will consider keeping younger children near the driver at the front of the bus and said the district may add cameras to all the buses...
Fuzhou,Fujian,China -Bloomberg/Business Week (USA) -15 May 2010:-- China MediaExpress Holdings Inc.,which operates TV advertising on buses, said Friday that first-quarter earnings rose by 19 percent as revenue more than doubled...The company earned $8.9 million, or 27 cents per share, in the quarter, compared with a profit of $7.5 million, or 36 cents per share, in the same period a year earlier...Excluding a $9.2 million dividend on convertible preferred shares, China MediaExpress earned $18.1 million, or 54 cents per share... Revenue rose to $44.5 million from $18.8 million...The Chinese company also affirmed that it expects to earn, after one-time items, $71 million to $75 million for the year...(Photo from cache4.asset-cache: The King Long Co exported 450 buses to Middle East during the ceremony, which set a new record of bus export for China. King Long Corporation, based in Xiamen of Fujian Province, south China)
St. George,UT,USA -The Deseret News, by Laura Hancock-May 14, 2010:-- Bus-rapid transit, buses that have dedicated lanes of traffic that allow them to travel faster than regular traffic, may eventually connect communities in Utah's Dixie...The Dixie Metropolitan Planning Organizationhas hired AECom inSalt Lake Cityfor $130,000 for a feasibility study, which is currently under way... The idea is for BRT to "carry riders from the downtown St. George area out to Hurricane and back or potentially to carry passengers from the downtown St. George area to the airport,"saidMyron Lee, transportation planning manager for Dixie MPO...The soonest BRT would be built in St. George would be in 2020 or 2025, Lee said...Suntran has four routes that make trips for the equivalent of 320,000 individual trips a year... Suntran has experienced 35 percent annual growth since 2003,Leesaid... According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Washington County had 48,560 residents in 1990; 90,354 residents in 2000... In 2009, the Census estimated there were 137,473 residents...(Photo from beautyofstgeorge.blogspot.com: Downtown St. George, Utah)
BUSES PURCHASE PROSPECTS * USA - Indian Hill to replace buses
Indian Hills,OH,USA -The Cincinnati Community Press, by Forrest Sellers-May 13, 2010:--The Indian Hill Exempted Village School District is reviewing bids for buses...The district plans to replace two of its buses, according to Treasurer, Julia Toth...Toth said the buses are expected to cost about $87,000 each... According to the district website, the district has a total of 34 buses with an estimated total of 1,796 students who ride them... (Photo from pics4.city-data: The Village of Indian Hill, OH. Random road leading into Indian Hill)
* New York -About theCanandaiguaand Victor schoolbudget votes
Canandaigua,NY,USA -ROCnow -May 14, 2010:-- The budget proposal of $62 million calls for a 7 percent increase in the tax levy. Also on the ballot is a proposition to spend $8.4 million on a capital project to make improvements to all district buildings; and a proposition to spend $680,000 to buy six 74-passenger buses and one five-passenger vehicle... (Photo Credit: Shane - Taken at Baker Park, Canandaigua, NY following the soccer game)
Santa Monica,CAL,USA -The LookOut Colums, by Frank Gruber -May 10, 2010:... Here is some unconventional wisdom: transit fares should be higher, to pay for better service, which will attract more riders -- riders who can afford to pay more and will do so for better service.If governments like the City of Santa Monica believe that fares are too high for low-income people, for the elderly, or for the disabled, then they should subsidize fares for those people.It would be easy to do, for example, with coupons or special fare cards --the BBB has in fact itself recommended that the City Council authorize it to participate in a subside program run by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority for low-income people... But the City Council should not view the BBB as being part of a welfare system.The BBB is in the transportation business.Transit systems should deliver the best transportation they can deliver -- it's not up to them to solve the equity problems of our economic system. Get the subsidy somewhere else...If the members of the City Council want to subsidize transit for poor people, the elderly, the disabled, that's a great idea, but the subsidy shouldn't take the form of bad service for them and everyone else...(Photo from l.yimg: Big Blue Bus Terminal)
* New York - Bus racks fine, lower fares better
Delmar,NY,USA -Times Union First, letter by DANIEL LAWLOR-May 15, 2010:-- I recently saw thatthe Capital District Transportation Authority received $50,000 fromthe federal government and is using that money to install bicycle carriers on its buses...It would help the economy more if CDTA instead would lower the bus fares all around, so a great many more people could benefit from the federal largess. It seems that CDTA would rather generate more fares than help the economy, by offering a way that a few bicycle owners can benefit rather than all the people who use the buses every day...(Photo from mississaugacycling.ca: Bus bike rack)
* USA -Industry Beginning to Receive FirstEGR, SCR Diesel Engines
Fort Valley,GA,USA -School Transportation News, by Ryan Gray -10 May 2010:...Blue Birdannounced that its"Blue Bird Demo Bus Campaign"began last month and that more than 100 new school buses were on the way to customers this spring and early summer.The company chose Cummins to supply the diesel engines that utilize Selective Catalyst Reduction, or SCR, to perform after treatment of NOx to meetthe EPA emissions requirements...Thomas Built Busesis also using Cummins SCR for 2010.Nelson's Bus Service in Whitewater, Wis., southwest of Milwaukee, has been testing SCR in Saf-T-Liner C2 conventional school buses since February.In all, Daimler Trucks North America said orders had been taken on about 1,500 SCR Thomas school buses...Meanwhile,IC Busannounced that 28 buses withNavistar MaxxForce Advanced Exhaust Gas Recirculation, or EGR, diesel engines werealready purchased by Waters Transportation inColumbus, Miss., and are currently being used...(Photo from schoolbus.lunarpages: School Vision Overview)
* USA - Bus Recalls -Thomas Built BusesHDX, 2009-2010 models
Washington,DC,USA -NHTSA (PR) -14 May 2010:-- The 30th. April 2010, the NATIONAL HIGHWAY TRAFFIC SAFETY ADMINISTRATION repported that Daimler Trucks North America must to recall certain shool buses manufactured on Nov. 15, 2007 through June 15, 2009... Cause: The heater coolant flow valve actuator O-Ring may allow coolant leakage into the heater core compartment and the actuator PC Board Area, potentially causing the actuator to overheat and/or melt...Consequence: An overheated and/or melted may result in a vehicle fire... The Potential Number of Units Affected: 1515... DTNA it's notifing owners, and repairs Thomas Built shool vehicles' free of charge...
* Germany -ZF technology in buses and coaches. Safe and comfortable on the road
Friedrichshafen,Germany -ZF PR -14 May 2010:-- People who place their trust in buses and coaches have a right to expect maximum safety and comfort. To achieve this, the driveline, chassis and steering systems must be of the highest quality and perfectly matched for compatibility. This is what makes buses and coaches one of the safest and most comfortable means of transport. ZF sets standards in this field... Buses are as comfortable for travelers as they are practical for city dwellers.To compete with other modes of transportation, vehicle manufacturers, bus companies and transit authorities focus on exclusivity, comfort, safety and environmental sustainability.For over 20 years, ZF transmissions make more economical driving and resource conservation possible – in big-city traffic as well as on long-distance intercity routes...
* Sweden -Major environmental benefits from Göteborgs Spårvägar’s hybrid bus
Goteborg,Sweden -Volvo Buses (PR), by Per-Martin Johansson-9 May 2010:-- Volvo’s hybrid bus has now been tested by Göteborgs Spårvägar for a year and the results have revealed major environmental benefits.Fuel consumption and carbon emissions have fallen 30%...When the operator Göteborgs Spårvägar started its field test using Volvo’s new Volvo 7700 Hybrid bus a year ago, it was the first company in the world to deploy the bus in operation.Prior to the field test, it was hoped that fuel consumption could be reduced by 25-30%. Traffic in the first year has shown that the bus surpassed this figure with a saving of 30-35%... Volvo’s hybrid bus has a small diesel engine and an electric engine that can be operated individually or jointly. Energy from braking is used in the batteries to operate the electric engine.The diesel engine shuts off at bus stops and the bus starts by using its electric engine. The diesel engine starts up again once the bus has reached a speed of 15-20 kph...The field test in Göteborg will continue for some time. A particle filter, which will further reduce particle emissions, is next in line to be tested...(Photo: A Volvo 8700 Low Entry)
NEW BUSES * USA - Ross Schools replace five aging buses
Ross Township,PENN,USA -Enquirer/Rodeo Cincinnati, by Sue Kiesewetter -May 10, 2010:--The Ross Local Schools’bus fleet has five new buses to replace older buses thanks to a federal grant program...The district contributed $85,491 – about the cost of one bus – toward the purchase. The district also received a $236,615 Diesel Emissions Reduction grant and had $58,854 in state bus purchase funds...The new buses replace five Ross buses ranging in age from 18-22 years old that have been taken off the road as a condition of the grant...In an effort to reduce expenses the Ross Schools have not purchased any new buses for several years...Rosshas 27 buses on the road,Youngsaid...
* Texas -VIAUnveils 'Green' Buses.New Buses Will Debut InDowntown San Antonio
San Antonio,TX,USA -KSAT 12 News, by Steve Roldan -May 4, 2010:-- VIA Metropolitan Transit is taking a big step toward its goal of becoming environmentally friendly... The agency is unveiling new buses fueled by alternative power sources. The new buses are powered by compresses natural gas...The alternative fuel will help keep San Antonio's air cleaner while providing for the transportation needs of the city...VIA's new buses will show off its new logo featuring a green leaf that will be found on each of its environmentally friendly buses... Four buses will hit the streets this week, then 30 hybrid buses will be added this summer...After that, three additional electric-hybrid powered buses will also go into use...(Photo from viainfo)
* Michigan -Transportation Authority gets new buses
Three Rivers,MI,USA -WLKM -May 14, 2010:--Steve Yorks, executive director of the St. Joseph County Transportation Authority, has announced that four new cutaway buses are ready to hit the streets...The buses were purchased through a Michigan Department of Transportation grant... Yorks said the addition of the four new buses and elimination of its four oldest vehicles will see the agency maintain a 19-vehicle fleet...Yorks said the agency is trying to maintain a high profile around the county in advance of an August millage request, which will ask St. Joseph County voters to renew 0.33 mills for basic operations... (Photo from PHILIP A. DWYER/The Bellingham Herald: Natalie Wells of Ferndale, gets on the WTA route 4 bus to go home in front of St. Joseph Hospital Thursday afternoon)
* India -Delhi Metro to soon flag off AC feeder buses
Delhi,India -Mid-Day/ND TV -May 10, 2010:...The Delhi Metro Rail Corporation (DMRC) is yet to finalise the contractor, though routes have already been charted out...For the project, an Indo-Asian auto giant, Swaraj Mazda is building as many as 300 buses. A 26-seater bus will cost around Rs 19.8 lakh and will have features like pneumatic air suspension for more comfort, wide doors between 800 to 1,000 mm for better traffic movement and semi-low floor design...The buses will be monitored through GPS system and a dedicated Metro officials' team will oversee the operation..."To start with, there will be two clusters comprising 20 routes. The area where Delhi Metro has already reached will get the priority," said an official...
* India -Volvoon right path-KSRTC makes strides
Mangalore,India -The Mangalorean-May 10, 2010:-- It is 45 days since the Volvo air conditioned services were introduced between the Udupi and Mangalore andthe KSRTC is basking in the glory of it. This wonderful service has fetched Rs. 85 lakhs since it was pressed into service which is a great news for KSRTC.The Corporation is now looking towards introducing more buses and the application to this effect is in the offing...In the meanwhile the private bus lobby after noticing the popularity of the Volvo services have started heckling the volvo buses in every bus stands by picking up quarrels with the crew.But in one incident a private bus driver was shooed away by the passengers at Surathkal bus stand for trying to delay their bus...
* Jamaica -JUTC adds 50 new buses to fleet
Kingston,Jamaica -The Jamaica Observer, by Donna Hussey-Whyte -May 13, 2010:-- The Jamaica Urban Transit Company (JUTC)has added 50 new buses to its fleet, as it takes steps to provide a more reliable bus service to the commuting public...The Belgian-made buses -- 10 Volvos and 40 VDLJonckeeres, which are valued at approximately $1.5 billion -- were off-loaded at the KingstonWharves yesterday...An additional 53 buses, including three designed specifically to accommodate physically-challenged persons, are expected to arrive in July... The 53-seater buses, all yellow in colour, are fully equipped with cameras, fire safety features, speed control level of 65km per hour, which, according to Allen, cannot be adjusted under any circumstances...Transport and Works Minister, Mike Henry, had, in February, announced plans to purchase 200 buses at a cost of Euro 67.5 million to boostthe JUTC fleet...(Photo by Michael Gordon, from assets.mediaspanonline: Two men walk by some of the new Jamaica Urban Transit Company buses at the Kingston Wharves, yesterday)
* India - 60 new buses to connect to 4 areas
Nagpur,Maharashtra,India -The Times of India-May 16, 2010: -- As many as 60 brand new semi low-floor buses joined the city bus fleet at Town Hall on Saturday... With these new buses, the number of semi-low floor buses operating in the city has gone up to 290.The city bus service would be connected to new destinations — from Mor Bhavan in Sitabuldi to three places — Butibori MIDC, Hingna MIDC, Kalmeshwar MIDC — and from Pardi to Hingna, which were long pending demand of the citizens of these localities. At present, city buses ply on around 40 main routes... (Photo from team-bhp: Tata low-floor city buses in Nagpur)