In brief: Worldwide's weekly news & informations about Buses, Busmakers, Passengers' and the Transport Industry
Buses Rolling * USA - Voters can keep SMART buses on
Bad economy leads to worries about millage's passage
Detroit,MICH,USA -The Detroit Free Press, by MATT HELMS -July 25, 2010:-- Supporters are hoping metro Detroit's economic troubles won't hurt the chances for the renewal of the millage that supports the region's suburban bus system and its 40,000 daily riders... SMART,the Suburban Mobility Authority for Regional Transportation, serves all of Macomb Countyand parts ofOakland and Wayne counties outside Detroit.Renewal of the 0.59 mills would cost the owner of a home with a taxable value of $100,000 about $59 per year.It's a four-year term in Wayne and Macombcounties and two years in Oakland. The vote is Aug. 3...Deputy Oakland County Executive Gerald Poisson, a member of SMART's board of directors, said SMART is "an essential economic development tool" for metro Detroit... (Photo by PATRICIA BECK/Detroit Free Press - March 2009: Passengers board a SMART bus at Northland Center in Southfield. SMART provides more than 13 million rides a year. SMART said about 70% of its users rely on the buses to get to work, and 20% to get to school. Voters are to decide Aug. 3 whether to renew a millage that accounts for 42% of the bus system's annual budget, about $121 million for the current fiscal year)
TEST * USA - ATN and NexGen Team up to turn diesel to electricity
The Anaheim Transporation Network and NexGen Power Group will test 2 zero-emission transit buses starting in December
Anaheim,CAL,USA -Business Review, by Laura Clapper -Jul 25, 2010: --The Anaheim Transportation Network (ATN) andNexGen Power Group, Inc. have announced a partnership to road test zero-emission, battery-powered transit buses. The buses will be retrofitted by NexGen to run on an electric operating platform... The buses, a 40-foot diesel and a 22-foot diesel will run on electric for a full day. The retrofit will take about six months to complete. When the test year is over, ATN has the option to lease the buses, sell them to NexGen or have them returned to diesel-running buses... ATN serves Anaheim and the outlying communities...
Still Not Perfect * Australia - MYKI makes full debut ... at last
Mr Bowen said he took three bus trips, and encountered problems on two
Melbourne,VIC,Australia -The Age, by CLAY LUCAS -July 26, 2010:-- MYKI'Sfirst day of full operation in Melbourne has been marred by a series of minor problems, with users complaining of overcharging, continuing issues with the $1.35 billion smartcard's website, and equipment failures...The myki card became valid for use on all public transport in Melbourneyesterday, three years and five months after it was meant to replace Metcard.Myki had been valid for travel on trains since January, but not trams and buses... Public Transport Users Association president Daniel Bowensaid several of his group's members usingmykiyesterday had encountered problems... (Photo by Timothy Marshall from ABC - Thirty myki cards have been replaced ...)
HYBRID BUSES * USA - Warren County District Hybrid Buses on Hold
Because the large amount of requests received for Hybrid Buses, batteries can't be manufactured fast enough
Warren County,NJ,USA -WBKO -Jul 23, 2010:-- Due to the high demand of Hybrid School Buses nationwide, the Warren County School District won't have their hybrid buses as scheduled...Assistant Director of Transportation, Johnny Watkins,saysbecause the large amount of requests received for Hybrid Buses, batteries can't be manufactured fast enough... Watkins says they were scheduled to have four Hybrid Buses in August, but now the date has been pushed back to February of 2011... Watkins says they're not happy about the wait and asks if parents could remain patient with them until February... (Photo from evauthority: ev plugin school bus)
* New York - Madison County receives $1 million for buses
Wampsville,NY,USA -The Oneide Daily Dispatch, by CAITLIN TRAYNOR-July 23, 2010: -- A $1.01 million Recovery Act grant awarded to Madison County will aid in the implementation of its coordinated transit plan... Five new buses - costing about $280,000 - have been purchased with the money so far... The county can take up to two years to spend the money and will purchase additional buses and other equipment... Department of Transportation guidelines dictate when buses should be replaced and is largely based on mileage. Ingmire said three buses purchased in 2007 have more than 150,000 miles on them and also eligible to be replaced... County Planning Director Scott Ingmire said,the county would not have received the $1 million grant fromthe Recovery Actif the coordinated plan was not complete...
BUSES PURCHASE * Bangladesh - Govt to import 950 buses for city
Public sufferings to continue as import process to take several months
Dhaka,Bangladesh -The Daily Star, by M. Abul Kalam Azad & Hasan Jahid Tusher -July 25, 2010:-- The government is going to purchase 950 buses in the shortest possible time to ease city dwellers' sufferings due to the severe shortage of public transport... The move was taken as part of the government's plan to replace all the run-down buses and minibuses within the next couple of years, communications ministry officials said... He also said 100 single-decker buses were bought from China last month and they are now plying the city streets... The ministry will get 300 double-deckers costing Tk 204 crore from India... Plans are also being finalised to buy 100 single-decker air-conditioned and 50 articulated buses, popularly known as bendy buses, with an estimated cost of Tk 100 crore from India...The government also plans to buy some 300 buses from South Korea... Sources said the Korean government would give Tk 200 crore to buy those buses through tender among Korean bus companies alone...(Picture from discoveringdhaka: Dhaka transport)
PUBLIC SERVICE * India - 'Make use of low-floor BEST buses'
(Video from YouTube, by tandelbaba -10 May 2010: BEST Double-Decker bus doing a good job in mild Mumbai Traffic!!!!!)
Mumbai,India -The Times of India, by Somit Sen -Jul 24, 2010: -- After its recent decision to reserve more seats for women and senior citizens,the BEST now wants to encourage wheelchair-bound senior citizens/handicapped persons to avail of the low-floor "disabled-friendly" buses... There are 30 such buses plying the city and suburbs. The buses were launched in 2005 following a court directive, but got a poor response...BEST committee member,Ravi Raja,claimed that not a single wheelchair-bound person has availed of the service till date. "BEST has failed to meet the purpose for which the buses were launched,'' he stated..."We are appealing to spastics society, hospitals and other institutions to create awareness about our special buses," a senior official said...
* India - DTC’sAC buses full of hot air
New Delhi,India -The Hindustan Times, by Atul Mathur-July 24, 2010:--The Delhi Transport Corporation’s (DTC) swanky air-conditioned buses are slowly proving to be a dud in Delhi’s muggy weather. Many of the low-floor buses are still waiting to hit the road, thanks to ineffective air-conditioning. In fact, there have been regular complaints of poor cooling in most buses running on Delhi roads for the past one year... DTC sources said the problem is more serious in buses manufactured by Ashok Leyland. Of 1,250 AC buses that will add to the DTC’s fleet before the Commonwealth Games, Ashok Leyland is to supply 350...Ashok Leyland recently called experts from Spain to rectify the problem. “On close inspection, we found the air curtain — which separates hot air in the atmosphere from cool air inside the bus — at both the doors was ineffective,” said Naresh Kumar, DTC chairman and managing director... According to an Ashok Leyland spokesperson, a team of engineers from Hispacold, the Spanish company that supplied ACs for the low floor buses, and Ashok Leyland looked into the problem and suggested addition of few extra slots for cold air inside the bus and improvement in air curtain at the door...
INFRA... STRUCTURES * New Zealand's most dangerous roads revealed
Auckland,NZ -TV NZ/One News -24 July 2010: -- Some sections of New Zealand highways have been revealed as being far from safe after the government declared most stretches of road generally safe... There are also accusations that government officials deliberately ignore unsafe roads because of pressure from the trucking industry... Part of State Highway 2 just south of Dannevirke is officially the most dangerous stretch of road in the country... Motorists need to be aware of a rail crossing on the road that doesn't have any barrier arms and also need to need to spot an intersection nearby. They then need be aware of ditches and trees -roadside hazards many motorists don't notice... The latest revelations have come from new safety ratings for state highways. The KiwiRAP Star Ratings have been developed by the Automobile Association and the New Zealand Transport Agency...(Photo from tvnz.co.nz: This part of State Highway 2 just south of Dannevirke is officially the most dangerous stretch of road in NZ.SEE VIDEO)
Passenger Focus * UK - They have their say on West Yorkshire’s buses
(Video from YouTube, by wakefieldpinball -29 June 2009: Footage and photos of the new Enviro 200's to enter the Arriva Yorkshire fleet)
West Yorkshire,EN,UK -Passenger Focus -14 July 2010: -- As part of its drive to improve bus services and make a difference for passengers, the independent watchdog Passenger Focus has found out what over 1800 passengers in West Yorkshire think about their bus services. Overall satisfaction was 91%, with Transdev’s services rated 96%, Arriva’s 93% and First’s 89%... Satisfaction with key attributes was: getting a seat (90%), length of time the journey took (83%), journey‘s smoothness and freedom from jolting (81%), punctuality (80%) and length of time spent waiting for the bus (79%)...This bus passenger satisfaction research which was published today is part of an ongoing nationwide programme of bus passenger satisfaction research in 14 areas – a mix of metropolitan, urban and rural areas to reflect the different type of journeys that passengers make... Over 18,500 passengers participated in this detailed investigation which looked at many aspects of passengers’ journeys.This report is the biggest single survey of bus passenger views ever to be published in England...
PUBLIC TRANSPORT WORLDWIDE * Australia - Commuters defend against the attack of the space invaders
"Take one socially and physically sterile environment, pack in more people than there are available seats, ensure most of the people are strangers, and you have public transport..."
Melbourne,VIC,Australia -The Age, by DEBORAH GOUGH -July 25, 2010: -- Being squashed up against strangers on public transport is one of the most uncomfortable everyday activities we have to endure, beaten only by sitting in a dentist's waiting room and standing in a crowded lift... A study has found that the invasion of personal space on public transport is annoying to passengers, along with more commonly known complaints such as costly tickets and unreliable services... The study fromthe Victoria University of Wellington by Jared Thomas,, now a transport consultant with infrastructure services company Opus, observed 1703 passengers and surveyed passengers (536) and car users (305) on their feelings about public transport... It found that about a quarter of passengers defended their space by sitting on an aisle, placing a bag or coat on the next seat or spreading out to take up more space, and another quarter withdrew into an activity such as reading or listening to music. Their measures worked, with 78 per cent of other commuters choosing not to sit next to ''defensive'' passengers. The study also found regular commuters thought defensive behaviour was rude... But Mr Thomassaidthe overall level of discomfort could be minimised if more socialising occurred on trains, trams and buses...(Picture by Rebecca Hallas -A crowded tram on Bourke Street, Melbourne)
* India -Ashok Leyland says buses comply with safety norms
Guindy,Chennai,India -Sify News -23 July 2010: -- Commercial vehicles manufacturer Ashok Leyland, Friday said its buses supplied to Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) conform to all safety standards and quality certifications... The company said this in response to a television report that 63 buses had been returned as their floor board failed the flammability test...'Owing to an employee mistake the buses were delivered fitted with suspect material. Within 24 hours of coming to know of this we wrote to DTC asking their permission to take further samples from those buses for retesting,' Managing DirectorR.Seshasayee told reporters here... He said based on the company's internal quality standards the flooring material used in the 63 buses were not defective... However, DTC had asked Ashok Leyland to take back the buses which the latter did in March this year... 'After that the buses were fitted with components that passed the internal tests and tests conducted by Central Institute of Road Transport. They were fully inspected and cleared by DTC inspectors,' Seshasayee said...Ashok Leyland has secured a Rs.450 crore order for supplying 875 buses tothe DTC...(Photo from dancewithshadows: Ashok Leyland iBus)
* China -Yutong buses from China for Kenya athletics championships
Nairobi,Kenya -Xinhua (China)-July 25, 2010:-- The name Yutong Busis not a household name in Kenyan roads, yet these automobiles will be at the core of the transport system forthe Africa athletics Championship...Kenya has sourced over 30 busses from China's company which is based inZhengzhou, Henan province...Its class of busses, which come with Air condition and provide the comfort earmarked bythe IAAF requirement for athletes transport won the hearts of the local organisingCommittee...It will give the Chinese company the chance to enter into the Kenyan transport market should the busses pass the test...(Photo from chinabuses: A Yutong bus)
LOCK-OUT * Sri Lanka: Private bus owners threaten to strike from Monday
(Video from YouTube, by mtompl -8 Aug 2009)
Sri Lanka -JKR World-July 23, 2010:-- Association of private omnibus owners of Sri Lanka has threatened to strike form midnight next Monday and remove private buses from the routes of the Western Province... The reason for the strike is the increase of route permit charges and other license fees by the Western Province Passenger Transport Authority... The private bus owners have given time to the authorities until Monday to revoke their decision... The Chairman of the Association Gemunu Wijerathnam saysthat the bus owners will seek the support of the long distance bus operators for the strike... Private buses are the major passenger transport service of Sri Lanka...
PUBLIC SERVICE * USA - Not Your Grandfather’s Greyhound: Buses Take Off for Inter-City Travel
Buses are a transportation success story
New York,NY,USA -The New York Times, by Erica Schlaikjer -July 21, 2010: -- Last year, the story says, bus service increased by 5 percent, and it rose nearly 10 percent in 2008, according to research led by Joseph Schwieterman, from Depaul University’s Chaddick Institute for Metropolitan Development, whose findings have been featured in a long line of news articles over the past year, hearkening the arrival of an inter-city bus renaissance... The New York Times highlights popular long-distance services like BoltBus and Megabus, which offer cheap express service between major cities like New York City and Washington, D.C., and offer added bonuses like online ticketing, guaranteed seats, curbside departures, and on-board technology (i.e. free Wi-Fi.) Who ever said buses can’t be cool? ... Nancy Kete, the former director of EMBARQ commented on the potential of bus travel when the Obama administrationfirst announced its high-speed rail plan.“The President is on the right track,” she said, “But there’s a missing mode in the plan. To complement rail, we also need to help cities build high-quality, high-capacity bus rapid transit systems, which can offer good high-speed service, but at a fraction of the cost of rail” ...(Photo by Somewhat Frank: "Bolt for a buck" -- by bus! -- to New York City)
* California - L.A. officials to mark 20th anniversary of Metro Rail system.The Metropolitan Transportation Authority says there have been more than a billion boardings on its rail and bus lines since the Blue Line opened. But critics say ridership has been reduced
Los Angeles,CAL,USA-The Los Angeles Times, by Dan Weikel -July 23, 2010: -- Los Angeles officials will hold a major event Friday near Staples Center to mark the 20-year expansion of urban rail service in the county and what they see as a dynamic shift that will transform the nation's car capital into a model for mass transit... But although the region now has a gleaming system of subways and light-rail trains, some transportation experts saythe Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority's$8-billion effort — less operating costs — has done little to reduce traffic congestion or increase the use of mass transit much beyond the level in 1985, when planning for the Metro Blue Line began... Rather than bolster ridership, these experts say, the emphasis on rail has come at the expense of the MTA's vast network of buses and may have cost the agency at least 1.5 billion passenger boardings from 1986 to 2006... The solution is not more Priuses, the solution is public transportation. Miles per gallon per person is a statistic that could tip the argument...(Photo by Genaro Molina / Los Angeles Times / June 3, 2010: Marcia Baker, 21, gives boyfriend Ramon Diaz, 20, a kiss while riding the Metro Blue Line with fellow commuters in Los Angeles. The Blue Line cuts up the middle of Los Angeles County from Long Beach to downtown Los Angeles. The 22-mile light-rail line is the oldest in Los Angeles and among the busiest in the nation)
NEW BUSES FLEET * USA - Hybrid buses arriving in Kentucky
The first of several hybrid electric school buses is going to the school district in LaRue County
Louisville,KY,USA -The Associated Press/The Lexington Heral Leader -22 July 2010:... LaRue Superintendent Samuel Sanders,will receive the keys of the ThomasBuilt bus at a ceremony in Louisville on Tuesday... Twenty-two school districts in Kentucky will be adding 34 of the electric hybrid buses to their fleets by next month... The U.S. Department of Energy gave a $13 million grant tothe Kentucky Department of Education in December that will offset the purchase price of the hybrid system for 213 buses.The Kentucky Clean Fuels Coalition says the state will have the largest hybrid electric school bus fleet in the nation...
* USA - CityBus upgrading more buses to hybrids. Pending board approval, greener buses to come
West Lafayette,IND,USA -WLFI, by Tiffanie Dismore-21 Jul 2010: --Greater Lafayettewill be a little more green this fall... The Technical Transportation Committee is recommending the Area Plan Commission approve CityBus' request to upgrade buses to hybrids... Pending approval, CityBus will upgrade the three new diesel buses it bought and turn them into electric hybrids... The $480,000 for the project comes from federal funds. Only three transit systems in the state were awarded the money...
Crimes on public transport * UK - In England 'cost £1.5bn'
There were more than half a million crimes on public transport in a year
London,EN,UK -BBC News-21 July 2010: ... According to the figures Crimes on public transport in England cost an estimated £1.5bn a year, according to government figures... The total is calculated from the cost of repairing vandalism, the money spent taking alleged offenders through the legal system and spending on measures intended to prevent crime...And on buses and trams, more than 131,000 offences occurred... The research, which has just been released, was conducted by the Department for Transport in 2008. The researchers also asked passengers how safe they felt on public transport...The report suggested people were reassured when staff were visible on transport networks but were unclear exactly what these employees did or whether they would be able to deter crime or deal with serious matters... The issues which made passengers feel insecure or uncomfortable included broken glass at bus shelters, stations with a great deal of litter or bus stops with poor lighting...(AP Photo: A Police office at King Cross station tube... There were more than 77,000 reported and recorded cases of crime on railways and London Underground over 12 months)
* UK - Bus & Train passengers: Face 35 sex attacks a day
London,EN,UK -Buzz7/The Sun -July 21, 2010: -- A secret report has revealed that bus passengers are subjected to 35 sex attacks a day on Britain”s public transport network...Shock figures reveal that in one 12-month period alone there were 12,646 sexually motivated assaults. There were also 92,795 attacks and beatings – the equivalent of 254 a day... Nearly 65,000 were committed against passengers and 28,000 against staff... In the same period there were 150,000 robberies and thefts and 200,000 acts of vandalism...The huge crime wave – costing taxpayers 1.5 billion pounds a year – was exposed in a report that Labour ministers ordered but then failed to publish... Lib Dem Transport Minister, Norman Baker, finally published the dossier, covering 2006-07, yesterday...(Photo PA: Passengers wait for a train. People liked seeing transport staff at stations but were not always sure what they did, the report say)
Natural Gas Buses * Viet Nam - Receiving greenlight
Ho Chi Minh City,Viet Nam -The Viet Nam Business News -Jul 20, 2010:-- Two public transport buses that have been on a trial run on compressed natural gas in HCM City since May will continue to operate after the gas supplier reversed a decision to stop supplying fuel due to losses. PetroVietnam Southern Gas JSC (PV Gas South), the CNG supplier, had planned to stop supply from the middle of this month if at least 20 gas-fuelled buses are not operated... The Alliance of Bus Co-operatives, one of the two operators of the CNG buses, has sought a loan subsidy from the city People’s Committee to invest in more CNG buses that cost VND2 billion (US$106,000) each, almost double that of a diesel bus.The People’s Committee had approved a subsidy tothe Sai Gon Passenger Transport Company – the other operator – for buying 21 CNG buses but the Government has yet to make a final decision... PV Gas Southbuilt a gas station in Ba Ria-Vung Tau Province with an annual capacity of 50 million cubic metres and a sub-station in HCM City’s Tan Binh District that can supply 50 buses a day, according toDoan Van Nhuom, the company’s general director...
Report * USA - MTA Could Eliminate Funding to LI Buses
From unlimited MetroCards to surcharges, the MTA looks for every last penny from riders
New York,NY,USA -NBC New York/Newsday -Jul 20, 2010: -- The drastic measures being mulled by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority to close its estimated $400 million budget gap could include the elimination of funding for busses on Long Island... According to transit advocates, the MTA, as part of its preliminary 2011 budget, will demand that Nassau County and/or New York State come up with $40 million more to keep Long Island buses running... This could strand many of the 100,000-plus people on Long Island that take buses...The move comes as the MTA said it was also considering shaving off some of the "off peak" discounts on the LIRR and also might limit "unlimited" weekly and monthly Metrocards by putting caps on the number of rides... Off-peak rides make up 30 percent of revenue at the LIRR and 27 percent of trips, officials said... There's little doubt that fares won't go up again in January -- a hike speculated to be about 7 percent. This means a monthly pass could cost about $100 a month, up from $89 today...
PURCHASING BUSES * S. Korea - Hyundai to supply buses for UN
Seoul,S. Korea -The Korean Times, by Kim Da-ye -19 July 2010:-- Hyundai Motor was selected to providethe United Nations with mid-size buses to be used for its missions in conflict-affected regions... The Korean carmaker said Tuesday it will supply the international organization with 420 buses after signing a contract worth $1.5 million over the next five years. The mid-size buses will bearthe U.N. emblem and be sent to regions of conflict and disaster zones, where the organization conduct missions... The automaker also said that it enlisted the help of the Korean government agencies including the Korea Trade-Investment Promotion Agency (KOTRA),the Public Procurement Service and Korea’s U.N. representatives based in New York... The size of commodities purchase for the entire U.N. grew to about $3.5 billion in 2009...(Photo: Hyundai County Bus)
BLACK BOXES * Europe - EU proposes 'one' for buses and taxis
Buses, taxis and lorries could be fitted with aircraft style “black boxes” under European Commission proposals to boost road safety
(Video from YouTube, by dogcamsport -29 Sept 2009: This is a higher quality version of a video recorded on the Roadhawk RH-1. A customer's Monaro being driven by a local garage at more than 125mph. A high speed dangerous chase on busy public roads... This is a screen capture of the software running on desktop. The original video is a smooth 25fps... The RoahHawk RH-1 is a vehicle black box data and video recorder. It stores GPS, Video and G-Force data on a constant loop on a normal SD memory card... When playing back the video on the viewing software provided it overlays your GPS co-ordinates on to a Google Earth map in real time and displays your current speed and shock data... RH-1 can be set to always record on a loop or in shock mode it only keeps the video if it detects a sudden change in G-Force... The video can be exported to a normal .AVI file and then used as evidence in the event of an accident...)
London,EN,UK -The Telegraph, by David Millward-20 Jul 2010: -- The Commission, which has set a target of reducing road deaths by half over the next decade, wants to examine putting the devices into commercial vehicles... The Commissionhas already spent £2.4 million on examining how the technology would work in a scheme known as “Project Veronica”... The black boxes could be used to help police piece together what happened following an accident. They could, for example, detect whether a car has braked suddenly or swerved... Opponents of the use of black boxes have warned their introduction would lead to the further growth of the surveillance state... Supporters of the scheme say it would help drivers involved in an accident prove they were not to blame for a collision... Other key plans of the road safety strategy include the compulsory installation of electronic stability control on cars as well as automatic braking systems for buses and lorries...
Public Buses * USA - More costly, polluting than private cars
Study by the Montana Policy Institute found that, as is often the case with one-size-fits-all solution
Great Falls,Montana,USA -The Great Falls Tribune, by CARL GRAHAM-July 19, 2010: -- We're often told that public buses are the most cost effective and energy efficient means of transportation available for our cities... But a recent study by the Montana Policy Institute found that, as is often the case with one-size-fits-all solutions, this perception doesn't hold true in rural states like Montana. When compared to driving private automobiles, public transit in Montana costs more and takes a greater toll on the environment per passenger-mile than does driving that same mile in a private vehicle... In addition, high subsidies on public transit systems siphon away nearly half of Montana's gas taxes that would otherwise be available to build, improve or maintain our public roads.These subsidies support a system that Montanans use to fulfill far less than 10 percent of our travel needs, despite the fact that it's cheap or even free to the rider... The average cost of driving in Montana — including subsidies — is a little under 23 cents per passenger mile, or about a penny above the national average. The average cost of Great Falls buses, meanwhile, is about $3.09 per passenger mile, 90 percent of which is paid by direct or indirect subsidies... Public transit also takes a heavy toll on the environment.Great Falls buses use nearly five times the energy and release nearly five times more carbon into the atmosphere per passenger-mile than a light truck... Bus systems in larger cities nationally are much more efficient per passenger mile for the obvious reason that they carry more passengers per mile...
Busy Bus Routes * USA - Metro seeks to ease congestion on, saving time and millions
Some of the busiest Metrobus routes are also among the slowest
Washington,DC,USA -The Washington Post, by Robert Thomson-July 18, 2010:... Thousands of riders who leave their cars at home wind up getting stuck in the same traffic as drivers, and the transit authority winds up throwing more and more buses onto those lines to normalize the schedule... Metro planners have collected new data to identify the trouble zones for buses. They can use that information to focus attention and resources on easing bottlenecks...Using the GPS-based system that locates Metrobuses along their routes, the transit authority collected data on bus speeds across the D.C. region during November... The planners now have those results plotted on charts and maps, so they know where buses move relatively well and where they run into trouble... The slowest trips are concentrated along the District's heavily used streets. Only in the outer areas of the District, such as East Capitol Street east of the Anacostia River, do buses move relatively easily. In the central city, many buses average less than 15 mph, and there are plenty of segments where the average speed doesn't rise above 5 mph...Nat Bottigheimer, Metro's assistant general manager of planning and joint development, said the new data will enable Metro and planners from all jurisdictions to zoom in on specific, solvable problems...(Photo by Jahi Chikwendiu/The Washington Post: Metro has new data identifying the trouble zones for buses so it can focus attention and resources on easing bottlenecks)
Frequent violations may put riders in danger, officials say
Hudson County,NJ,USA -The Hudson Reporter, by Tricia Tirella-Jul 18, 2010: -- Commuters in North Bergen and surrounding towns sometimes prefer to save time and money by skipping NJ Transit’s buses and taking the smaller, independent jitney vans that run to New York City and Journal Square... But in the last few years, several county inspections have forced the jitneys to pay fines for safety violations including bad brakes and an exit door being welded shut... Three weeks ago, the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office held a surprise inspection of local jitneys. Twenty-three out of 33 jitneys were found to be unsafe and taken out of service... For Hudson County bus riders, the decision to use NJ Transit or their smaller jitney bus competitors rests on factors like safety, comfort, reliability, and cost... NJ Transit buses are not as frequent as the jitneys... The jitneys follow each other in close pursuit, and many of them are the first to get to bus stops, with NJ Transit buses close behind. Drivers honk their horns to alert waiting passengers and pull over abruptly... (Photo - UNFAIRLY TARGETED: Samuel Martinez of Union City has been driving his bus for 11 years. He said jitney bus drivers are unfairly targeted...)
* NJ Transit riders log 25,000 complaints against drivers the past 2 years
Wayne,NJ,USA -The North Jersey, BY KAREN ROUSE-July 19, 2010:-- One bus driver talked on his cellphone the entire 40-minute ride from Wayne to New York.Another got lost on the way to Giants Stadium, while a third slammed the bus doors on a little girl's head...Still another smoked aboard her bus, then sprayed excessive amounts of air freshener to mask the odor. And yet another shouted "start walking" to an amputee when a wheelchair lift failed to work... NJ Transit logged more than 25,000 complaints about bus drivers in 2008 and 2009, records show, the majority describing encounters with drivers who berated passengers, bypassed them at bus stops or drove recklessly — striking garbage cans, cars and, according to one complaint, a woman's dog... The agency has 3,773 bus operators, most of whom don't get complaints, said Jim Gigantino, vice president and general manager of bus operations at NJ Transit...(Photo by DAVID BERGELAND: Donald Rouse hailing an NJ Transit bus at Vreeland Avenue and Hudson Street in Hackensack. Rouse says NJ Transit apologized after he reported a driver failed to stop for him)
NEW BUSES FLEET, WORLDWIDE * India - KSRTC launches fifty thirukochi city buses
Fifty Thirukochi series city buses ofthe KSRTC were flagged off in the city on Friday
Kochi,Kerala,India -kerala2010.blogspot -16 July 2010:... They would begin service from Saturday...Thus, there would be a Thirukochi bus in the Ernakulam-Aluva route every 10 minutes and every 30 minutes in select other routes... Transport Minister, Jose Thettayil, said that the RTC city buses are being introduced following public outcry over frequent private bus strikes and complaints of high-handedness by private-bus crew... These services would boost public transport in Kochi since the private buses in service are overcrowded... (Photo from The Hindu.com: A Thirukochi city bus of the KSRTC conducts service on Saturday through Vytilla)
* Nigeria - EDSG Set To Roll Out 100 Intra-City Buses
Benin City,Nigeria -The Weekend Observer, by TESSY OKWUDI/ISABEMOEH JAMES ROY -16 July 2010: --The Edo State Government is set to roll out 100 buses with air condition for intra-city transport so as to ease the problem of transportation in the state metropolis... The Hon. Commissioner for Transport, Lucas Okojie, stated that the rolling out of the intra-city transport was geared towards ensuring that the people of Edo State no longer experience the inconvenience while using the entrepreneur’s vehicles... He stated that “the state government is touched by the pains of the common man in the state on the issue of transportation in which our people are suffering on daily basis”, he stated...