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Buses World News

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

28.10.10

FEMALE BUS DRIVERS * India - DTC hires women conductors

New Delhi,India -The Hindustan Times, by Neelam Pandey -October 20, 2010: -- Next time when you travel in a DTC bus, do not be surprised if a young woman in crisp uniform asks you to buy a bus ticket. The Delhi Transport Corporation roped in 130 women as bus conductors, who joined work recently. These women were hired on a contract, which would be renewed every 89 days... Senior DTC officers claimed that compared to male conductors’ women conductors were more sincere and performed better, too... Most of the women conductors are between 25 and 35 years old on their first job... To encourage more women to apply for such jobs, the DTC put them on an eight-hour morning shift, which starts at 7.30am... (Photo from The Hindu: Women bus conductors are doing the job with as much ease as their male counterparts)

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HYBRID ELECTRIC BUSES * USA - SMART unveils hybrid electric buses

Detroit,MICH,USA -Crains' Detroit Business, by Bill Shea -October 20, 2010: -- The Suburban Mobility Authority for Regional Transportation bus system Tuesday unveiled its first two hybrid electric buses it will add to its fleet of 640 vehicles on Nov. 1... The 61-foot reduced-emissions vehicles, which seat 100 and cost $1.6 million in federal stimulus funding, were put on display for local reporters... Because the buses are articulated in the center, they can carry more passengers than the typical 60 people on a standard 40-foot bus... About 10,000 riders use those routes, SMART said in a statement... The buses were manufactured by Canadian bus maker New Flyer Industries Inc., and were delivered nine months sooner than normal because of a deal between SMART and the Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority, which already had placed a bus order...


* Illinois - Chicago CTA to buy 2 all-electric buses

Chicago,ILL,USA -Chicago Breaking News, by Jon Hilkevitch -October 28, 2010: -- The Chicago Transit Authority received a $2.2 million federal grant on Thursday to buy two all-electric buses... The battery-powered buses -- the first buses with an all-electric propulsion system in the CTA fleet -- will be tested to see how well they perform in regular service, officials said... The two buses will be standard 40-foot models, but officials have not settled on a brand to purchase or announced when the pilot project will begin. The buses will operate out of one garage that will be equipped with quick-charging units... The CTA currently operates 228 diesel-electric hybrid buses and 1,553 diesel buses, officials said... Both grants supporting environmentally sensitive transportation projects were awarded through the U.S. Department of Transportation's Transportation Investments for Greenhouse Gas and Energy Reduction and Clean Fuels programs... (Images: huffingtonpost: CTA Hybrid Bus large)

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Late-running buses * UK - Could mean owner loses licence

“Overall, the punctuality non-compliance rate was just under 75%"


(Video from YouTube, by mfd70 -22 July 2007: A short video taken around the 2006 vintage bus show in Merthyr Tydfil)

Wales,UK -The South Wales Echo News, by Martin Shipton -Oct 20 2010: -- A controversial bus operator who could have his licence withdrawn at a tribunal hearing next week claims he is being persecuted for trying to offer a better deal for the travelling public... Clayton Jones’ firms Bus and Coach Wales and St David’s Travel will appear at a public inquiry in Cardiff to answer charges that they have failed to comply with the law... Private hire taxi drivers in Pontypridd have objected to a service introduced by Bus and Coach Wales in June, where the firm diverts buses to pick up passengers from their homes... Mr Jones said that at next week’s hearing he planned to demonstrate how the service was fully in order... St David’s Travel is accused of failing to run buses on time on its route from Ely to Cardiff City Centre...   Mr Jones acknowledged there had been problems, but said they had been cleared up... Earlier this year St David’s Travel was fined £4,800 and Mr Jones was warned he was in danger of “losing his repute” after facing his sixth regulatory hearing...

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SAFETY * USA - School bus dangers

The National School Bus Safety Week

Cumberland County,PENN,USA -CBS21, by Jaime Meyers -20 Oct 2010: -- Every day students are at risk from people who drive dangerously around school buses. That's why it's National School Bus Safety Week...   The thought of your child being in a bus accident is a scary thought for parents, but despite the lack of seat belts, they're a pretty safe place to be...   It's generally more dangerous for kids when they're getting on and off the bus. The danger zones are the areas around the bus where the kids are most likely to be hurt. That includes being hit by passing cars or the bus itself, but a few easy habits can help keep kids safe at the bus stop...   One area where there's a lot of confusion about passing a bus with flashing lights is major roads like the Carlisle Pike. A turning lane is not enough, drivers must stop unless there is a physical barrier like a concrete median...   If safety isn't enough for you, think about what it'll do to your wallet and record if you're caught...   Kids should also be warned that if they drop something under the bus , they should alert the bus driver and not try and retrieve it themselves. They should also take off their backpacks and put them on the floor of the bus to ensure the kids are properly protected in the event of a crash...

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NEW BUSES FLEET * India - Now, Mumbai rides on Mercedes Benz ones

Mumbai,India -Press Trust of India/ND TV -October 21, 2010: -- Commuters in Mumbai can now ride on a Mercedes Benz bus on the regular BEST ticket for a month on a trial basis...   The Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) on Wednesday launched the swanky AC Mercedes Benz BEST bus to ply on city roads. The fares would be similar to the existing AC buses...   "We want to provide Merc luxury at the cost of the existing AC bus ticket. It is like a free ride offered to a buyer by the car company so that the commuter can get a feel of it," BEST General Manager, O P Gupta said...  The manufacturer had shown interest in entering the Indian market and to offer more choices to the commuters, Gupta said...

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27.10.10

PASSENGERS' TRANSPORT SERVICE * UK - Main operators facing stress in the city

London,UK - The Financial Times, by Gill Plimmer -October 26 2010: -- The capital’s bus market may have escaped the worst of the government’s austerity measures, but the 7 per cent fall in revenues at Go-Ahead’s London bus business highlights the pressure facing operators in Britain’s biggest city... Transport for London, the mayor’s transport authority, has been faced with an unprecedented budget squeeze that has seen it try to cut costs on the £800m-a-year service, and it is the knock-on effect of this that has dented profits at Go-Ahead’s London bus arm, analysts said... The London bus market remains unique – the last service in the country to be regulated, where the mayor sets fare levels and pays companies for every mile operated... But while these payments remain unchanged, TFL has cut its quality incentive scheme – the bonuses used to reward bus operators for cleanliness, punctuality and quality of service... The reduction has hit an industry already under pressure from a fall in passenger revenues during the recession... Last week the East London Bus Group, the city’s third-biggest operator, was rescued from bankruptcy by Stagecoach, its former owner, in a £52.8m deal... In August Deutsche Bahn, the German state group, took over a fifth of the London market after its purchase of Arriva, while last year National Express jumped off London buses altogether, to be replaced by the Dutch state railway company, which operates as Abellio... In spite of this, London remains a good place to do business for the country’s big five bus and train operators. While the market outside the capital has been hit by the government’s decision in the comprehensive review to cut the bus operator’s fuel duty allowance by 20 per cent from 2012, London remains largely unaffected because of its franchising model... (Images icnetwork.co.uk: Birmingham's city centre bus)

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24.10.10

Bus Drivers Protest * UK - Against firms merging. Labour say scrapping trams would be 'anti-Edinburgh'

Lothian Buses insist drivers should not fear merger with tram firm

Edinburgh,Scotland,UK -The Guardian, by Michael MacLeod -15 Oct 2010: -- Councillors will be asked to sign a disclaimer when they study new figures backing the case for a scaled-back line... After a lengthy debate in the city chambers yesterday, councillors voted to demand details of the new business case for halting the line at St Andrew Square. They also asked for the report to include a cost scale for the first phase, projected passenger numbers and what impact it might have on Lothian Buses... They will be under strict instruction not to reveal any commercial details. The agreement came after the SNP's third failed effort to halt the tram project. Main contractor Bilfinger Berger is still locked in legal talks with TIE over how much work can be done with existing funds... On their way in to the meeting some councillors took leaflets from bus drivers who held a protest outside. They too were calling on more clarity, fearing the long-standing proposal to merge Lothian Buses with Transport Initiatives Edinburgh (TIE) to create Transport Edinburgh Limited (TEL) could be damaging... (Picture: Michael MacLeod/guardian.co.ukLothian Buses could merge with tram firm TIE)

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Passengers' Transport Marketing * USA - Transit Agencies Need to Invest in

A Lesson from Los Angeles


LA Metro: Promoting Mass Transit from EMBARQ Network on Vimeo

Los Angeles,CAL,USA -The CityFix, by Ethan Arpi -December 8, 2009:  --   Los Angeles’ Metro is doing something that no transit agency in the country has ever done: it’s marketing its products and services as if it were a private company bent on turning a profit. But for Metro marketing isn’t about increasing the bottom line. It’s about reducing traffic, cleaning the air and making people’s commutes in this auto-clogged city a bit less stressful...   Making buses appear as an attractive alternative to cars is an ambitious goal for any transit agency, but it’s especially ambitious in a place like Los Angeles where image and the automobile are everything. Yet, traveling around LA it’s hard not to feel the presence of Metro. It’s fleet of colorful buses are ubiquitous on every major city street. And unlike standard city buses, these buses aren’t dreary and dull. They boast vibrant colors like California poppy from a color palette inspired by the city. Metro also has a number of playful ads on billboards encouraging Angelinos to leave their cars at home and take the bus, rail or carpool...
(Comic Relief: One of a number of funny ads for transit)
... These ads and the re-brand of Metro seem to be paying off. Earlier this year the Creative Services division of Metro was instrumental in the success of Measure R, a 1/2 cent sales tax that is expected to generate 40 billion dollars over the next 30 years for improving transit services in LA. To get the 2/3 vote required, Metro convinced the vast majority of Angelinos, most of whom commute by private car, that they should pay for transit out of their own pockets...   The most impressive outcome of Metro’s marketing is that it has convinced people to start using its services. Following Metro’s re-brand, discretionary riders, those people who have the choice to commute by car or transit, have jumped from 24 to 36 percent. That is, Metro’s new clean and modern image is actually getting people into transit and helping address this city’s notorious traffic problem...  

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Fuel Cell-Powered * USA . Next-Generation Buses Introduced in Hartford

Advanced lithium-ion battery systems and a more durable fuel cell powerplant are key features of the new buses

South Windsor,CONN,USA -PRNewswire -Oct. 15,2010: -- Four next-generation fuel cell-powered hybrid-electric transit buses were introduced today in Hartford, joining an earlier generation bus that began service in 2007. The new buses will be operated by Connecticut Transit (CTTransit) and are equipped with UTC Power fuel cell systems... The new buses, part of the Federal Transit Administration's national Fuel Cell Bus Program, establish Hartford as a leader in adopting fuel cell technology to power transit buses. Only the Greater Oakland/San Francisco, Calif., area will have a larger fuel cell bus fleet in the United States, also equipped with UTC Power fuel cell systems... The new model 40-foot Van Hool transit buses are lighter than the earlier generation fuel cell bus, which rolled out in 2007 and continues to operate on various routes in Greater Hartford, including the free downtown Star Shuttle route. Advanced lithium-ion battery systems and a more durable fuel cell powerplant are key features of the new buses. The buses also will be instrumental in capturing real-time information, which will be used in developing more commercially viable fuel cells in the future... (Photo from t0.gstatic: A 40-foot Van Hool hybrid fuel cell bus)

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Cutting Buses * USA - SFUSD mulls ones

School buses will be cut by 57 percent during the next three years

San Francisco,CAL,USA -The San Francisco Examiner, by Andrea Koskey -October 15, 2010: ...   if a proposed cost-saving transportation policy is adopted by the San Francisco Unified School District...   The proposed changes include reducing service to roughly 900 children, reducing the district’s bus fleet to 25 and eliminating transportation for 950 students to after-school programs...   Buses would continue to provide service to students living in low test-score areas and bring them to language-immersion and K-8 schools. They would also still provide service to racially isolated schools to create diversity and bring students from high-density areas of The City to lower-density areas, district officials said...   Though cuts to specific bus routes and stops were not revealed Wednesday, Board of Education Commissioner Rachel Norton said she was not comfortable supporting a proposal that abandoned families who did not participate in the district’s after-school programs...  It costs the district roughly $100,000 to operate one bus, according to Assistant Superintendent Myong Leigh. The district spends roughly $6.3 million on general-education transportation. Changes would reflect the new student assignment system, adopted in March, and be phased in over the next three years...   (SF Examiner File Photo - Busing kids: The San Francisco Unified School District spends $6.3 million a year on transportation for general-education students)

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HYBRID NEW BUSES FLEET * USA - Kenton County Unveils Hybrid School Buses

Buses Will Get 5 Extra Miles Per Gallon

Independence,KY,USA -WLWT/News -October 15, 2010:  --  Kenton County schools unveiled two new hybrid electric school buses... The district hopes the buses will help save money on fuel... Kenton County is one of 22 school districts awarded a share of $13 million in funding from the U.S. Department of Energy. The district received $150,000 to purchase the buses... Kentucky has the largest fleet of hybrid electric buses in the country, with 213... In addition to helping the environment, the hybrid electric buses also provide a learning opportunity for students... "The new technology will also provide learning opportunities for students on real-world issues like fuel consumption, air quality and transportation costs," said Commissioner Terry Holliday, with the Kentucky Department of Education...

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23.10.10

"The Ride" * USA - Fasten Your Seat Belts and Embrace the City

New York experience called “The Ride": Who’s onstage? Who isn’t? ...

(Photo by Emily Berl/The New York Times - “The Ride”: Passengers on this new theatrical bus tour wave to the Midtown throng, which waves back)

New York,NY,USA -The New York Times, by EDWARD ROTHSTEIN -October 14, 2010:   ...  The new bus ride/city tour/improv show/New York experience called “The Ride”: One business-suited passerby on 42nd Street was so intoxicated by the Broadway melodies being broadcast by our passing bus that he dropped his briefcase and leapt into a vaudeville tap-dance routine right out of a 1930s musical, a woman flashed us the other night on West 57th Street by lifting up her shirt,  and a late-night deliveryman on East 43rd Street was so caught up by the passing tour’s blaring hip-hop soundtrack that he spun and flipped into a virtuosic break-dance routine... She broke into laughter after her feat, watching the transparent-sided bus, with its three rows of stadium seats mounted sideways like a portable theater, filled with shrieking passengers... In this, it turns out, she played right into the tour’s hands. So did we all. Because by the end of this 75-minute, 4.2-mile “Ride,” which is making its debut this week, the guides who had led us from West 42nd Street up to Columbus Circle and back had the bus singing a karaoke version of Kander and Ebb’s “New York, New York” ... 

(Photo by Emily Berl/The New York Times: Joe Cummings and Amanda Johns recreate Alfred Eisenstaedt's 1945 sailor-and-nurse photograph for passengers on "The Ride")
You don’t really know what to make of “The Ride” at first...   Each night a crew of more than 60 technical people, street performers and tour-guide actors with improv-comedy experience tries to combine these diverse styles into an atypical tourist bus ride that costs $59 or $65, depending on the departure time. Plans are to run 364 days a year, with up to 156 rides each week... And this happened in the tour’s final moments, as “The Ride” featured a transparent busload of passengers waving and singing “New York, New York,” as listeners in the streets stared, watched, ran along or even, eventually, joined in. The street is quite a ride... 

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Fighting on Buses * USA - Video Shows Guest Choking Disney Bus Driver

Disney Confirms Incident Happened Oct. 12


(A YouTube video shows a physical confrontation between a Disney bus driver and a passenger)

Orlando,FL,USA -ClickOrlando -October 15, 2010: -- A Disney bus driver is on paid leave following a physical confrontation with an angry guest that was captured on video...   The video begins in the middle of the confrontation, showing a father with a baby pushing and choking the bus driver...   People in the crowd can be heard on the video yelling for help. Later, security arrives, but by then the confrontation is in full swing. The poster explained that the man was furious because the driver refused to let his family on the packed bus...  The father also is heard saying to the security guard, "He sees me. I was waiting here first and he tried to block me. He let everyone pass through" ...   The video doesn't show what started the fight, but someone in the crowd explained what happened before the camera started rolling...   "He, like, threw a baby at him," someone said...   "We have a baby. We're supposed to be priority," the guest can be heard saying on the video...   Some people who have viewed the video couldn't believe what they were seeing...   No one was hurt in the altercation...   

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PASSENGERS' TRANSPORT INDUSTRY * Canada & USA - Time-Based Versus Distance-Based Fares

What are the options with payment schemes for public transportation? ...


(An image of Paris',France, transit map)
Washington,DC,USA -The CityFix, by Jonna McKone -October 22, 2010: ... There are two tiers of strategies that a Los Angeles Metro study recently outlined...   Time-based systems allow passengers to ride a transit system and make free transfers for a set amount of time. This scheme can be anything from an unlimited weekly pass to an unlimited monthly pass, to even shorter periods of time, such as a free transfer within a one- to two-hour time period. This pricing system requires some sort of card (paper, magnetic or smart card) to issue the transfer...   Distance-based systems charge higher fares for rides that cover greater distances. The fares could either be on a route-by-route basis, as we have in Washington, D.C., where the price between two points varies (here’s a nice run-down of the District’s pricing options), or a set of fare zones that could establish incremental fares based on certain regions of the city. For example, Paris has concentric circles that ring the city and form zone boundaries. Travel to the outer zones is more expensive than inner areas. Los Angeles’ Metrolink is much different—the system offers a daily pass for $6 and a preboard flat fare. The thought behind the distance-based scheme is that riders who use more service should pay for the service...   There are drawbacks to both systems. Distance-based fares often end up being more complicated to develop and enforce, as they require a card to be re- swiped, tapped or punched for bus or rail, or they require a barrier that reinforces additional payment...   The Los Angeles Metro system reviewed the pricing strategies of 244 North American transit services from data collected by the American Public Transportation Association (APTA). According to the findings, “some form of time-based pricing is offered on 32 of 244 systems with the most common form allowing unlimited transfers within the available time window (19 properties allow transfers within a 1 to 2 hour window)” ...   For distance-based pricing, the report finds that this practice is uncommon for non-express routes and rail and more common for express routes and systems that radiate from a central area. LA Metro further analyzed distance-based systems and made a few interesting points. Time-based services incentivize the use of the fastest possible transit service, which often “are the most efficient for the transit provider to operate,” says the report. This means the rider can use as many services as possible within the window of time that the fare card allots. However, this type of fare scheme often leads to a higher base fare than the lowest pay-per-distance option (i.e. the shortest distance) ...   And distance-based fares, as we said above, generally don’t occur for services like local buses and could encourage the use of cheaper, slower parallel services, which means a service provider is operating duplicate services. But in the case where distance-based fare is used for buses (examples include BRT systems in Ahmedabad and Bangkok), it can slow down service, as customers swipe in and out. Plus, this fare scheme can be particularly cumbersome for low-income users...   What do you think? Which system works in your city?...


* BC / Canada  -  Greyhound cut routes without licence approval - Bus line is in a squabble with B.C. Ferries over terminal access

(Image from wikimedia.org/wikipedia: BC Ferries Zone Two) 

Vancouver,BC,Canada -Canada.com/Daily News, by Walter Cordery -October 15, 2010:  -- Greyhound Canada may have jumped the gun when it cut back service, to just two buses daily, on the B.C. Ferries route from Nanaimo to Horseshoe Bay... The company actually reduced the number of sailings its buses would travel on effective Oct. 5... Jan Broocke, a director and secretary to B.C.'s Passenger Transportation Board, said the licence the bus carrier is currently operating under "requires Greyhound to make six trips daily from Nanaimo to Vancouver"... Tobin Robbins, a lawyer with Heenan Blaikie, told the Daily News that because of a financial dispute, B.C. Ferries erected a barricade to keep Greyhound buses out of Departure Bay... Greyhound, he said, was trying to minimize costs by offering a dropoff and pickup service that would have seen passengers dropped off at the terminal and then picked up by another bus in Horseshoe Bay six times a day...  
The ferry corporation was reluctant to accommodate this service and told Greyhound that it could bring passengers to the terminal but would have to unload them at "some distance" from the actual building...


* USA / NYC’s Lowest-Paid Workers Have Longest Commutes

(Map via Pratt Center)
New York,NY,USA -The CityFix, by: Jonna McKone -October 22, 2010: -- The Pratt Center published a series of maps that show commuting patterns of some 289,000 residents of 13 predominantly low- and moderate-income communities in New York City... The combined cost of housing and transportation burden is significant depending on where you live. Many Americans and people all over the world struggle with an enduring trade off: spending a greater share of income on housing for a shorter commute, or spending less of their income on housing in exchange for longer commutes and increased transportation costs. In 2007, The Center for Housing released a report called, “A Heavy Load: The Combined Housing and Transportation Burdens of Working Families”   ...    (You can download the full report here ... The study of 28 metropolitan areas in the U.S. found that working families spend 57 percent of their income on the combined costs of housing and transportation. On average, transportation accounts for 29 percent of their income. The findings were similar across major cities from Denver to Baltimore to Honolulu...

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PASSENGERS' TRANSPORT * India - 1.64 crore people ferried in a year in Ahmedabad

The Ahmedabad's Bus Rapid Transit System (BRTS)

Ahmedabad,Gujarati,India -DNA -Oct 15, 2010: -- A city suffering on account of inadequate public transport has found itself a new lifeline - the Bus Rapid Transit System (BRTS)... A year back, when chief minister, Narendra Modi, flagged off the new bus service, there were several doubts in people's minds on whether the BRTS would succeed after all - especially considering the fate it met with in cities like Pune and Delhi... However, a year after it was launched, and after having ferried 1,63,877,46 passengers so far across a city-wide network of 34 km, there remain few doubts today about what the BRTS means to Amdavad... At the time of its launch, the BRTS provided services only on a 12.5-km stretch from RTO to Pirana, with an average passenger count of 15,759 a day. This was in October 2009. Exactly a year later, the average number of passengers has increased to 82,944 a day (in October 2010)...   The BRTS started with a fleet of around 12 buses and now has 44, with five reserved for emergencies. This means that in last October, there were around 865 passengers per bus, which has now increased to 1,865 passengers per bus... (Imagen from wikimedia.org/wikipedia: Ahmedabad BRTS)

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21.10.10

STRIKE * France - Commuters cram into trains on day 2 of strike

Paris,France -Associated Press, by Jenny Barchfield and Jean-Marie Godard/Sylvie Corbet/Angela Charlton –Oct 13, 2010: -- French commuters elbowed their way onto packed subways and buses on Wednesday on day two of an open-ended strike against President Nicolas Sarkozy's plan to raise the retirement age to 62. The government held firm despite the walkouts... Railway workers voted to carry their strike to a third day, hoping to keep up the momentum of a movement that brought at least 1.2 million people to the streets for nationwide protests Tuesday. Strikers continued blocking oil refineries, raising concerns of gasoline shortages... Sarkozy told his government to pursue the reform "with determination and sang-froid," despite the resistance, according to his office. The governing conservatives say raising the retirement age from 60 to 62 is the only way to save the money-losing pension system — a reform that comes amid efforts across Europe to reduce sky-high debts that have threatened the euro and Europe's financial reputation...   Service on some of Paris' Metro subway and bus lines was slashed by about a quarter, with about 25 percent of Paris public transit workers still off the job on Wednesday, compared to more than 40 percent on Tuesday, according to the RATP public transport authority. Public transit in other French cities, as well as commuter train lines around Paris, were also hit...At the French capital's two main airports, Charles de Gaulle and Orly, traffic was back to normal Wednesday morning following extensive cancellations of short- and medium-haul flights Tuesday at both airports, said a spokesman for France's DGAC civil aviation authority. Eric Heraud said traffic at the airports could be disrupted later Wednesday, as a new shift of air traffic controllers takes over in the afternoon...   Despite the strikes, parliament has pushed ahead with the reform: The lower house approved it last month, and the Senate already has approved raising the retirement age to 62 but is still debating the overall reform... (Photo AP: French protesters block Marseille)

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BUS MARKETS WORLDWIDE * New Study Reviews Major Bus Improvements in 13 Latin America and Asia Cities

Report: Presenting, “Modernizing Public Transportation” 

Washington,DC,USA -World Resources Institute -October 13, 2010: ... Released by EMBARQ, the World Resources Institute’s Center of Sustainable Transport, the report synthesizes the challenges faced by transport system decision-makers in three key areas: planning, implementation and operations. In order to assist urban transportation planners and agencies, the study provides recommendations for avoiding or mitigating similar difficulties when introducing bus reforms in cities in the developing world... The report finds that the transit improvements in 13 cities resulted in a variety of improved conditions. These include reductions in air pollutants, greenhouse gas emissions, noise and traffic accidents, as well as increased efficiency by bus rapid transit (BRT) corridors compared with traditional bus services. Corridors in the selected bus systems exhibit very high usage levels (up to 45,000 passengers per hour in each direction), with comparatively low capital investments (less than $12.5 million per kilometer) and small operational subsidies... The report looks at transportation in 13 cities and will present in-depth case studies of nine of the cities. The first two case studies—profiling Leon and Guadalajara, Mexico—will be available by the end of October. The remaining seven case studies will be published by the end of November, including Bogota and Pereira, Colombia; Curitiba, Brazil; Guayaquil and Quito, Ecuador; Mexico City, Mexico; and Santiago, Chile. The other cities covered in the report are Sao Paulo, Brazil; Beijing, China; Ahmedabad, India; and Jakarta, Indonesia... The research was first announced at an Executive Committee meeting for the recently established Latin American Association of Integrated Transport Systems and Bus Rapid Transit (SIBRT), held during the 16th Latin American Congress on Urban Public Transport (CLATPU)... (Photo credit CTS-México - Optibus BRT station in Leon, Mexico)


* USA - Explains why BRT matters for cities around the world

Washington,DC,USA -The City Fix, Q&A with Dario Hidalgo (Part 2)/submitted by Jonna McKone -October 14, 2010: ...  Dario Hidalgo from EMBARQ (the producer of this blog) explains why BRT matters for cities around the world...   The 40-page main report will be accompanied by nine case studies, released over the next several weeks...   Each case study has something remarkable, for example:


Curitiba’s long history of integration between land use and transport, without ever doing detailed transport demand studies (i.e. origin-destination surveys and transportation demand modeling);
Quito’s respect of the cultural heritage in the historic downtown;
Bogota’s transformation of very informal operators into large-scale organized transit providers and its continuous ridership growth despite declining user ratings;
Leon’s approach of negotiating with all existing transit companies and its pioneering approach in fare collection and trunk-feeder operations;
Mexico’s and Guadalajara’s fast implementation of BRT in less than two years;
Guayaquil’s extremely efficient operation with a very small public agency for planning and control;
Sao Paulo’s and Santiago’s contrasting stories in citywide integration.
Each project overcame technical, institutional and financial barriers, and provides very rich lessons. According to one of the peer reviewers, the case studies are “fun reading” ... (Photo by Luis Molina: TransMilenio, the BRT system in Bogota, Colombia, is known for its high ridership: the 84-kilometer system with 1,100 articulated buses carried 1.6 million trips per weekday in 2009 and the number keeps growing)

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BUSES PURCHASE PROSPECT * USA - Grant to allow purchase of new Port Authority buses

Pittsburgh,PA,USA -The Globe, by Kalea Hall -October 12, 2010: -- Jim Ritchie, Director of Public Relations for Pittsburgh Port Authority, said the transit company will "benefit greatly" from the grant they received on Oct. 4... As a result, Port Authority will be able to purchase new buses so the older ones can be removed from its fleet, lessening the chance that Point Park University students will experience delays... The Port Authority is allowed to spend the grant money on capital expenses... With the grant money being directed toward the purchase of new buses, the Port Authority will benefit financially since the average age of its apporximately 830 buses is six to seven years... Port Authority will be buying 53 buses this fiscal year, which began June 30 and ends July 1 of next year. Of those, roughly 25 are 40-foot-long buses and about 20 are 60-foot articulated buses, according to Ritchie... The 40-foot buses that were purchased this year will arrive next summer, and the articulated buses will arrive in December 2011. Port Authority also wants to purchase at least 70 more buses next year with the grant money, but that plan has yet to be approved...(Image from onestoptransit.com: Pittsburgh city transit bus)


* Oregon - Voters support new buses, depending on what they’re for. Poll indicates electorate’s attitude toward new buses is tied to elderly

Portland,ORE,USA -The Forest Grove News-Times, by Christian Gaston -Oct 13, 2010: -- Portland-area voters will cough up money for new TriMet buses, it just depends on how you ask... In November, voters will decide the fate of a $125 million bond measure to replace old buses with newer models that are easier for the elderly and disabled to board... While a recession may seem like a terrible time to ask voters for more money, a poll conducted by TriMet in June indicates that voters are willing to pay up, depending on what the money will be used for... When TriMet asked 600 residents whether they’d approve of a generic replacement levy, support was high, with 56 percent saying yes to a bond, and another 3 percent leaning toward supporting it... The bond measure approved by the TriMet board of directors in August, does a bit of both. By buying new buses, TriMet argues it can better serve the elderly and disabled... The bond would pay for up to 150 new buses at $440,000 a vehicle... (Image from  t0.gstatic: Port Authority of Alleghany County maintains three bus routes)

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RACISM on BUSES * UK - Bus passenger was victim of racist abuse

A man victim of racist abuse on a Southampton bus

Southampton, UK -The Daily Echo, by Bethan Phillips -12 October 2010: --   The incident happened during a journey between the city and Hedge End after an Asian passenger boarded the number 3 Solent Blue Line bus...   Another passenger refused to let the man sit next to him and made racist remarks...  When an 18-year-old white woman and her male friend intervened, the man tried to punch the woman’s friend and ripped his top...   The attacker got off near the Bittern Pub on Thornhill Park Road, and walked to Somerfield petrol station where he intimidated staff...   The police were called and a 44-year-old man has been arrested...

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THE FINAL * Canada - Old diesels will be crushed after TransLink fails to find a buyer

Scrap heap signals the final destination for more than 100 unwanted buses

Vancouver,BC,Canada -Vancouver Sun, by Kelly Sinoski -October 12, 2010: -- TransLink was forced to sell more than 100 of its old diesel buses to a Surrey scrap yard because nobody else wanted to buy them...   At least 140 transit buses, some of which were used as West Vancouver Blue buses and possibly as extras for the Olympic Games, are being stripped, crushed and stacked three deep at the Amix Salvage and Sales scrap metal recycler near the Pattullo Bridge...   TransLink spokesmen Ken Hardie said the diesel buses were sent to the scrap yard because they had reached the end of their lifespan and no one had come forward to buy them after six to eight months on the market...   Buses tend to have a lifespan of about 17 years. Hardie said the buses are part of a surplus of old transit vehicles, some of which ended up in the Fraser Valley...  (Photograph by Jason Payne, Vancouver Sun: Several former TransLink buses are piled on top of each other in the yard of Amix Salvage and Sales near Pattullo Bridge. At least 140 buses, some of which were used during the Olympic Games, will end up as scrap metal)

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Code of Conduct * UK - For Greater Manchester bus operators launched

Sets a benchmark for the quality and standard of bus services 


Manchester, UK -Manchester Transport, by James McCollom -October 12, 2010: -- GMITA and the Greater Manchester Bus Operators’ Association (GMBOA) launched a new Code of Conduct for bus operators last week, which sets a benchmark for the quality and standard of bus services within...   The aim of the scheme is to improve services by securing formal agreements with bus operators in relation to punctuality, reliability and vehicle standards. The “Big Three” operators (Arriva, First and Stagecoach) have signed up along with Transdev, Rossendale and Maytree – covering 84% of the Greater Manchester bus network already – and the hope is to eventually get all bus operators in the county to sign up...   But what exactly does the scheme mean? What can passengers expect? ... The following punctuality and reliability targets are set:


97% of advertised buses will operate
90% of scheduled bus services will depart “on-time” (less than 60 seconds early, less than 5 minutes 59 seconds late)
97% of headways on frequent services (every 12 minutes or better) will be less than twice the frequency (if you see what we mean)


These aren’t particularly onerous targets given that the Traffic Commissioners set a target of 99.5% reliability and 95% punctuality. However, the Code of Conduct recognises that these targets would not be met fully based on current performance: the aim is to ensure that all members do so within two years... The Code of Conduct is a voluntary scheme that seems to let both the operators and GMPTE get on with what they both do best, there are two mandatory schemes – so-called Quality Partnership Schemes – that are in the pipeline and hope to be introduced in March 2011. These involve two corridors in Greater Manchester: Leigh to (the main route which is the 582) and MaBoltonnchester to Hazel Grove... (Image from Creative Commons / Flickr upload bot: A First Manchester bus passing through Milnrow)

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19.10.10

Safety School Buses * USA - Study: Are Nearly Eight Times Safer Than Passenger Vehicles

Safe Kids Kansas provides tips to keep kids safer for National School Bus Safety Week

Topeka,KS,USA -infoZine -October 12, 2010: -- While carpooling is a common practice in many communities, a school bus is the safest way for children to get to school. Fatal crashes involving school bus occupants are extremely rare events, even though school buses serve children daily in nearly every community... Getting to and from the bus is actually more dangerous than riding the bus itself. In the United States, 26 children were killed as pedestrians getting on or off a school bus, or while waiting at the school bus stop in 2007. This means that five times as many children were killed while getting on or off the bus than while riding it. October 18- 22 is National School Bus Safety Week – making it a good time to teach children how to stay safer around school buses... (Photo from schoolofstjude.co.tz: School buses)

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BUSES DRIVERS' COMPLAINS * USA - Chicago Union: CTA Not Taking Care of Buses

Union workers at the CTA are calling for changes after a weekend crash that left dozens of passengers injured

Chicago,ILL,USA -FOX Chicago News, by Craig Wall -12 Oct 2010:    ... While the CTA continues to search for what caused the bus to veer off Lakeshore Drive on Saturday night, hitting several trees, the bus drivers' union criticized the CTA for what union leaders call an inadequate preventive maintenance program... The union suggested on Monday that what went wrong Saturday night was a problem with the bus, not the driver, and they want the investigation process overhauled... The union pointed to a backlog of more than 800 maintenance issues, and the fact that non-union mechanics are handling repairs since union employees were laid off... The CTA defended it's maintenance practices and accused the union of distorting the facts...   The CTA said the contract mechanics doing the preventive maintenance are factory trained and authorized. A CTA spokesperson also said the backlog of preventative maintenance issues represents non-mechanical work including air filter replacement...

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CORRUPTION * Dominican Republic - “Buses owner” mocks the Government from Congress

Accused Government officials of supporting last week’s violent strike in the San Cristobal Highway

Santo Domingo,Dominican Rep. -Dominican Today -Oct 12, 2010: -- The deputy and head of the bus owners grouped in Fenatrano on Monday attended his bus company’s business from his seat in Congress, where he accused Government officials of supporting last week’s violent strike in the San Cristobal Highway that left one person dead and two police agents injured...   Juan Hubieres, dubbed one of the country’s “owners” from the impunity despite promoting violent strikes, accused the Government of infiltrating agents in the strike to stoke the showdown with Conatra, a rival group of bus drivers and owners...   “The ambitions of Diandino Peña, the ex Police chief Rafael Guzmán and two parolees created and armed Government-backed gang to destroy Fenatrano and to murder its top leaders, it’s what’s behind the current situation, using the cerberus of Conatra in San Cristóbal to attack the Police, the press and hundreds of Fenatrano buses"...   He said "the Technical Land Transport Office and the Metropolitan Transport Authority are the agencies who’ve created borders and exclusive spaces for some routes preventing the free transit and creating unfair competition among the bus owners"...  He said Fenatrano wants the free transit law enforced and the elimination of the traced routes so passengers can use the bus of their choice. He added the unions in San Cristóbal stop the passengers from boarding buses from another place several kilometers from town, and seek to control the Haina route, despite having its own buses... (Photo from images3.listindiario: The new option FENATRANO's buses presided by Juan Hubieres)

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