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Buses World News

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

27.11.10

Commuting * USA - State of Metropolitan America Indicator Map

Washington,DC,USA -Brookings -27 Nov 2010: -- Commuting flows are the “blood” of regional economies, showing the connections among businesses and the labor market, and tying together the places that define our metropolitan areas. This subject area details how we get to work, how long it takes us, and how patterns in these indicators have changed over time, pointing to significant differences across communities in how workers undertake these daily trips... (State of Metropolitan America Indicator Map - Source: ACS Table B08301; Census 2000 SF3 Table P30: Some geographies for this indicator have been modified due to missing data.
* Statistically significant at the 90% confidence level)

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Carmakers' next problem * USA - Generation Y

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15.11.10

Voluntary groups * UK - To run buses

The SPT chairman said he wanted a greater level of involvement by the community

Strathclyde,Glasgow,Scotland,UK -The Herald Scotland, by Damien Henderson -8 Nov 2010: -- Community groups are to be given a greater role in running their own bus services as part of a plan to save millions of pounds currently paid to private firms to run “lifeline” routes...  Council-run body Strathclyde Partnership for Transport (SPT) says securing greater involvement from the public will be vital as part of an efficiency drive designed to protect vulnerable and isolated communities from cuts in public transport...  A number of charities and voluntary groups in the west of Scotland have already been given funding to provide transport to hospital or other public services that would otherwise not be provided by private bus companies...  As part of its plan, SPT has purchased 57 buses which, unlike council fleets, can be reconfigured to transport disabled passengers to and from hospital, take children on the school run and deliver bus services at off-peak periods when commercial operators are unable to make money...    It is hoped the approach will mean councils are less reliant on private operators to deliver subsidised services and prevent the waste of having school buses – and drivers – sitting idle for most of the day between school runs...   Arrangements will differ from group to group, but typically SPT will provide the bus and the individual organisation will be required to provide its own driver and cover any subsequent running costs of the service...

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BUSES' PURCHASE * USA - City Buying 24 New Buses

* Hawai - Diesel Buses To Replace Older Models In Fleet

(Photo by JAMM AQUINO/STAR ADVERTISER: The new bus, the first in a fleet of 24, is more quiet and fuel-efficient than its 17-year-old predecessors)

Honolulu,Hawai,USA -KITV -November 8, 2010:  --   The City of Honolulu will be getting 24 new buses... The new, heavy-duty clean diesel buses will replace older models that will be retired from the city's fleet... The 40-foot-long buses are manufactured by Nova Bus, which is part of the Volvo Bus Corp. The buses cost more than $435,696 each...  They are one of the lightest heavy-duty diesel buses made, which makes them more fuel efficient and reduces greenhouse gas emissions, city officials said. The buses will be used primarily on less-congested, long-haul routes...  The city will continue to deploy hybrid diesel-electric buses in urban, congested routes, where they provide better fuel economy...  Each bus can accommodate 39 seated and 31 standing passengers, city officials said... 

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All-Electric Buses * USA - Tallahassee to be one of the first cities in the country to introduce fleet

Tallahassee,FL,USA -The Florida Independent, by Brett Ader -9 Nov 2010: -- Florida’s capital is on track to become one of the first cities in the country to introduce all-electric buses to its fleet, thanks to a $5.2 million grant from the Federal Transit Adminstration as part of it’s Transit Investment in Greenhouse Gas and Energy Reduction (TIGGER) Program. Tallahassee is one of 27 grant recipients, and is slated to replace four diesel buses with zero-emission electric buses within the next year... Ron Garrison, executive director of Tallahassee’s StarMetro division, noted that four electric buses are a small step forward in a city with 67 fixed-route buses, but he is excited to be moving towards greener technology... According to Marc Gottschalk, chief business development officer for the Colorado-based Proterra, Inc., the EcoRide buses his company will be providing are currently operating in only one location — Southern California — and will soon be expanding to Seattle, Wash., Reno, Nev., Fresno, Calif., and San Antonio, Texas... While electric vehicle technology has been slowly working its way into the mainstream in recent years, one limiting aspect has been the time necessary to bring batteries back to a full charge, which can take hours and wasn’t seen as feasible for buses due to the extremely limited range of electric engines. Proterra claims to be the first company to have overcome this hurdle, using a battery technology that allows for a full recharge in a matter of minutes...

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HYDROGEN FUELED * UK - Three hydrogen buses for London

London,EN,USA -The Hydrogen Journal -Nov 9, 2010: -- Transport for London has secured Euro 5.67m funding from the European Union' "Cleaner Hydrogen in Cities" project, which it will use to buy three hybrid fuel cell buses... The buses will run on the RV1 route along the river Thames in central London... There are already plans to install 5 fuel cell buses on the RV1 route later in 2010. The additional 3 buses will be added at the end of 2011, which means that the entire route will be serviced by hydrogen fuel cell buses... The demonstration project will be extended from 3 years to 4 years... The fuel cells will be provided by Ballard and the hydrogen will be supplied by Air Products... EU investment in hydrogen technology is also going to Oslo, Milan, Bolzano (Italy), and Aargau / St. Gallen (Switzerland)... The buses will be refuelled and maintained at Lea Interchange bus garage, Leyton...  (Photo from tfl.gov.uk: Fuel-cell bus)

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AUDIBLE BUSES * USA - Can You Hear Your Bus Now?

A new audible warning system aimed at pedestrians

Washington,DC,USA -The Washington City Paper, by Michael E. Grass -11 Nov 2010:  -- Metrobus is testing out a new audible warning system aimed at pedestrians. People around town have been encountering buses with the bilingual warnings in English and Spanish. And already, there's a controversy brewing over whether they're too loud... The anti-Metro blog Unsuck DC Metro posted a recording earlier today of the X8 bus as it maneuvered around some corners at Stanton Park on Capitol Hill, blaring the warning "Pedestrians, bus is turning" ...  Metro, which is trying to rehabilitate its image finds itself in a tough position here: Where is the balance between safety and not adding to unwanted audio clutter?... Metro, which has been introducing quieter buses to its fleet, has encountered opposition to noisy buses before ... The initial reaction to the pilot project has been negative—the audible announcement are simply too loud—if you think Unsuck Metro DC's irritable commentarist is representative of the general public... Implementing these types of audible announcements makes sense on a number of levels, especially since it provides pedestrians with visual impairments a warning...  But there are quieter residential neighborhoods where many are bound to cry foul when they hear Metrobus' new audible warnings, especially late at night when such noise might carry farther...  (Photo from living-in-washingtondc: Metrobus local express)

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BUSES PURCHASE PROSPECTS * USA - Metro gets $4M grant to buy 12 buses

St. Louis,MO,USA -The St. Louis Business Journal -November 5, 2010: -- St. Louis transit agency Metro said Friday it will use a $4 million federal grant to buy 12 buses... The Federal Transit Administration notified Metro that its grant application had been approved through the FTA Clean Fuels Bus Grant program to buy buses that meet current federal emissions requirements... Metro said it needs more buses to restore services that were cut in March 2009 amid budget constraints. St. Louis County voters approved a half-cent sales-tax increase in April 2010 to provide $80 million a year to restore service and rebuild the bus fleet. Metro began implementing service restoration in June and said Friday it has been working to speed up bus acquisition...

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Free Ride * India - DTC offers one to women on Bhai Duj

New Delhi,India -ND TV/Press Trust of India -November 6, 2010: -- Women in the city will be able to travel in Delhi Transport Corporation buses for free on Sunday on the occasion of Bhai Duj, Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit announced on Saturday...  The decision has been taken to ensure that women could reach to the places of their brothers without any hassle, she said...  Transport Minister Arvinder Singh said women would be allowed free ride in all DTC ordinary buses and non-air conditioned low-floor buses till 5:00 PM on Sunday...  The DTC has been offering free ride to women on Rakshabandhan and Bhai Duj for the last few years...

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12.11.10

NEW BUSES * UK - London mayor shows Routemaster bus

It’s a classic red London Routemaster bus, but not quite as we know it

London,EN,UK -The FT, by Bob Sherwood -November 11 2010: -- The futuristic design of the long-awaited new London double-decker was unveiled by Boris Johnson, the mayor, on Thursday... A full-size mock-up of the design revealed the same open rear platform that allows passengers to hop on and off and an interior decor inspired by the old Routemasters. But for all the nostalgia, the latest London bus displays more modern sweeping lines, two staircases, three entrances and panoramic windows, and it will have more fuel-efficient engines... Routemasters, one of the quintessential international images of London, have not been seen in general service on the capital’s roads for almost five years... In a backlash against the bendy buses introduced by Ken Livingstone, his predecessor, Mr Johnson made bringing back an Routemaster-type bus to London’s streets one of his central election pledges in 2008... The model of the so-called New Bus for London (NB4L), displayed at the London Transport Museum’s depot in Acton, has been produced to garner views on the design ahead of a prototype being built next year. The first five buses are due to hit London streets early in 2012...  (Picture: London mayor Boris Johnson with a mock-up of the capital’s next double-decker bus)

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9.11.10

BUSMAKERS' NEWS WORLDWIDE * Germany - Mercedes-Benz fuel cell hybrid buses get green light

It consumes almost 50 per cent less hydrogen than the previous generation and has a range of 155 miles

Sttugart,Germany -The Green Car Website (UK), by Paul Lucas -November 6, 2010: -- Fuel cell hybrid buses are no longer a distant dream – because the Mercedes-Benz Citaro FuelCELL hybrid buses will enter service next year as part of the Clean Hydrogen in European Cities (CHIC) project... The campaign, funded by the European Union, began in Cologne on Thursday, and will see 26 fuel cell buses integrated into regular daily services in five European cities with at least three manufacturers – Mercedes-Benz, Wrightbus and Van Hool – to be involved... Vehicles will go into service in Aarau, Bolzano, Milan, London and Oslo with the idea being to gradually introduce the buses and set up fleets and the necessary infrastructure. Further experience will be gained from projects in cities such as Berlin, Hamburg, Cologne and Whistler in Canada. This will be used to guide 14 regions of Europe through the next stage as they start to set up fuel cell fleets and infrastructure... As for the Citaro Fuel Cell Hybrid itself, it features fuel cell components and hybridisation with lithium-ion batteries. It consumes almost 50 per cent less hydrogen than the previous generation and has a range of 155miles... Daimler has already placed 36 Mercedes-Benz Citaro buses with a second generation fuel cell drive into operation with 12 transport operators on three continents... (Photo: The Mercedes-Benz Citaro Fuel Cell Hybrid)


* Germany - MAN chassis and driveline powers new E&M Horsborough buses

Livingston,UK -Transport Engineer, by Brian Tinham -8 Nov 2010: -- Private and contract hire specialist E&M Horsburgh says it is delighted with its two new MAN MCV Evolution combinations... The 14.220s (43-seat 11.3 metre) are the first complete MAN chassis and driveline units for the Livingston-based bus company, although existing MAN-powered Optare Solos have "performed exceptionally well"... Company director Eric Horsburgh says he was delighted with the "attractive acquisition package", and suggests that his opinion of the MAN product has since grown...  (Photo: MAN chassis and driveline powers new E and M Horsborough buses)


* China - Bus makers eye Nigeria

Lagos,Nigeria -Punch, by Rasheed Bisiriyu -10 Nov 2010: -- Nigeria, indication has emerged that many bus manufacturers in China are looking towards the country as a big market for their vehicles... Already, Yutong, the largest bus manufacturer in the Asian country, has sealed a deal with Lanre Shittu Motors Nigeria Limited for the distribution of its high capacity and mini-buses in Nigeria... Before now, Asian Motors, among other dealers, had introduced several buses into the country... The big market for new buses became evident in the last one year as many state governments are making arrangement to replicate in their areas the Bus Rapid Transit scheme initiated by the Lagos State Government... The Director, After-sales Service, Lanre Shittu Motors, Mr. Taiwo Shittu, said that the company planned to sell about 500 units of the Yotong buses in one year...  (Photo from Chinabuses: Kinglong Bus XMQ6129)

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8.11.10

Factory Buses * Mexico - 4 killed as gunmen attack factory buses in Ciudad Juarez

The attack on buses carrying assembly-plant workers near the Texas border. Gunmen jumped aboard looking for a male passenger

Ciudad Juarez,Chihuahua,MEX -Los Angeles Times, by Ken Ellingwood (Reporting from Mexico City) -October 29, 2010: -- Armed men opened fire on buses carrying assembly-plant workers near the Texas border early Thursday, killing four people and wounding 15 others in the latest spasm of violence to rattle Mexico...  Authorities in the northern state of Chihuahua said the victims, identified as employees of a U.S. car-upholstery plant called Eagle Ottawa, were riding home about 1 a.m. when three company buses came under fire outside Ciudad Juarez...  Officials said they had not determined a motive. Witnesses said gunmen jumped aboard looking for a male passenger...  The dead included three women and a man. Two of the wounded remained hospitalized by late afternoon...  The so-called Juarez Valley where the converted school buses were attacked has been racked by fighting between powerful drug cartels. But the more than 330 border factories, or maquiladoras, that dominate Ciudad Juarez and surroundings have been left out of the worst of the recent drug violence...  Nonetheless, the escalating violence has forced factories and other businesses to boost security in Ciudad Juarez, where foreign manufacturers are drawn by a large workforce, mostly female, willing to work for low wages...  Carlos Miranda, president of the Ciudad Juarez Maquiladora Assn., said factory buses have been burned by attackers in extortion attempts... 

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PUBLIC TRANSPORT SERVICES * WORLDWIDE

* Latvia - Buses from Riga

Riga,Latvia -PhotoRiga, by Ikars -1 Nov 2010: -- But I have so many supposedly interesting public transport pictures of Riga, that I decided to make this whole week in this theme. So, you will see various pics of Riga public transport ...
Riga doesn't have metro (it was planned to built in 80ies but wasn't possible due to both people's protests and too difficult soil conditions - it should be digged in very deeply), but it has very developed tram, trolleybus and bus network. The most renewed fleet is buses - there are no old buses in use. Riga has several bus depots, here you see one in Maskavas district. In summer, I rarely use public transport. How I get around the city? Well, if you look closely in the second picture you can find an answer there...
Only serious competitor to official Riga public transport enterprise (which runs buses, trolleybuses and trams) in Riga are minibuses. They also runs in many different routes, they are fast and they are also cheaper than municipal-owned public transport. There have been stories about too dangerous driving about those minibuses - they usually didn't respected traffic rules but it seems lately the situation has became better...


* Canada - Montreal's Bus Rapid Transit (BRT)


Montreal,QBC,CAN -Images of Centre Town, by Charles Akben-Marchand -November 1, 2010: ... The buses allow you to use the Opus smart card for your fare. We found that it took 1-2 seconds for each passenger's card to register with the system. This slowed loading considerably--for the ten or so people getting on the bus at this top, I had enough time while waiting in line to get my camera out, move to the front, and take a photo of the people getting on board...   As we travelled the route, we passed few notable things (I'd compare it to taking the 85 down Carling Avenue from the Queensway to Lincoln Fields). The standard bus stops were not unlike those in Ottawa...
The only other thing to say about our short look at the bus system in Montreal--and only because I like to end my posts with something a bit more interesting than the above photo--was this long bus. We don't have articulated Novabuses in Ottawa-Gatineau, just the 40-foot model. Montreal does...


* Malysia - More buses useless without better info delivery

Putrajaya,Malaysia -The Malaysia Kini, by Moaz Yusuf Ahmad -Nov 4, 2010: -- The members of the Association for the Improvement of Mass Transit (Transit) note the recent announcement of 25 additional buses for the Nadi Putra service, to increase the size of the fleet from the current 150 buses... According to the article, the buses are smaller, and they will be used for a "feeder bus" role, going deeper into the housing estates to pick up passengers... The Nadi Putra service and the Putrajaya Corporation which owns the service, is also going to invest in an awareness campaign to encourage more people to take the bus... They are also promising that drivers will stick to the schedule in order to ensure that the service is reliable... Transit is pleased to note that the Putrajaya Corporation and Nadi Putra are going to continue with their efforts to improve the supply of public transport in Putrajaya... The only question is, will this increase in supply along with the awareness campaign help to increase the demand for public transportation?... The short answer is, there will be little change in the short term. And this is obviously disappointing for all those well-meaning people who want to see demand for the public transport service increase... Information about Nadi Putra bus services is currently poor and the awareness campaign (which will probably be little more than banners on light poles for car drivers to read) are simply not going to be enough to get more people to use the service... (Photo from  t3.gstatic: The local government has plans to add more buses in Nadi Putra's fleet)

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PASSENGERS FURY * UK - Over shake-up on Hampshire buses

First is accused of putting financial savings before customers’ interests

Eastleigh,Hampshire,UK -The Southern Daily Echo, by Simon Carr -5 November 2010: -- A bus service shake-up has caused chaos, claim angry passengers... Pensioners, workers, schoolchildren and patients could all be affected by the changes which have hit 16 routes across Hampshire... Bus users have criticised First bus, claiming the new changes were brought in to save money and introduced without considering passengers... The firm’s bosses say it was matching resources with demand and trying to make the buses more reliable... There are six routes being changed in Southampton, affecting services to destinations including Hedge End, Hamble, Bitterne, Shirley, Millbrook and Lordshill...

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SAFETY * Ghana - Police to deploy armed officers on long-distance buses

Accra,Ghana -My Joy Ghana News -5 November 2010: -- Armed police officers are to be deployed on long distance buses as part of measures to tackle the growing incidence of highway robbery... The Ashanti Regional Police Command took the decision after discussions with major transport operators in the region... The measure takes immediate effect... It comes in the wake of the raging controversy over allegations of an armed attack and mass rape of passengers on a Tamale-bound passenger bus... Speaking for the Ashanti Regional Police Command, Chief Inspector Mohammed Tanko said passengers will feel safe if they have armed policemen in their buses... Chief Inspector Tanko said the policy will be restricted to armed-robbery-prone highways...

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PASSENGERS' COMPLAINS * Vietnam - Commuters say no to buses in Vietnam metro

Rundown buses and faciliites as well as bad service is seeing public transportation deteriorate in Ho Chi Minh City

Ho Chi Minh City,Saigon,Vietnam -The Saigon Tiep Thi/Vietnam Society's Posterous -November 4, 2010: ... Several dozen bus routes are operating inefficienty because of decreasing number of passengers, said Phung Dang Hai, director general of HCMC Transport Co-operative, which operates one-third of the local buses... In fact, in the first nine months of this year, the co-operative has experienced a 10 percent decline in the number of passengers over last year, Hai said ... The decrease is considerable, although subsidies were raised to VND700 billion (US$35.9 million) from VND600 billion ($30.8 million) last year, Hai said... The Saigon Tiep Thi reports that the staff's poor attitude towards passengers, the lack of safety, broken air-conditioning systems and other degraded facilities are discouraging people from opting to take a bus... Reckless driving, including not slowing down while driving over potholes, and the disregard for passenger comfort was blatant, it reports... (Photo from static.dzmind)

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PASSENGERS' SERVICE * Dubai - Metro, bus ridership climbs, taxis’ slides

Doha,Dubai -The Gulf Today, by Matovu A. Twaha -November 6, 2010: -- The average number of passengers carried by the Dubai Taxi Corporation fleet is lower this year as compared to last year. This phenomenon is reflected in the praise heaped by a significant section of residents who are hailing the “convenience and affordability” of public transport in the Emirate...  For example, during the first six months of 2010, 23,751,000 passengers were lifted by taxis of the Dubai Taxi Corporation, a figure translating to 3,958,500 passengers per month. This figure is far lower than last year’s average of 5,158,326 passengers per month carried by the DTC with the same fleet strength. 3,504 taxis carried 51,583,266 passengers in the period between January-October, 2009...  The general picture shows a good number of people turning to buses and the Metro, but the authorities in the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) carefully insist the entire network is complementary...

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SMART BUSES * Canada - ETS tabs $3.4M to test ones

Technology will make riding easier, safer

Edmonton,ALB,CAN -The Edmonton Journal, by Gordon Kent -5 Nov 2010: -- Edmonton Transit riders will be able to find out where their bus is and hear what stop is approaching once they're on-board using equipment the city hopes to start testing next year... The $3.4-million proposal would try out the program on 50 buses, including automated stop announcements and passenger counts, vehicle condition, computer-aided dispatch and security cameras, says a report released Thursday... The bus stop announcements, already used in Winnipeg, Ottawa and Toronto, are supported by disabled groups hoping to make the transit system more accessible, the report says...

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NEW BUSES FLEET * WORLDWIDE

* Gibraltar - New City buses for the upper town

Gibraltar -The Gibraltar Chronicle, by Alice Mascarenhas -8 Nov 2010: -- Three new small city buses have been purchased and are already servicing Route 2 into the Upper Town areas operated by the Gibraltar Bus Company. The buses are user friendly with wheelchair access and fully air conditioned. Certain that frequent users of this route would welcome the improved comfort of these new vehicles. They represented a significant improvement over the vehicles used up till now to service this route allowing for greater passenger carrying capacity able to carry 20 passengers, of which 14 will be seated and six standing... Minister Holliday, spoke of the ongoing changes being introduced for the local bus service which will see some 75 new bus shelters, and new bus lay-bys throughout the Rock... The buses have cost £63,000 each with 40% of the total cost of £114,000 paid for through EU Funding... (Photo: Transport Minister Joe Holliday pictured with Gibraltar Bus Company Directors Andrew Perera and Brian Delaney, Depot Superintendent Paul Costa, and Gibraltar Senior Citizens Association president Manolo Ruiz)


* Malaysia - More buses useless without better info delivery

Putrajaya,Malaysia -Malaysia Kini, by Moaz Yusuf Ahmad -Nov 4, 10: -- The members of the Association for the Improvement of Mass Transit (Transit) note the recent announcement of 25 additional buses for the Nadi Putra service, to increase the size of the fleet from the current 150 buses...   According to the article, the buses are smaller, and they will be used for a "feeder bus" role, going deeper into the housing estates to pick up passengers...   The Nadi Putra service and the Putrajaya Corporation which owns the service, is also going to invest in an awareness campaign to encourage more people to take the bus...   They are also promising that drivers will stick to the schedule in order to ensure that the service is reliable...  The problem is not really that of the supply, but more of information, communication and attitude...   Information about Nadi Putra bus services is currently poor and the awareness campaign (which will probably be little more than banners on light poles for car drivers to read) are simply not going to be enough to get more people to use the service... (Photo from mama.nuraina: Nadi Putra buses' terminal)

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Flash Strike * India - PMPML drivers on contract demand bonus, go on strike

Flash strike by bus drivers at the Bhosari and Nigdi bus depots

Pune,India -TNN/The Times of India -Nov 6, 2010: --  Public transport services in the city was partially disrupted on Friday following a flash strike by bus drivers at the Bhosari and Nigdi bus depots. The drivers, who are working with a contractor from whom the PMPML has hired buses, are demanding that they be paid Diwali bonus... PMPML officials said as many as 60 buses remained off the roads as result of the strike. The strike affected the bus service, thus causing inconvenience to commuters. However, Friday being a holiday, there was less than usual rush of passengers... In addition to the 1,100-odd buses in its fleet, the PMPML has hired over 250 buses from various private contractors. The transport company has already paid bonus and ex-gratia amount to its staff. The drivers employed with the private contractor have demanded that they too be paid Diwali bonus... The PMPML officials had no clues about when the strike will be withdrawn. The officials indicated that the issue has to be resolved by the contractor. The strike is not likely to affect people seriously as the next two days are holidays. The authorities are also hoping that the strike would be called off soon... (Photo from cdn.wn: The Pune Mahanagar Parivahan Mahamandal Limited -PMPML- ... but good revenue does not necessarily translate into quality service)


* India - Overcrowded PMPML buses means passengers travelling dangerously on the footboard or clinging to the bars of windows while maintaining a toe-hold

Pune,India -The Times of India/TNN -Nov 4, 2010: ... The life-threatening manner of travel has made Prashant Inamdar of Pedestrians First write to district collector Chandrakant Dalvi, also the chairman of the newly formed district transport authority... The unsafe way is also a serious violation of the Motor Vehicles Act, 1988 and traffic rules, said Inamdar. In his earlier letter to PMPML, Inamdar said that a commuter standing precariously on the doorway may slip off and get hit by another vehicle. He added that the driver would also face difficulties in controlling and steering the bus in such an unbalanced condition and accidents may rise... There have been fatal accidents involving commuters travelling in a dangerous manner. Inamdar said that overloaded buses create a poor image of the public transport undertaking and the city... (Photo from beta.thehindu: Commuters travelling in an overcrowded private bus in Kolkata on August 3, 2009)

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Smart Card * UK - New technology on Midlands buses

Birmingham,West Midlands,UK -The Birmingham Mail -Nov 4, 2010: -- The completion of a £14 million project to install Smartcard technology on Midlands buses was marked by local transport minister Norman Baker... Over 2,500 buses have been fitted with card readers by transport authority Centro, paving the way for a local version of London’s electronic Oyster Card system... At the moment only passengers with microchip-fitted concessionary travel passes will be able to use the readers, but travel bosses hope smart ticketing for all will be just around the corner. Mr Baker was given a demonstration of the new system yesterday, where passengers touch the readers with their cards when boarding the bus... (Photo from networkwestmidlands: SMARTCARD)

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BUS SALES * Australia - Volvo Gets SEK2.65 Billion Order For Up To 650 Buses In

Perth, Australia -DOW JONES NEWSWIRES/The Morning Star (USA) -3 Nov 2010:  --   Volvo Bus Australia said Wednesday it has been awarded a SEK2.65B contract to supply up to 650 low floor city buses over the next 10 years to Perth, Australia...  The total value of the contract, including chassis and bodies, is approximately SEK2.65B. The customer is the Public Transport Authority of Western Australia (PTA)...   Volvo will provide the units together with Volgren Australia who will manufacture the bus bodies at its facility in Malaga,WA...

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HYBRID BUSES * USA - HybriDrive by BAE Systems: 200 Million Miles of Green and Clean Revenue Service

Johnson City,NY,USA -Business Wire/MarketWatch -Nov. 2, 2010: -- Transit buses powered by BAE Systems' HybriDrive(R) green propulsion systems have recently surpassed 200 million miles of clean, reliable revenue service. This milestone has been reached across a rapidly growing fleet of more than 3,000 buses in North America and Europe. The UK and France are the latest markets to see deliveries, with more than 100 buses entering service by year end... HybriDrive is the market leading 'series' hybrid propulsion system. A reliable and dependable system, HybriDrive powers buses of some of the leading manufacturers in the world. These include Daimler and New Flyer in the United States and Alexander Dennis and Irisbus Iveco in Europe. Deliveries to the European market are well underway, with significant fleets now operating across three UK cities with more being added by year end... Throughout the 200 million miles of revenue service, HybriDrive has provided significant environmental benefits with the prevention of the release of more than 100,000 tons of CO2 particulate...  These benefits combine with fuel consumption reductions of up to 40%*, which so far have exceeded savings of 10 million gallons of diesel... (Photo from timesofindia: BAE Systems' HybriDrive-powered New Flyer Xcelsior buses soon will be transporting passengers in Atlanta, Georgia, and Everett, Washington)

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Passengers complain * New Zealand - Complaints continue over buses chaos

Christchurch,NZ -The Press, by PAUL GORMAN -3 Nov 2010: -- Temporary buses, new operators, different runs and inexperienced drivers are causing chaos on Christchurch bus routes... Roadworks and detours along Lichfield St, to the east of the central-city Bus Exchange, are also adding to the frustration of drivers and passengers... Problems triggered by last month's earthquake and operator changes on November 1 have left many passengers angry and confused...   Some have emailed The Press complaining about the state of older buses, overcrowding and the confusing number of white buses on the road...  Leopard has been forced to buy and hire 33 buses because of earthquake damage at DesignLine's Rolleston bus factory...   Leopard and Christchurch Bus Services both won routes from Red Bus Ltd in a recent tender round...   Concerns had been expressed that some of the older replacement buses were unsuitable for people in wheelchairs... Leopard managing director Brent Early said new buses were scheduled for delivery in the next three months and that would reduce the number of temporary buses on the roads... (Photo - NO EASY STREET: Buses try to navigate around roadworks and rush-hour traffic in Lichfield St, Christchurch)


* Auckland - Passenger Information System. Getting you to the game on tim


(Video from YouTube, by sigtecworldwide -24 Sept 2009: Sigtec delivers solutions for the public transport authorities that will assist in improving services and delivering real time passenger information. The RAPID™ Real Time Passenger Information -RTPI- system has been primarily developed for enhancing bus, tram, rail and ferry services)

Auckland,NZ -Infonews, by Sigtec Group -3 November 2010: -- The Sigtec Group today announced a new contract with the Auckland Regional Transport Authority (ARTA) that will see Sigtec upgrade the successful Auckland Real Time Passenger Information System to provide an integrated Multi‐Modal Passenger Information System for all Bus services in the Auckland Region... Based on Sigtec’s RAPID technology, which has been providing real time information and traffic light priority for Auckland’s buses since 2005, the upgraded system will display predicted service arrival times to commuters at signs located at bus stops, on rail platforms and at ferry terminals... The system monitors the position of each bus in real time using the global positioning system and other inputs to accurately predict when the service will arrive. Priority is automatically requested at traffic lights for late running buses... The provision of real time passenger information for rail and ferry services, and the improvements to information available for bus services are part of an ongoing investment in public transport in the Auckland Region that will benefit the community through and well beyond Rugby World Cup 2011...

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Green Bus * UK - Plan parked till 2013

Pioneering council initiative to force polluting vehicles off the road has been delayed


Renfrewshire,Scotland,UK -The Herald Scotland, by DAMIEN HENDERSON -1 Nov 2010: -- A pioneering council initiative to improve bus services and force older, more polluting vehicles off the road has been put back two years after complaints it would bankrupt smaller firms...   The delay has prevented Renfrewshire from becoming the first Scottish council to enact 2001 legislation setting tough standards on the vehicles and services operated by bus companies...   Under a statutory quality partnership (SQP) agreed earlier this year, firms serving Paisley town centre would have had to ensure that, from October 3, 90% of their buses were low-floor, wheelchair-accessible vehicles with engines less than 14 years old...  However, the SNP-led council has proposed a “phased” introduction of the scheme, with a requirement that, by next September, half the vehicles in the town centre are low-floor with engines less than 15 years old... Charlie Gordon MSP, Labour’s transport spokesman, accused the council of succumbing to pressure from operators unwilling to invest in new buses...

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5.11.10

TRIPS * Tanzania - Braving "buses of death"

I'm relieved to have survived. Half-way through my first journey, I had re-named them the "buses of death"

Moshi,(in the shadow of) Kilimanjaro,Tanzania -The Citizen, by Ismat Abidi -31 October 2010:  ... Inter-city buses in Tanzania are unreliable, uncomfortable, incredibly slow and, most of all, dangerous. Having just looked up the statistics on Tanzania road traffic deaths, I'm relieved to have survived. Half-way through my first journey, I had re-named them the "buses of death"...   The ticketing system is bizarrely the one strand of order in what is otherwise a day of chaos - you may not be able to rely on reaching your destination in one piece but you can rely on your seat number...   It took Razan and I almost 10 hours to reach our next city, with no time to get off the bus for a toilet break in case we were left stranded (bus drivers are notorious for zooming off). We were on a paved road for an hour before the driver veered off onto a dirt track through a barren, dry desert, which was home to the odd wild baboon..  Despite booking on the most expensive bus company ($2-$3) for a single intercity journey), I have never felt more frightened in a vehicle. Dust, sand and dirt continued to layer our bodies and many of the locals began to cover their faces with scarves, as did I. The swerving and loud horns continued all day and there were times where I genuinely thought the bus would flip over. Razan and I were so scared that all we could do was laugh...  It was time for another ride on the "bus of death". Again, the only thing right about the journey was our assigned seat numbers. Although this bus had windows, it felt more unsafe this time around. Once again, we were the only non-locals on the packed bus and as soon as the dirt road track began, we passed an overturned bus and an overturned truck in the space of an hour...  We still had 10 hours left. I contemplated texting our bus details back home in case something happened but was suddenly distracted...  During that time we heard the crow of roosters from the front of the bus and the luggage above, providing a welcome distraction to the dangerous driving...  Another unlikely but welcome distraction came about nine hours into the journey, when the bus broke down. At this point, we were more concerned about a toilet break and surviving the last hour of the highway than reaching our destination... (Photo from pages.cs.brandeis.edu: around Tanzania usually I get there by buses)

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Green Bus * Thailand - Spending 45 million baht on its new bus route Chiang Mai – Phuket

Chiang Mai,Thailand -PhuketIndex -30 Oct 2010: -- Thaipatanakit Transportation Chiangmai Co. Ltd or Green Bus, a transportation company in the upper northern area, got the authorization to provide transportation between Chiang Mai and Phuket from the Department of Land Transportation on the route number 799 which was 1,500 kilometers long... The company had ordered 5 thirty-seated VIP buses, each 15 metres long, which are worth 45 million baht from China to use on this route. The buses would be delivered to the company in February 2011. As a result the service would be ready in March or April 2011... The target group would be Thai and foreign tourists, especially the backpackers, the students, and working people in the south and north of Thailand... Somchai added that the company also planned to open a new bus route to Kunming, China via Laos. Now, it was under the negotiation with Thai and other countries’ governments...

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Number Coding Scheme * Philippinnes - To start Nov. 15 on public buses

Manila,Philippines -The Philippine Daily Inquirer, by Miko Morelos -31 Oct 2010: -- Despite stiff opposition from transport groups, the Metropolitan Manila Development Authority (MMDA) will still implement the number coding scheme for public utility buses (PUB) on an experimental basis beginning Nov. 15... He described the test run of the number coding scheme for buses as “timely, with the holiday season just a month away"... The MMDA, in moving for the traffic reduction measure, said that most PUBs have been running along Edsa with half of their load capacity... MMDA chair Francis Tolentino, expects to cut by at least 20 percent the traffic volume in Metro Manila through the number coding scheme... The plan would likewise help the agency in its crackdown against “colorum” buses, or vehicles which have not been covered with licenses to operate as PUBs, he added... (Photo from assets.nydailynews: Manila's colorful jeepney passenger buses)

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