Buses World News
In brief: Worldwide montly news & informations about Buses, Busmakers, Passengers' and the Transport Industry
CEASE OPERATING BUS Cos. * USA
* DC - FMCSA shuts down Salt Lake City charter bus service
Washington,DC,USA -Land Line, by Greg Grisolano -6 May 2013: -- A Salt Lake City passenger shuttle has been ordered out of service after an FMCSA investigation found evidence of falsified driving records and unsafe equipment... Salt Lake Shuttles has been ordered to cease and desist all operations, because of being an imminent hazard, according to a release issued by the FMCSA on May 3. The stop order affects both the bus company and its president, Jesus Leal Martinez. The company primarily operates a shuttle from Salt Lake City to Las Vegas... The order states that investigators found evidence that Salt Lake Shuttles:
* Falsifies its drivers record of duty status by completely rewriting driver status after drivers complete interstate trips.
* Indicates second drivers on trips when no second driver was actually present.
* Directs/allows drivers to be on duty beyond the maximum time allowed under federal regulations.
* Fails to repair its vehicles or ensure the vehicles meet minimum safety standards.
* Ohio - FMCSA orders tour bus out of service for operating beyond scope
Toledo,OH,USA -Land Line, by Greg Grisolano -1 May 2013: -- A Toledo bus company has been ordered out of service after federal transportation officials found it had been operating beyond the scope of its registration.
Destiny Tours and its owner, Derrick Jones, have been ordered to cease operations, pending the issuing of appropriate registration by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.
FMCSA issued the ruling on April 26, and announced the decision via press release on Wednesday.
According to the release, investigators found that Destiny Tours operated for-hire in interstate commerce on five occasions from May of 2012 to February of 2013. The company was registered as an interstate transporter of passengers – not requiring authority. The five trips included runs from Ohio to Michigan and Washington, DC, and required operating authority...
* Georgia - Bus carrier shut down by FMCSA's 'Operation Quick Strike'
Tucker,GA,USA -Land Line, by Charlie Morasch -26 April 2013: -- The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration -FMCSA- announced Friday it had ordered Best Limo Service to immediately cease all operations due to the company’s drivers and vehicles posing “an imminent hazard to public safety” ... Best Limo Service offers motor coaches and passenger vans for tours and charter services in the southeastern region of the U.S. ... The company allegedly allowed drivers who had previously tested positive for use of a controlled substance or whose commercial driver’s license had been suspended to continue transporting passengers... The company had a driver qualification file on only one of its 13 drivers, and as of March was missing half of its driver records of duty status paperwork... All three of the company’s buses were placed out of service for critical safety violations after on-site inspections revealed Best Limo Service had no system for inspecting or identifying vehicle maintenance and safety issues for its buses and vans...
* DC - FMCSA shuts down DC-area party bus company
Washington,DC,USA -Land Line, by Charlie Morasch -24 April 2013: -- The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration ordered a Beltway-based party bus carrier to immediately cease operating after an investigation declared the company an “imminent hazard to public safety” ... FMCSA announced Wednesday, April 24, that it had ordered Washington DC Party Shuttle, which also does business under the name Onboard DC Tours, to cease operating its passenger buses. The company operates as a tour bus service in both Washington, DC, and New York City... According to FMCSA’s out-of-service order, the FMCSA investigation revealed “egregious regulatory violations demonstrating Washington DC Party Shuttle’s blatant disregard for motor coach passenger safety"... The order said the company repeatedly allowed one driver who had tested positive for controlled substance use to continue driving busloads of paying customers, though the company lied to investigators about his work after the positive tests. Another driver was allowed to work before passing any drug or alcohol testing. The order said the company failed even to inform its employees of federally required drug and alcohol testing...
Labels: shut down services
* China - First LNG filling facility
* China - Kunlun Energy bolsters the development of LNG powered transportation in Guangzhou
Guangzhou,China -NGV Journal -22 April 2013: -- As the Daguan Road refueling station, which is the first LNG filling facility in this Chinese region invested and constructed by CNPC Shennan Oil Technology Development Co, Ltd, commenced operation in February 2013, the fleet of 310 liquefied natural gas buses were running safely and smoothly since then. This achievement marked the successful conversion of LPG-driven units into LNG system and received wide recognition in the province... Recently, the first fleet of six LNG-powered double-decker tourist buses in Guangzhou downtown has caught the attention from overseas and domestic tourists. These clean-fuel vehicles are part of the Route 1 launched by Guangzhou Public Transportation Company...
Labels: LNG stations
BUSES 'TECHNOLOGIES * Worldwide
* UK - Torotrak acquires twenty percent of Flybrid
UK -Busworld -3 April 2013: -- UK-based toroidal drive company Torotrak has acquired a 20% stake in flywheel hybrid innovator Flybrid Automotive with an option to acquire the remaining shares before the end of the calendar year... Torotrak says that the transaction strengthens its ability to provide turnkey development and manufacture of complete flywheel hybrid systems for buses, trucks, passenger cars, commercial and off-highway vehicles... The company expects the deal will accelerate the adoption of its technology, which it says will be in fleet trials with bus operators later this year through an agreement with bus constructor Wrightbus... Flybrid Automotive already has a successful long-term relationship with Torotrak, which uses Flybrid’s flywheel module in its Mechanical Kinetic Energy Recovery System (M-KERS). M-KERS captures and stores energy that is otherwise lost during vehicle deceleration events... M-KERS can recover up to 70% of braking energy for around a third the cost of battery electric hybrids, the company says... Flybrid’s carbon fibre flywheel spins at up to 60,000 rpm in a near vacuum. Drive can be provided by the company’s CFT (clutched flywheel transmission) clutch-based transmission system or by Torotrak’s CVT (continuously variable transmission)...
* USA - Allison invest in Torotrak Technology
USA -Busworld -4 April 2013: -- Torotrak concluded negotiations, under a Licence and Exclusivity Agreement dated March 2009, with its licensee Allison Transmission, Inc., under which Allison will pay £6.0 million (US$9 million) for continued exclusivity to manufacture and sell Torotrak main drive transmissions in commercial vehicle market segments; this exclusivity excludes Torotrak’s other commercial vehicle licensees, Tata Motors and the European Truck and Bus manufacturer (ETBM)... Allison has also subscribed for an additional 8,248,434 new ordinary shares in Torotrak at a price of 30.255p per share, raising approximately £2.5 million (US$3.8 million)... The next step in Allison’s programme is to focus on a final design to optimize performance, size and weight. Torotrak is taking responsibility for core component testing and to establish a fully conformed supply into the Allison program, helping to reduce lead times. Torotrak will also assist Allison with product design and validation process support in Europe...
ALTERNATIVE FUELS * Japan
* Japan - Fuel Cell vehicles, key to energy self-suficiency
(Image: The hydrogen filling machine and gasoline meter's first service station operations)
Tokyo,Japan -Busworld -29 March 2013: -- Trial runs at three new hydrogen filling stations will kick off this spring in Japan, contributing to speculation over whether fuel-cell vehicles will play a role in the nation's efforts to become self-sufficient in energy production, says an article in the Nikkei journal. JX Nippon Oil and Energy Corp. will open two of three new hydrogen filling stations for fuel-cell vehicles, including one in Nagoya, Aichi Prefecture. The stations will look like ordinary gas stations. If fuel-cell vehicles hit the Japanese automotive market in 2015 as planned, a new industry will emerge to build the infrastructure needed to support consumer take-up of such cars, including hydrogen filling stations. The market could eventually surpass 10 trillion yen in annual sales, through the establishment of hydrogen production facilities and 10,000 filling stations, said Harumi Hirai, a senior researcher at the Institute of Energy Economics, Japan.
Hydrogen can be made from liquefied natural gas and obtained via industrial processes such as the refining of petroleum and the production of steel. Oil refineries produce massive amounts of hydrogen to remove sulfur while producing gasoline and other petroleum products...
* Japan - Builds "Hydrogen Town"
Miyako,Iwate,Japan -Busworld -30 March 2013: -- Fuel-cell vehicles are more energy-efficient than gas-powered cars and will help lower energy consumption in Japan... Toyota Motor Corp. estimates that fuel-cell vehicles are about twice as fuel-efficient as gas-powered cars... A group of public and private entities, including Toyota, recently launched a project to build a "hydrogen town" in Miyako, Iwate Prefecture, according to a story in the Nikkei. The municipality is still struggling to recover from the earthquake and tsunami that struck northeastern Japan on March 11, 2011... The group wants to produce hydrogen for fuel-cell vehicles from gas generated by turning timber into wood chips. The idea is to create an energy production and consumption cycle in the Miyako area without relying on nuclear energy and oil. The government will provide subsidies for the private-sector project to build 100 hydrogen stations... Japan can reduce its oil import costs by ramping up its supply of hydrogen. If the money saved is used to improve hydrogen-related infrastructure, it will help businesses grow, while creating jobs...
Labels: alternative fuels
ELECTRIC BUS MAKERS * USA / China
* California - Long Beach electric buses made in America, by chinese company
(Photo: A BYD bus made in America)
Long Beach,CAL,USA -Plugin Cars, by Alysha Webb -March 12, 2013: -- A fleet of ten all-electric buses may soon be plying the roads in Long Beach, Calif.... Those buses will be produced here in the U.S.A., despite carrying a badge from BYD, the Chinese automaker... BYD was one of five companies that responded to a request for proposal in October, 2012 by Long Beach Transit for the purchase of 10 all-electric buses... BYD would begin producing electric buses in the U.S. in 2013. “Starting in 2015, the production capacity will exceed 500 vehicles” ... The price tag would be $550,000 to $600,000 each, said BYD senior vice president Stella Li... California is the likely location for the plant...
* China - BYD looks to triple sales of electric vehicles
Shenzhen,Guangdong,China -Busworld -22 March 2013: -- BYD Co is taking a fresh look at its green-car strategy, betting that the wider adoption of its electric vehicles for public transportation will boost sales significantly... The Shenzhen-based company, which has struggled for years to develop its green-cars business, aims to more than triple its electric-vehicle sales this year to 8,000 units, including 2,000 buses, with the bulk of the cars targeted at the taxicab industry... Apart from electric cars it has developed on its own, BYD is joining with Germany's Daimler AG, 1.13% owner of luxury-car brand Mercedes-Benz, to develop a brand new electric car, the Denza, for China...
* USA - Balqon to build electric buses in China withd SAIG
(Photo from Business Wire: Balqon Sichuan Bus)
CAL,USA -Busworld -1 April 2013: -- California-based Balqon Corporation, a developer of heavy-duty electric vehicles, drive systems and lithium battery storage devices, has entered into a Joint Development Agreement with China-based Sichuan Automobile Industry Co., Ltd (SAIG) to manufacture inner-city electric buses. Under this agreement, SAIG purchased the Balqon electric drive system for integration into a 22-foot bus chassis... The new line of electric motor controllers are smaller in size, featuring liquid cooling, regenerative braking and compliance to automotive J1939 Can Bus communication protocol...
* California - Issues roadmap for fuelcell electric buses
CAL,USA -Busworld -8 April 2013: -- Fuel cell electric buses are quickly progressing towards commercialization. With more than 80 on the road around the world, FCEBs are approaching transit agency expectations for technical performance as well as availability and fuel cell durability. Targets for performance, cost and durability, however, were not established until recently... “A Road Map for Fuel Cell Electric Buses in California: A zero-emission solution for public transit” looks at the progress of FCEBs in California and across the globe, and offers recommendations to state and federal policy makers about actions they can take to put FCEBs on the path to full commercial readiness... Two fuel cell electric bus programs are at this moment active in California at AC Transit (SF Bay area) and SunLine Transit (Coachella Valley). Burbank will also begin operating a fuel cell electric bus... The stations that fill these buses also provide fuel for hydrogen-powered passenger fuel cell electric vehicles...
* USA - Capstone receives order for 34 microturbines for Denver RTD electric bus fleet
(Photo: Capstone microturbine)
USA -Busworld -10 April 2013: -- Capstone Turbine Corporation has received an order for thirty-four liquid fuel C30 microturbines for use in DesignLine’s Eco Saver IV range extended electric buses. The buses are expected to be delivered to Denver Regional Transportation District (RTD) later this year... The DesignLine range-extended electric buses are 45 feet long, and feature an all-electric drivetrain using Li-ion batteries for energy storage. The batteries are used to power the electric motors, which drive the bus, and all accessories such as air conditioning, power steering and lighting.
The lithium-ion batteries recover kinetic energy from the bus brakes via a regenerative braking system to extend the range. The batteries are recharged by the Capstone 30kW microturbine, running on diesel or biodiesel... The microturbine recharges the batteries on the fly and shuts down when the batteries reach the desired state of charge. The Capstone microturbine produces extremely low emissions and noise compared to a traditional engine, with no requirements for complex exhaust aftertreatment or additional additives... Capstone and DesignLine recently executed a new five-year OEM agreement, marking a renewed commitment to the long-standing relationship...
Labels: electric buses makers
BUSES SALES * WORLDWIDE
* Brazil - Volvo Buses sells 310 Coaches to JCA Group
Curitiba,PR,Brazil -Busworld -12 April 2013: -- Volvo Buses has sold 310 coach chassis to the JCA Group, one of Brazil's largest passenger transport companies. This is the biggest deal closed to date in Brazil by Volvo in the coach chassis segment... The buses, which will be delivered in May, are all the B340R model, version 4x2, with 340 hp. The vehicles will be used in interstate and intrastate medium and short distance routes, as well as in charter operations. The coach bodies will be built by Marcopolo... The B340R is factory equipped with the intelligent ABS/EBS brake system, which increases braking performance and prevents the vehicle from skidding, and with the Volvo 390 hp engine brake, which ensures increased safety on downhill stretches. Another differential of this vehicle is the renowned I-Shift gearbox, which reduces fuel consumption by up to 5 percent, as well as driving vehicle safety... In order to ensure even more safety for transports, the JCA Group’s vehicles are also equipped with ESP (Electronic Stability Program), a modern active safety system that contributes to preventing the risk of tipping over or skidding on curves...
* Turkey - 490 BredaMenarini CNG buses for Istanbul
(Photo: A "VivaCity" model, BredaMenarini bus)
Istanbul,Turkey -Busworld -6 April 2013: -- The Turkish vehicle manufacturer Karsan, who produces among others the BredaMenarini buses under licence, last year received an order to deliver 490 buses to the Istanbul public transport operator IETT (Istanbul Electricity Tramway and Tunnel General Management)... The models ordered by IETT are the 12-metre Avancity+ L with CNG engine and the articulated 18-metre Avancity+ S... Both feature EEV engines, full length low floor, air conditioning system, wheelchair area and boarding ramp. IETT specifically requested the use of low energy consumption LED interior lighting, on-board computer and electronic tickets validation. The 12-metre vehicle has a capacity of 88 passengers whilst the articulated model transports up to 156 travellers. The buses are entirely manufactured in the Karsan plant in Bursa. The engines were sypplied by Mercedes-Benz and MAN...
* Germany - Citaro Euro VI – a milestone in development
(Photo: Mercedes-Benz Citaro Euro VI for BLT Baselland Transport AG)
Stuttgart/Kloten,Schleswig-Holstein,Germany –Daimler (PR) -Apr 8, 2013: -- On 4 April, BLT Baselland Transport AG in Switzerland took delivery of nine Mercedes-Benz Citaro buses meeting the requirements of the future Euro VI emissions standard. These are the first standard-production regular-service solo buses featuring this clean technology to go into service with BLT in Switzerland... Emission control system comprising SCR technology plus exhaust gas recirculation... The new Citaro meeting Euro VI is currently the cleanest diesel-driven regular-service bus on the market. An optimised combustion process and a sophisticated emission control system reduce particulate emissions to just three percent of the level specified by Euro I twenty years ago, while nitrogen oxide emissions have been cut to five percent... Mercedes-Benz has implemented a number of measures to compensate for the additional weight of the Euro VI components, including a lightweight fibreglass-reinforced-plastic (FRP) roof and a weight-optimised rear axle. The Citaro is therefore able to boast the same high payload and passenger-carrying capacity as before...
* Germany - Great comfort for small groups
(Photo: One of the two S 416 HDH coaches)
Stuttgart/Kiel,Kiel,Schleswig-Holstein,Germany –Daimler PR -28 March 2013: -- The company "AK Touristik GmbH" is expanding its "2+1 Panoramabus®" concept with two new Setra S 416 HDH coaches. The Kiel-based travel operator took delivery of its first Setra TopClass 400 coach of this type last year and has now increased its fleet to include three of these luxury glass-roofed vehicles, each of which seats up to 30 passengers in comfort on Setra "Ambassador" seats arranged in a 2+1 configuration... The touring coaches are equipped with, amongst other features, a practical galley kitchen with a 40-cup coffee machine, flat-screen monitors, a leather steering wheel, a reversing camera and a sophisticated audio/video system. Loudspeakers above each passenger seat ensure excellent quality of sound. Along with the Front Collision Guard (FCG), Lane Assistant (SPA), adaptive cruise control (ART) and Active Brake Assist (ABA), a determining factor in purchasing decision was the widespread coverage offered by the European service network of the EvoBus service brand Omniplus...
* Germany - SCI Report: Chinese bus manufacturers leading the global topo 10 list
(Photo: A Yutong bus)
Berlin,Germany -Busworld -25 March 2013: ... According to a report by SCI Verkehr at Berlin, Germany, among the TOP 10 bus manufacturers, 3 are from China:
(1) Yutong -China-
(2) King Long -China-
(3) Daimler buses -Germany-
(4) Tata Motors -India-
(5) Ashok Leyland -India-
(9) Ankai -China-
According to this report Daimler, which for many years was the largest global bus manufacturer, descended to the third place. The main reason is that the cost-sensitive approach is increasing pressure on established manufacturers even in Europe... This trend can to a large extent be traced back to the positive market dynamics in China and India. As a consequence, Asian, and especially Chinese, manufacturers are gaining increasing market shares at the expense of Western bus manufacturers...
* Poland - Solaris to deliver 200 buses to Belgrade
(Photo: A Solaris Urbino bus)
Bolechowo,Poland -Busworld -13 March 2013: -- Representatives of Solaris Bus and Coach signed the contract for the delivery of 200 Urbino 18 articulated low-floor city buses to the municipal transport operator of Belgrade, Serbia. The order is the result of a competitive tender process won by Solaris, which called for the delivery of 180 buses with an option to increase the number by up to 15%. The operator exercised this possibility and the €64 million contract covers the delivery of 200 articulated city buses as well as the supply of spare parts during the two-year warranty period... The 200 articulated Urbino 18 for Belgrade will offer a low floor throughout the entire bus and will be fully air-conditioned. Their diesel engines will meet the Euro 5 emissions standard. For the safety of passengers, each bus will have a CCTV monitoring system with seven cameras...
* UK - Arriva places a large order with VDL
London,EN,UK -Busworld -14 March 2013: -- Arriva has placed an order for more than 80 VDL right-hand drive SB-200 chassis for delivery in 2013 through VDL’s UK dealership, Arriva Bus and Coach. This order follows an order for a similar number of VDL DB-300 double-deck chassis which are currently in build for Arriva. The single deck SB-200 chassis is a mature chassis concept, which has been delivering real benefit to Arriva over the years through a combination of low fuel consumption, proven reliability and reduced whole life costs... The SB-200 for Arriva is equipped with a Euro 5 Cummins ISBe 6-cylinder diesel engine in combination with a Voith gearbox. The low-floor SB-200 chassis provides space for wheelchairs and buggies as well as ample seating capacity... The DB-300 chassis is the chassis platform for a 10 m double deck city bus. Like the SB-200, this chassis delivers proven low fuel consumption and reliability and benefits from an excellent rear end design with a split cooling system...
Labels: buses sales
BUSMAKERS NEWS * Germany
* Mercedes Benz Sprinter with five new Assistance Systems
(Photo: MB Sprinter vans, with Crosswind Assist)
Stuttgart,Germany -Busworld -10 March 2013: -- Mercedes-Benz Vans has equipped the Sprinter with five new assistance systems, including three world premieres for this category of vehicle: Crosswind Assist, Collision Prevention Assist and Blind Spot Assist. The new systems are expected to be introduced in Sprinter minibuses in just a few months... Crosswind Assist keeps a Sprinter safely on course when the wind is gusting strongly. The Collision Prevention Assist alerts the driver if the vehicle gets too close to other moving vehicles on the road ahead or to the end of a queue of traffic, while the Blind Spot Assist warns a driver that is about to change lane that vehicles in the next lane are dangerously close. All three systems are celebrating their world premieres in this vehicle class on the Sprinter... Also new are the Lane Keeping Assist and Highbeam Assist.
Generally speaking, accidents involving vans happen in very similar ways to those involving passenger cars. This has been evidenced by a recent research report undertaken by, amongst others, accident researchers working on behalf of the insurance companies, and Germany's Federal Highway Research Institute (BASt). When it came to looking at the mileage, the researchers even registered a lower accident risk for vans and minibuses than for passenger cars...
Labels: busmakers news worldwide