User-agent: Mediapartners-Google* Disallow: Buses World News: February 2016
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Buses World News

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

26.2.16

BUS DRIVERS' STRIKE * New Zealand -

* Auckland - Bus drivers to strike, thousands of commuters affected


-- Nearly 100,000 Auckland commuters will need to find alternative transport on Friday when about 70 per cent of the city's bus drivers strike for better work conditions... More than 1000 NZ Bus drivers and 70 Howick & Eastern drivers will take industrial action from 4am on Friday until 4am on Saturday... Auckland Council organisation,  Auckland Transport,  is responsible for Auckland's bus network which carries about 120,000 commuters a day - about 65 per cent of which travelled on NZ Bus buses... Auckland Transport spokesman Mark Hannan advised, its main priority was to maintain the running of about 120 school buses affected by the industrial action... The union was seeking better pay for bus drivers and better breaks during shifts... 
(Photo by JASON DORDAY/FAIRFAX NZ - NZ Bus, which includes Go West buses, completes about 5000 trips in Auckland per day)   --  Auckland, NZ - Stuff, by JOHN ANTHONY - February 15 2016

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"GOOGLE BUS": A synecdoche for “money flaunting Tech 2.0 oppressors” * USA

* California - SF’S Tech bus problem isn´t about buses: IT’S ABOUT HOUSING !!

-- Last week, the corporate commuter buses of San Francisco started making news again. You’ve probably heard of these luxury—more commonly referred to as “Google Buses”—that ferry tech sector employees from their cushy homes in the city to their cushy jobs in Silicon Valley. They’re provided by companies like Apple, Facebook, Yahoo, Genentech, and, yeah, Google, and are the frequent target of heated (and colorful) protests... The opposition turned out again last week to temporarily block some buses in the city’s Mission neighborhood. This latest flame up was sparked by a review of the shuttles’ operating agreement by the San Francisco Board of Supervisors, which was determining how best to go forward with the program while abating the concerns of locals who are outraged at what the buses represent. See, this isn’t just a matter of logistics... The real problem—the reason the protests won’t stop for good anytime soon—is that to many, these private shuttles are the rolling symbol of a class war pitting young, cash-rich tech workers against long-time San Franciscans who are being pushed out of their homes by evictions and out of the city altogether by astronomical rent prices... Unfortunately, it seems the only way to truly resolve the dispute around the shuttle buses is to fix the entire housing/cost of living crisis in San Francisco. Since that’s not going to happen any time soon, the battle for the soul of the city will continue to be fought on many fronts, perhaps nowhere more acrimoniously than the one involving a bunch of WiFi-enabled buses toting scads of tech employees to work every day... 
 (Photo by ARIEL ZAMBELICH/WIRED - A Google shuttle bus near the corner of 18th Street and Dolores Street in San Francisco)  --   San Francisco, CAL, USA - wired - 17 Feb 2016

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GRANT FUNDS FOR BUSES SECURITY * USA

* DC - FY 2016 Bus Security Grants now available, apply by April 25

-- The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has announced the availability of $3 million in intercity bus security grant funds for 2016... This latest round of security grant funding for the motorcoach industry was announced yesterday through the DHS, and the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) websites. Since 2003, DHS has awarded nearly $103 million to secure motorcoach operations... The grant program is designed to improve security for intercity bus operators and passengers by providing funding for driver/vehicle and facility security enhancements, emergency communication technology, and training. This grant funding is a direct result of ABA’s (American Bus Association) continued lobbying efforts on the Hill and with the DHS on the continuing and ongoing need for enhanced security in our industry... This year, program eligibility has been extended to any qualified operator, including fixed route or charter service, using over-the-road buses and providing multiple trips to any of the areas defined by the DHS as Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI) jurisdictions... 
(Photo: Bus drivers seek better security) -- Washington, DC, USA - ABA. by Brandon Buchanan - February 17, 2016

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APP TO TRACK SCHOOL BUSES * USA

* Illinois - Parents now able to track school buses via app


-- Lake Forest and Lake Bluff districts are offering a free tracking app for school buses... Parents in Lake Forest and Lake Bluff wondering when their kids' school bus is going to arrive can now turn to their smartphones... In late January, Lake Forest districts  -- along with Lake Bluff District and Deerfield District – have begun using an app called SafeStop to track their buses, said Allen Albus, deputy superintendent of finance and operations for Districts 67 and 115... Parents can sign up online for free using their children's student ID numbers and then download the app on their smartphones, tablets or computers, officials said. Once they have the app, parents then will be able to track the bus route their child uses...
 (Image: Forest Lake Area Schools Transportation)   --   Lake Forest, ILL, USA - Pioneer Press/The Chicago Tribune, by Mark Lawton - 16 Feb 2016

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WEATHER TROUBLES * USA: RTS buses delayed because of storm

* New York - At least 30 minutes behind schedule

-- The Regional Transit Service is struggling to deal with Tuesday morning's winter storm... As of 10:15 a.m., the bus company announced buses are running at least 30 minutes behind schedule. Ten buses are stuck in the snow around the city...  The North busway at the RTS Transit Center is closed until further notice. Buses scheduled for the North bus way will be using Mortimer Street to drop off and pick-up customers... 
Rochester, Monroe, NY, USA - Rochester First - 16 Feb 2016

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SAFETY on BUSES * USA: Conmuters' facial recognition software

* Texas - DART addresses ‘Big Brother’ fears over facial recognition software

-- North Texas’ largest transit agency is about to appease safety advocates who have long called for security cameras on its light-rail trains. And it’s going one step further: using facial-recognition software on cameras throughout its system... Dallas Area Rapid Transit trains will start getting cameras this summer. That’s roughly when the agency will pilot software that could be used for everything from monitoring train capacity to alerting law enforcement when a wanted person is on a DART bus... The technology could also alert the agency when frequent fare evaders who have been banned from a bus route or train line try to ride the system. It still hasn’t been decided if the software will be used that way, though... DART has been eyeing security cameras on trains for about a decade. Calls for train cameras have often followed violent incidents or high-profile crimes on the light-rail cars. That includes an incident last year during which a man shot two fellow passengers on DART’s Red Line... The agency is spending $4.8 million to outfit 48 of its 163 train cars this year. All trains should have cameras by 2018... 
(Photo: Dart Police)   --  Dallas, TXS, USA - The Dallas News, by Brandon Formby - February 17, 2016

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SAFETY ON BUSES * Holland: ELIMINATE CASH FARES

* Amsterdam - All Dutch buses eliminate cash fares on robbery fears

-- Cash payments on buses may soon be a thing of the bast in large parts of the Netherlands, following a series of robberies involving buses and bus drivers in Amsterdam-Noord, a teenager who used a shotgun in an incident last month and two knife-wielding men in clown masks attacking a bus driver last week... On Friday Amsterdam mayor Eberhard van der Laan announced that cash payments on the bus will no longer be possible by the end of the year... A spokesperson for Arriva Nederland, which is responsible for much of the Netherlands’ bus transport, told BNR that the company also wants to stop cash payments. The company is already running a experiment with card payments on buses only in Zuid-Holland. Arriva wants to extend this to the rest of the country, and completely abolish cash payments... 
 (Photo Politie: 15-year-old robs Amsterdam bus driver with shotgun, 13 January 2016)   --   Amsterdam, Holland - NL Times, by Janene Pieters - Feb 15, 2016

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40% SAFETY VIOLATIONS * Japan: Among chartered buses

* Nagano Pref. - Inspections reveal safety violations among 40% of Japan’s charter buses
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-- The transport ministry uncovered safety violations in 66 of 165 chartered buses inspected after last month’s fatal crash in Karuizawa, Nagano Prefecture, officials said... Because the inspections revealed more violations at smaller firms than at larger ones, the ministry is planning to review criteria for chartered bus operations... The Jan. 15 bus accident on a Karuizawa mountain road left 15 people dead, including its two drivers... Inspectors found that the proportion of buses in which violations were found, including not having detailed written route plans, topped 50 percent at firms with 20 or fewer buses... ESP, the Tokyo-based operator of the crashed bus, had a fleet of 12. The ministry found 33 cases of violations by that company in its special inspection after the accident... 
(Nagano, Japan - Police officers direct buses during a surprise inspection Jan. 21 in Tokyo after a tour bus crash in Karuizawa, Nagano Prefecture, killed 15 passengers, including its two drivers)  --  Karuizawa, Nagano, Japan - Kyodo/The Japan Times - Feb 15, 2016

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GLASS EXIT DOOR TROUBLES * China: Woman lost her balance and smashed the glass

* Hong Kong - Bus door smashed after rider loses balance

-- A middle-aged woman hurt her arm and suffered a hard blow to the head when she lost her balance and smashed the glass exit door on a bus making a turn... Fortunately, a handrail across the door prevented Au Wing-suen, 51, from being thrown out of the double-decker bus in Tsim Sha Tsui... It was the second such incident this month... Police said Au was about to alight and had left her seat... As she was about to press the bell, the Kowloon Motor Bus route 219X turned right from Salisbury Road into Nathan Road and she lost her balance, hitting and smashing her hand and head against the door... Au was not hurt by the glass fragments, although broken glass was scattered on the roadside... KMB set up a committee following that accident to review and enhance passenger safety while a bus is in motion... 
(Photo: Police officers examine the bus at the scene of the accident in Kowloon Bay)  --  Kowloon, Hong Kong, China - The Standard, by Yupina NG - 18 Feb 2016

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UNSAFE SCHOOL BUSES * India: 50% school buses in city unsafe

* Punjab - Major violations found by child rights panel

-- Around 50 per cent of the school buses in the city have serious safety violations. This has been stated in its inspection report by the Chandigarh Commission for Protection of Child Rights... The commission, which has been appointed as the nodal agency by the Punjab and Haryana High Court to monitor safety in school buses, conducted an inspection of around 600 school buses of the total 800. Three teams were constituted for the purpose... In the report, serious violations have been pointed out in 50 per cent of the school buses such as lack of emergency door, no police verification of staff, buses plying without permit and contraceptives in first aid boxes... 
(Tribune's photograph - Officials of the Chandigarh Commission for Protection of Child Rights check documents of a school bus)  --  Chandigarh, Punjab, India - The Tribune News Service, by Aarti Kapur - February 14, 2016

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PASSENGERS COMPLAINTS * India: To avoid "frequent use of vulgar and loud music in the buses"

* Punjab - Bans 'Vulgar and provocative songs' in buses

-- Punjab Government has banned playing of "vulgar songs" and "provocative music" in the state-run buses with immediate effect following complaints in this regard... The directions have been passed by state Transport Minister, Ajit Singh Kohar, who warned that any bus driver found violating government's directive would have to face strict departmental action... The Minister stressed that the "frequent use of vulgar and loud music in the buses" not only disturbs the passengers but is "instrumental in fatal accidents which occur due to distraction caused to the drivers" ... 
(Representational Image - "Random surprise checks would be conducted by a specially constituted committee to check the use of provocative music in the buses," the minister said)   --   Chandigarh, Punjab, India - NDTV - February 15, 2016

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NEW BUSES FLEET * India: 1000 vehicles for Delhi

* Delhi - DTC plans to float fresh tender for 1,000 buses

-- More than two years and multiple tenders later, the Delhi Transport Corporation state bus agency has decided to float another tender - this time for 1,000 buses... According to officials, the proposal is for 1,000 low-floor non-AC buses. DTC at present has around 4,500 buses in its fleet. On ground though, only 3,800 ply every day. At least 800 buses are the older, standard-floor buses, which are fast heading for scrap. The transport utility has been trying to augment its fleet for several years now... The Delhi government had, through DIMTS, come out with a global expression of interest (EoI) in November last year... Transport minister Gopal Rai, has already announced that the government will make around 1,000 buses available in the public transport system by April this year, followed by another 1,000 in August. A premium service comprising 1,000 buses is also likely to be announced in November 2016... 
(Photo: Buses parked at Millennium Depot)   --   New Delhi, India - The Times of India, by Rumu Banerjee - Feb 22, 2016

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AUTO EXPO 2016 * India: CV makers initiatives

* Delhi - CV makers reveal green mobility at Auto Expo 2016 

 -- As India has decided to leapfrog to BS VI emission norms by 2020, vehicle manufacturers, particularly commercial vehicle OEMs, are already gearing up to be compliant before the regulatory changes kick in. 

° TATA MOTORS’ electric charge

-- Tata Motors under the theme of ‘Create, Connect and Care’ focuses on its brand value. Underlining its commitment towards greener and cleaner vehicles and displaying its technological capabilities, the company displayed its first full electric bus developed in-house, the Ultra Electric... The company also revealed the Starbus Hybrid, a BS VI, commercially ready CNG hybrid bus using electric and CNG modes as fuel...

° ASHOK LEYLAND’S hybrid mission 

-- Ashok Leyland showcased its first non-plug-in hybrid bus called Hybus claimed to offer major operating cost benefits. Focused on urban transport application with start-stop cycles, ultracapacitors provide the diesel motor the necessary power for movement... 
New Delhi, India - Autocar Professional, by Kiran Bajad - Feb 19, 2016

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25.2.16

VOLVO's * Sweden / Pakistan

Pakistan - Volvo to re-enter in

-- The transport network and its industry seem to be ‘in-thing’ at the moment, with the latest development being the decision of Europe’s leading bus manufacturing company Volvo to re-enter the Pakistani market... The company had a brief relationship with the Pakistani government in the 1980s, but the project did not have a long-lasting impact, shutting down as the country paid less attention to its road networks... However, after decades, Pakistan is exploring a new-found love for the transport sector and this has led Volvo Pakistan Limited to seriously consider catering to a growing market... Volvo Pakistan Limited Chief Executive Officer Waqar Asghar said the success of the project – that will see the company provide luxury buses for road transportation – is dependent on consumer feedback, based on which the company would decide its future expansion plan... The company will provide 50 units per annum, as it is targeting the organised inter-city bus operators who can afford the induction of Volvo buses in their existing fleet... 
Lahore, Pakistan - REUTERS/The Express Tribune, by Shahram Haq - February 21, 2016

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TYRE MAKERS * India: Follow Chinese trail with cheap, no-warranty radials

* Delhi - Local makers of bus radials, introduce tyres without warranty to counter the avalanche of imports

-- Tyre makers in India are trying to beat the Chinese at their own game... Local manufacturers of truck and bus radials (TBRs) are cutting prices and introducing tyres without warranty to counter the avalanche of tyre imports, two people familiar with the matter said... Atsushi Okiyama, general manager (business planning and corporate communications) Bridgestone India confirmed the company has entered the low-cost, no-warranty tyre segment. Bridgestone has cut prices to compete with Chinese imports, he added... A depreciating yuan will make Chinese imports even more competitive, which can be offset partially by a depreciating rupee, said Mahantesh Sabarad, deputy head of research, SBI Cap Securities Ltd. ... 
(Photo: Mint - Truck and bus radial imports have more than doubled from 490,601 units in 2013-14 to 1,308,437 units during 2015-16, according to data from the Automotive Tyres Manufacturers Association)  --   New Delhi, India - Live Mint, by Amrit Raj - Feb 20 2016

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16.2.16

* India - New "ECOLIFE" buses

* Mumbai - 2016 Auto Expo: JBM & Solaris unveil ‘ECOLIFE’ bus

-- At the 2016 Auto Expo, JBM Auto Ltd had unveiled the ECOLIFE bus which is likely India’s first fully electric bus. The revolutionary new advancement was developed in partnership with Solaris Bus & Coach S.A from Europe. Powered by Lithium-ion batteries the ECOLIFE can be used on pantograph or can be run on plug-in charging. In-case you are not aware of what a pantograph is, it is basically a unit which is located on the top of a vehicle which draws electrical charge from overhead power lines set on a designated track... The ECOLIFE has a range of 150-200 kms with duration of 10-15 hours in city operation when fully charged. The all-electric bus is powered by a motor which is integrated in the rear axle and is capable of producing anywhere between 109PS to 217.5PS... The 100 per cent electric bus will be offered in two versions of 9m and 12m length... 
Greater Noida, Delhi, India - Zig Wheels - 11 Feb 2016

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VOLVO's * India: First hybrid bus

* Maharashtra - Volvo delivers India’s first hybrid bus


-- Volvo Buses India Pvt Ltd, the local arm of the Swedish bus and truck maker delivered the first hybrid bus in India. It’s the first bus maker to commercially deploy the technology in India... The company announced this on the sidelines of Make in India event in Mumbai. The bus has been certified by the Automotive Research Association of India... The company will be delivering a batch of first five buses to Navi Mumbai Municipal Transport Corp in a couple of weeks, said company’s officials at a press meet... The Volvo hybrid solution claims to save at least 30 to 35% fuel and reduce 50% hazardous emissions in actual customer operations... 
 (Photo: Abhijit Bhatlekar/Mint) -- Mumbai, MAH, India - Live Mint, by Shally Seth Mohile - 17 Feb 2016

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BUSES 11m. length * India: Instead to the existing 12 m

* Maharashtra - BEST mantra for buses: Keep it short and sweet


-- From electric trams to air-conditioned buses, BEST has come a long way since its inception in 1905. But eroding patronage, crawling traffic on Mumbai's roads and increasing number of buses getting rear-ended has resulted in the transport undertaking deciding to shorten the length of buses... BEST buses purchased henceforth will be 11 m in length compared to the existing 12 m. BEST buses have been involved in 26 fatal accidents in the past eight months alone... Traffic experts have welcomed the move. Ashok Datar, a traffic expert, said that reducing the length of buses will increase their manoeuvrability. "It may reduce some seats and might lead to a negligible revenue loss. On the other hand, shorter buses may lead to lesser accidents and quicker turnaround times leading to better frequency which is more important for the department," Datar added... 
(Photo: Best Supply Euro 2 Luxury tourist bus 11m 50 seats new bus)   --   Mumbai, MAH, India - Mumbai Mirror, by Sanjeev Shivadekar - Feb 15, 2016

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ROAD ACCIDENTS * Kenya: Caused by poor quality of bus bodies and chassis

* Nairobi -  Quality of local bus bodies doubted

-- The poor quality of bus bodies and chassis is one cause of road accidents, the Kenya Association of Manufacturers has said... Other causes are​ ​poor roads, human error​ ​and bad weather, it said... CEO Phyllis Wakiaga in a statement yesterday said a many locally built bus bodies do not meet standards and undermine the vehicles’ performance... Each vehicle has a corresponding bus body that enables it operate at optimum capacity... Having many varied designs, as we do currently, may compromise vehicles’ operations, she said... Wakiaga said there are good-quality locally manufactured bus bodies that boost Kenya’s economy... She said companies such as General Motors Kenya, one of only three assemblers in the country, is a​ ​centre of excellence for bus body building standards​... Wakiaga called for the formation of a National Automotive Council to regulate​ ​​t​he automotive value chain...
 (Photo: Poor quality of bus bodies and chassis is one cause of road accidents, the Kenya Association of Manufacturers has said)  --  Nairobi, Kenya - The Star, by GILBERT KOECH - Feb. 12, 2016

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Ford Transit with Brake Light Backup Camera * USA

Rosco Vision Systems introduces Ford Transit brake light backup camera


-- Rosco, Inc., a leading manufacturer in automotive vision safety products, introduces the integrated brake light backup camera for Ford Transit vehicles... The Ford Transit utility van is used across many industries including emergency, rescue, construction, transit, utility and recreational vehicle markets... Backup cameras are essential for utility vehicles such as the Ford Transit, due to the absence of rear windows increasing blind spots for the driver... Safety is a priority for any fleet. A utility van backing up in a busy loading dock, or parallel parking into a tight space with limited vision can create a dangerous situation. The Ford Transit camera has a 170° field of vision, and up to 30 feet of night vision for maximum visibility... 
(Photo: Heavyduty Stop lamp Brake Light Rear View Backup Reversing Car Camera for Ford Transit)  --  Queens, NY, USA - PRWEB - February 11, 2016

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ROBOT BUS * Australia: Tested driverless electric shuttle bus

* NSW - Robot bus to be tested in Australia


-- A French-made robot bus is set to be tested in Australia as part of wider preparations for the use of autonomous vehicles on local roads. The driverless electric shuttle bus will carry 15 passengers at speeds of up to 45 km per hour in Western Australia's state capital Perth using three-dimensional sensing technology that allows the bus to avoid obstacles and detect and read road signs, Xinhua news agency reported... The development of self driving technology has become the latest battleground in the technology market with global automotive manufacturers snapping up software experts in the race to develop a self-driving car for the consumer market... Many of the world's automotive manufacturers are catching up; with suggestions they will have roadworthy autonomous cars before 2020. Mercedes, Audi and Google all have working prototypes... 
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia - The Hans India - Feb 10,2016

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WOMEN DRIVERS * India: Not allowed for school buses

* Maharashtra - RTO refuses permit to women trained to drive school buses

-- In an attempt to curb rash driving as well as to prevent cases of molestation and sexual abuse of children in school buses, the School Bus Owners Association (SBOA), over the last year, had trained 52 women as school bus drivers. However, in a major setback, the RTO has refused to give the women permits stating that they need at least a year’s experience of driving a public transport... The members of the SBOA had trained these female drivers after receiving complaints against male drivers alleging that they were reckless and irresponsible and were putting at stake the safety of students who they ferry... Soon after the plan was put into action, the association claims, they received over 100 applications from women all across Mumbai. Of the 100, 52 were shortlisted based on their education and family background... 
Mumbai, Maharashtra, India - The Indian Express - January 28, 2016

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DRIVERLESS BUSES * The Netherlands: Mixed with regular traffic

Gelderland - An electric, driverless shuttle bus 

  (Video by Tech Tour - Jan 29, 2016: An electric, driverless shuttle bus has taken to Dutch public roads on Thursday, rolling six passengers along a 200m stretch of road in the first trial of its kind worldwide)

-- WePod shuttle carries handful of people on 200m journey in first trial of its kind – with hopes to extend systems to cargo trucks... An electric, driverless shuttle bus has taken to Dutch public roads on Thursday, rolling six passengers along a 200m stretch of road in the first trial of its kind worldwide... The WePod, one of a fleet to be rolled out in coming years, took a few people on a short journey back and forth along the side of a lake... In Gelderland, the WEpods will be mixing with regular traffic... The project will be expanded in coming months and will eventually be used as public transport along a 4-mile route in the town... 
Wageningen, Holland - The Guardian (UK) - 28 Jan 2016

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GUNS ON PUBLIC BUSES * USA: Debate

* Utah - Move advances to decriminalize guns on public buses


-- Sponsor says if firearms are legal on the street, they should be legal on buses... Legislators took a first step Thursday to erase a law that now makes it a felony to carry a firearm or "dangerous weapon" onto a public transit bus... Rep. Norm Thurston, R-Provo, the bill's sponsor, said merely carrying a gun or weapon on a sidewalk is not against the law, and should not be on a bus either. He said other laws appropriately ban and punish brandishing or using such weapons... Thurston ran a similar bill last year without success. He said he introduced it when a constituent worried that he could not openly carry a gun as he commuted to school... Also, Thurston added that getting rid of the law may prevent unwarranted police hassles of the homeless or others with a pocketknife or scissors... Rep. Carol Moss, D-Holladay, opposed the bill. She said being on a bus is different than being on a street, and someone who is uncomfortable with seeing a weapon could not easily leave — nor escape if violence occurs... 
(Photo by Steve Griffin | Tribune - A Utah House committee on Thursday advanced a bill that would repeal the law making it a crime to carry a gun or other dangerous weapon on a public bus) -- Salt Lake, UTH, USA - The Salt Lake Tribune - 28 Jan 2016

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MANHATTAN's TRAFIC CONGESTION * USA: A solution: X-bus commuters

* New York - Flexibility in routing could help X-bus commuters avoid traffic delays

-- Coming sooner than you'd like to an expressway near you: Ungodly traffic jams caused by a single breakdown, even as far away as the Gowanus Expressway or the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway in Brooklyn... It could happen one morning this coming week. It's not a question of if; it's more a matter of when. In fact, it will probably happen multiple times in coming months as the economy improves and more people converge on Manhattan each workday via the same handful of traffic-choked routes available in this city of islands and the bridges, tunnels and expressways that connect them. A single vehicle fire or accident is enough to bring the entire Brooklyn segment of that network to a halt. And a lone incident requiring an investigation or an overturned vehicle can wreck the entire rush hour... And as a result, tens of thousands of Staten Island commuters traveling to Manhattan on express buses are late for work. And these disruptions of the highly vulnerable Staten Island Expressway/Gowanus/BQE corridor seem to be happening with more and more regularity... When such backups occur, why not reroute express buses through New Jersey into Manhattan, rather than have them add to all the eastbound congestion on the Staten Island Expressway, the Verrazano and the Gowanus?... So do we and, most important, so do a lot of exasperated express bus commuters who are sick and tired of sitting on express buses in stalled traffic on the Gowanus on many occasions only because MTA officials can't wrap their minds around doing things differently... Riders just want to get to Manhattan. They don't care what route their bus takes to get there as long as they get to work on time... A little flexibility would go a long way toward getting commuters to work on time and justifying the steep fare. They are called express buses, after all... 
(Photo: P1 MTA Express bus - Incidents on the Gowanus on two consecutive mornings earlier this month caused tie-ups that lasted for hours. And another Gowanus crash on Wednesday crippled Manhattan-bound traffic again) -- Staten Insland, NY, USA - Staten Island Live - January 30, 2016

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SMALL BUSES AS CONNECTING ONES * India: For CMRL

* Chennai - 100 small buses to connect Metro stations 

(Video, by Thanthi TV - Apr 7, 2015: Petitions Drawn from Public, asking for Possible Routes of 100 New Mini Buses which will be launched shortly in Chennai) 

-- The new services will play a key role in improving intermodal transportation... In what can be seen as a fillip to intermodal transport, 100 small buses will be introduced by March-end to connect Chennai Metro Rail stations across the city. CMRL officials want to have system of common ticketing with the Metropolitan Transport Corporation (MTC) and are waiting for a response from the latter on this matter... The first 50 small buses were rolled out in October 2013 and the second 50 hit the roads in February 2014. Most of the services are concentrated in the southern and western suburbs and some ply in the city. Even areas such as Vengambakkam, Korattur, Avadi, Mittanamalli, Karanodai and Madhavaram, which earlier had poor road connectivity, have been benefitted by the introduction of small buses... However, with the introduction of Chennai Metro Rail, residents wanted more small buses to connect the stations... 
Tamil Nadu, Chennai, India - The Hindu, by VIVEK NARAYANAN - January 31, 2016

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ELECTRIC BUSES USA: * Chicago, ILL - ** Texas / Mc Allen

* Illinois - Chicago Transit Authority gives thumbs up to all-electric buses

-- The Chicago Transit Authority is sold on electric buses... After successfully testing two all-electric buses for more than a year, the CTA now says it will add 20 to 30 additional all-electric buses over the next several years to make the city more environmentally-friendly and save on fuel costs... The Chicago Transit Authority expects to add as many as 30 more all-electric buses like those shown here... The CTA was the first major transit agency in the nation to use all-electric buses as part of daily service on several routes starting in October of 2014... Manufactured by New Flyer Industries, the 40-foot electric-propulsion buses have encountered no significant mechanical or performance issues since they were introduced, according to the CTA... The test buses have carried approximately 100,000 passengers across 13 different bus routes and traveled approximately 25,000 miles... The test buses have operated on average 80 miles on a single charge, in line with their expected performance, the CTA said... In an average year of use, the CTA expects each electric bus to realize annual fuel savings of $25,000... The CTA plans to issue later in 2016, a request for proposals for the manufacturing of more of the 40-foot buses and new en-route charging systems. The CTA's estimated investment in the electric buses is between $30 million and $40 million, funded through a combination of federal funding sources that the CTA is still finalizing... 
(Photo: The Chicago Transit Authority expects to add as many as 30 more all-electric buses) -- Chicago, ILL, USA - Chicago Business Journal - 26 Jan 2016 

 ** Texas - McAllen boasts new electric-powered buses


-- McAllen city officials cut a gas pump hose Thursday morning as part of the unveiling of their new all-electric buses... City officials cut a gas pump hose instead of the traditional ribbon to commemorate the unveiling of the city’s new pair of all-electric buses... The move symbolizes the buses’ departure from the traditional gasoline-fueled engine to a wireless battery-operated system... 
(Photo: McAllen city officials cut a gas pump hose Thursday morning as part of the unveiling of their new all-electric buses)  --  Mc Allen, TXS, USA - The Monitor, by Naxiely Lopez - Jan 29, 2016

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RAPID TRANSIT BUSES for Metro Transit BRT in Minneapolis * USA

* Minnesota - New  Metro Transit BRT buses unveiled to launch Rapid Transit Buses

  (Video: MARQ2 Buses - Maple Grove, Metro Transit and Others, by TheTransitCamera - Jan 7, 2016: Bus action on the Marquette/2nd Avenue S. express bus corridors in downtown Minneapolis during the afternoon rush hour. This footage features a variety of Gillig, New Flyer and MCI units in action. Models include the D40LF, D60, D60LFR, XD60 (Xcelsior), Low Floor, BRT, and D4500CT) 

 -- Metro Transit gave KARE 11 News a first peak at their newest weapon in the battle against commuter problems. It is the Twin Cities first Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) line... The “A” line will begin service in Spring between Rosedale Mall and the 46th Street Station on the Blue Line light rail via Snelling Avenue in St. Paul and 46th Street in Minneapolis... Twenty stations along the 10 mile route are currently under construction... The 'A Line' will feed passengers to both the Green Line light rail at University Avenue and the Blue Line light rail at 46th Street. It is to run every 10 minutes from 4 a.m. - 1 a.m. weekdays and weekends... 
Minneapolis, MINN, USA - Kare 11, by Allen Costantini - January 28, 2016

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BUS ONLY LANES * USA: In Arlington, Virginia

* Virginia - New rules adopted for bus-only lanes coming to Arlington

-- The rules are out for new bus-only lanes that are coming to Arlington in the spring. On Thursday, the Arlington County Board adopted the rules for the lanes, which are part of the Crystal City Potomac Yard Transitway project... In Potomac Yard, the lanes, which are physically separated from traffic, will be off-limits at all times to vehicles other than buses and emergency vehicles... In Crystal City, it will work a little differently. Since the lanes are sharing the road with other traffic, they will only be off-limits during the morning and afternoon rush hours. Outside of the hours of 6 a.m. to 9 a.m., and 3:30 p.m. to 7 p.m., all vehicles will be able to use the lanes... To keep the lanes clear for buses, the county also adopted fines for those who break the rules... Drivers who use the lanes when they shouldn’t face a $200 fine if caught. Anyone who gets busted trying to take the bus without paying a fare faces a $100 fine... The county says it will be working to get the word out to motorists about the new rules. When the lanes open, only warnings will be handed out for the first 30 days... 
(Getty Images/Hemera Technologies - To keep lanes clear for buses, Arlington County adopted fines for those who break the rules)  --  Arlington, VA, USA - WTOP, by Mike Murillo - January 29, 2016

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* Against the "BUS BUNCHING" - USA: In Houston, Texas: ** Too, PAYING FARES with Smartphone

* Texas - Metro tries a High-Tech Way to keep buses running on time


-- “Bus Bunching” is a common complaint for many transit riders. That’s when buses get off-schedule and follow each other on the same route... A bus in Houston can easily get stopped at a railroad crossing or maybe it loses time because of detours. Then you have a situation where the next bus is following directly behind it... To keep buses evenly spaced, Metro’s Tom Lambert says they’re now trying computer-aided dispatch. They’re doing it at Houston Transtar, the region’s traffic control center... They’re now using the computer dispatch system on Houston’s busiest route. That’s the 82 Westheimer, which has buses running every six minutes during peak periods... After testing the system on Westheimer, Lambert says they’ll look to expand to all the city’s high-frequency routes... 
(Photo by Michael Hagerty - Houston Public Media: Metro bus in downtown Houston)   --  Houston, TXS, USA - Houston Pubic M3edia, by GAIL DELAUGHTER - JANUARY 28, 2016

* Texas - Houston transit riders could soon have a new option for paying their fare

-- Metro is currently testing a mobile ticketing app that would allow riders to purchase single fare tickets and day passes... Metro has enlisted volunteers to test a new mobile ticketing app... If you’re a regular transit rider, you’ve probably found yourself in a situation where just can’t scrape up that last nickel. Or maybe you’ve forgotten your Q-Card... But what if you could pay for all your transit trips by smartphone? ... They’re already doing it in Austin and Dallas. Now Houston riders could soon enjoy the same convenience... 
(Photo by Gail Delaughter/Houston Public Media - Metro could soon let riders pay by Smartphone) -- Houston, TXS, USA - Houston Public Media - 18 Jan 2016

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NEW APPS USA - * 'Here Comes the Bus' - ** New "Transit App"

* Colorado - New app helps parents track PSD buses


-- Parents of dawdling school children can now turn to their computer for confirmation that it's time for their kids to put their pants on or miss the morning bus... Poudre School District, in an attempt to answer the age-old question of whether buses are running on time, began using the free "Here Comes the Bus" app earlier this month. Parents of district students — given they know their child's student ID number — can learn if a bus is running late, for weather or other reasons, and get a good idea of what time it will arrive at their bus stop... PSD provides bus service for students who live certain distances away from their neighborhood school. That distance is 1 mile for elementary students, 1 1/2 miles for middle school students and 2 miles for high school students... 
 (Photo: Austin Humphreys/The Coloradoan: Students board a school bus to head home after a day at Tavelli Elementary School on Tuesday in Fort Collins. A new computer app allows parents of Poudre School District students to track their children's buses)   --   Poudre. COL, USA - The Coloradoan, by Rob White - January 27, 2016


** Pennsylvania - New Transit App allows real time tracking of Port Authority buses

-- Thousands of people use public transportation to get where they are going in Pittsburgh... Now, a local group wants to help riders get to their destinations faster... Pittsburghers for Public Transit has been out on the town letting people know about the best way to utilize technology... Real time data is now available for Port Authority buses on an app called Transit... The Transit app is free for iPhone and Android users, as are the true time numbers from the Port Authority website... 
 (Photo: Where's my bus? Smart phone program will give real-time routes of transit buses) -- Pittsburgh, PENN, USA - KDKA, by Rick Dayton – January 26, 2016

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15.2.16

TACKLING BUS DRIVERS' FATIGUE * Canada

* Quebec - Canada: To require bus drivers to log hours electronically

-- After years of study, the federal government says it will implement new safety regulations in two years that are aligned with U.S. efforts to tackle fatigue among truck and bus drivers... Drivers will be required to electronically record their hours on the road, says Transport Canada, marking a change from the mandatory paper logs that have been in use since the 1930s... The regulations would cover cross-border and interprovincial travel and should be in place when similar rules in the U.S. come into force in late 2017, Transport Canada says... 
(Photo: Transport trucks attempt to drive through snowy conditions in B.C. on Jan. 3, 2015) -- Montreal, QBC, CAN - The Canadian Press/CTV News, by Ross Marowits - February 15

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10.2.16

ELECTRIC BUSES trial runs in * Australia

* Queensland - Charging on with electric bus trial runs in Noosa 


-- Noosa Council will be asked at the next general meeting to support the calling and awarding of tenders this month to make way for a bus trial... A report to council said the electric bus lease agreement with Patico Automotive Pty Ltd was terminated in November due to the contractor being unable to meet the required delivery date... "The buses were manufactured in the UK however, following testing, delays occurred as a result of technical issues with the air-conditioning system," the report said... TransLink remains committed to the electric bus trial... The proposal to "test the market on a satellite depot operation, based either at the council depot or a suitable site elsewhere in the Noosa area" is subject to the support of bus company Sunbus... The one proviso for TransLink is that the trial does not result in higher costs to the state... 
(Photo: Electric buses will hit the streets of Noosa towards the end of this year, in a six month trial given the green light by the Noosa Council and TransLink) -- Noosa Heads, QLD, Australia - Noosa News - 1st Feb 2016

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* Uganda - SOLAR POWERED BUSES in trial on Kampala

* Kampala - Kiira Motors test drives 35-seater EV Kayoola electric bus

(Video by NTVUganda - Jan 31, 2016: Kiira Motors, the lone Ugandan car manufacturer has test driven their 35 seater bus named Kayoola. It is the first time the bus powered by batteries which lasted four years to make was unveiled. While the manufacturers are hopeful the automobile will later be produced for the market, they cite logistical and personnel challenges as major ones)
-- Kiira Motors, the lone Ugandan car manufacturer on Sunday morning has test driven their 35 seater bus named Kayoola. It is the first time the bus powered by batteries which lasted four years to make was unveiled. While the manufacturers are hopeful the automobile will later be produced for the market, they cite logistical and personnel challenges as major ones...

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DOUBLE DECKER BUSES * India

* West Bengala - Double deckers back in Kolkata?

-- The state transport department has begun negotiations with major automobile manufactures for reintroducing a fleet of double decker buses which were once the city’s pride... Calcutta State Transport Corporation officials said Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is keen on the “return of double decker buses’’. The buses will first ply in Salt Lake, Rajarhat and New Town where wide road space is available, while some of the new buses will be used for taking tourists around various landmarks in the city... 
(Photo: SNS - Double decker bus) -- Kolkata, W.B, India - The Statesman, by Aparajit Chakraborty - 2 February, 2016

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