User-agent: Mediapartners-Google* Disallow: Buses World News: July 2007

Buses World News

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


OPINION * China - Green transport has bright future in China

Nowadays, no matter what you are ready to take a bus or a taxi in Guangzhou, you may board a "clean energy vehicle".

Beijing,China -China Economic Net, by Wang Weiwei -23 July 2007: -- As the "main forces" of public transports, such vehicle has not changed much on the appearance, but their "immanence" has quietly changed... It is understood that 6,400 buses and 16,000 taxis have made use of LPG clean energy in Guangzhou, accounting for 80 percent and 100 percent of their respective total number...


Riding a bus... * Pakistan - ... a pain in the back?

Doctors say 20 to 30 percent public transport commuters develop backache

Lahore,Pakistan -The Daily Times, by Muzaffar Ali -24 July 2007: -- Orthopaedics say that 20 to 30 percent people in Lahore are suffering from backache mainly due to traveling in poorly seated and overcrowded public transports that force to adopt wrong postures and give strong jerks while plying on bumpy roads... Orthopaedic Dr Faisal Mushtaque of Sir Ganga Ram Hospital said that sudden strong jerks or movements in traveling could result in severe back pain... Faisal said poor quality chairs were responsible for 25 to 50 percent patients of sciatica. He said the people suffering from vertebral osteomyelitis (an infection of spinal bones) should not use public transport as it could aggravate the problem...


New * USA - Buses with new comforts unveiled

Regional transit officials unveiled a new batch of tricked-out buses yesterday aimed at workaday commuters hungry for something different in mass transit – a sweet ride

San Diego,CAL,USA -The San Diego Union Tribune, by Steve Schmidt -July 24, 2007: -- Seats you can kick back in. Reading lights that only you control. Overhead luggage racks to stash your bag or laptop... The diesel buses – emblazoned with the red-and-white Metropolitan Transit System logo – include comforts usually found on long-distance coach buses, including reclining chairs and directional air-conditioning... (Photo by JIM BAIRD / Union-Tribune - Metropolitan Transit System shows off new buses boasting more comforts for riders, like individual air conditioning controls, reading lights and reclining seats. Five commuter express routes will use the new buses)


CONTROLS * USA - Area school buses inspected for safety

In a sign that the start of school isn't far off, Indiana State Police inspectors are checking school buses for safety

Indianapolis,IND,USA -The Indianapolis Star -July 24, 2007: -- ... Gaul and her team of motor carrier inspectors check emergency exits, brakes, lights and tires, and also make sure other important details, such as first-aid kits and fire extinguishers, are in place... If a bus passes muster, Gaul places a blue sticker on it. If there are minor problems, the bus gets a yellow sticker, meaning it can still transport children but has 30 days to take care of the issue. A red sticker means a bus is unsafe and requires immediate repair...

* New Jersey's surprise inspections take private buses off routes for a day
Hackensack,NJ,USA -AP/Newsday (Long Island,NY) -July 24, 2007: -- The state says it was to ensure safety, but managers of private bus lines in north Jersey say surprise inspections that took 11 minibuses off the road Monday could send the wrong message to riders. In northern New Jersey, privately run minibuses have been gaining in popularity because they make more stops and charge lower fares than New Jersey Transit. But some police departments say their drivers sometimes ignore traffic laws and block NJ Transit bus stops. The inspections Monday found several violations.
Some had Chinese-made tires that were subject to a recall...


"GREEN" NEWS * USA - New buses

* Coming Soon: MDT Hybrid Buses
Miami,FL,USA -Transit Miami, by By Gabriel J. Lopez-Bernal -24 July 2007: -- MDT will be purchasing 39 large Hybrid Buses (similar to the one pictured above) next year to come into service in 2009... There are also initial plans to buy 180 smaller Hybrid buses which would come into service by 2012...

* 29 clean buses coming to North Carolina State University in August

NC,USA -Autoblog Green, by Sebastian Blanco -July 23, 2007: -- North Carolina State University's transit fleet will be upgraded with a new "clean" fleet of 29 buses on August 9. The buses will use clean diesel technology - not a hybrid system - to reduce pollutants... The new buses cost $350,000 each and the new service provider is offering NCSU the chance to not pay for service that is late too often or if there are many complaints...

* Tampa Bay school gets pair of plug-in hybrid buses

FL,USA -engadget by Darren Murph -July 23, 2007: -- From a kid's perspective, we're sure they'd much rather be cruising on the iPod-equipped bus than a vanilla version that gets significantly better mileage, but regardless, a Tampa Bay school will become the first to receive a pair of hybrid buses to shuttle students around while saving between 70 and 100-percent in fuel costs...
* New buses coming to Meridian schools
Midland County,Mich,USA -The Midland Daily News, by Noel Lyn Smith -24 July 2007: -- Four new school buses will be traveling the road this year when Meridian Public Schools starts in September... The Meridian Board of Education approved purchasing the buses Monday. The total cost estimate for the purchase is $278,232...


INSPECTIONS * Qatar - Mowasalat taking action against errant drivers: official

Doha,Qatar -The Gulf Times -22 July, 2007: -- The revenue protection squad of Mowasalat carried out at least 700 inspections a week on public transport buses, Company’s mass transit director Anthony Tallant said yesterday. He said the squad of inspectors conducted a minimum of 100 inspections a day on the buses and lodged reports on a day-to-day basis... He said the main function of the inspectors is not only to catch drivers, who fail to issue tickets to passengers, but also ensure that buses run on time and every passenger buy ticket... Tallant said the inspectors had brought to the company’s attention some unfair practices that they had discovered during the inspections. Some of them were related to refusing tickets to passengers by bus drivers...



Poverty * Ethiopia - Buses: The devil's spawn

Ethiopian buses are the worst form of transportation I have ever used...

Ethiopy -Josh Cohen, by josh (Sanghai,China) -July 23, 2007: -- I would like to finish our adventure in the south, but this ethiopian bus rant has been brewing in my head for some time... Even worse than the horrible experience i had in the 4ft high cargo hold of the Thai ferry, worse than the pickup truck in Cambodia crammed with 20-some people in the least those were one-off things... In Ethiopia, unless you pay to fly or rent a car your only choice to get around is the government run bus system... After having spent roughly 5 full days of my 3 weeks in Ethiopia riding on these buses I think I am experienced enough to comment on them... I was pre-warned by other travellers when I was in Uganda about how bad the buses are, but nothing prepared me for the misery I have endured... In fact, I was going to stay here another week, but the thought of taking one more of these 12 hour bus rides makes me sick, so i'm leaving this country once i find a flight out... Finally, you arrive at your destination, only to meet the plonkers at the bus station trying to overcharge you for a room, children screaming "You You You," and everyone staring at your everywhere you look. You want to cry, but that's just what they want, so you suck it up, fight off the parasites, find a room and lay down. You get some dinner, go to sleep, only to do it again the next day, because it takes 2 full days of travelling to go 300 miles in this country, the roads are just that bad. ..



BUSMAKERS` NEWS * Canada - Saint John Transit Receives First Orion VII Next Generation Transit Bus

Mississauga,Ont,Can -DaimlerChrysler Commercial Buses North America press release, by GOLD_12th -Jul 11, 2007: -- DaimlerChrysler Commercial Buses North America delivered the new Orion VII Next Generation transit bus to the Saint John Transit Commission this morning at a special recognition ceremony at its Mississauga, Ontario manufacturing facility... This is the very first production bus of this newly-redesigned model and is the first of eleven Orion VII Next Generation buses purchased by Saint John Transit...


Issue Detailed Tickets * Tanzania - Bus owners ordered

Dar es Salaam,Tanzania -IPP Media/Guardian, by Angel Navuri -11 July 2007: -- The Surface, Marine and Transport Authority (SUMATRA) has ordered bus owners to ensure passengers are issued with detailed tickets to enable them receive compensation in case of accidents... SUAMTRA public relations manager David Mziray said on Sunday that most commuter buses in Dar es Salaam had been issuing tickets to passengers that would not entitle them to compensation for injuries sustained in accidents...


TRANSPORT INTELLIGENCE * Bangladesh - Massive plan to improve traffic system in capital

The government is seriously considering construction of 56 new roads and introduction of a rapid transit system in the capital by 2024 for quick modernisation of Dhaka's current shabby transport system, according to Dhaka Transport Coordination Board (DTCB).

Dhaka,Bangladesh -The Daily Star, by Sheikh Sabiha Alam -11 July 207: -- The initiative is a part of a massive Strategic Transport Plan (STP) to modernise Dhaka's transport system, for which the government is planning to spend at least 5.5 billion US dollars by 2024 in implementing a number of development schemes... STP will be implemented in four five-year phases. In the first phase which will end in 2010, the authorities will complete the designs and construction of six new major roads to create the much needed east-west connections in the city...


SAFETY * UK - Hillingdon's new Safer Transport Teams hit the streets

London,England,UK -Greater London Authority (press release) -11 July 2007: -- The Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone, visited Hillingdon today (11th July 2007) to launch the borough’s new Safer Transport Team. The new dedicated police team aimed at improving safety on and around public transport was formally launched today... Known as Safer Transport Teams, up to 18 new Police Community Support Officers (PCSOs) will work with at least two sergeants and one police constable to provide visibility and reassurance and tackle crime and anti-social behaviour on and around public transport... On 3rd October 2006, the Mayor announced funding for an additional 378 Police Community Support Officers for London's transport network to be deployed across the capital...


TECHNONEWS * USA - UQM motor to power fuel-cell hybrid buses

USA -Earth Portal, by Jenny Mandel -July 11, 2007: -- A magnetic propulsion motor by UQM Technologies has been selected to power a fuel-cell hybrid bus being developed by Mobile Energy Solutions of Golden, Colo., the companies announced yesterday... The battery-dominant, plug-in hybrid bus will also rely on a lightweight composite material body from Martin Marietta Composites and 16 kilowatt fuel cells from Hydrogenics Inc. The project is being sponsored by the Federal Transit Administration’s Fuel Cell Bus Program...


* Transit to buy new buses for Highway 99 route
Snohomish County,Wash,USA -The Seattle Times (Seattle,Wash) -11 July 2007: -- Community Transit will move forward with its Swift bus program beginning in 2009... The agency decided last week to purchase 14 of the buses that will move commuters along Highway 99 in almost trainlike fashion... The transportation agency will spend $12 million on the buses and also will begin building a number of stations along the route. Community Transit expects to spend about $28.5 million for the project...


Hybrid Buses * Canada - Axed from plans

BC Transit study finds diesel engines a more cost effective option

Saanich,BC,Canada -The Saanich News, by Andrei Bondoreff -Jul 11 2007: -- Hybrids may be the future of engine technology, but for now, BC Transit officials believe diesel engine buses are the most cost effective for Capital Region routes... Over a year ago, BC Transit unveiled three hybrid buses in Victoria as part of a trial to gauge their reliability and efficiency... After careful monitoring, Transit found the buses, which utilize an electric battery power source for low speeds and switch to an internal combustion system for higher speeds, were well suited to Victoria’s stop- and-go urban environment. Fuel savings targets that were set at 20 per cent over the fleet’s 1992-2003 generation of buses, were exceeded by the hybrids and ran, in some cases, as high as 28 per cent... Compared to the newest Nova Cummins clean diesel buses procured since 2003, however, the hybrids performed with only eight per cent greater fuel efficiency... (Photo by Don Denton - In May, BC Transit unveiled its hybrid bus. The buses have been axed in favour of diesels.)


TRANSPORT INTELLIGENCE * USA - Pricing plan would pay for new buses

New York,NY,USA -New York, by Erik Engquist and Catherine Tymkiw -July 10, 2007: -- As the deadline approaches for a decision about whether New York City will be approved for up to $500 million in federal funds for Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s proposed congestion pricing plan, critics and supporters are digging in... Mr. Bloomberg traveled to Washington, D.C., on Tuesday to lobby the U.S. Department of Transportation in an effort to gain the agency’s backing for his plan. The DOT has voiced concerns that it may not approve the funding if New York state’s legislature doesn’t approve the mayor’s plan by July 16... However, on Tuesday, MTA spokesman Jeremy Soffin said the federal grant for congestion pricing would pay for 10 new bus routes and routes and increased service on 26 other routes where the agency expects diversions from cars. In all, 367 buses, including 194 new express buses would be added...


Security * UK - Call to install protective cages on all public buses

A Perth bus driver who was stabbed with a blood-filled syringe has called for protective cages to be installed on all buses...

Perth,Australia -ABC Online -Jul 10, 2007: -- Robert Wolters, 63, says he was stabbed with the syringe by a female passenger demanding money outside the Rockingham shopping centre on Sunday... Mick Knowles from the Transport Workers Union says drivers and security staff at bus stations are increasingly likely to encounter threatening behaviour... Mr Knowles says about 30 per cent of buses have protective cages...


HISTORY * UK - Electrobuses

What is this that roareth thus? = A cautionary technological tale from the past

London,UK -Economist -July 10th 2007: -- On Monday July 15th 1907 an unusual bus picked up its first passengers at London's Victoria Station before gliding smoothly off to Liverpool Street. It was the beginning of what was then the world's biggest trial of battery-powered buses. The London Electrobus Company had high hopes that this quiet and fume-free form of transport would replace the horse. At its peak, the company had a fleet of 20 buses. But despite being popular with passengers the service collapsed in 1909. The history books imply that the collapse was caused by technical drawbacks and a price war. It was not. The untold story is that the collapse was caused by systematic fraud that set back the cause of battery buses by a hundred years... The London Electrobus Company paid the Electric Vehicle Company more than £31,000 in advance for 50 buses. Only 20 were ever delivered. The buses were extortionately overpriced—each one cost about £300 more than a motor bus... Whether the fraud was truly a tipping point for electric vehicles is, of course, impossible to say. But it is a commonplace of innovation—from railway gauges to semiconductors to software—that the “best” technology is not always the most successful one. Once an industry standard has been established, it is hard to displace. If Lehwess and Martigny had not pulled their scam when they did, modern cities might be an awful lot cleaner than they actually are...


CONGESTIONS CHARGES * UK - Transport for London takes to the air, and gets up your nose!

A new way to fight congestion has been discovered in Transport for London - The Way Forward

London,UK -The Spoof (satire), by FLUFFY DETRITUS -9 July 2007: -- ... There are a number of new and far reaching ideas for congestion solution in London. These include congestion charging for aircraft going over London's airspace, bus passengers being charged £100 to ride on a bus in the congestion zone, people with colds or flu being refused entry... Transport for London argues that aircraft bring increased congestion to London. There are currently over 300 flights landing at London's Heathrow airport every day which equates to upwards of 90,000 men, women and children, all descending on the capital. Transport for London says this puts an immense strain on the transport system with the increased use of taxis, buses and cars in the city... Transport for London is working hard on the task of ridding the city of all congestion. It has even begun handing out complementary menthol and eucalyptus lozenges in all tube stations...



Poll Finds * Canada - Driver fatigue a major problem in Ontario

Only 14.8% of drivers polled have actually pulled over to sleep or nap when tired – the most effective way to deal with fatigue

Ottawa,Ont,CAN -Truck News, by James Menzies -10 July 2007: -- The Traffic Injury Research Foundation (TIRF) has released results of a new poll suggesting 1.3 million Ontario drivers have fallen asleep or nodded off while driving at least once in the past year... More than 100,000 of those drivers fell asleep on five or more occasions, the poll also found... As many as 167,000 fatigue-related collisions may have occurred in the province, according to TIRF. Despite the risks posed by tired drivers, the organization found most Ontarians are not overly concerned about the issue...



* State buys new buses - Students will ride in 1,200 safer, updated vehicles
Lexington,NC,USA -The Winston-Salem Journal (Winston-Salem,NC), by Michael Hewlett -July 9, 2007: -- When students return to school next month, many of them will ride in sleek, new buses... The state bought 1,200 this year to replace run-down, worn-out buses across the state. Forsyth County, for example, will get 21 buses and Davidson County will get 13 for Davidson County Schools, Lexington City Schools and Thomasville City Schools... The state contracted with Thomas Built Buses in High Point, which recently had come out with safer buses that provide greater visibility...


* Uganda - Bus rides are perfect for catching up on some reading and thinking

They are also great for developing chronic spinal problems...

Kampala,Uganda -74days.blogspot -July 9, 2007: -- I don’t feel like I can really put the bus experience into words, so I will go ahead and give you an exercise you can try at home
1. Crawl under your computer desk and curl into a ball
2. Have a friend put a space heater under your desk
3. Have a friend put a live chicken, roasted corn, and dirty gym clothes under the desk
4. Have a friend punch you in the back
5. Does your friend have a small child? Have them cry. Either your friend of the child. It doesn’t matter
6. After three hours, crawl out from under the desk and relieve yourself in front of sixty strangers. Even if you are a girl
7. Do this for at least six hours... You’ve just experienced a bus ride in East Africa!...



* Romania - RATB buys 105m-euro Mercedes buses
Bucharest,Romania -Ziarul Financiar, by Alexandru Anghel -10 July 2007: -- EvoBus Romania, the general importer of Mercedes Benz and Setra, won the tender organised by RATB (Transport Regie Autonome in Bucharest) to acquire 500 new Mercedes-Benz Citaro buses, with the first 50 buses planned for purchase this autumn.. The total value of the acquisition contract stands at 105 million euros. According to company representatives, 300 buses will be purchased next year, with a further 150, out of the total 500, finally being acquired in June 2009...



TECHNONEWS * India - LCD screens, closed circuit cameras in Mumbai buses

Mumbai,India -Times of India -8 July 2007: -- Commuters in Mumbai's BEST buses will be monitored from next week while travelling, with authorities installing closed circuit cameras as well as LCD screens in over 100 buses in the city... The closed circuit cameras will be installed at the entry and exit of the buses in order to monitor passengers who board them and the images will be stored on a hard disk...


TRANSPORT INTELLIGENCE * Malawi - No duty on new buses

As part of initiatives to encourage investment in the passenger transport sector, government has scrapped off duty on buses

Malawi-The Malawi's Sunday Times, by SINTHA MKUZIWADUKA -8 July 2007: -- Finance Minister Goodall Gondwe in his budget announced that duty has been removed on buses with sitting capacity of over 45 for a period of two years... Bus operators have welcomed the development and said they would utilize the opportunity...


Commuters * Dubai - Face torturous journey in the heat

Passengers complain that a bus ride to and from Mussaffah is a daily torture because of a lack of air-conditioning

Abu Dhabi,Dubai,United Arab Emirates -The Gulf News, by Samir Salama -July 09, 2007: -- None of the buses on the Mussaffah route have air- conditioning, they complain... T.K. Sekar, a regular commuter on this route, said the situation has been like this for the past few months. "We have to open the windows to let in hot air to try and keep cool," he said... The Abu Dhabi Municipality owns a fleet of around 275 buses, but for over a year it has faced decreasing number of commuters and loss of revenue. The problem has been exacerbated because of lack of maintenance after the municipality garage shut down... (Photo by Ravindranath/Gulf News - Passengers board a bus which does not have air-conditioning and travels daily between Mussaffah and Abu Dhabi)


* Australia - Security cams to cost $34m

The NSW Government has spent $34 million on hi-tech surveillance cameras to be installed on Sydney's buses

NSW,Australia, by James Madden -July 09, 2007: -- More than 300 high-definition CCTV cameras have been placed across the city's transport network in areas considered potential terrorist targets... The new cameras bring to 6400 the total number of cameras being used to watch people using buses, trains and ferries... Acting NSW Premier John Watkins said the upgrade complemented a surveillance system and counter-terrorism measures already in place... He said that the $34 million system would enhance security on the city's transport system well beyond the APEC summit... (Picture: Acting NSW Premier John Watkins: "(It's) not just for APEC, it's for the world we're in at the moment")



Free bus service * USA - Is it viable?

Island Transit makes it work, but larger urban areas have tried and failed

Seattle,Wash,USA -The Seattle PI, by LARRY LANGE -7 July 2007: -- King County Metro Director Chuck Collins advocates eliminating fares as a step toward alleviating congestion, along with smaller, more widely dispersed buses that can serve today's less-centralized commuting patterns... Bellevue is considering a free stand-alone "circulator" service to ease traffic in its growing downtown core... When Austin, Texas, experimented with free bus service in the early 1990s, the buses attracted rowdy teens who skipped school, vandalized buses and scared away older riders... (Photo by Gilbert W. Arias / seattlepi: Island Transit bus driver Hank Trusler waits for rider Lillie McCurik in Langley on Whidbey Island on Monday. Trusler had closed his door and was about to pull away after letting off a passenger when he saw McCurik headed to the stop. Island Transit is supported by local, federal and state tax money, and has never charged a fare)



* Canada - More new buses set to hit streets soon

Vancouver,BC,CAN -The Vancouver Sun, by By Gerry Bellett -July 06, 2007: -- Last November, the arrival of the first of the new Quebec-built Nova low-floor buses to TransLink's Burnaby depot coincided with a major snowfall that caused disruptions to transit services across the Lower Mainland... Nothing like a heavy snowfall to try out the all wheel disc-brake ABS traction control system -- the first such braking system to be fitted to a Canadian bus...(Picture: An undated handout photo of a test diesel bus from Nova Bus that TransLink bought )


SAFETY * India - MTC to go for buses with doors

Chennai,India -The Hindu, by Karthik Subramanian -7 July 2007: -- The Metropolitan Transport Corporation (MTC) has decided to go only for buses with doors, a move aimed at preventing footboard travel, if recommendations of a traffic improvement committee and the decision made by the transport corporation high-command are implemented... (Picture - RISKY RIDE: Buses with doors will put an end to such practices)


* USA - High school district adds new clean-air buses

Costa Mesa,CA,USA -The Orange County Register, by VAN RILEY -7 July 2007: -- Recently, the board of trustees and other interested staff for the Huntington Beach Union High School District were proud to tour a brand new compressed natural gas (CNG) school bus. For many, this was a long-term goal fulfilled for the district... The new buses are impressive. Equipped with seat belts, high seat backs and fires sprinklers, the buses are a bit longer (3.5 feet) than the older buses...


* Malaysia - RapidKL Fails To Launch Accessible Buses

If RapidKL is a reflection of how Malaysia is being managed, we are all in deep trouble.

Malaysia - The Digital Awakening, by Peter Tan -July 6th, 2007: -- Rangkaian Pengangkutan Integrasi Deras Sdn Bhd or more commonly known as RapidKL is a subsidiary of Syarikat Prasarana Negara Berhad (SPNB). In turn SPNB or better known as ‘Prasarana’, is the ultimate holding company under Ministry of Finance Incorporated... After 10 months of tinkering with the non-step buses, they still cannot get it right. Wheelchair users are still not allowed to use the buses... The government must shoulder the blame entirely for this debacle. The Ministry of Finance, Ministry of Transport, Minstry of Entreprenuer and Co-operative Development and the Ministry of Housing and Local Government, among others, who are responsible in part in their respective capacities to ensure an accessible public transportation system... After spending so much money to bring in non-step buses and fitting them with accessible feature, these buses are still not functional due to so many reasons and problems that are associated with so many ministries who are not actively doing their part in solving the said problems... We, the disabled people of Malaysia, needs an accessible public transport system to help us go to school to get an education; allow us to commute to our places of employment; participate in social, cultural, religious and political activities. We need an accessible public transport to become part of society... (Photo by Wuan)


TRANSPORT INTELLIGENCE * Dubai - Commuters switch from cars to buses

The Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) is planning to increase the number of buses and include new and improved buses

Khaleej,Dubai,United Arab Emirates -The Khaleej Times, by Joy Sengupta -6 July 2007: -- With Salik in its full form in Dubai despite the widespread confusion and chaos, daily commuters have now begun to opt for public transport buses in order to avoid paying toll fee. According to commuters, Dh4 toll fee is an additional burden on people’s pockets... With many car-owners switching over to public transport, the taxi drivers are now getting worried as many of them are experiencing a slump in their earnings... (Photo: by Christian Kraut -Dubai's latest buses are these Scania -Marcopolo Viale, built in Brazil)



* India - The colourful buses of Bangalore

Bangalore,Karnataka,India, by Deepa Mohan -July 05, 2007: -- I would like to share with you some of the rainbow bursts that splash upon my eye as I go around this city...

"King of Queens", as a pun, and this bus guy thought he could cap THAT with this lovely, romantic title!

This bus doesn't have messages,but the marbled effect is fantastic!

And this bus is a Golden "Charriot"...they don't spare the hues!


"GREEN" NEWS * USA - 90 school buses now spewing less-toxic fumes

Orlando,FL,USA -The Orlando Sentinel, by Kevin Spear -July 5, 2007: -- An ambitious attempt across the nation to remove nasty and lethal ingredients from diesel exhaust has taken aim at the tailpipes of Orange County school buses... (Photo by GEORGE SKENE/Orlando Sentinel: Mechanic Cyril Teekasingh installs a new diesel-scrubbing muffler under a school bus earlier this year. The original mufflers on 90 Orange County buses have been replaced in recent weeks)



* USA - Chandler wins grant for cleaner school buses

Chandler,AZ,USA -The Arizona Republic (Phoenix,AZ), by Ray Parker -July 5, 2007: -- Chandler Unified students will breathe cleaner air thanks to a state grant for $557,000, which will help purchase 32 new diesel buses with exhaust filtering systems and nine filters for existing buses... Chandler's 47 new school buses will be delivered in October, so the district will have a total of 205 buses... (Photo by waltonchamber)



* Australia - Bridge toll plan: $20 to follow the buses

Here is the solution to choking gridlock for the wealthy and impatient: exorbitant tolls for the exclusive use of the Harbour Bridge's southbound bus lane

Sydney,New South Wales,Australia -The Sydney Morning Herald -July 5, 2007: -- Under a serious proposal from the former Roads and Traffic Authority director Ken Dobinson, the bus lane would be transformed into what has been dubbed a "Lexus lane". Drivers would pay staggered tolls of $5, $10 or even $20 to escape the traffic and zoom along with buses and taxis... Mr Dobinson said now was the perfect time to implement a High Occupancy Tolling - or HOT - lane system on the bridge, before the Harbour Tunnel goes cashless on Sunday... (Photo: Lexus territory … the bus lane)


* South Africa - Durban gets luxurious buses

The long-awaited, luxurious people mover buses will finally hit the streets of Durban on Thursday

Durban,South Africa -Independent Online (Cape Town,SA), by Bongani Mthembu -July 03 2007: -- ... The buses, which cost the municipality R1,3-million each, were supposed to start operating in December 2005... But the launch was delayed because of a bitter court battle between former Durban Transport employees and Remant Alton, the company which won the tender from council in 2003 to run the bus service... An upbeat Mayor Obed Mlaba said the buses were part of the eThekwini Municipality's campaign to provide different modes of public transport...


* USA/Hawai - Maui gets three new buses

Maui,Hawai,USA -The Pacific Business News (Honolulu,HW) -July 3, 2007: -- Maui added three new buses to its fleet Monday, expanding the island's transit services with more carrying capacity... The 41-passenger, 40-foot-long buses run on diesel fuel and were manufactured by Eldorado National-California Axess at a cost of about $360,000 each. They are equipped with wheelchair access, on-board diagnostic computers, illuminated signage and bicycle racks... (Photo by Mata Tabi Hawaii: Maui Bus)


* India - Capital to phase out Blueline buses

New Delhi,India -The Hindu (Chennai,India) -4 July 2007: -- Reacting to the huge public outcry in the Capital against rashly driven Blueline buses, one of which killed a 13-year-old boy and injured his father and brother along with several others this past Sunday, Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit on Tuesday announced that these buses would be replaced in a phased manner... The Delhi Government, she said, would replace them with low-floor high-capacity buses and also formulate fresh guidelines for the operation of bus services in the city... (Tribune Photo, by Mukesh Aggarwal: A motorcyclist was mowed down by a Blue Line bus near Patel Chowk on Wednesday)

* DTC buses can replace Bluelines

New Delhi,India -The Times of India -4 July 2007: -- The state-run, loss-making Delhi Transport Corp (DTC) can make a dramatic turnaround and give the Indian capital an efficient bus service, replacing the 'killer' Blueline private buses, provided the government allows it to turn its depots into commercial complexes...


TECHNONEWS * India - BEST to install GPS in buses for better monitoring of fleet

Mumbai,India -The Mumbai Newsline, by Swapnil Rawal -July 3, 2007: -- The Brihanmumbai Electric Supply and Transport (BEST) Undertaking is all set to install the Global Positioning System (GPS) for better tracking of its fleet of 3,400 buses... According to V Y Amdekar, assistant general manager (Traffic Operations), the installation of this high-end technology on buses will help the Undertaking locate its vehicles and provide better service to 4.5 million passengers... Wiring on 800 buses being done, work will be completed in a year... (Photo Gallery: Con Los Annos que me Quedan)


* USA - Bikes versus buses

USA -Pinch Flat News, by Pinchie (Hans Eisenbeis) -July 3, 2007: -- Among the advocacy crowd, buses and bikes are considered complimentary. Indeed, the more they play together nicely, the better off we all are; there's the whole "last mile" argument among commuters trying to make the break from the single-occupant automobile. That comes down to putting more bike racks on buses so people can string together their transportation methods to get to where they're going, not just in the general vicinity... But among hardcore urban cyclists, buses and bikes are more like Goliath versus David. Buses are big and slow, they send up volumes of noxious eyesting and lungburn, and they're constantly crossing into bike space. And that's when they're being nice...


Overcrowded * Australia - Brisbane buses remain so. More investment necessary

The latest figures on bus travel show there are still too many overcrowded buses unable to pick up passengers.

Brisbane,Australia -ABC Regional Online -July 4, 2007: -- That is despite a drop in the number of overcrowded buses from 858 in May to 460 buses last month... The Lord Mayor's public transport chairman, Graham Quirk, says the situation is still unacceptable... Cr Newton, the public transport committee chair, agrees that more needs to be done. "I guess the clear message from this as we look to the future is that we need a clear and strong investment in public transport because it is well worth it"...



RULES * India - What STA rules say

New Delhi,India -Express News Service -July 2, 2007: -- The Delhi government is set to crack the whip by enforcing existing State Transport Authority rules for public buses and forming some new policies... Transport Minister Haroon Yusuf today said the department will hold “our first meeting tomorrow and form a policy for Bluelines. ... Yusuf said transporters have been asked to be part of the meeting. Here’s what some, STA rules say:
* No driver should steer a bus for more than eight hours.
* Buses plying for more than eight hours require at least two drivers.
* Buses are not allowed any staff other than the driver and conductor.
* Minimum educational qualification of a driver is Class XII; a bus conductor should clear at least Class X.

* Killer Buses: Who's responsible?
Delhi, India -India (Gurgaon,Haryana,India), by Rudroneel Ghosh -3 July 2007: -- It seems that last Sunday’s huge bus accident at the Rajouri Garden intersection has finally stung the authorities out of their deep slumber... Whether anything substantial will be done to ensure the safety of the passengers on such public buses run by private transporters is something that yet remains to be seen... Sunday’s accident had led to the horrific death of a 13 yr. old boy named Maurick Sharma who was at the time riding with his father and brother on their two wheeler when a blue line bus came from behind and rammed into them. Maurick was killed on the spot whereas his father and brother survived with minor injuries...


* Fiji - Oil price hike a worry for buses

Fiji -The Fiji Times -July 02, 2007: -- The rise in fuel prices threatens the viability of the bus industry, says the Fiji Bus Operators Association... Bus operators have asked the Government to consider increasing fuel grants from 10 per cent to 25 per cent... Its future profitability and stability is threatened because bus operators can not get a fair return on investment, he said... We never had an occasion in the bus industry in Fiji when an operator had a sufficient return on his investment... The government has turned down a request to increase bus fares...


No Entry * Israel - For dogs or policemen, or Egged buses

RBS,Israel -Life in Israel, By Rafi G -3 July 2007: -- ... The reference on the above sign to not letting Egged in is a long standing fight the residents have with Egged regarding Mehadrin buses. I never really understood that fight... First they were upset that Egged did not provide them with a mehadrin bus line. Then when Egged converted the 418 line to mehadrin, the residents were upset that Egged did provide a mehadrin line because it put the local macher running a private line out of business... Damned if you do, damned if you don't !!! ... (Photo translation: No entry for dogs or policemen, or Egged buses #'s 417 and 418)


"GREEN" BUSES FLEET * UK - Lothian buses go from red to green in new pilot scheme

Edinburgh have just launched 15 new 'greener' buses in a move to tackle pollution in the city

Edinburg,UK -Hippyshopper, by Elisa -2 July 2007: -- Lothian Buses have introduced the vehicles, which cost £2 million, and hope to roll out another 70 by the end of the year... The buses store a chemical which is sprayed onto the exhaust fumes from the engine to reduce harmful emissions, a technology which is said to cut nitrogen dioxides by up to half... The city council have welcomed the move, saying that it will only help to enhance an already comfortable and reliable form of alternative transport in the capital...


Ghost buses * Australia - Passengers stranded by

Tens of thousands of people are being left stranded on the side of the road wondering why their bus never arrived, with an average of 90 Government bus services a day being cancelled without notice

Sydney,NSW,Australia Daily Telegraph, by Heath Aston -July 03, 2007: -- ... In just one month to last Monday, a staggering 2763 State Transit bus services simply didn't run, according to confidential State Transit records obtained... The service logs confirm what commuters have long suspected – the timetable is no guarantee a bus will show up.... At least 1600 of the ghost buses were due to mechanical breakdowns, revealing a maintenance crisis across State Transit Authority's (STA) 11 Sydney bus depots... (The Daily Telegraph - Stranded ... commuters wait at the bus stop near the University of NSW on Anzac Parade)


Bus: London to Sydney * Ireland - Jurneys a hit with Irish travellers

Departs London16th September 2007 ** FULL **
Dublin,Ireland -The Sunday Business Post, by Emma Kennedy -1 July 2007: -- Half of all bookings for a new overland bus service from London to Sydney have been made by Irish travellers... Mark Creasy launched OzBus in January and the first bus departs in September with 38 passengers. The idea to travel by bus from London to Sydney was inspired by his own travel experiences... The 12-week journey to Sydney will pass through 20 countries and cost about €5,500 per passenger, which includes transport, accommodation and some meals... Passengers must arrange and pay for their own visas for the trip. Pre-departure visas are required for Iran, Pakistan, India and Nepal, while visas for Turkey and Laos can be acquired along the way. Creasy estimated that visas would add about €500 to the cost of the trip... The service will operate in reverse, with the first bus departing from Sydney in January... Creasy plans for one bus to depart from London and Sydney each month...



* India - Punjab govt to add 300 new buses to existing fleet
Mohali,Kerala,India -The New Kerala (Ernakulam,Kerala,India) -2 July 2007: -- The Punjab Government would add 300 more new buses in the existing fleet of 1482 buses of PUNBUS, Punjab Roadways and PRTC in the next three months... An equal number of new buses would also be added to the Kilo Meter scheme, Transport Minister Mohan Lal stated here. He assured that the Transport Department would implement the insurance scheme for the passengers traveling in the state owned buses shortly...

* USA - TUSD Gets Grant For Greener School Buses
Tucson,AZ,USA -The KOLD TV/News 13 -July 2, 2007: -- Tucson Unified School District is getting the lion's share of Arizona Department of Environmental grants for greener school buses... ADEQ has awarded 11 school districts in Maricopa and Pima Counties $3,177,000 in grants to improve air quality and reduce children's exposure to harmful diesel emissions from school buses... TUSD Received $1,369,144 toward the purchase of 11 Compressed natural gas buses, 42 new diesel buses and 38 filters for existing diesel buses...

* USA - Hybrid buses coming to Everett
Everett,WA,USA -The HeraldNet, by David Chircop -July 2, 2007: -- Everett Transit introduced passengers to the city's first hybrid diesel-electric bus during a brief trial run three years ago... When driving away from bus stops and red lights, the hybrid produced none of the dark, smelly diesel smoke typical of a normal bus... It ran quieter, smoother and was more fuel-efficient... The problem was a cost-prohibitive price tag... At $580,000 for a hybrid versus $290,000 for a conventional bus, the gap was too great for transit officials to justify buying one... But more than $1 million in federal transportation money recently awarded to the city is expected to help add cleaner-burning hybrid buses to Everett Transit's 46-bus fleet... Everett Transit will use a combination of federal and local funds to buy three 35-foot hybrid buses, he said...


* Australia - Slowdown call for deadly streets

A Go-Slow zone could be imposed on buses on one of Sydney's busiest streets after a spate of accidents in which buses have hit pedestrians...

Sydney,New South Wales,Australia -The Sydney Morning Herald, by Sunanda Creagh & Arjun Ramachandran -July 2, 2007: -- The State Transit Authority will urge the Roads and Traffic Authority to introduce a 40kmh speed limit for buses travelling along Druitt Street, where two people have been hit in the past fortnight... But the Lord Mayor of Sydney, Clover Moore, says the 40kmh speed limit should apply to all vehicles in the city centre because traffic changes brought in with the Cross City Tunnel have endangered pedestrians. (Photo by James Alcock - Pedestrian danger … the corner of Clarence and Druitt streets in the city, near where a bus has killed one person in recent weeks)


More buses * Canada - Key plank in transit plan

While fares go up, riders are being promised some relief to congested transit lines and packed buses that pass them by.

Coquitlam,B.C., Canada -The CoquitlamTri City News, by Jeff Nagel -Jul 01 2007: -- TransLink’s plan for 2008 will add 94 new buses or community shuttles to expand the fleet, over and above the 160 more new buses slated to replace old ones, 1% more than the projected increase in demand... The extra buses will allow full bus rapid transit service along the new 95-B Line route that follows Hastings Avenue to SFU... TransLink officials say the net effect of the extra buses will be to greatly extend the frequent transit network they define as providing service at least every 15 minutes, 15 hours a day...


* USA - First Transit to run buses

26-vehicle system owned by county gets new operator, starting today

Baltimore,MAR,USA -The Baltimore Sun, by Larry Carson -July 1, 2007: -- Hot weather and faulty air conditioners were on the minds of Howard Transit riders as the 26-bus system prepared to switch to a new operator today... First Transit's aim is to make the change in contractors from Veolia Transportation Inc., the former contractor, as seamless as possible... But passengers were complaining about problems in the run-up to the change. In June, with Veolia's contract about to expire, a shortage of drivers caused a sporadic problem, sometimes interrupting service... Air-conditioning failures were another vexation...



BIODIESEL * USA - Westchester Begins Use Of Cleaner Fuel On Bee-Line Buses

White Plains,NY,USA -30 June 2007: -- Taking one more step in its effort to be a good environmental citizen, Westchester County is launching a pilot project to have buses use a cleaner burning alternative fuel, reducing pollution as well as reliance on foreign oil... Beginning July 1, the county’s Department of Transportation will be conducting a test of Bio5 diesel (5 percent bio-fuel/95 percent ultra low sulfur diesel) in 30 percent of its Bee-Line buses...