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

Buses World News

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


BIO-BUSES * UK - Chip fat buses take to the road

A fleet of buses fuelled by chip fat is taking to the roads of Ayrshire in a trial green transport project - "I believe it's win-win for people who will be able to take their cooking oil along and have it turned into tickets"

London,Scotland,UK -BBC News -26 Oct 2007: -- Stagecoach's Bio-Bus scheme also offers a 20p discount for passengers who bring along their used cooking oil... The scheme featuring the eight-strong fleet, which will run between Stewarton and Darvel, aims to cut harmful emissions by more than 80%... The initiative will run for the next six months and operators hope it could roll out nationwide. It is hoped the chip fat fuel will reduce emissions... For the first 10 minutes of the morning, the buses run on diesel until normal engine operating temperature is reached and then the system automatically switches over to bio-diesel, which powers the vehicles all day... (Picture right: Passengers on the route are being given containers to collect fat)

* Buses may run on sugar beet fuel
Berkshire ,UK -BBC News -27 October 2007: -- A fleet of buses in Berkshire looks set to be run on sugar beet fuel - in an attempt to cut carbon dioxide and other harmful emissions... Six million passengers who use the busy Tilehurst to Reading route each year could be travelling on 14 buses run on bio-ethanol from March 2008... The fuel, derived from a renewable source of sugar beet in East Anglia, proved successful during recent trials...


DANGEROUS DRIVERS * Bangladesh - Senseless contests by reckless buses put passengers' lives at risk

Road safety is a concept that seems to be of little value to the city bus drivers as it appears that their main concern is to get ahead of other buses by any means

Dhaka,Bangladesh -The Daily Star, by Rizanuzzaman Laskar -28 Oct 2007: -- Buses racing with each other to get hold of passengers is a commonplace scene near the Shahbagh bus stoppage... Caught in the middle of this senseless competition are the commuters and pedestrians, who often fall victim to the reckless driving of the bus drivers... Most of these accidents -- minor or major -- go unnoticed and unreported every day as the city lacks a reliable, efficient and hassle-free mechanism that would encourage all to report such accidents and at the same time the authorities would ensure prosecution of the drivers involved... Only to make a quick buck, the transport workers have been showing imprudence and sheer disregard for public safety by speeding through the streets to complete a trip or cramming passengers into buses, well above the capacity, by blocking the traffic, said many commuters... (Photo: STAR - Buses racing with each other to get hold of passengers is a commonplace scene near the Shahbagh bus stoppage)


Business * USA - NYC-Boston bus offers reservations

Vamoose routes to have WiFi access, guaranteed seats

Boston,Mass,USA -The Boston Globe, by Nicole C. Wong -October 26, 2007: -- The Boston-to-New York bus wars are revving up, and the newest gladiator's arsenal includes complimentary onboard wireless Internet access and guaranteed seating... Vamoose, the newcomer in the game of hurtling motorcoach passengers down the interstate, will run one bus from the Hub to Manhattan every morning and one bus back every afternoon starting Nov. 8... The Hasidic-owned company based in New York will provide riders with free WiFi on its leased buses, which are equipped with routers. But the company said some buses may not have enough electrical outlets to recharge each passenger's laptop, cellphone, or iPod during the four-hour ride...


Hybrid Buses * USA - MTA goes greener with 850 new ones

New York,NY,USA -The Second Avenue Sagas, by Benjamin Kabak -October 26, 2007: -- ... The MTA announced this week plans to add 850 new hybrid electric buses to the fleet... In effect, this new purchase is a contract extension of a 2005 deal between the MTA and Daimler AG... No word if Daimler AG was insulted when the MTA wanted to add a World Series incentive to the contract... This new order allows for NYCT to take on most of the new buses. Of the 850, 105 of them will go to MTA Bus. The other 745 will end up in the hands of New York City Transit. According to the MTA, these buses will be employed to meet ridership and equipment demands brought about by Bus Rapid Transit lanes... A few weeks ago, I wrote about how the MTA, by virtue of its public transportation mission, is a green organization looking to go greener. Its trains use energy-conserving breaks similar to those found in hybrid cars, and now the Authority is adding a whole fleet of green buses... I - and Al Gore - wholeheartedly support this move. More hybrids for everyone... (Photo courtesy of flickr user mss2400: The MTA hopes to win a Nobel Prize for its efforts in combating greenhouse gas emissions)


Student discipline * Canada - Safety under surveillance

Board ponders videos on buses

High River,Alberta,Canada -The High River Times, by Jessica Patterson -October 26, 2007: -- The Foothills School Division is considering a policy update that would allow for more video cameras on its buses... The division would only use the tapes in disciplining students for their behaviour on the bus... Issues of responsibility and legality were raised at the board meeting Wednesday. Trustee Laurie Copland was curious about the responsibility bus drivers have for the children they transport... Drivers themselves are encouraged not to physically get involved... (Photo from The Foothills School Division)


* Nigeria - Sokoto to Assemble Buses

Abuja,Sokoto,Nigeria -Leadership/ (Washington,DC,USA), by Mahmoud Muhammad -26 October 2007: -- Sokoto State government has signed a pact with a Chinese firm for the establishment of middle size bus and motorcycle assemblies... Abubakar Mohammad further said the governor had earlier expressed optimism that the state government had concluded arrangements to join hands with stakeholders and the business community in Sokoto and Kebbi States and to turn the axis to an industrialised zone...


* Canada - Why Do All the Buses Leak?

However an annoying pattern has developed - whenever it rains the buses leak! All of them - and not just a little bit!

Fort Erie,Ont,CAN -The Shadow Democracy, by Matthew J. Podoba -October 25, 2007: -- I recently began riding the bus to work in the morning. I wanted to do my part. I figured I’d save money on gas, help reduce my carbon footprint, nap on the way in…whatever. You might being saying to yourself right about now…Matt…who cares. There is a point buried here, just hang in there... If major cities are trying to increase mass transit ridership, and as far as I know they are, then doesn’t it make sense to keep public transit assets in good repair? When I mentioned leaks, I’m not talking about a drippy window here and there or a bit of water coming through the roof... Yesterday, several seats in the back were literally under water! It was bad to the point where all of the riders had to huddle in the front! Some had to stand for the entire trip to downtown! Whenever the bus turned, water sloshed out of the seats and onto the floor! Drivers routinely complain about windshields that leak, roof hatches that leak, heat that doesn’t work…you name it. Of course I live in Buffalo where nothing works, but the situation is the same in other cities - so I hear... The long and short of it is simple. Americans must be pried away from their cars if we are going to combat looming oil shortages, and you can’t use a leaky bus as a crow bar...


SAFETY * UK - Undercover operation tackles troubled buses

Anti-social youths got a shock this week as police and undercover council officers boarded buses to stamp out bad behaviour

Morecambe,England,UK -The Visitor -24 October 2007: -- ... As a result of the operation by Morecambe police and staff from the Lancashire County Council Safer Travel Unit, who travelled on bus services in plain clothes in an attempt to identify offenders, 15 youths were warned for behaving badly and one teenager was given a fine... The operation was the first of its kind on buses used by children travelling home from school in the area... The undercover council officers travelled on commercial bus services to spot people acting in an anti-social manner... Once the bus service arrived at 'gateway check' sites at Euston Road and outside Happy Mount Park, police boarded the vehicle with the Safer Travel Unit staff to talk to identified offenders... (Photo - CAUGHT OUT: Youngsters are warned about behaviour on buses)


SAFETY * USA - Police follow school buses to catch lawbreakers

Hanover,PA,USA -The Evening Sun, by SHARI SANGER -25 Oct 2007: -- West Manheim Township Police Officer Craig Snyder looked for a South Western School District bus, then followed it in his police cruiser as the bus made its morning stops in the rain on Wednesday... He was looking for drivers who were violating the state's School Bus Stopping Law... The state Department of Transportation program usually is run as part of National School Bus Safety Week in the third week of October... (Photo by James Robinson/Evening Sun - West Manheim Township Police Officer Craig Snyder follows a South Western school bus while it makes its morning rounds. Officers statewide were policing problem areas as part of Operation Safe Stop, an initiative by the state Department of Transportation to better enforce safety regulations regarding school buses)


* UK - Plans unveiled to end right lane confusion

At present, drivers are faced with a variety of priority lanes. Some are in force 24 hours a day while others, including Newcastle’s no car lanes, operate 7am to 7pm

Newcastle upon Tyne,England,UK -The Evening ChronicleLive, by Peter Young -Oct 25 2007: -- Transport chiefs are planning to replace the proliferation of measures across the area with just two standard types of lane... Plans to sort out confusion among drivers over bus priority lanes across Tyne and Wear have been unveiled... These will be ‘no car lanes’, already widely used in Newcastle, where cars are banned but are used by buses, taxis, motor cycles, bikes and goods vehicles, and ‘bus lanes’ which may also be used by cycles or taxis... The new lanes will operate 24 hours a day... At present there are four main types of priority lane with another six used to deal with special local circumstances such as a segregated bus link or a bus-only right turn... Concerns include confusion among commuters travelling between Tyne and Wear districts as they encounter different types of lane and hours of operation... A spokesman for Tyne and Wear public transport operator Nexus said: “We think it’s a good thing that the local authorities are doing this"...
* Unlock the Gridlock
Aberdeen,Scotland,UK -This is Aberdeen -27 October 2007: -- Heavy lorries, people who share lifts to work and taxis without passengers could all be allowed to use bus lanes in the future... City bosses are considering opening up some of the lanes in a bid to get congested traffic moving... The news comes after the Evening Express revealed this week that Aberdeen City Council
could soon take over the fining of drivers for using bus lanes illegally... The plans will be presented to the council's policy and strategy committee on Tuesday...



Bus Plans * UK - Commuter concern over

Stagecoach is cutting back direct services to Edinburgh on Monday leading to claims that some commuters will have to catch three buses to the capital

London,UK -BBC News -24 October 2007: -- Moves to abolish bus services will damage Dunfermline's eastern expansion and increase bridge congestion, according to politicians in Fife... There are fears that will mean people choosing the car over public transport... Stagecoach said the move is part of a major £4.5m investment in extra routes across Fife, which is being welcomed... A community meeting has been organised for Saturday, which a representative from Stagecoach will attend... (Photo: Stagecoach says Fife will see an increase in bus services)


TRANSPORT SYSTEM * Iraq - Baghdad by Bus: Fears, Flashes of Hope

All know where their minds are racing and why their eyes are darting for any clues: Is this the moment disaster hits?

Baghdad,Iraq -AP, By HAMZA HENDAWI –25 Oct 2007: -- Everyone falls silent. There's really no need to say anything. Is the new passenger boarding their minibus about to trigger an explosive vest filled with flesh-slicing shards? Is the car stuck alongside in a traffic jam driven by a suicide attacker? Is the checkpoint up ahead manned by militiamen?...

In most of the world, getting from one place to another is just another mundane journey. In Baghdad, it's a deadly gamble. Nothing brings together this wartime blend of necessity and terror more than Baghdad's huge fleet of creaky minibuses — a vital transportation link, but also a tempting target for insurgents. On Wednesday, twin blasts hit a minibus depot in a Shiite area during the morning commute to offices and schools. At least nine people were killed... One day last week, I traveled through Baghdad aboard these clunky workhorses of the street. Through the grime-streaked windows, the view was one I've seen before: the scars of a city divided by concrete blast walls, checkpoints and sectarian hatreds. Inside the buses, scenes and emotions unfolded in ways not often witnessed by outsiders... There were brief moments of normalcy — even laughter — as passengers swapped stories and advice. On one ride, the driver hunted for a heater for the approaching winter. Caught in heavy traffic in the central Karradah district, he did his bargain hunting from behind the wheel, shouting at shop assistants on the sidewalk to tell him the prices of different models. Then, in an instant, comes that quiet panic... (Photos -Above, by Khalid Mohammed/AP : Security guards search passengers before they board minibuses in central Baghdad, Iraq on Thursday, Oct. 18, 2007. With public transport almost nonexistent and taxi fares beyond the reach of most, hundreds of thousands in Baghdad have no choice but to ride the city's privately owned communal taxis. The small buses are an easy target for insurgents and militant attacks - Below, by Hadi Mizban/AP: An Iraqi soldier is eyed by a minibus passenger in central Baghdad, Iraq on Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2007. With public transport almost nonexistent and taxi fares beyond the reach of most, hundreds of thousands in Baghdad have no choice but to ride the city's privately owned communal taxis. The small buses are an easy target for insurgents and militant attacks)


CONTROLS * USA - 89% of Michigan's School Buses Pass Inspection

MICH,USA -NewsChannel 3 -October 24, 2007: -- After inspecting 17,282 school buses, Michigan State Police say the state is improving safety standards. 89% of buses inspected passed with flying colors. That's an increase of 1% over last year, and 3% over 2005... MSP safety inspectors "red-tagged" 7.9% of the buses inspected this year. That's down from 8.9% last year. Red tagged buses are immediately taken out of service...


TECHNO NEWS* India - Telcos front-runners in bid for tracking devices in Delhi buses

New Delhi,India -The Economic Times, by Neelakshi Rana -25 Oct, 2007: -- Telecom companies such as Vodafone, Airtel and Idea are front-runner in the bidding for implementing the Automatic Vehicle and Monitoring System (AVTMPS) in buses in here... The Delhi government recently invited bids for setting up a system to track movement of vehicles... The implementation of the system would not only help in reigning in ‘killer’ Bluelines but also generate Rs 750 crore through advertisement rights for the telcos...


TECHNONEWS * Australia - Two years on, system for late buses arrives

Sydney's buses will be fitted with special technology that will give late-running buses priority at traffic lights

Sydney,New South Wales,Australia -The Sydney Morning Herald, by Brian Robins -October 25, 2007: -- ... From early next year, two years later than it was promised... The same technology will be fitted to bus stops to show whether buses are running late. Although this technology has been available overseas for years, Sydney's passengers will have to wait a little longer for the service... State Transit buses in Sydney and Newcastle will be the first to be fitted with the new technology, followed by government buses in Wollongong and the Central Coast... By mid-2009, an estimated 1800 buses will have been fitted with the devices... Privately operated buses will be fitted from mid-2009 to 2011...


* Venezuela - Public transport workers stage anti-violence strike

Venezuelan public transport workers Monday launched a 12-hour national strike in protest at rising violence against drivers and passengers

Caracas,Venezuela -Xinhua (Beijing,China) -October 25, 2007: -- Drivers stopped work at 11 p.m., stranding workers in major cities including Barquisimeto, Valencia, Los Teques and the capital Caracas... Jose Luis Montoya, president of the United Independent and Salaried Truckers Union, said Tuesday the measure was not a political move but was instead aimed at drawing government attention to security problems... (Photo by Oscar Sabetta/Getty Images - Venezuelans' against a bus strike)



The question * USA - How much slack should be schedulers of a bus or tram line add to keep operations from bunching up?

Bus Scheduling Algorithm Picks Up The Slack

USA -ScienceDaily -Oct. 23, 2007: -- A new paper by a USC Viterbi School engineer elegantly solves a basic transit scheduling problem, potentially meaning shorter waits for riders... Slack time is extra time built into a bus schedule to accommodate unexpected delays. The paper published in November 2006 issue of Transportation Science notes, "if slack time is insufficient, buses are unlikely to be able to catch up with the schedule when they fall behind, deteriorating reliability. But too much slack time reduces service frequency, which may inconvenience passengers"... The calculations are not simple. The effects that the equations have to model involve human behavior that is easy to describe, but hard to quantify. For example, if trains or buses are spaced close together (less than 10 minutes apart, typically), travelers tend not to consult schedules or expect vehicles to arrive exactly on time, and buses can leave early without upsetting travel plans. If buses are an hour apart, this isn't true... And delays tend to be cumulative. "Buses on frequent lines have a tendency to bunch … when a bus falls slightly behind schedule it tends to pick up more passengers, causing it to slow further"... The 2006 paper uses the equations to create curves to correlate average levels of delay and slack time ratios and, by further transpositions, with resulting waiting time for passengers, leading to an approximation of how much slack time is optimal, depending on total round trip travel time. The bottom line — build in between 15 and 20 percent slack, more for longer trips... Dessouky says no transit system is yet using the new algorithms to schedule operations but "our next step which is to make the agencies aware of our approach instead of the current method of using rules of thumb"... (Photo from A Bus Schedule to use when you travel in Mexico)

Maged Dessouky, a professor in the Viterbi School's Daniel J. Epstein department of Industrial and Systems engineering joined with two colleagues to analyze this problem... Dessouky is also a member of the Executive Committee for the National Center for Metropolitan Transportation Research (METRANS), a research center at USC and California State University Long Beach that is sponsored by the US Department of Transportation and the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans), which sponsored the research... Earlier this year, Dessouky won the Institute of Industrial Engineers Operations Research Division's Teaching Award... Dessouky collaborator Zhao now has his own company, after working at Oracle; Bukkapatnam is an associate professor at Oklahoma State University’s School of Engineering... The paper won a "Best Paper for 2007" award from the Institute For Operations Research and Management Science (INFORMS) Transportation Science and Logistics (TSL) Society...


Safety * USA - Troopers Ride School Buses To Emphasize

Nashville,TEN,USA - Oct 23, 2007: -- State troopers are boarding school buses this week as part of National School Bus Safety week... They are trying to crack down on reckless drivers who fail to obey the laws around school buses... It's a growing problem not only in Tennessee but across the country... Since August, the Tennessee Highway Patrol has cited almost 1,200 drivers for breaking the law around a bus. More than 300 of those citations were for speeding in a school zone...


Bargains on Buses * Canada - Commuters in several Greater Toronto Area municipalities are being taken for a ride – but in a good way

Milton, Mississauga, Richmond Hill and Markham are offering people free or deeply discounted trips on selected bus routes

Toronto,Ontario, Canada -The Toronto Star -Oct 23, 2007: -- ... The goal is to convince more residents to use public transit and leave their cars at home. Such initiatives should be encouraged elsewhere... People using Milton Transit buses between 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. travel at no cost under a seven-month experiment subsidized by two home builders in the booming community... Mississauga is planning a discount transit service in December in which a shuttle bus will move riders around the city centre for $1... And Richmond Hill and Markham provide discounts on Fridays to riders on a "Lunch Express" bus, moving people from their workplace to a participating local restaurant... (Picture from Local Mississauga bus)


PASSENGERS' TRANSPORTS * Worldwide: 5 Tips to Surviving Long Bus

Often these trips can feel more like 15+ hour nightmares than an interesting journey through a strange new land

USA -Go Budget Travel, by Rob Meyer -October 23, 2007: -- If you travel through developing regions of the globe, it’s likely you will gain a lot of experience in long distance bus and train travel... Personally, I’ve been aboard enough cramped, sweaty, bone jarring, noisy, 15+ hour, buses and trains to know that special measures should be taken when traveling in this manner. However, it’s definitely a different kind of experience, and one that brings you closer to life as a local–a good thing... Bus and train travel are also great ways to minimize expenses as a traveler, especially across international borders. For example, I recently took a buses from Quito, Ecuador to Lima, Peru. The trip was VERY long (around 36 hours), but cost me only $50–flying would have cost around $350-$400. Additionally I got to see tons of interesting things that I would have missed completely from the air...

Below are some common tips I use when traveling long distance by bus or train:
1. Pop a pill:

2. Choose your seat wisely:

3. Cover your ears:

4. Travel at night:
5. Choose your bus company wisely:... (Pîcture: Edge of Space/flickr - Karachi's, Pakistan, way of transport)


Hybrids Buses * USA - Ann Arbor bus system will switch fleet to

Ann Arbor,Mich,USA -Ann Arbor Business Review/MLive, by Gregory Migliore -October 23, 2007: -- The Ann Arbor Area Transportation Authority will replace its entire fleet of buses with hybrid vehicles, it plans to announce Wednesday... The first step is to unveil at least 11 hybrid electric buses, which will go into service immediately... The AATA plans to replace 29 percent of its fleet with hybrid-electric buses in the next six months... The agency expects the vehicles to reduce emissions and fuel consumption significantly, it said in a media advisory this morning... (Photo from - Here a hybrid electrical bus. Half of the time it is running on electricity)



FUTURE BUSES TODAY * Holland - Buses are changing into something radical

Holland, by Avi Abrams -Oct 2007: -- The Phileas BRT (Bus Rapid Transport) vehicle, developed by the Dutch company Advanced Public Transport Systems (APTS) can drive itself automatically on a dedicated track as well as being manually driven on normal roads...
The Phileas system is already in use since 2004. A hybrid-electric drive makes the vehicle up to 30 per cent more fuel efficient than other buses of comparable size... In semi-automatic mode the driver accelerates and brakes manually, while the vehicle steers itself...
In automatic mode all three functions are performed by the vehicle with speeds up to 70 kilometres per hour (44 mph). An electronic guidance system is following the magnetic markers mounted every 4 to 5 metres in the road surface for reference. If deviations of more than half a metre (1.6 ft) occur, either in automatic or semi-automatic mode, the vehicle is automatically stopped... (Photocredit: Advanced Public Transport Systems - APTS)


* UK - The rise and rise of bus fares . . and the drop in users

Passengers are paying three times as much to use the bus than they were 20 years ago

Liverpool,UK -The Liverpool Echo, by Nick Coligan -Oct 22 2007: -- ... The average cost of a peak fare has rocketed from 70p in 1986 to £2.10 today – an increase of 200%... The rise is way above the rate of inflation and compares with an average national climb over two decades of 50%... The ECHO can reveal the figures on the 21st anniversary of the deregulation of buses, which took responsibility for running the network away from councils and gave it to private firms...


New Buses * USA - Frex replaces buses with 19 new cushy rides

Colorado Springs,CO,USA -The Colorado Springs Gazette, by BILL McKEOWN -October 21, 2007: -- Long-distance commuters who use the Front-Range Express service are now riding in style... Mountain Metropolitan Transit recently replaced all its buses that ply the interstate from Fountain to Denver with 19 new buses, complete with high-back, reclining seats, luggage racks, cup holders, bike racks and free wireless Internet service... Amy MacDonald, public relations supervisor for FREX, said the new road wagons replace used, local-service buses bought when the commuter service began in 2004... (Photo: Mayor Pro Tem Jack Hurd checks out the FREX bus)


Bus Passes * UK - Plan to ‘hijack’ they as ID cards

Scottish government excluded from discussions

Glasgow,Scotland,UK -The Sunday Herald, by Mark Howarth -21 Oct 2007: -- A cross-border spat erupted last night over new Home Office plans for compulsory ID cards in Scotland... The Sunday Herald can reveal that the UK government is considering fast-tracking the project by using the micro-chipped bus passes held by more than a million Scots. Whitehall officials have set up a working group which will look at how to piggyback the National Identity Register (NIR) on to the Executive's entitlement card scheme... Last night the Scottish government claimed it had been excluded from crucial discussions and warned that any data-grab attempt would be illegal... (Photo from BBC News: ID cards would bear fingerprints and personal details )


Parents Protest * Cyprus - At school bus without seatbelts

Nicosia,Cyprus -The Cyprus Mail, by Leo Leonidou -21 Oct 2007: -- Parents of two primary school children this week refused to let them participate in a school excursion, as the bus taking them to Larnaca was not fitted with seatbelts... In a bid to gather support of fellow parents at the Ayios Andreas Primary School in Nicosia, Zoe Lordou and Andros Kourtellos, parents of first year primary students, on Wednesday stood outside the school in an effort to warn other parents of the dangers... Yiannakis Gavriel, President of the Pan-Cyprian Primary Schools Parents’ Association, said that seatbelts, “must be installed on all buses, regardless of whether they are old or new vehicles. Safety is what is important, regardless of the cost”... He also wanted to clampdown on what he described as the overcrowding seen on many school buses, meaning many pupils are forced to stand... (Photo from Cyprus bus services)



* Canada - New Flyer announces $624M in bus orders
Winnipeg,Canada -The Canadian Press –Oct 22, 2007: -- New Flyer Industries Inc. says it has received orders for up to 1,180 buses for a combined value of over US$624 million... The Winnipeg company said Monday that, of the new orders, 794 buses are firm orders and 386 are options and include a variety of vehicles, including 35-foot to 60-foot buses and diesel, hybrid-electric, natural gas and fuel cell propulsion systems... The largest order is from Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority which has approved an order for 400, 40-foot hybrid buses with options for up to an additional 80 buses... Also Monday, New Flyer said it received an order from B.C. Transit in Victoria to build North America's first commercial fleet of hydrogen fuel cell buses...

* Sweden - Scania wins order for 500 city buses in Singapore
Stockholm,Sweden -Scandasia/New Europe -20 October 2007: -- Truck and bus manufacturer Scania said on October 12 that it has received its largest bus and coach order to date in Asia, selling 500 city buses to public transport company SBS Transit in Singapore, reported... The order is part of SBS Transits on-going replacement of its fleet of 2,700 buses with vehicle with better environmental performance... All the buses will have bodywork produced by Gemling Coachworks in Malaysia, Scania said. Deliveries will take place during late 2007 and in 2008...


Buses a poor cousin * Australia - Putting the bus back into the bustle of commuting

Melbourne,Australia -The Age -October 20, 2007: -- It is peak hour and cars are at a standstill, neatly aligned along the Eastern Freeway all the way from the Chandler Highway to Hoddle Street. Motorists flick between radio stations for traffic updates... Every minute a bus zips down the emergency lane, bypassing the jam. Passengers inside are relaxed, perhaps reading the paper or applying their make-up. Half-an-hour later, the bus is empty, having dropped the last of the city workers in Queen Street.. To many of those who have embraced them, buses are a convenient — often only — means of getting to work or getting around. But in a city where trains are packed and trams adored, buses remain the poor cousin... The commuters who bypass the peak-hour freeway gridlock are certainly happy, but for many others it's a different story. Before the bus upgrades began this year, a study by the chair of transport at Monash University, Graham Currie, found a dramatic lack of services, and frequencies in many places of just 40 minutes. Most routes, the study found, finish by 7pm and fewer than 20 per cent run on Sundays... Buses are cheap because the infrastructure — roads — already exists and the lead time from concept to roll-out can take less than a year. That's why the bus is a major part of the Government's 10-year transport plan... (Photo by Craig Abraham - Beating the rush: with an emergency lane to itself, a bus avoids the Eastern Freeway's early morning traffic)


CRISIS * Australia - $115m bus fleet not road-fit

The State Government is spending $115 million on gas-powered buses that could be too heavy to drive on NSW roads with a full load of passengers

Sydney,New South Wales,Australia -The Daily Telegraph, by Andrew Chesterton -October 21, 2007: -- ... Custom Coaches was awarded a $250 million contract to build 255 natural gas and 250 diesel buses for the State Transit Authority in 1997... It was the biggest investment in buses in NSW history... But testing on the first 30 buses has revealed the company will need to carry fewer passengers than the rest of the fleet to keep the vehicles under the RTA maximum weight restriction of 16 tonnes... It is understood the weight problems stem from the addition of a 1.4 tonne gas pod attached to the roof of the new buses... Now the company is begging the RTA to grant an exemption for the gas buses, which would see the maximum weight allowed on the state's roads increased from 16 to 16.5 tonnes... (Photo: Too heavy...The government's new multi-million dollar gas buses are overweight. )

* Basil Fawlty on the buses
Who'd be a commuter in Sydney. The city's public transport system lurches from crisis to crisis
Sydney,New South Wales,Australia -The Daily Telegraph -October 21, 2007: -- ... Despite the spin, the entire system is liable to grind to a halt if just one thing goes wrong. Traffic is chaotic and buses come when they want to... Now we learn that the Government's plans to replace much of its bus fleet with environmentally friendly gas-powered vehicles has run into problems... It appears the $250 million contract entered into by the Government is delivering buses that are too heavy to run on the city's roads if they are full of passengers... The gas units the buses need to power them apparently put them over the RTA's weight limit... One solution - which would do Basil Fawlty proud - is to limit passenger numbers. Another is to get the Roads and Traffic Authority to change the road rules for gas-powered buses... Either way it adds up to yet another debacle in the making. Long-suffering commuters can only shake their heads again and wonder what it would be like to live in a city where things actually worked...(
* Govt 'to blame' for overweight buses
Australia -ABC News -Oct 21, 2007: -- The New South Wales Opposition says the State Government is ultimately responsible for problems with the weight of the State Transit Authority's new bus fleet... The company which was awarded the contract to deliver about 255 natural gas-powered buses to the authority has applied for a weight exemption from the Roads and Traffic Authority (RTA)... It comes after the addition of gas tanks to the new buses increased their weight above the 16-tonne road limit...


Clearing the roads * South Africa - Johanesburg: A new public bus transport system

Johannesburg,South Africa -Financial Mail (subscription), by Carol Paton -20 Oct 21007: -- It's 7 am rush hour in Soweto. Streams of passengers board the long, articulated buses that swing out into the empty middle lane of the Soweto highway, passing hundreds of cars and taxis caught in the gridlock. The journey into Sandton or the Johannesburg city centre is predictable, comfortable and safe... This is the vision for the Bus Rapid Transit - BRT - which will start running in Johannesburg by 2009. Taxi owners have a choice: swap your taxis for buses or be squeezed out... Buses to replace taxis on major routes... The shining example of BRT is Bogota, Colombia, where taxi wars raged and thuggery and corruption ruled the roads. Now the city has one of the best public transport systems in the world... (Photo right - Bogota buses - The basis for Jo'burg's future system - Photo left: Jo'burg commuter buses - Out with the old)




* Sweden - Scania to offer ethanol-powered buses at reduced cost
Stockholm,Sweden -Reuters/Automotive World (UK) -19 October, 2007: -- Scania will offer ethanol-powered buses at a reduced cost to 40 of the world's largest cities as part of an agreement with the 'Clinton Climate Initiative' (CCI), an initiative founded by former US president, Bill Clinton...

* Brazil - Scania ethanol buses to undergo field testing in Sao Paolo
Sao Paulo,Brazil -Automotive World -14 September, 2007: -- Scania says a fleet of its ethanol-powered buses will begin field testing in public transport in Sao Paulo, Brazil... The first vehicle is expected to enter service in October... Transport company Empresa Metropolitana de Transportes Urbanos de Sao Paulo ...


* Canada - Ottawa launches hydrogen-powered buses

Ottawa,ONT,CAN -Platinum Today (UK) -19 October 2007: -- Three hydrogen-powered shuttle buses have been unveiled in Ottawa as part of a drive to increase clean energy use... Air Liquide Canada has established the first permanent hydrogen fuelling station in the city and non-profit organisation ATFCAN helped to develop the three hydrogen-powered Ford 450 shuttle buses... The moves form part of the Hydrogen on the Hill project that is aiming to publicise and promote the use of hydrogen fuel and fuel cell technology as a legitimate alternative to petrol-powered vehicles... (Photograph by : Chris Mikula, CanWest News Service - The 450 Ford bus has been modified to run on hydrogen. The bus is being used to transport politicians around Parliament Hill)


SAFETY * USA - Are MinCo school buses safe for children?

Keyser,WV,USA -The Keyser Mineral Daily News Tribune, by ELAINE BLAISDELL -October 17, 2007: -- According to the National Academy of Sciences and the U.S. Department of Transportation, school buses are the safest form of transportation for getting children to and from school... According to the America School Bus Council Web site, some 475,000 school buses carry 25 million children - more than half of America's school children - each day, rarely with any serious accidents... (Photo by Andrew Arthur/Mineral Daily News Tribune - A Mineral County school bus drops off a student on Route 220 on Tuesday afternoon in Keyser. October 22-26 is National School Bus Safety week)


"GREEN" NEWS * UK - 6 more hybrid buses in London

London,UK -Thomson Financial/Newstex -Oct. 17, 2007: -- Fuel cell technology company Enova Systems Inc. said it will provide an additional six Wrightbus Electrocity hybrid buses to the city of London, in its continuing partnership with the Wright Group... The Electrocity incorporates Enova's 120 kilowatt series hybrid drive system, which is powered by its 60 kilowatt genset... The hybrid drive system has already been installed in the previous six Wrightbus Electrocity vehicles that are now in service in London... (Photo from


PASSENGERS' TRANSPORT SYSTEM * Russia - 65 of 120 city bus routes to be left in Krasnoyarsk after reform

Krasnoyarsk,Siberia,Russia -The Siberian News Online -16 Oct 2007: -- ... It was announced at the meeting on passenger transportation problem in Krasnoyarsk City Council on October 16... Deputies discussed changes in the city bus route network. Sergey Veselkov, head of the department of passenger transportation of the city transport department, enumerated again the bus routes due to be closed, shortened, separated and newly introduced ones... 1,000 buses capable of transporting 94,500 people of 1,340 existing (with 91,500 people capability) will be left. Only 13% of 60% small PAZ buses will be left... Some of the deputies were indignant about plans of the city administration to reduce and close the most popular bus routes, taking into account a doubtful research of the existing and the new route networks... (Photo Scene from a Krasnoyarsk bus-stop)


PASSENGERS' TRANSPORT SYSTEM * China improves public transport

Beijing,China, by Xiong Qu-17 Oct 2007: -- Public transport in Chinese cities has developed quickly over the past few years. "Buses First" has become a popular concept in many cities. And people are now enjoying faster and more convenient transport for less money... Beijing has also reduced ticket prices for buses and optimized the city's bus system. Currently, more than a third of Beijing citizens prefer to use public transport... Other cities have also taken measures to develop their public transport systems. In Xi'an, bus ticket prices have been cut by 50 percent. And the city's government has vowed to open 15 new bus routes annually in the next five years... Shanghai has developed policies to encourage citizens to take public transport. Bus passengers can enjoy price discounts on transfers, if they transfer within 90 minutes... More convenient public transport is attracting more and more people to take the bus or subway instead of driving... Over 200 Chinese cities have established special lanes for buses, and 10 cities have launched rail systems...


RECALLS * China - Toyota venture recalls 21,685 buses in China

Shanghai,China -Xinhuanet/Reuters -16 Oct, 2007: -- Toyota Motor Corp's China venture is recalling 21,685 locally made buses due to potential problems with the rear stabliser bar, local media said on Tuesday... The buses were produced by Sichuan FAW Toyota Motor, the top Japanese auto maker's venture with FAW Group, between Feb. 1, 2001, and May 31 this year...


BUSES' PURCHASE PROSPECTS * India - 4,500 new buses enough to meet shortfall?

New Delhi,India -The Hindustan Times, by Amitabh Shukla -October 16, 2007: -- The Delhi government on Monday approved the purchase of 4,500 modern buses to overhaul the city’s public transport system. This will be the largest buy ever made by the government... In the face of a series of fatal accidents involving Bluelines recently, the government had assured the High Court to place before it a blueprint by November 15 to phase out the Blueline fleet... Talking to reporters after the cabinet meeting, Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit said the 4,500 buses were part of a plan to bolster the DTC’s fleet to 6,000 buses by the end of March 2009... Dikshit said the government was aware of the need for new buses and would accelerate their purchase. The 4,500-bus fleet would comprise around 1,000 standard, CNG-fuelled buses, another 1,000 semi-low floor, CNG buses, 1,500 low-floor, non-AC CNG buses and 1,000 low-floor, AC CNG buses. The estimated cost: Rs 1,796 crore...


Survey * Singapore - Motorists giving way to buses reduced waiting time by up to 80%

A simple act of motorists giving way to buses has reduced a passenger's average waiting time for a bus by as much as 80 percent

Singapore -Channel NewsAsia, by Dominique Loh -16 October 2007: -- ... SBS Transit said its 19-month survey also revealed that waiting time dropped by at least 38 percent when buses were not obstructed while exiting bus bays... To encourage motorists to help the 2.2 million bus passengers have a smoother ride, the company will launch its second campaign to help spread the message among drivers...


TRANSPORT INTELLIGENCE * South Africa - Shortage of Buses Looms for 2010

Johannesburg,South Africa -All Africa/Business Day, by Khulu Phasiwe-16 October 2007: -- The South African Bus Operators Association (Saboa) said on Friday that it was concerned that SA would not have enough buses to maintain the normal local operations and to cope with the increased demand for public transport during the 2010 Soccer World Cup tournament... Saboa executive manager Eric Cornelius said that SA would need about an extra 500 luxury buses to carry the 350000 tourists and soccer fans expected to visit SA during the four-week soccer event... But the transport department said SA had enough buses to carry existing and new passenger volumes. The department's spokesman Collen Msibi said: "There are 500 luxury coaches in SA to transport people during 2010. About 15000 long distance and commuter buses are ready for the transportation of people for this event. Based on these figures SA has the capacity to handle 2010 World Cup fans"... The department said the tournament's busiest days would require 60 trains, 600 buses and 10000 minibuses...


Bus Driver Sacked * Germany - After Toilet Paper "Theft" ... ???

Big Brother is watching -- even when you go to the toilet !!

Germany -The Deutsche Welle -15 Oct 2007: -- Some thought the security measures went too far... The health and safety of both the driver of a bus and the passengers must be the priority of all transport companies. However, one firm may have put both at risk in an unprecedented crackdown of diarrhea sufferers...

This is exactly what happened to German bus driver Jochen Lorenz. The 58-year-old driver from the central town of Ilmenau -- with no known affiliations with any terrorist group -- was sacked after being spotted taking a roll of toilet paper from the bus depot lavatory... Lorenz had arrived at work for his shift at 5:30 a.m., feeling a little under the weather with stomach cramps. He made an emergency visit to the loo shortly before taking his seat at the helm of his bus and, fearing he may be caught short on the route, took a roll from the cubicle just in case... Bus driver unaware of strict paper controls... The eye-in-the-sky, however, did not look favorably on this. The surveillance cameras had been installed by the powers that be to monitor strict control of toilet paper usage, among other things. This fact, unbeknownst to Lorenz at the time, was made glaringly and painfully obvious when he received his marching orders. The letter of dismissal stated that the quantity of toilet paper was strictly monitored and that a fresh roll of paper had disappeared... “After the surveillance data was analyzed, it was found that you, Herr Lorenz, were the only user to use the facilities, at 05:49 hours," the letter from the bus company said... Lorenz protested against the sacking and told his boss that the roll was still in the bus, but to no avail. So Lorenz took the company to court and managed to secure a pay-off settlement totaling €7,500 ($10,625)... (Photos: Below: Some thought the security measures went too far - Above: Germans showed their solidarity for the sacked driver)


Bus System * USA - Grassroots group says Lyon needs one

Reno,NV,USA -The Reno Gazette-Journal, by KARREN RHODES -14 Oct 2007: -- Majority back bus system Public Transit Task Force Survey results
* 83 percent said they or members of household would use transit 3 percent would not use transit12 percent did not know

* 592 people surveyed (represents 1 percent of Lyon County)... The latest sign of Lyon County's rapid population growth to crop up is an apparent need for a transit system to tie together the communities along and near the U.S. 50 corridor, a resident said... (Photo: A Jump Around Carson bus stops to let Dennis O’Neil get on at the covered bus stop outside of the Senior Citizen Center in Carson City)