User-agent: Mediapartners-Google* Disallow: Buses World News: October 2008

Buses World News

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


SAFETY * India - BEST to hotfoot CCTV installation in buses

Mumbai,India -TNN/Times of India, by Viju B -28 Oct 2008: -- The shootout that occurred inside the BEST bus has prompted the public sector utility to speed up its initiative to install closed-circuit
cameras in its 3,800 buses plying on the road...
Bombay Electric Supply and Transport (BEST)
officials admitted that they were yet to install a CCTV in the double-decker bus in which
Rahul Raj, the 23-year-old youth from Bihar, fired randomly at the passengers. If installed, the digital data recorded by the camera would have provided a clear picture of the shocking incident which has sent shivers among many commuters who use this mode of travel every day... The BEST has already installed around 2,000 such cameras in the buses and the project was expected to be completed by March next year...


BUS FARES * USA - OCTA listens to public about plan to increase that

The Santa Ana Terminal will close; riders will use nearby bus stops

Orange,CAL,USA -The Orange County Register, by SERENA MARIA DANIELS -October 27, 2008: -- The Orange County Transportation Authority took another step Monday toward deciding whether to raise the bus fare from $1.25 to $1.50 and boosting the price for monthly passes and trips for the elderly and the disabled... OCTA board members want to hear more public comment before a decision is made at a Nov. 24 meeting... Rising costs in fuel, health insurance and pensions are cited for the proposed increases... Leahy, the transportation agency's CEO, said a top priority is to keep buses running efficiently so those affected by a declining economy still have access to affordable transportation... The last time fares increased were in June 2005, when a one-way trip went from $1 to $1.25... CTA board members voted Monday to shutter, in December, the Santa Ana Transit Terminal, across the street from the Civic Center complex, nudging bus riders from out of the shade to nearby outdoor stops servicing four routes. Officials say the Santa Ana Terminal is ill-equipped to ventilate the bus fleet's natural-gas-powered buses... y Jebb Harris / The Orange County Register - OCTA : Busses wait at the OCTA facility in Garden Grove in this 2007 file photo)


Big Brother * Australia - Moves onto buses

Big Brother is watching Queensland regional commuters after the installation of 90 CCTV cameras into urban buses in a bid to protect the public from louts

Sydney,QNL,Australia -The Australian - October 28, 2008: -- ... A spate of vandalism and unruly behaviour prompted the $716,000 closed circuit television (CCTV) project... Queensland Transport Minister John Mickel said commuters were entitled to travel in comfort without fearing their safety... Warning signs will alert passengers to the presence of the cameras, which cover the entry, driver, exit as well as the front and rear of buses... The CCTV project did not extend to school buses or long distance coaches... The project began at the beginning of October and is due for completion at the end of this week...



Everybody benefits from buses * USA

Old habits are hard to break, including the one most Thurston County commuters have of driving their car — alone — to work

Olympia,WA,USA -The Olympian -October 27, 2008: -- ... A recent study by IT and the American Public Transportation Association estimated that a typical transit user in the Olympia-Lacey-Tumwater area can save about $250 a month, or $3,000 a year by switching from their single occupancy vehicle to the bus for their commute to work... Potential savings for a commuter jumps substantially if their change in commuting leads to one less household car — $712 a month or, about $8,550 a year... Of course, the key to leaving the car keys home is easy, timely access to transit service. It also helps to have a stationary job that doesn't require a lot of daily travel outside the workplace... Intercity Transit has rebounded from the drastic cuts in service it experienced when voters eliminated the motor vehicle excise tax, a major source of IT funding, in 2000... Thanks to a boost in sales tax funding, IT has been able to expand its service territory four times since February 2003, helping shape and respond to a double-digit increase in ridership the past several years. That includes a 16.7 percent increase in the first eight months of 2008... The IT ridership profile fits with the national trend: transit trips hit 10.3 billion across the nation last year, the highest figure in 50 years. Meanwhile vehicle miles traveled declined for the first time since 1980...

* Everyone wins with buses

Salem,MASS,USA -The Satesman Journal, by Bryan Mercier -October 27, 2008: -- I recently moved back to Salem from Washington, D.C., which has a world-class public transportation system. It was so good, in fact, I sold my car and saved over $3,000 a year... I read that the Salem-Keizer Cherriots provides over 5 million rides a year. I'm proud to see the Salem residents see the value of a good transit system, which is good for the city, its residents and their pocketbook... We all win with good bus service. I support public transportation. Please vote yes for buses — vote yes on 24-247...


Hydrogen Cell-powered * USA - UAB to study hydrogen cell-powered buses on Birmingham streets

Birmingham,AL,USA -The Birmingham News, by GINNY MacDONALD -October 27, 2008: -- A hydrogen cell-powered transit bus will hit the streets in Birmingham in the next year, carrying MAX passengers as part of a study of the environmentally friendly and fuel-efficient vehicle... A UAB School of Engineering team will work with four other teams, including one from Auburn University, to design, manufacture, demonstrate and evaluate the 30-foot prototype bus on a variety of routes. Researchers say they want to determine whether hydrogen cell-powered buses can operate as part of Birmingham's transit fleet...



Would everyone's buses please stop exploding?

London,UK -Music Towers -27 October 2008: -- Okay, this is getting silly now. Over the weekend we reported that Kill Hannah’s bus has mysteriously caught fire and been destroyed in the Swiss Alps – we get in to the office this morning to find an email telling us something similar has happened to Feeder on their UK tour... The band had been travelling down to Lincoln, following a gig at the Glasgow Barrowlands, when their bus crashed and then exploded somewhere on the M62. A spokesperson, speaking to the NME said that "Everybody is safe. But all the merchandising and catering is destroyed. All the crew were left in their pants - JD Sports kindly dressed them all today." Lovely... But seriously, is this some new youth trend we’ve missed out on? Kind of like happy slapping, but instead of a fist to a stranger’s face, kids are crawling under wagons and attached home-made bombs? Is it the work of a crazed anti-balnd vigilante, waging a one-man war against mediocre rock? Or is it a terrorist plot to destroy the West and our decadent rock’n’roll ways? Only time will tell...


Contradictions * UK - Petrol prices down, bus fare prices up

Petrol prices down, bus fare prices up... explain this to me...

Reading,England,UK -Reading Evening Post/Get Reading, by Melinda Webb -27 Oct 2008: -- Sorry, but I just don’t get it... There are few issues more frequently discussed in Reading than that of traffic congestion... Whatever your views may have been on the one-way IDR or the possibility of a congestion charge, most of us would agree that if public transport were better – more frequent and more affordable – it would persuade more motorists to leave their cars at home and jump on a bus instead... A great deal of our traffic would disappear and everyone would be an awful lot happier... So with that in mind, it’s a bit of a kick in the teeth to hear that bus fares are going up next Monday for the second time in only four months... Reading Transport bosses are, predictably, blaming the credit crunch and citing the “massive 44 per cent hike in fuel prices” as the reason for this increase, which is all very well but fuel prices are actually falling again now.... (Fuel down, fares up)



* Singapore - Belts made mandatory on buses

Singapore -Radio Australia (Melbourne,Victoria,Australia) by Sen Lam -26 Oct 2008: -- The recent announcement that seat belts will be made mandatory in all small buses in Singapore has left one burning question for parents will this cause school bus fares to rise?... Singapore's Land Transport Authority last week moved to fit all small buses carrying up to 15 passengers with front-facing seats and seat belts. The government will also provide 35 million dollars to defray the cost, but it may not be enough to prevent a price rise...

* UK - Live CCTV to be installed on London buses

London,UK -APP/Associated Press of Pakistan (PAK) -Oct 27, 2008: -- A hi-tech CCTV system that transmit live pictures to police control rooms is to be installed on commuter buses on some of London’s most troubled-plagued routes. The system which can be activated by the driver will broadcast pictures straight to police commanders who can then dispatch rapid response squads to outbreaks of violence... Under the scheme announced by the London City Government, the cameras will be fitted on 21 buses and it may be extended to other problem routes across the capital if a six-month trial proves successful... There are 60,000 CCTV cameras spread across London’s 8,000 buses with the police making 650 requests for footage every month. The new system will involve the British Transport Police and the Metropolitan Police teaming up to tackle bus crime...


PUBLIC TRANSPORT SYSTEM * Croatia - Cruising around

Croatia -serenity quest -October 26, 2008: -- Compared to China and India, Croatian public transportation is clean, modern, comfortable, friendly and efficient. This ain’t no third world country, thank you very much!... While only few schedules are posted at stops, local buses seem to run fairly often and the roads are smooth and well marked. No one eats or smokes on the buses and I haven’t seen a chicken or any animals yet... Even taking the tickets is done in a polite and efficient manner. You can either buy a round trip ticket at the countless news stands at a discount or buy the one way ticket on the bus. People never push to get on the bus and wait patiently while change is given and received and tickets are punched at the machine. Some people have bus passes and there are random checks of tickets and passes by inspectors who jump on the bus... The inspectors and the bus drivers are polite and chat with the riders but the drivers don’t hesitate to tell young people to turn off their music. People speak quietly even on the ubiquitous cell phones... There is space for people to chat as the local buses often have two seats facing each other but there is a standing room only holding pen near the back doors (exit only) of the buses. The price is usually about a $1.20... In short, not that I still don’t pick up any random napkin along my way and stuff it in my pocket anyway, too many years traveling of in places where the drip dry method reigns supreme... At least, the drivers will be even friendlier!...



* Malaysia - More buses for Rapid Penang soon

Kepala Batas,Penang,Malaysia -The Star On Line, by YENG AI CHUN -October 26, 2008: -- The Government will speed up the purchase of 200 buses for Rapid Penang, thus allowing it to add more routes to its service... Second Finance Minister Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcob said the purchase of additional buses is in response to the demands of the rural population who have requested for better public transport...

* Tanzania - Programme to phase out buses ready

Dar es Salaam,United Republic of Tanzania -The Daily News Online, by ANNE ROBI ROAD -October 26, 2008: -- Safety Committee (RSC) has established a programme of phasing out unqualified commuter buses from operating in the country... The RSC Chairman for Dar es Salaam region Mr Patrick Tsere said that since the establishment of the programme more than 1928 commuter buses had been phased out from operating in various parts of the country...

* Abu Dhabi - Adds new bus routes

Abu Dhabi/United Arab Emirates -AME Info -October 27, 2008: -- Three new routes have been added to the capital's bus network, bringing the total number to seven... Buses on the new routes will run 20 minutes apart and the first 60 in operation will start running at 6.20am, while the last buses will leave at 11.35pm... By 2010, there will be 1,360 air-conditioned buses operating in the emirate... There are also plans for air-conditioned bus shelters and bus stations featuring a mix of retail, refreshment and banking outlets...



BUSMAKERS' NEWS * USA - Thomas Built Buses Lay Off Another 205 Employees

High Point,N.Carolina,USA -DigTriad, by Chelsi Zash -24 Oct 2008: -- The bus building company based out of High Point announced Friday that they will lay off an additional 205 employees... A statement issued by Thomas Built Buses reads: "Due to ongoing lower order activity in the school bus industry, which is expected to continue as the current economic recession impacts state and local school transportation budgets, Thomas Built Buses today gave notice that a reduction in force of up to 195 hourly plant workers will be required. Approximately 10 salaried positions will also be affected. The layoffs will take effect on October 31, 2008..." ... The company cut 190 jobs at the beginning of June this year due to shrinking demand for new buses...


Phantom bus stop * UK - In Leytonstone, flummoxes passengers

Leytonstone,East London,UK -The Epping Forest Guardian -24 October 2008: -- A mystery prankster has found an ingenious way to shorten the walk to the bus stop - by sticking a London Buses sign to a lamppost... Bus passengers who faced a long walk between stops thought their prayers had been answered when a new stop appeared in Cathall Road... But when the stop disappeared again, they discovered that it had not been put there by Transport for London - and that it was a "phantom" bus stop...


NEW BUSES FLEET * Indonesia - Gas-powered Transjakarta buses ready to hit the road

Jakarta,Indonesia -The Jakarta Post, by Triwik Kurniasari -25 Oct 2008: -- New busway buses being supplied by PT Eka Sari Lorena Transport will go into service as soon as the Transportation Agency and busway operator Transjakarta complete inspections of the vehicles... PT Eka Sari Lorena Transport managing director Ryanta Soerbakti said the company had provided 34 standard and 13 articulated compressed natural gas-powered buses... He said the buses were currently undergoing final routine inspections by the two institutions...



NEW BUSES FLEET * USA - Metro Bringing Bigger Buses to Rosslyn-Dulles Route

The Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority plans to start using longer buses on Route 5A, which connects the L'Enfant Metro station to Dulles Airport

Washington,DC,USA -The Sun Gazette -October 24, 2008: -- The price can't be beat: $3.10 each way, compared to about $50 for a cab... The new, 61-seat buses are known to Metro officials as “articulated” but will be better known to passengers as “accordion-style”... They provide space for about 50 percent more passengers than typical Metrobuses... Metro is purchasing 22 of the buses, which cost just under $800,000 each and run on compressed natural gas rather than diesel fuel... Most of the new buses will be used for high-density runs in Prince George's County and the District of Columbia... (WMATA photo by Larry Levine - Metro officials plan to start using longer, "articulated" buses on the 5A route that provides service to Washington Dulles International Airport)



He does not for a moment regret his supremely brave act of throwing out a ticking bomb from the bus window and saving over 50 lives, losing his eyesight in the blast that followed seconds later

New Delhi,India -The Hindu -24 Oct 2008: -- Braveheart DTC bus driver awaits 2005 blasts compensation ... But, DTC bus driver Kuldeep Singh does feel hurt that three years later he is made to run from pillar to post to get the promised medical compensation and that Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit chooses to "ignore" him... Surviving on a meagre salary of Rs 8,500 that he draws as vehicle examiner at the Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) Shadipur depot in west Delhi, 36-year-old Singh says life is tough for him, his wife and three-old-year son... Singh said he has visited Hyderabad 11 times so far and spent Rs 250,000 on his treatment. "In February last year, I submitted the bills and after some time I was given a sum of Rs 63,000. Since then, no further payment has been made to me. Whenever I ask the government officials, they say my file is moving"... "I even went to meet Dikisht along with my wife and two other people demanding the compensation amount. But she just overlooked us and casually directed his personal assistant to look into my grievances. But I am still waiting," he said wiping his eyes with his right hand which still bears the scars of wounds received that fateful day three years ago... "Had these politicians lost their loved ones in the blast, they would have realised the pain and apathy. These senseless people only know about playing politics"...


FREE FARES * New Zealand - Perk for aged boosts bus use

Free transport for superannuitants is driving up demand for public transport in Auckland

Auckland,New Zealand -The NZ Herald, by Marika Hill -Oct 24, 2008: -- SuperGold Card holders became eligible on October 1 for free travel from 9am weekdays and all weekend... The $72 million Government initiative aims to make half a million elderly people throughout the country more mobile... NZ Bus northern region general manager Warren Fowler said more Aucklanders were hopping on public transport, especially the elderly... The elderly are not the only reason for the rising popularity of public transport... High petrol prices continue to boost passenger numbers on buses, Mr Fowler said...


SCHOOL BUS SAFETY * USA - Security and Emergency Preparedness/Response

Lenexa,Kan,USA -Trading Markets -Oct 23, 2008: -- ... The new ICOP School Bus Security Camera System incorporates the ICOP Model 4000 (four or eight camera) mobile digital video recorder and controller to deliver high image quality, extended periods of recording and increased flexibility for onboard communication, sensor integration and networking. Onboard camera coverage provides surveillance for passenger cabin video and audio monitoring, recording of stop-arm violators, and views of driver area and bus entrance. Increased camera capability also allows for windshield-mounted cameras that record activity in front of the bus, including student crossings, intersections and level (railroad) crossings...


DANGEROUS MOTORISTS * USA - 49 drivers cited for passing school buses despite flashing lights

Boston,CT,USA -The Boston Globe, by Matt Negrin -October 23, 2008: -- Nearly 50 drivers were cited yesterday morning for driving past stopped school buses as students were getting on and off, in a statewide sting by the Registry of Motor Vehicles... The 49 drivers were given tickets carrying $250 fines in the fourth year of the Registry sting operations intended to spread awareness of the traffic stop law... In Weymouth, 10 motorists were cited for driving around stopped buses with flashing red lights and stop signs deployed to tell drivers to halt for the children who are boarding or departing. In Weston, six drivers violated the law, according to the Registry...


BAD BUSES * Canada - TTC saddled with

More hybrid vehicles to come despite failing batteries, meagre fuel savings

Toronto,ONT,CAN -The Globe & Mail, by JEFF GRAY -October 23, 2008: -- Those new - and expensive - hybrid buses on Toronto's roads have turned out to be unreliable lemons, with failing batteries and lacklustre fuel savings, so the city's transit agency is now recommending buying only "clean diesel" vehicles after 2010... However, Toronto Transit Commission officials say they are still on the hook to accept another 130 premium-priced hybrid buses next year. These vehicles are to be outfitted with new lithium-ion batteries, which the transit agency and the manufacturer, Daimler Buses North America, hope will work better than the current lead-acid ones...


SECURITY BUSES * Canada - Council awards $1.28m tender to Dartmouth firm

Halifax,Nova Scotia,Canada -The Chronicle Herald, by AMY PUGSLEY FRASER -Oct 22, 2008: -- Metro Transit’s 200 buses are about to be fitted with security cameras... At council’s regular meeting Tuesday night, councillors voted to award a $1.28-million tender to Nova Communications of Dartmouth to install cameras in all buses. The tender also includes provisions to outfit buses with microphones and panic buttons for drivers... Metro Transit had been planning to phase in cameras over the next five years but stepped up the timeline in the wake of serious assaults on drivers over the past 18 months... (Picture)


DANGEROUS DRIVERS * Philippines - LTO orders crackdown against ‘bus racing’

Manila,Philippines -GMA News TV -22 Oct 2008: -- The Land Transportation Office (LTO) ordered Tuesday intensified night patrols against "bus racing"... The move stemmed for a deadly predawn vehicular accident that killed one and injured three on Epifanio delos Santos Avenue (EDSA) in Quezon City... LTO head Alberto Suansing said it had been the practice of bus drivers to race each other even during Sundays and at night, when the road is not too congested...(Photo - He appears to have taken hostages before for ransom. He is an engineer.The students are from the Cavite area south of manila)


PUBLIC TRANSPORT SYSTEMS * Malaysia - Time For Some Dignity In

Kuala Lumpur,Malaysia -Bernama, by Melati Mohd Ariff -October 22, 2008: -- Over the years, complaints on the shoddy services offered in the country's public transport sector have continued to snowball and reached colossal proportions... To further improve public transport's efficiency, the government has pledged a sum of RM35 billion to be utilised for the period 2009-2014... Improvement plans include enhancing the capacity of existing rail services, building new tracks and increasing the number of buses... Regular public transport users including those in the Klang Valley now harbour high hopes that the endless woes they are facing daily would be things of the past... (Picture: Kuala Lampor's bus)

* Malaysia - No subsidised diesel for buses

Johor Baru,Malaysia -The Star/Asia One -Oct 22, 2008: -- Schoolbus operators in the city are frustrated that they are not being treated fairly and do not get subsidised diesel... Southern Johor Schoolbus Association president Wu Ngo Tong said operators who used their fleet cards for subsidised fuel were charged RM1.43 instead of RM1.05... Wu said that since the price of diesel had dropped thrice, which was a total of 38 sen, the subsidised diesel should be RM1.05 and not RM1.43...


BUSES' ADS * UK - 'No God' slogans for city's buses

London,UK -BBC News -21 Oct 2008: -- Bendy-buses with the slogan "There's probably no God" could soon be running on the streets of London... The atheist posters are the idea of the British Humanist Association (BHA) and have been supported by prominent atheist Professor Richard Dawkins... The BHA planned only to raise £5,500, which was to be matched by Professor Dawkins, but it has now raised more than £36,000 of its own accord... It aims to have two sets of 30 buses carrying the signs for four weeks.. (Picture: The posters could run from January)




* USA - Enova Plans Series of Updates to Worldwide Market - Will Also Display Hybrid Double Deck Bus and All Electric Bus

Torrance,Cal,USA -MarketWatch -Oct 20, 2008: -- Enova Systems, a production company in an emerging industry and a leading developer of proprietary electric, hybrid and fuel cell digital power management systems, has planned a series of updates to the market... Enova will participate in two (2) public discussions to update their shareholders and the international investment community, and will participate in three (3) leading industry events to showcase their technology, including new drive systems for a hybrid double deck bus and an "all-electric" city bus... (Photo 1: Enova's Bus - 2. (right) 120KW Drives)


Bus Drivers Union Campaigns * Canada - For purchase of more buses

Vancouver,BC,CAN -The Vancouver Sun, by Allison Cross -October 20, 2008: -- The union representing Metro Vancouver's bus drivers is launching a public campaign to press municipal politicians to back the purchase of more buses to alleviate crowding and reduce the public's frustration over poor service, anger that is often directed at drivers... The campaign is to include intense public outreach, with a website, print and radio advertising, a video and leaflets... When passengers are inconvenienced by transit delays and overcrowding, they often take out their frustrations on transit workers, Don MacLeod, president of Canadian Auto Workers Local 111 said...



* USA - Titan to fit US buses with digital ad screens

New York,NY,USA -Brand Republic -20 Oct 2008: -- Titan Worldwide has agreed the largest deployment of digital screens on buses to date, covering 300 vehicles across New York and Chicago, with UK-based company LiteLogic providing the technology in a £2.8m deal... The LED "Evolution" advertising screens will be installed on 100 buses in New York in October and will be fitted with GPS technology powered by Litelogic software that adjusts the display to reflect its location... For example, the system would be capable of running an ad for high-end retailer Macy's while outside a rival Bloomingdales location, or change advertising to promote restaurants in the area... (US bus: fitted with digital ad screens)

* Russia - Wi-Fi now available on buses between Tallinn and St. Petersburg

St. Petersburg,Russia -MuniWireless, by Esme Vos -October 19, 2008: -- The Eurolines bus operator is now offering free Wi-Fi on buses between Tallinn (Estonia) and St. Petersburg (Russia). The trip takes seven hours and there’s a 220V electric socket under every seat. Given the duration of the trip, Wi-Fi and electricity really improve passengers’ travel experience. There are also newspapers on board... Eurolines is also installing Wi-Fi on buses to Riga, Vilnius and Klaipeda...


FARES * UK - Translink told to pass savings on to passengers

Belfast,UK -The Belfast Telegraph -20 October 2008: -- Northern Ireland’s leading consumer watchdog has called for a reduction in bus and train fares, after dramatic falls in petrol and home heating oil... The Consumer Council for Northern Ireland last night said it has written to Translink to urge the carrier to review its charges, with a view to bringing down ticket prices... The comments came as the wholesale cost of oil slumped to a 15-month low of $66.76 a barrel — it’s lowest level since May 2007...


TV on BUSES * UK - Live CCTV to be tested

A six-month trial of live CCTV on a London bus route has begun

London,UK -BBC News -20 Oct 2008: -- Mayor Boris Johnson announced that the technology had been installed on 21 double-decker buses on a north London route... The real-time images will be beamed to a control room manned by Transport for London (TfL) and police... The trial will be monitored to determine whether live images can help transport staff deal with disorder more effectively... (See Video)


Hydrogen Fuel Cell * USA - Bus Demonstration Project Launched in Alabama

Washington,DC,USA -Green Car Congress -18 October 2008: -- A research team led by the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) and coordinated by the Center for Transportation and the Environment (CTE) has begun a project to design, manufacture, demonstrate, and evaluate a hydrogen fuel cell transit bus that will be operated by the Birmingham-Jefferson County Transit Authority (BJCTA) in revenue service on the UAB campus and in metropolitan Birmingham beginning in 2009... The 30-foot vehicle will utilize a hybrid powertrain that includes two proton exchange membrane (PEM) fuel cells fueled by hydrogen, a hybrid-electric direct drive propulsion system, and NiMH batteries for energy storage. The project is being supported in part by the Federal Transit Administration...


PASSENGERS STATISTICS * USA - PRTC Reports Increased Ridership Numbers

The Potomac and Rappahannock Transportation Commission reported Tuesday that its commuter bus and local bus ridership numbers are on the rise

Washington,DC,USA -The Washington Post -October 19, 2008: -- From July through last month, PRTC carried more than 560,000 commuters on its OmniRide buses, a 30 percent increase over the same period last year... Ridership on PRTC's local bus service, OmniLink, rose 9 percent during the same period. The bus system reported carrying more than 270,000 passengers between July and last month... PRTC has added 10 commuter bus trips since May to accommodate the influx in riders. Additional buses are on the horizon...


STRIKE * India - Bus drivers put a brake on city’s transport

Kolkata,India -Express India -Oct 19, 2008: -- To protest against the filing of attempt to murder charges against some drivers involved in accident, private bus drivers in Kolkata and adjoining areas observed a strike on Saturday... With nearly 500 bus drivers and conductors participating in the strike, passengers at the Howrah railway station and other areas of the city had a tough time...


NEW BUSES FLEET * USA - Rhea moves to buy more school buses

Evensville,Tenn,USA -Chattanooga Times /Free Press, TN -October 19, 2008: -- A growing school population, more students riding buses, an aging bus fleet and fuel costs are combining to cause transportation headaches for the Rhea County school board... Board members voted recently to buy three buses, at a cost of about $224,000, to replace three that have reached the state limit of 15 years in service...



MTA going green * USA - By filling Nitrogen on tires make buses efficent?

How MTA NYC Transit goes green

New York,NY,USA BusChat by GOLD_12th -Oct 17 2008: -- MTA New York City Transit Department of Buses has been going green for some time through its incorporation of sustainable technology... Aside from the fact that the NYC Transit fleet of 4,500 buses removes an estimated 180,000 cars from area streets and highways, the agency is at the forefront of technologies and practices to make municipal bus transportation as ecologically benign as possible...


Bendy buses * UK - Plan 'to cost £60m'

TfL is consulting on proposals to remove bendy buses on three routes

London,UK -BBC News -17 Oct 2008: -- Mayor Boris Johnson's plan to scrap bendy buses will cost £60m and is against Transport for London's (TfL) advice, opponents have claimed... The London Assembly Labour group said the mayor is ignoring TfL's opinion that the buses pose no safety risk... She added that independent figures show getting rid of bendy buses on three services will cost an extra £13m a year, or £60m for all the routes... Mayoral spokesman said Mr Johnson was not ignoring TfL advice...


BUSMAKERS' NEWS * USA - BAE Systems makes bus system advances

Westover,Binghampton, New York,USA -Press Connects, by My-Ly Nguyen -October 15, 2008: -- BAE Systems in Westover announced two advances to its hybrid bus program that could help continue the growth of the business line while adding to the number of local workers... The company said it has created an improved version of its hybrid propulsion system that can be used on multiple bus platforms and opens up opportunities for additional customers... The new HybriDrive system is based on BAE's diesel-electric hybrid technology already in use by transit agencies across North America. It can be configured with a diesel engine and generator arranged inline or transversely to make it adaptable to a wider range of bus models... BAE noted that buses equipped with the new system will use lithium-ion energy storage that increases battery life and reduces vehicle weight, improving fuel economy and reducing emissions...

* India - Increase in demand for inter-city transport: Volvo India Chief

Bangalore,India -Trading Markets -Oct 13, 2008: -- Luxury bus maker Volvo India today said it wants to cash in on the rising demand in the inter-city long distances transportation... Volvo which already has a 50 per cent share in the luxury bus segment in India is looking to sell 550 units per annum next year, a 25 per cent jump over last year from its Hoskote plant which has a capacity for producing 1,000 units in a year...



Price rises * UK - On the buses

Rochdale MP Paul Rowen called the price rises an ‘insult’ and believes that ‘profits are being put before people’

Rochdale,UK–The Rochdale Observer -14 Oct 2008: -- A bus company has been accused of ‘insulting’ the people of Rochdale after putting up its prices by nearly 10 per cent... First Bus has raised its fares, meaning that it’s now just over 50 per cent more expensive to travel by bus rather than train from Rochdale to Manchester... A single journey from Rochdale to Manchester by bus is £4.50 whereas the equivalent off-peak train journey is £2.90... A spokesman for First Bus was unavailable for comment...


TRUCKMAKERS' NEWS * India - Volvo Launches Multi-Axel Coach Luxury Buses

New Delhi,India -OneIndia -14 Oct 2008: -- Volvo Bus Corporation, one of the largest manufacturers of heavy buses and coaches in the world, today launched Indian market's first coach with a multi-axel Inter-City luxury bus Volvo 9400 6x2... Speaking after announcing the launch of the multi-axel coach here Mr Rune Lundberg, Senior Vice President Volvo Bus Corporation said the new multi-axel coach designed in line with the 'Coach of the year 2008' Volvo 9400 6x2, brings the state-of-the-art European styling to India... The vehicle which costs about Rs 85 lakhs per unit is being introduced for the first time in the Indian market, with an additional pusher axel at the rear. The 13.7 meter length coach contributes higher revenue and profitability for the customers can accommodate 53 seats, eight seats more than its earlier version Volvo 8400 4x2...


"Fatigue Crack" * Australia - Buses head back off the road

Sydney,New South Wales,Australia -The Sydney Morning Herald, by Linton Besser -October 15, 2008: -- The State Transit Authority has pulled at least 15 natural gas-powered Mercedes-Benz buses from Sydney's roads after cracks were found in the front underbelly of the nine-year-old vehicles... A "fatigue crack" was found late on Monday afternoon at the Ryde depot when a driver reported a squeaking noise. By late yesterday, identical cracks had been discovered in another 14 vehicles after a "random" test of just 100 vehicles. All 302 of the gas-powered model were expected to have been inspected overnight... The STA has stressed the mechanical problem does not affect safety of the vehicles and that the buses remain road-worthy. But this latest recall is the fourth in 12 months. The entire fleet of the same Mercedes bus was recalled last December when cracks were found in the steering relay rods of 200 vehicles. The problem was initially identified when one of the rods snapped as a bus was being manoeuvred around a depot... (Photo: Robert Pearce - Out of action … one of the buses)


Bus Wars * USA - Talking Transportation: There’s no doubt which is the cheapest.

Fung Wah charges just $15 one way between New York and Boston. The Lucky Star bus can be as little as $12

Westport,CT,USA -Westport Now, by Jim Cameron -October 13, 2008: -- You see them every day zooming along I-95. Buses, crammed with folks heading from New York City to Boston and back. They carry exotic names like Fung Wah and BoltBus. And they’re the hottest thing in interstate transportation these days because they’re also the cheapest... The New York-to-Boston corridor is one of the most heavily traveled in the nation. The air shuttles alone carry 700,000+ passengers a year at a one-way fare of $300 (first class seats coming in December will be $100 - $250 additional) for the seldom on-time half-hour flight... Amtrak carried 613,00 passengers between the Big Apple and Beantown in 2007, up from 460,800 a year earlier. Mind you, their journey runs four hours and 15 minutes (three and a half hours on Acela) and costs $89 one way ($105 on Acela). But hey, it’s a train--immune to the weather and traffic... If you look at the 220-mile trip by car, assuming 28 miles to a $3.70 gallon of gas, the trip would cost you about $30 one-way, not including tolls and stress. Assuming two passengers, that’s almost 16 passenger-miles per gallon... Compare that to 39 passenger-miles per gallon by train, 42 passenger-miles per gallon by air or 184 passenger-miles per gallon on the bus (according to the American Bus Association.). Which do you think is the “greenest”?... There’s no doubt which is the cheapest. Fung Wah (Chinese for “magnificent wind”) charges just $15 one way between New York and Boston. The Lucky Star bus can be as little as $12 (all fares quoted based on a Friday – Sunday roundtrip booked online two weeks in advance). And departures are every hour. Of course, you do leave from Chinatown... In fact, there are now more interstate bus passengers to and from Chinatown each day than the Port Authority Bus Terminal, a fact which has captured the attention of New York City lawmakers and police...


Stand and Deliver * Australia - How buses will bend rules

When you can't fit any more buses on to Sydney's congested roads, what's the answer? Strip out seats and triple the number of standing passengers

Newcastle,Australia -The Newcastle Herald, by LINTON BESSER -14 Oct 2008: -- ... That is what State Transit is trialling in its new "super metrobus" between Leichhardt and Kingsford... In the trial's three different buses, between nine and 12 seats have been removed and the number of standing passengers has been boosted from 20 to up to 69. In total, 115 passengers will cram aboard instead of 70 to 80... If all inner-city buses were reconfigured this way, complete with more standing room and hand rails, total capacity could jump by about 36 per cent... A former chief executive of State Transit, John Stott, said the removal of seating was a logical response to the soaring patronage... But only three buses from the $4.5 million order have been received so far. This includes two all-new three-door bendy buses, as well as a newer version of the 14.5-metre rigid Scania used by commuters since 1993, but with 12 of its 61 seats removed... Most passengers spoken to by the Herald thought the new Metrobus was a good way to ease overcrowding and said they would not mind standing for short journeys...


STRIKE * South Africa - Durban bus dispute still unresolved

Johannesburg,Gauteng,South Africa -The Times - Oct 13, 2008: -- Remant Alton buses are still non-operational due to the ongoing bus strike in Durban and if this continues it will resort to its second back-up plan, the company said... Paul Rush, human resources manager for Remant Alton, said the company’s first back-up plan to recruit new bus drivers was foiled when job applicants were assaulted and intimidated outside the premises, allegedly by protesters... The company intended opening a criminal case against the bus strikers but were told by police that the victims were the only ones who could open a case... This comes after 19 buses belonging to the troubled bus service were torched last week. The company has lodged an insurance claim for nearly R8.9 million. Rush said the buses were not new... Remant Alton bus drivers embarked on illegal protest action three weeks, leading to the dismissal of 937 employees... The workers were demanding that they be employed by the eThekwini Municipality as they claimed there was financial mismanagement within the bus service...


* UK - Lothian Buses HQ is the next stop in pram ban campaign

Mothers were planning to protest outside Lothian Buses' headquarters today as they continue their fight to allow prams on buses

Scotland,UK -The Scotsman by HAZEL MOLLISON -13 October 2008: -- ... Former Labour leader Wendy Alexander is the latest to back their campaign, saying the company has made the wrong decision in completely banning non-folding prams and buggies... More than 1400 people have signed a petition and the Scottish Parliament's petition committee is due to consider their case on November 4... Lothian Buses claims its ban is in line with the Disability Discrimination Act, as they are ensuring there is space available for a passenger with a wheelchair. But disability groups have said it is unnecessary and that most parents are happy to leave the space if it is required...


PASSENGERS * UK - More people leaving cars at home

People travelling into Nottingham are switching from cars to buses and trams in increasing numbers, new figures reveal

Nottingham,England,UK -This is Nottingham - October 13, 2008: -- ... The number of journeys made on public transport increased by 700,000 last year... At the same time income was down at city council car parks because fewer motorists are using them... Council officers believe the figures suggest a steady shift away from car use... Andy Gibbons, public transport officer at the council, said bus use was already high in Nottingham compared to other cities...


PUBLIC TRANSPORT SYSTEMS * USA - transit spins its wheels awaiting proposed T merger

It’s a time of change for the Kansas University bus system. Despite more riders, decisions rest on sales tax vote

Lawrence,KS,USA -The Lawrence Journal World, by Andy Hyland -October 12, 2008: -- After taking on an influx of new riders this semester, the system will have to deal with additional changes pending the results of a sales tax vote in November... A new rule allowing anyone with a KU identification card to ride the buses for free pushed overall daily ridership up from about 7,000 to between 14,000 and 15,000, said Danny Kaiser, KU assistant director of parking and transit... The buses are much more full at peak times, and some buses on the system are beginning to run at capacity. Some changes are planned, as routes are sorted out... Park and Ride buses, which transport students from a parking lot on West Campus near Clinton Parkway and Iowa Street, are becoming crammed during peak hours... Brian Hardouin, is the chairman of the University Transit Commission, a board that oversees KU on Wheels. That board has begun to look at ways the two systems could co-exist... A merged system would benefit students by providing more coverage and extended hours of service, he said... (Photo by Nick Krug - Kansas University junior Lauren Ruiz, Lenexa, grabs hold of the overhead handles along with other KU students on a packed Park and Ride bus Wednesday. KU is considering a merger with the T system, but it will have to postpone a decision until it knows the results of the November sales tax vote that proposes an increase to fund the city’s transit system)


DANGEROUS BUSES * USA - Haz-Mat Scare on Bus

Buffalo,NY,USA -WKBW/TV, by Jim Herr -Oct 11, 2008: -- A stop over in Buffalo made for some tense moments for bus passengers on their way to Boston late Friday night... Area emergency officials responded to the N.F.T.A. bus station on Ellicott Street, in downtown Buffalo, after several passengers aboard a bus started feeling ill and complaining about eye and throat irritation... The bus was evacuated and the 27 passengers onboard were quarantined until they could be checked out by doctors from the Erie County Medical Center S.M.A.R.T team... A Hazardous Materials crew from Buffalo Fire’s “Rescue 1” did a sweep of the bus to find no demonstrable risk...


DANGEROUS DRIVERS * USA - Keeping an eye on MTA bus drivers

Pasadena,CA,USA -The Pasadena Star-News -11 Oct 2008: -- When you give every Metropolitan Transportation Authority bus driver $250 worth of day passes at the beginning of every shift and don't have any way of checking whether they were legitimately sold, expect trouble... While most drivers are honest, there are always a few who will take advantage of a loose system, such as the one driver who was recently caught in a scam to steal and sell $10,000 worth of day passes... It took the better part of a year for the MTA and the Sheriff's Department to catch up with Jeffrey Ralph, who drove Line 204 through Koreatown and, with the help of bus rider Walter James Hamilton, authorities said, moved thousands of stolen day passes on the streets of L.A. for between $2 and $4 each... The driver, Ralph, pleaded no contest to embezzlement charges last week. He has been ordered to repay $10,000. And, yes, the MTA did fire him...


RIDERS * USA - Investing in a new set of wheels

Stockton,CA,USA -The Stockton Record, by Zachary K. Johnson -October 12, 2008: -- As the price of gas climbed higher and higher, especially in the last year, so did the number of people getting out of their cars and onto a bus or train... Public transit agencies nationwide reported increases in numbers of riders, and local transit agencies have seen steep growth, too... A pain in the wallet may have compelled people to start using public transportation, but transit officials are hoping that riders will find other reasons to stay out of their cars, even if gas prices continue to fall... Buses are filling up, including the popular Metro Express, or Route 40, that travels between Hammer Lane and the Downtown Transit Center every 15 minutes with limited stops. Popular routes like that can bring in the riders that would make it possible to expand available routes, she said...

* Under-used buses a growing concern in Haverhill. City pays $361,000 annually for service; fewer routes, smaller buses among options being considered

Haverhill,MA,USA-The Eagle Tribune, by Shawn Regan -13 Oct 2008: -- Margie Valentine rides the bus a few times a week from her home downtown to the Westgate Plaza shopping mall and to visit a friend in the Julian Steele apartment complex... Valentine said there's a core group of people she sees on the bus most days, but the number of riders has dwindled in recent years... Valentine's not the only one who has noticed the large Merrimack Valley Regional Transit Authority buses rumbling through the city with scarcely a passenger aboard... City Councilor, David Hall, said he sees it all the time, and he's doesn't like it... Haverhill will pay $361,000 this year for the local bus service — an amount based on a formula that considers the number of buses and routes in Haverhill as well as the city's size and population, MVRTA Director Joseph Costanzo said... (Photos by Tim Jean -above- A single passenger rides an MVRTA bus through downtown Haverhill on Thursday. City Councilor David Hall says the buses arenÕt used that much and wants to switch to cheaper, more environmentally friendly small buses - Photo -below- A Merrimack Valley Regional Transit Authority bus drives through downtown Haverhill along Merrimack Street on Thursday)

* Report: Buses better than rail

Haverhill,MA,USA-The Eagle-Tribune, by Terry Date -13 Oct 2008: -- A long-anticipated transit study report recommends using so-called “bus-on-shoulder” travel as the chief means of reducing future congestion on the Manchester-to-Boston corridor... The bus option would be far less expensive than train service to start and operate, according to the report... The draft report for the I-93 Transit Investment Study was presented earlier this month to New Hampshire and Massachusetts transportation officials by a team of consultants led by the Chicago-based HNTB transit planning company... The report’s primary recommendation is to ferry commuters from park-and-ride terminals to Boston in express buses. The buses would travel along a 12-foot-wide breakdown lane at the shoulder of the highway. The lane would be restricted to those buses...