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

Buses World News

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


Watch Out: "Cyclops" on your way * UK - Another traffic spy is heading your way

Car-sharing lanes are coming to Britain in a bid to tackle rising congestion and a new smart camera will help to police them

Leeds,UK -The Sunday Times, by Emma Smith -January 27, 2008: -- There’s a new traffic camera coming to a road near you and it’s cleverer than all the others. It is codenamed Cyclops and will be used to enforce the government’s latest idea for reducing congestion: car sharing... Cyclops can detect how many people are in a vehicle, allowing the authorities to fine anyone using a car-sharing lane without a passenger. It works in the dark and can even spot the difference between a real person and a dummy... The brainchild of Professor John Tyrer, a mechanical engineer and specialist in laser technology at Loughborough University, its official name is “dtect”, though researchers call it Cyclops because its single optical aperture looks like an eye... The first one is due to be erected by Leeds city council next month, as part of a trial on the city’s car-sharing lane, which runs for about a mile on the A647 into the city centre. It could pave the way for a national network of car-sharing lanes... The Highways Agency is also considering using the cameras to police its first car-sharing lane in West Yorkshire, due to open in the spring. The £4m high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lane is being built on the hard shoulder of a 1.7mile stretch of road linking the southbound M606 to the eastbound M62, a busy commuter route between Bradford and Leeds, and will be open to buses, motorbikes, and cars with two or more occupants...


Older Bus Drivers * New Zealand - To fill the shortage

A national shortage of bus drivers is forcing companies to lure older drivers back behind the wheel

Dunedin,New Zealand -Jan 27, 2008: -- ... A 75-year-old started back on the job in Dunedin this week... For most people, turning 65 means it's time to put your feet up. Instead, 75-year-old Clive Purvis has just started a new job... Purvis is the oldest of more than a dozen bus drivers past the official retirement age at Dunedin Passenger Transport... And the company says without them it would collapse because it's so hard to recruit younger drivers... (See Video)


New Buses * Dubai - Buses deployed to reduce congestion

Dubai -Gulf News -January 26, 2008: -- The Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) has deployed a fleet of buses to bring visitors to the Global Village from various emirates in a bid to encourage people to use public transport and help cut down on traffic jams... Besides the 29 buses for Dubai residents, it has deployed 15 inter-city buses for people in Sharjah, Al Ain, and Abu Dhabi... It is anticipated that these buses will carry around 1,200 to 2,000 passengers every day and the number is likely to reach 3,000 passengers during weekends, especially with the start of the Dubai Shopping Festival, a senior RTA officer said... (Picture: Besides the 29 buses for Dubai residents, RTA has deployed 15 inter-city buses for people in Sharjah, Al Ain, and Abu Dhabi)

* STATISTICS - City commuters are willing to miss the bus
Dubai -Gulf News, by Ashfaq Ahmed -January 26, 2008: -- Despite adding more buses, the city's public bus system has had only a three per cent increase in passengers during last year, Gulf News has learnt... The number of passengers using public buses in Dubai rose from 88 million in 2006 to around 91 million last year, an increase of about 3.4 per cent. These passengers took 1.8 million trips on 68 routes. Around 10 million commuters travelled on 16 inter-city routes last year...


Hybrid Buses * Canada - 141 heading to B.C. in 2009

Vancouver,BC,Canada -The Province, by Frank Luba -January 25, 2008: -- An $81.5-million deal for 141 diesel-electric hybrid buses will give bus riders the lowest-emission trips except for fully electric trolleys... The new vehicles from Quebec's Nova Bus won't arrive until 2009 and will be used in congested areas such as Vancouver and Burnaby because hybrids work best in stop-and-go traffic... Some 109 of the buses will replace older buses. The remaining 32 will expand the fleet, allowing 25 conventional buses to be transferred south of the Fraser River... Funding for the purchase is not part of B.C.'s $14-billion transit plan announced last week... (handout photo - A Nova Bus in service)


New Buses * Nigeria - Inaugurating Mass Transit Buses

AbujaNigeria -Leadership/All Africa (Washifnçgton,DC,USA) -25 January 2008: -- The FCT Minister, Dr Modibbo Umar, yesterday in Abuja inaugurated 150 mass transit buses meant to ease transportation problems in the territory... Umar said 20 of the buses were dedicated to convey school children in the FCT to and from their schools... He said 20 more buses would be added to the fleet for school children before the end of the year... Umar, however, said that the school children would be expected to pay a minimal fare for the buses through rechargeable cards...


Minimizing Minibuses * Armenia - Transport officials say additional buses will relieve current congestion

Yerevan,Armenia, by Marianna Grigorya -25 Jan 2008: -- While in many major cities of the world traffic congestion is relieved by inner-city rail, the ever-crowed streets of Yerevan do not enjoy such relief even though the city’s modest metro system is one of its most reliable utilities... And it is more than a decade now that minibuses – or marshrutkas as they are popularly called in a Russian fashion – remain the first choice means of public transport for Yerevans in long traffic queues, on the ice, in cold, hot or raining weather... Minibuses, a necessary irritant to drivers and pedestrians, have become the main means of transportation in the capital in the last decade... More than 3,000 minibuses are registered in Yerevan alone, according to the data of the Transport Department of the capital’s municipality. Plying on different urban routes they transport hundreds of thousands of passengers every day, most often in cramped conditions both inside and outside the bus... (Minimizing Minibuses: More buses are imported in an attempt to ease the city traffic.)


Riders * USA - Pack buses in record numbers

The buses handled an estimated 110 million boardings last year

Seattle,Wash,Usa -The Seattle Times, by Mike Lindblom & Susan Gilmore -25 Jan 2008: -- Seattle ranks seventh in the U.S. in the proportion of workers within city limits who commute using public transportation. And as traffic and the cost of gasoline and parking continue to rise, so does the incentive to ride the bus... The combination of a growing work force and $3-per-gallon gasoline is luring record numbers of riders onto King County Metro buses... The buses handled an estimated 110 million boardings last year, nearly a 7 percent increase over the 2006 number, the agency reported Wednesday. It is the largest increase in at least a decade, officials said. Buses handled about 365,000 boardings per weekday... Bigger crowds aren't a surprise to commuters. Several people waiting for buses at the Pioneer Square station in the downtown Seattle bus tunnel said it's often tough to find a seat on their routes to South King County... (Photo: King County Metro saw its biggest ridership gain in 10 years in 2007. Relief may be on the way for packed-in passengers: Next month, Metro receives the first 22 of 122 buses promised in the 2006 "Transit Now" ballot measure)


STATISTICS * USA - The buses are booming

New York,NY,USA -AMNY Subway Tracker (via, by Marlene Naanes -24 Jan 2008: -- MTA Bus Company, which operates 46 outerborough local routes and 35 express buses into Manhattan, surged by 11 percent in 2007, the MTA said today... Its 1,336 buses carried an average of 367,900 riders per weekday, anincrease of 9.7% compared with 2006. Ridership increases were evengreater on weekends, with a 2007 average of 196,300 riders (a 15.1%increase) on Saturdays and 138,900 (a 13.0% increase) on Sundays...


Total Chaos * Mauritius - The Jan Palach Mess!

Where is the bus? This is the big question. Passengers have to rush in the parking to look for the buses. And that's your problem if you have not seen them. You will have to wait.

Curepipe,Mauritius (Washington,DC,USA) -24 Jan 2008: -- Buses wrongly stationed here and there, deaf-rendering horn sounds, thick black smoke, garbage flying like dry leaves with the wind, rat infestation, stinking smells; such is the usual scene at the Jan Palach Bus Station in Curepipe. But the more recent one is the mismanagement of the bus station itself. Compared to what existed previously, today it's no more a bus station, it's just a mess!... Passengers running in all directions, looking desperately for their bus but in vain! No information boards! Where previously there was some fixed 'bus departure parking', today even this has disappeared. The passengers are confused and they group together near the stationmaster's office with the hope of hearing a bus conductor indicating them where the bus is...


Tiny Terrors * Sweden - Dwarves Used For Bus Luggage Scam

Gangs of criminals are hiding dwarves in sports bags and smuggling them onto buses to steal luggage

Sweden -Sky News(Isleworth, Middlesex,UK) -January 24, 2008: -- ... The tiny terrors are placed in the luggage hold where they are free to rummage through personal belongings... Travellers in Sweden are now being advised not to leave valuables in their bags... Among the bus companies to be hit is Swebus, which operates services across the country... Police have received similar reports from other parts of the country... As well as dwarves, children are used in the scam... (Thieves target luggage)



BUS SYSTEMS * China - Buses vs. Rails & Controls

* Long-distance buses: Popular alternative to railways

Beijing,China -24 Jan 2008: -- Relaxed and assured, passengers at this bus station will soon be on their way home. Without endless queues, buying a ticket is reasonably easy. And a ticket guarantees a seat... Buses have their advantages, but with their increasing popularity and the rising cost of gas, fares have also gone up... Long-distance bus fares cannot by law increase by more than twenty percent during the holiday period. But passengers don't seem to mind spending the extra... (Travelling on long-distance buses is a popular alternative to the railways, even though prices have gone up) WATCH VIDEO

* Cops to tighten festival traffic supervision in Shanghai

Police officers on local highways are required to stop and examine at least 80 percent of the passenger buses and every chemical-cargo vehicle...

Beijing,China -chinaview/Xinhua -24 Jan 2008: -- Traffic police will be closely monitoring passenger buses and toxic-chemical container trucks as the Spring Festival transport rush begins... And at midnight last night, they began a crackdown on drink driving... Traffic flow is expected to increase by about 10 percent from the usual 35,000 to 40,000 daily vehicle movements around the highway's Zhuqiao Station section... Extra passengers on overloaded buses will be required to get off, and police will then contact the bus company to organize for them to be picked up in another vehicle... (Photo: - Driver Sun Lizhong receives a brochure promoting traffic safety from policeman Wang Meigen at Shanghai South Long Distance General Bus Station yesterday. Sun was to drive a shuttle bus to Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province)


STUDY * India - Cars or scars?

Only fiscal measures can end the nightmare of private vehicles bringing all movement on the roads to a standstill

New Delhi,India -The Business Standard, by Sreelatha Menon (Mumbai,Maharashtra,India) -January 24, 2008: -- ... For every man, a car. It is a thought worth celebrating but is there a guarantee of a smooth ride on the road for every car owner, not to speak of others?... Spending two or three hours on congested roads and inching one’s way ahead is definitely not what driving should be about. The number of hours is bound to increase as cars increase in number. And with that will increase the costs of congestion... Does this country looking forward to a billion Nano-citizens have a strategy to make its cars less of scars that do nothing but choke the roads and beat the very purpose of being on four wheels?... Recently the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) proposed to Finance Minister P Chidambaram a recipe for liberating the roads and the citizens from the terror of being spaced out. Its first remedy was, of course, to scrap the excise duty on buses to make public transport cheap, (even free to some extent, for students and senior citizens), while scaling up the bar for those aspiring to own and use a private vehicle... Both cars and buses now pay the same excise duty which CSE says is unfair. The present tax regime does not justify the social and environmental costs of motorisation — the bus and car should not be paying the same taxes, says CSE director Sunita Narain...Any incentive for public transport can yield gains both in revenue as well as faster road transport, something which even a car user would look forward to any day. (Video from YouTube, by jimaluko, May 04, 2007 -"New Delhi Traffic" My friends and I were visiting New Delhi, India prior to our friend's wedding in the city of Kanpur, a small industrial town of 2 million. We decided we had to visit the Taj Mahal first, in the city of Agra. We debated an overnight train, but settled on hiring a taxi for the 6 hour drive. What we didn't bank on was the heavy traffic we encountered as we left Delhi)


SUBSIDIES * South Africa - Bus firms go to court for fare's money

Gauteng,S. Africa -The Business Standard (Johannesburg,SA), by Sibongile Khumalo -January 24, 2008: -- Gauteng bus operators are taking the provincial department of transport to court, claiming that unpaid subsidies worth more than R200 million (U$S 28 M) have left them bankrupt... North West Star and its subsidiary, Atteridgeville Bus Services, want the Johannesburg high court to force Gauteng transport MEC Ignatius Jacobs and national transport minister Jeff Radebe to honour a subsidy contract... Atteridgeville Bus Services says the debt has forced the company to shut up shop and suspend its bus service from February 4... The two businesses are among nine Gauteng bus companies affected by the nonpayment of subsidies... North West Star district manager Freddy Zondag said contractual subsidies to companies rendering public transport services to northern Pretoria were abruptly cut off in October last year...


New Buses * Canada - DRT’s 15 New Flyer D40LF buses

Durham,Ont,CAN-Durham Transit Review, by David Harrison -23 Jan 2008: -- DRT’s 2007 order of 15 New Flyer D40LF buses has now arrived and are no in service... In addition, a single El Dorado 30 foot bus is on order for the flag bus program, and should be arriving in the coming months. Over time, the entire fleet will be replaced with these buses, and they should mark a significant step forward for users of the flag bus program... DRT’s current capital plan includes placing an 2008 orders for 20 new 40 foot buses, 2 new 30 foot buses for flag/community bus use, and a number of specialized service vehicles...


Buses Crimes * UK - Are down on the buses

London,England,UK -The Hornsey and Crouch End Journal -23 January 2008: -- Crime on buses in Haringey is down overall - but robbery has tripled, according to figures from Transport for London (TfL)... The total number of bus-related crimes in the six months April to September last year was 817 compared to 916 for the same period in 2006 - an 11 per cent decrease... But violent crime is up, with robbery tripling from 25 to 75 in that period and violence against the person up from 148 to 194 incidents... Criminal damage rose from 65 to 87 offences... TfL insists the perception of crime does not match the reality...


STATISTICS * USA - PMCTA Ridership Up 1 Percent, Mostly On Buses

Chicago,IL,USA -WBBM780 -23 January 2008: -- Nearly 500 million rides were taken on the CTA in 2007 -- an increase of 4.7 million or 1 percent -- over 2006 ridership, the agency announced Wednesday. The 499.5 million combined bus and rail rides in 2007 is the highest ridership level since 1992, according to a release from the CTA... Since 1997, the CTA says, it has gained 60 million annual rides...




* AN ALTERNATIVE GUIDE ... There, that's the buses sorted out. Which way to Iraq?

London,UK -The World of Misery Guts -22 January 2008: -- Stagecoach issue a leaflet on how to use the bus. The leaflet just comes across as rather patronising, especially to anyone with the slightest semblance of intelligence. Let’s take a look at the advice given: ... (PN: see yesterday's entry in this blog: "Only an Idiot... * UK - Would take the bus !!! ") ...There is certainly a missed opportunity and I’d like to add a few suggestions of my own to improve the use of public transport...

* If you’re at the front of the queue: - Be positive and don’t dither...
* If someone tries to jump the queue: - Confront them and shame them...
* If you’re not sure what bus to get: - Do some research...
* Be vigilant:
- Don’t assume the driver knows where he’s going, especially on a route that constantly changes...
- Don’t assume the driver knows how to use his ticket machine either...
* Don’t:
- Put your feet on the seats. It’s rude and disgusting. Other passengers have to sit there. Again, shame these people by pointing out what they’re doing. If you see someone else challenging a miscreant, back him or her up. Too many people sit back and do nothing, whilst moaning under their breath…mutter, mutter, youth of today, mutter...
- Assume that every other passenger wants to hear all the dull details of your uninteresting and pointless existence, especially at a Spinal Tap-esque volume of 11. Not all passengers have headphones that they can use to block out your inane ramblings. Pipe down – we don’t care about your kitchen extension or your extended family.
- Get on the bus without having performed some sort of personal hygiene routine. There’s nothing worse than sitting next to someone who has BO or stinks of wee.
- Take up more than one seat. You only have one ticket and it entitles you to ONE seat...
- Leave your litter on the bus. Take it with you. Most bus stops have a bin so you can drop it off when you get off the bus. Don’t stick it in the Used Tickets receptacle either.
- Jump the queue. It’s rude. Be patient. Prepare to be confronted if you choose this rudest of habits. You’re not better than a murderer and should be treated accordingly...


Flood Misery * UK - Bus passengers evacuated by BOAT as continues that ones

London,England,UK -This is London -23 Jan 2008: -- What started off as an innocent bus journey soon turned into farce when passengers had to be rescued from flooded roads by boat... As rain continued to lash parts of the country, passengers in East Yorkshire were forced to abandon public transport and hop into a rowing boat when their bus was swamped by flood water... The double-decker suffered mechanical failure because of the deluge and the driver was forced to call the fire brigade to rescue the nine passengers on board... The episode, in Breighton, was just one of the bizarre scenes around the country, which has seen a definite split between north and south in the last 24 hours... (Picture: A rowing boat was used to rescue passengers from the bus, which suffered mechanical failure in Breighton, East Yorkshire today)


"GREEN" DEBATE * UK - Bikes are 50 times more energy efficient than buses - so why displace bikes with buses??

Knowle,Bristol,UK -Bristol Evening Post's letters page/Vowles the Green in Knowle, by Glenn Vowles -22 Jan 2008: -- Given the recently announced plans to turn the most popular cycle route in the UK (from Bristol to Bath), with 2.4 million journeys per yr, into a major bus route, its well worth reminding ourselves of just how ultra-efficient, healthy and green that great piece of technology - the bicycle - is... Primary energy use in cycling amounts to just 0.03 megajoules per kilometre, nearly 50 times less than a single decker bus! Even walking, which consumes 0.14 megajoules, is not this efficient. The average for a car with average occupancy is 2.1 megajoules per passenger kilometre whilst domestic air travel is also 2.1 due to its higher occupancy rates... Public transport fares better with figures of 1.1 per passenger kilometre for the average rail (about the same as a double decker bus) and 1.4 for a single decker bus, depending on occupancy rates. The most efficient forms of public transport, such as London Underground trains or certain forms of tram might achieve figures as low as 0.2 megajoules when fully occupied - still no match for the bicycle... This makes the bicycle 70 times more energy efficient than the average car and 6 or 7 times more efficient than even the very best forms of public transport running under the most efficient conditions. So, in terms of efficiency its vital to invest much more in cycling and try much harder to create a cycling culture... More is also needed for public transport but not at the expense of cycling - the plans to turn the Bristol to Bath cyclepath into a bus route simultaneously cut the capacity for cycling and walking there as well as destroying a large amount of pleasant, quiet and wildlife-rich green space... We need a cycling culture for our health as well as our environment - a 10% increase in the number of people riding a bike regularly would lead to a 4% reduction in people with heart disease, saving hundreds of millions a year in healthcare. And it would create a more pleasant, greener environment...


Bus Service * USA - Cities juggle funding issues with increased demand for

Kansas City,MO,USA -The Kansas City Star, by RUSS PULLEY -Jan. 22, 2008: -- High gasoline prices are prompting more Independence, Blue Springs and Lee’s Summit residents to take commuter buses to downtown Kansas City... With aging residents and a more diverse population, growing suburbs also are hearing requests for more for bus service within their city limits. But officials are hearing talk about cuts in federal subsidies, leaving the future of suburban bus service murky... (Photo: The Red Route bus picked up a rider Monday at the Kansas City Area Transportation Authority MetroCenter just west of Noland Road on Truman Road)


* New Zealand - Bus services under threat from bill

The Public Transport Management Bill, if enacted in anything like its present form, could have a serious impact on bus services in the Auckland region

Auckland,New Zealand -The New Zealand Herald, by Michael Taggart -January 23, 2008: -- ... About 80 per cent of public passenger trips occur in Auckland and Wellington, and the vast majority are made by bus... The control given to regional government by the bill will remove many of the commercial incentives to provide efficient services and will put bus services under pervasive bureaucratic control... The existing bus services are a mix of "commercial" and "contracted" public transport. "Commercial" services are provided on routes for which there is no public subsidy and so must pay their way. That accounts for up to 40 per cent of the bus business in the Auckland region... In contrast, "contracted" services are provided on routes where "commercial" services would be uneconomic but the public interest demands buses and so these are subsidised from the public purse... This is the justification for the bill sweeping all "commercial" and "contracted" services up into a regional government-administered registration and licensing scheme... If the power is to remain in the hands of the regional council it should at least require ministerial approval or provision for an appeal to the district court... Without the inclusion of such safeguards, the bill as it stands offends constitutional principle. Furthermore, it contravenes the legislation advisory committee's guidelines on process and content of legislation in these ways:...(Video from YouTube, by Ciocco1975 -September 28, 2006: "Bus driving to Sky City Auckland")


POOR BUS' DRIVER * Burma - Security tightened on buses

Rangoon,Burma -DVB, by Naw Say Phaw -Jan 22, 2008: -- State transport authorities have brought in new security measures for buses in Rangoon and Magwe division, which drivers will have to enforce or face a fine... As of 13 January, express bus lines have been told that passengers must show identity cards when they buy tickets and board the bus, and drivers should check the cards and record where each passenger is sitting on the bus... A Taung Twin Gyi resident said that bus drivers would be fined if their passengers broke the new regulations... At Rangoon’s Aung Mingalar bus terminal, where buses arrive from across Burma, officials are now checking for suspicious items every day instead of twice a week... Members of the military, municipal police, local police, special police, Central Investigation Department and air force intelligence have been beginning their checks at 1am daily, along with officials from the Ministry of Transport, All-Bus Lines Control Committee and ward Peace and Development Council... (Video from Youtube by DaveSpencer32, January 20, 2008 - "PMP DVD 1590 The ultimate antique Burmese Bus" A trailer for PMP DVD 1590 the war time Chevrolet based buses in North Dagon, Rangoon Myanmar or Burma)



BUSES SALES * USA - 1,732 more orders for GM Hybrid buses

Washington, DC,USA -Autobloggreen, by Sam Abuelsamid -Jan 22, 2008: -- The pace of orders for GM's two-mode hybrid buses is picking steam. At the Washington DC Auto Show, General Motors has announced orders for an additional 1,732 GM-Allison diesel-electric transit buses... With the 1,000 Two-Mode bus being delivered to Las Vegas this month, the new orders will more than double the fleet since they first hit the road in 2003. The Washington Metro Transit Authority has placed the largest single order to date for 952 buses. The Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority's has ordered for 480 buses and Minneapolis/St. Paul Metro Transit wants another 300. To date the buses on the road have accumulated 55 million miles with no battery failures...


Only an Idiot... * UK - Would take the bus !!!

London,UK, by Bryony Gordon -22 Jan 2008: -- Well thank goodness for that. Stagecoach have created an idiot's guide to taking the bus, because only an idiot would actually take the bus. No, that's not why. It's actually to encourage more people to use public transport... Step on board, take a seat, beware the smelly people: "Using the bus could not be easier," begins the guide, which then goes on to explain that you should signal for the driver to stop, step on board, take a seat, then press the bell when you want to get off. You may laugh at this ridiculous waste of money, but as someone who spends at least an hour on buses every day, I would like to add a few tips. Enjoy.

1. There are more mad/drunk/smelly people on buses than on any other form of public transport. I think this is because they are simple souls who appreciate being able to look out of the windows at the sky. For example, the other day, on the 148, I found myself sitting next to an old man who was having a conversation with his dictaphone, which he had christened John. Don't be disturbed; just smile sweetly and stare in the other direction. Remember, they probably think you are mad too. And maybe you are.
2. You will also find more anti-social teenagers on buses than on any other form of public transport. My advice is to move to the front of the vehicle, next to the driver, and not to ask the youths to turn down that racket that is emanating from their mobile phone thingymebob.
3. Nobody ever cleans buses, so always carry a plastic bag with you to sit on, and watch where you put your feet.
4. Your bus driver probably can't drive very well, though he no doubt thinks that he is Lewis Hamilton. So hold on to the seat in front of you (checking first for chewing gum).
5. Nor will he be able to speak fluent English (even if he was born here) so don't bother asking which stop you should get off at, because he won't have a clue.
6. Be prepared for the vehicle to stay at a stop for half an hour. This is normal. The driver is just ensuring 'gaps' between buses, so that 16 don't come at once.
7. Don’t be surprised when the driver announces 'all change here' four miles before the bus's destination. Another one will be along in a moment, honest!
8. Take your car.
Any more you'd like to add?
... And about those who can not travel by other means? That's not a joke !!!

* How to get on a bus: idiot's guide published

London,UK, by Sophie Borland -22 Jan 2008: -- An idiot’s guide explaining how to get on and off a bus has been produced for people who have a phobia of public transport... According to Stagecoach, which has created the step-by-step manual, a large proportion of Britain’s population are now so used to travelling by car that they have become scared of buses... In order to encourage use of public transport, the firm has come up with the “Using the Bus” guide which sets out the most basic information possible... The guide begins reassuringly with: “Using the bus could not be easier”... It goes on to warn that passengers should “first of all decide on what bus you need” and once the right bus has been spotted, with the “number and destination on the front”, one should then “signal for the driver to stop”... The guide continues: “Wait until the bus is stopped and the doors are fully opened and step on board”... The guide even goes as far as setting out procedures for disembarking and says: “When you want to get off, press the bell once. For your safety we recommend you remain seated until the bus has arrived at the stop”... A spokesman for Stagecoach, which runs 7,000 buses and coaches from Devon in the south west to Inverness in the Scottish Highlands, said that research had shown many members of the public do not know how to use public transport... A Stagecoach campaign encouraging more use of public transport has now contacted 610,000 people across the country, giving out versions of the guide and offering free travel passes...


WOMENS BUSES * Mexico - To detour sex harassment

The just-for-women city bus began on Monday as part of an experimental program aimed at protecting female passengers who are frequently exposed to sexual harassment on public transportation, where officials say 14 percent of rapes, sexual harassment and abuse took place in 2007...

Mexico City,DF,MEX -AFP -21 Jan 2008: -- "Traveling among women is so much more pleasant," says Alejandra Lugo as she takes a seat on the women's only bus that began circulating earlier this month in Mexico City... "Otherwise, I have men sticking to me," she says of her past days on the mixed-sex buses. "And here I am, 58 years old. Imagine how they treat the younger girls"... "You have to put up with men who press up against you, try to kiss you, try to grab your purse," said Susana Navarro, 29, an industrial designer. "No one gives up their seat for pregnant women or mothers with children"... Now, on several of the most heavily traveled routes, buses that are off limits to men come along every 20-30 minutes, particularly during rush hour... Bus driver Jose Aragon, who has been on the job for 13 years, says he has on occasion had to "come to the assistance of passengers who were assaulted by men," and has even called the police several times... For higher security, two government guards ride in each vehicle to prevent anyone from potentially barging in. The only exceptions to the women-only rule apply to women with young male children or elderly male companions, or people who are handicapped...



New SOS * UK - Text service on buses to alert police to trouble

An emergency text service to let passengers alert police to trouble on buses without putting themselves in danger could go live in London

London,England,UK -This is London/Evening Standard, by Katharine Barney -21 Jan 2008: -- ... The pioneering scheme would allow travellers to raise the alarm discreetly and without being spotted by troublemakers and criminals who might otherwise turn on them... The scheme would work by giving individual buses their own code letters, which would be advertised on posters around the bus... If trouble flares all a passenger would have to do would be to type the letter in and send it to a dedicated text number. This would alert the police, who would be also able to identify which bus the distress signal was made from and where the bus was... (Knife killer: CCTV footage of Anthony Joseph, who killed bus passenger Richard Whelan in 2005)


PUNISH * UK - 'Sterling efforts' see 900 fined for using bus lanes

Scotland,UK -The Scotsman, by ANDREW PICKEN -21 Jan 2008: -- More than 20 drivers a day have been hit with fines since the council's parking attendants took over the job of patrolling bus lanes from police traffic wardens... New figures have revealed that 900 motorists were hit with parking tickets in the six weeks after the council took over control of greenways in November... The majority of drivers were ticketed for stopping in the Greenways. Parking in a free bay for longer than permitted and waiting in a loading bay when not loading, were also common reasons for fines... A total of 17 cars were towed away in the same period...


'Clean' Radio on School Buses * USA - San Marcos calls a success

Critics oppose some advertising and content

San Marcos,CAL,USA -The North County Times (Escondido,CAL), by NOELLE IBRAHIM -20 Jan 2008: -- Nearly six months after installing digital radios that play kid-friendly music on school buses, officials with the San Marcos Unified School District are declaring the program a success, though national critics have voiced objections... The district is the first in San Diego County to use BusRadio, a company based in Massachusetts that provides music, equipment and public-service announcements to 10,000 school buses nationwide... "It's age-appropriate music, age-appropriate content and not DJs doing crazy stuff," said district transportation coordinator Mike Sawyer... But some critics of BusRadio say they are concerned that school districts are providing a captive audience to advertisers, in addition to playing what they consider some questionable content... (Photo by WALDO NILO - Transportation coordinator Mike Sawyer shows one of the radios that San Marcos Unified School District has installed on its school buses that play contemporary, kid-friendly music)



We made our way to the bus terminal yesterday

City of Panama,PAN -Life Nomadic, by Tyna(USA)n -20 Jan 2008: -- ... The buses here are out of control - they’re called Diablos Rojos (red devils). They’re painted in a graffiti style with bright colors and random slogans and portraits. At night they light up with all sorts of weird aftermarket flashing lights. I saw one that had a disco ball in it with beams of light shooting out of the windows... These are the buses that everyone uses, from students to business people to families, to get around the city. I love that they have fun with it… it’s not the sanitized corporate front that we demand in the US. It has personality... We got lost in the bus terminal. It’s easy to find a bus that goes there (they all do eventually), but harder to figure out how to get back, especially since there are no addresses here and no maps of the routes. One girl saw that we were lost and walked around with us to find us the right bus... There aren’t lines or terminals like you’d expect. The buses drive around the terminal and stop once in a while due to the congestion. You take that as an opportunity to jump on... Once we got on a guy suggested that we be careful because there are camera thieves at the terminal. He asked where we lived and told us to always take the “Cinco De Mayo” buses in the future since they go right there. He told us that it’s better to sit at the front of the bus so that you can let the driver know when you want to get off...


RULES * Australia - Prams put squeeze on buses

Prams are getting bigger, but buses are not

Sydney,New South Wales,Australia -The Sydney Morning Herald, Jacob Saulwick -January 21, 2008: -- ... The two came into conflict when drivers last week told Julie Mackenzie she could not bring her double pram through the back door of a bus... Drivers used to let the Marrickville mother of twins enter through the back door, but clamped down after State Transit reissued an order prohibiting it... Ms Mackenzie, 44, is angry. "Basically, I can't catch the bus any more, so I think it is discriminating," she said... In some buses, prams have to be parked opposite the back door, where seats fold up to create space, but larger prams cannot fit through the aisle to get to the space. Ms Mackenzie said the only way she could take her 11-month-old daughterson the bus was if she handed them to passengers through the front door, folded the pram and carried it to allocated space, and then retrieved her babies from the front... State Transit said the problem was limited to 75 buses in the 2000-strong fleet, which were fitted for wheelchair entry through the rear doors... (Photo: Kate Geraghty - Grounded … Julie Mackenzie buckles in twins Stella and Lily. She has had to give up on bus travel)


PUBLIC TRANSPORT SERVICE * Malaysia - Express buses to LCCT

Malaysia -Asian, by asianpixmen -January 20, 2008: -- ... They have some of the brightest ideas in town. Take for example, transport to that god-forsaken place called LCCT... These days, all those LCCT passengers can hop on to anyone of the colourful buses at KL Sentral and zip to the LCCT in record time. I was told it cost only about RM9 (2.74641 US Dólar) per passenger. You really can’t complain over this mode of transport. Sure beats taking a taxi to the LCCT...


BUSES' PURCHASE PROSPECT * Dubai - RTA to purchase 1616 new buses

Dubai,United Arab Emirates -XPRESS -20 Jan 2008: -- The Public Transport Agency of the Roads and Transport Authority intends this month to offer a tender inviting the international companies to participate in the supply of 1616 new and sophisticated buses in order to enhance its current fleet of buses this month. Engineer Abdurrahman Al Dossari, CEO of the Public Transport Agency, said the new buses would enjoy different sizes and designs with the highest standards of safety and security, in addition to the best of modern techniques... With this transaction, the number of buses would rise to the 2500 buses in the year 2009 guaranteeing the coverage rate of 95% of Dubai with the public transport services and feeding the Dubai Metro stations with the lines required to raise the proportion of trips made by mass transit. ..


CYCLISTS vs. BUSES * UK - Historic UK cycle path under threat from buses

The first ever path on the UK’s National Cycle Network is under threat

Bath,UK, by Rosee Woodland -20 Jan 2008: -- ... The 13 mile Bristol to Bath Railway was the first to built by the country's leading cycling charity Sustrans between 1979 and 1986... But local transport chiefs want to turn part of it into a bus lane... The path is used by thousands of cyclists and walkers each year, and is completely car-free, but parts of it run parallel to busy main roads in Bristol and a disused railway... It is on these sections of the route that the West of England Partnership -an umbrella group for the four main local councils - wants to install the bus lane... The proposals were first mooted several years ago, including the use of hybrid fuel buses along the path, but then seemed to die a death... However, they have now been revived and form a major part of the partnership’s plans for the next decade... (Bikeradar - The Bristol to Bath path is under threat)


PUBLIC TRANSPORT SERVICE * Armenia - Thrills of Transportation

In Armenia there is one mode of public transport which is the most popular and in some cases the only one available: travel by minibus

Yerevan,Armenia -Notes, by Christian Garbis -January 19, 2008: -- ... This holds true for Yerevan as well, as there is no escaping them... A minibus here usually comes in the form of two types of vehicles: the RAF minivan or the GAZelle transport van, which is sturdier and holds more people comfortably.These two vehicles literally crisscross and zigzag throughout the city and can be seen on most thoroughfares. You cannot escape them, especially if you are driving your own car. The drivers often have no clue about how to drive properly and they don’t understand the concept of what rear-view mirrors are for, so it is not rare to see these things roll out into oncoming traffic or randomly switching lanes... If you are lucky, however, you can find an actual bus approach the bus stop, something I pine to see every morning nowadays while I am shivering, confused as to which of the 100+ minibus routes I should climb aboard... (Photo from Picassa, by Kiril -Yerevan -24-jun-2007: Typical Armenian bus reminiscent of the communist era. The gap of society between very reach mafia and average population seemed even deeper in Armenia then Bulgaria. Over 70% of cars were old Russian cars while few vehicles demonstrated luxury and power of the rich (mostly expensive SUV)


PUBLIC TRANSPORT SYSTEM * Kenya - The "Matatus" in

Kenya -The Angry -19 Jan 2008: -- ... There are 80,000 matatus on Kenyan roads, most of which are owned and operated by Kikuyu. I estimate that a matatu has an income of $100,000 per year: on average each Kenyan spends over $200 per year for matutu transportation. The conductor rents the vehicle for the day, including the driver, and pays for gas and other expenses keeping whatever is left over at the end of the day. So, he has to push and push to make sure that he doesn't actually lose money. The relationship between the conductor -- who is always trying to increase the price of the ride, stuff more people into the vehicle, and get the driver to go faster -- leads to amazing antagonism. There is no customer service, but customer dis-service. The riders continually believe that they are being abused and taken advantage of. This happens almost every time one gets into a matatu... (Video from YouTube, by hafidy -January 16, 2008 -"Kenya Summer Vacation, Matatu ride-part 7"
We rode in Matatu's daily. They can be cramped at times, especially if you have long legs like me. The good side about them is that they are cheap, costing between 15 to 30 shillings depending on where you are going. Divide that by 65 which is the rate on the dollar)


POLICY * India - Tax our cars, not our buses

CSE writes a pre-budget letter to FM and set out a charter of demands for mobility and clean air for all

Bhopal,Madhya Pradesh,India, by Ch. Narendra -20/1/2008: -- Personal vehicle ownership is rising in India; it will grow manifold in coming years. There will be a few millions more cars -- small as well as big, and many of them driven on toxic diesel -- jostling for that limited space on our limited roads. Air quality will only get worse; energy use will go up, and instead of moving ahead, people will actually grind to a stop due to congestion... But this is government-made disaster because our policies are weak, says CSE, and it needs to be corrected. In a pre-budget letter to the Union finance minister P Chidambaram, CSE has set out a charter of demands for mobility and clean air for all...

* Maybe now, buses will be preferred

New Delhi,India -IndiaPost -21 Jan 2008: -- If you think the "people's car", the electric bikes, the hybrid cars were the answer to your prayer to get off of that bus and get into your own vehicle then rethink. 9th Auto Expo 2008 showcased a range of buses, which are intelligent, innovative, comfortable, economic and safe. Ashok Leyland, Swaraj Mazda, Tata Motors, Volvo, Force Motors aim to revolutionize buses so people can re-evaluate their options on public mode of transportation... A team of 25 young engineers, 10 months from now started working on an Indian intelligent innovative bus and the end result is Ashok Leyland's iBUS exhibited in Pragati Maidan. For the first time in India, one can choose between traveling 'executive' or 'economy' class in the same bus. And if that is not enough, ibus has wireless Internet on the move for the first time in a bus... Its other features are electronics-enabled 'workplace', complete with digital display of all 'diagnostic' information, rear camera video display, executive class passengers get a state-of-the-art hat rack complete with LCD wide screens (for infotainment), individual AC controls, Electrically Controlled Air Suspension (ECAS) kneels down for effortless boarding and alighting, 220v adapters and laptop holders, electronic leveling system to accommodate with the inconsistent Indian infrastructure, smart card based ticket wending machine...


Passengers Transport * UK - Major changes to bus services

Mexborough,England,UK -South Yorkshire Times -19 Jan 2008: -- Bus operator Stagecoach has announced wide ranging changes in services throughout the Dearne... Changes include new routes and services to improve reliability, with extra journeys operating during morning and afternoon peak times in some cases. However some cuts to services including the axeing of direct services to Meadowhall - leaked to theTimes by a disgruntled bus user in December - have proved to be correct... The company has published details of the changes which have been finalised following discussions with local councillors and the South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive... (Picture: The 288 service has been withdrawn and replaced with a new service)


PUPILS CONTROLS * USA - NKC School District to use electronic card system to track students riding buses

Kansas,Miss,USA -The Kansas City Star, by GLENN E. RICE -19 Jan 2008: -- The North Kansas City School District this fall will begin using a radio-frequency identification card system to help officials keep track of students who ride district buses... Hundreds of elementary school pupils will receive small cards and carry them in their backpacks or pockets to automatically record them getting on and off buses. It will give officials instant confirmation that youngsters are on the right buses and were dropped off at the right stops...


NEW BUSES * USA - For $650,000, it's the big wheel among buses

San Francisco ,CAL,USA -The San Francisco Chronicle, by Steve Rubenstein -January 19, 2008: -- The fanciest bus in the world came to San Francisco this week, complete with a window in the restroom... It's part of the many fine features of the double-decker Van Hool TD925, which sells for $650,000 and can carry no fewer than 81 senior citizens to their next gambling binge in style... Two thousand members of the United Motorcoach Association, in town for their annual convention, were strolling the exhibit hall at Moscone Center on Friday, inspecting the motorcoaches. A motorcoach is similar to a bus but has two extra syllables... (Photo by MSPtoMKE, from "A Van Hool TD925")



Bus system * Singapore - Changes will make more competitiveness

Singapore -Channel NewsAsia, by Ng Baoying -18 January 2008: -- Changes to the bus system, which were announced on Friday, are expected to shore up Singapore's competitiveness as an economy, according to analysts... Some analysts welcomed the prospect of competition in the sector, but said it may exert pressure on the profit margins of existing players... The red and white buses may rule the roads right now, but they are likely to cede their throne as new operators enter the market. Analysts said that ComfortDelGro, which owns 75 percent of SBS Transit, will come up strong against potential bidders with its experience behind it. However, competition will put price pressures on its earnings... Under the changes announced on Friday, more bus operators will be allowed into the market. Analysts said what will be critical is the type of tender that will be offered...


PREVENTION * Canada - N.B. restricts use of 15-passenger vans

Bathurst,NB,Canada - News -Jan. 18 2008: -- The New Brunswick government has suspended the use of 15-seat passenger vans to transfer students to and from school following a horrific crash that killed seven students and a teacher from Bathurst, N.B., last week... Education Minister Kelly Lamrock said Friday that use of the vans will be suspended for the remainder of the 2007-2008 school year; however, he added there is no evidence to suggest the type of vehicle used played a role in the tragic accident, which involved a boy's basketball team returning from a game in Moncton... (Photo by Andrew Vaughan / THE CANADIAN PRESS - The van that was carrying the Bathurst High School boys' basketball team rests on a flatbed truck in Bathurst, N.B.)



STRIKE * India - Lorries, Buses Stay Off Roads from Jan 20

Bangalore,Mangalore,India -The Times of India/ - Jan 17, 2008: -- ... The lorry, bus, taxi and maxi cab owners associations in the state will go on an indefinite strike from January 20 midnight if governor Rameshwar Thakur doesn’t agree to their demands. “We are meeting the governor and urging him to reconsider his decision on compulsory installation of speed governors. If nothing positive comes out of Thursday’s meeting, we will go ahead with the strike, which will cost the state a heavy sum,’’ said Federation of Karnataka State Lorry Owners’ and Agents Association president Shanmugappa... And heavy it is going to be, for essential commodities like milk, vegetables, petrol and diesel will be hit badly. The strike will also affect passengers of private buses, taxis and maxi cabs.


BUSMAKER'S NEWS * Germany - MAN Buses complete talks to restructure Salzgitter

Frankfurt,Germany -Reuters - Jan 16, 2008: -- German industrial group MAN reached a final agreement with labour over the planned restructuring of its loss-making bus assembly operations at its Salzgitter plant in Germany, the company said on Wednesday. The two sides stuck to a preliminary deal hammered out in mid-September that includes planned investments of 60 million euros ($89.0 million) by 2012...


CRIME on BUSES * UK - Three bus routes make '10 most dangerous' list

London,England,UK -The Tottenham, Wood Green and Edmonton Journal -16 January 2008: -- Three bus routes serving Haringey residents are in the top 10 most dangerous in London, a new report reveals... The number 29 from Wood Green Station to Trafalgar Square, the 73 from Seven Sisters Station to Victoria Station and the 149 from Edmonton Green Station to London Bridge Station all feature in the table of routes generating the most code red calls issued by the London Assembly transport committee... The committee's Crime and Disorder on London Buses report published last week reveals crime rates on buses remain higher than two years ago and passengers continue to feel less safe than any other form of public transport even though crime on board overall is relatively low - one for every 50,000 journeys...


Bus information system * UK - Backed despite concerns

York,UK -The York Press, by Gavin Aitchison -16 Jan 2008: -- Hi-tech transport devices have been hailed by ruling councillors - despite opposition complaints that they are not working properly... Labour councillors say signs advising passengers when their bus is due are unreliable, and often result in "phantom buses" being signalled as having arrived when they haven't... But Coun Ann Reid, transport chief at City of York Council, said York was recognised as a leader in the use of intelligent transport systems, and said such systems had contributed to the council's transport work being recognised as "excellent"... (Coun Tracey Simpson-Laing with one of the digital bus signs at a bus stop in Piccadilly, York)


Hybrid School Buses * USA - Hit The Road; Researchers Test Their Performance

Sigourney,IO,USA -ScienceDaily -Jan. 16, 2008: -- You've got to be careful with the accelerator because hybrid school buses like to go... Dan Taghon, the director of transportation for the Sigourney Community School District in southeast Iowa, said his district's new hybrid bus has been running routes since Jan. 3. And Taghon, who drives the bus on one of the district's six routes, said he likes the 65-passenger machine powered by an electric motor and a V-8 diesel engine... And the hybrids should do a lot better than standard buses. Dennis Kroeger, a transportation research specialist said fuel efficiency could jump 40 percent to 50 percent, from six miles per gallon for a standard bus up to 10 or 11 miles per gallon for the hybrids... (Photo by Dennis Kroeger - The Sigourney Community School District's hybrid bus is running two rural routes a day)