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

Buses World News

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


A gallery * Pakistan - Cars & Buses¡

Pakistan (Sebastopol, CA,USA),Phillip Torrone /span> -27 Feb 2008: -- The most striking thing in Pakistan is the vision of trucks and buses completely covered in a riot of color and design. They might spew diesel fumes, they may take up all of the winding, narrow, under-maintained road one is trying to negotiate, but they are certainly noticeable, like so many mechanical dinosaurs adorned in full courtship colors...The decoration of vehicles is a common practice in a number of countries in addition to Pakistan. Similar techniques and materials are employed in truck and (more frequently) bus decoration in the Philippines, Indonesia, and several countries in Central and South America; in South Asia itself, Indian trucks are painted, as are the scooter rickshaws, called "Baby Taxis", of Bangladesh. What makes the case of Pakistan unique, however, is the pervasiveness of vehicle decoration, since decoration is heavily utilized on virtually all privately and fleet-owned commercial vehicles, from the well known trucks and buses, to vans, share taxis, animal carts and even juice vendors' push carts... 3. Masaru Tatsuki's Decotora (decorated trucks)


Green Bus * USA - Cisco's rides the hills of San Francisco

San Francisco,CA,USA -Cisconet/ Community - 27 Feb 2008: -- Cisco last week unveiled its Connected Bus developed with the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency for its Muni bus service. The bus offers touch screens that provide real-time NextMuni information and wait times, free wireless, and external LEDs to tell motorists and pedestrians about the environmental benefits of the bus. In the future, the bus will sport technology to reduce vehicle collisions, traffic signal priority to help drivers avoid congestion, onboard video and audio entertainment for passengers, a "Find It" service to locate nearby points of interest and operator services to assist bus drivers and maintenance staff. (Watch a video of the bus in action here -we're waiting for a version of the video showing the bus doing a Bullit-style ride along the hills of SF-)


Cheap bus * UK - Travel for young workers

All aboard for cheap bus travel!

Sheffield,England,UK -The Star, by Tony Belshaw -28 Feb 2008: -- Young school and college-leavers can now get more than a third off fares on public transport in South Yorkshire with a new ticket... The 19-21 TravelMaster gives young people aged between 19 and 21 a 35 per cent discount on buses, trams and trains throughout the county... It is aimed at school and college-leavers starting out in the world of work... Instead of shelling out £20.75 for a standard weekly pass they can get one for just £13.50. A monthly ticket costs £49.50 instead of the standard price of £77.25... (Picture by Roger Nadal - Tickets to ride: For Tess Brockbank-Smith and Laura Jackson )


Report * UK - Into Local Transport Bill

Rochdale,England,UK -Rochdale Online -28 Feb 2008: -- A report that calls for the strengthening of the Local Transport Bill has been largely welcomed by the Chairman of Greater Manchester Passenger Transport Authority (GMPTA)... The Institute for Public Policy Research North (IPPR North) today published ‘Moving On: A Progressive Transport Policy for Northern England’... It calls for the Local Transport Bill to give Passenger Transport Authorities and Executives firm powers to exercise control over bus and rail services in northern city regions... The current proposals would require city regions to seek approval from a non-elected quango, the Secretary of State and further legislation...


PUBLIC INFO-TRANSPORT * UK - The next stop should be Helsinki

The Finnish capital's public transport system is rich with real-time information for passengers - and London's buses are headed in the same direction

London,UK -The Guardian, Sean Dodson -February 28 2008: -- If you have traveled on a London bus in the past month, you might have noticed something new... Passengers on routes such as the 148, between Camberwell and Shepherd's Bush, may have noticed that each time the bus approaches a stop, a recorded voice tells them which one it is, similar to the announcements made on the tube... It seems a subtle, if slightly annoying, addition to the bus. Especially if, like most on board, you already know which stop is next...


Segregated Buses * Israel - Driving critics to court

Religious rules keep women in back seats

Jerusalem,Israel -The Chicago Tribune (Chicago,Ill,USA), by Joel Greenberg -February 28, 2008: -- On six public bus lines in this city, the sexes are separated. Women board at the rear door and sit in the back. Men get on and sit in the front... The segregated lines, operated by Egged, Israel's main bus company, link neighborhoods of ultra-Orthodox Jews and accommodate demands of the strictly religious for separate seating of men and women... Twenty-three other intercity lines, similarly segregated, serve cities and towns that have substantial ultra-Orthodox populations. In many cases they are the only direct lines between those communities, running at reduced fares... (Video from YouTube, by mysticgeek -February 25, 2007: "Israel busing - modesty patrol-modestly dressed can ride". Israel Egged bus. ultra-orthodox religious laws women passengers would only be allowed to board buses if they are modestly dressed, drivers would not be allowed to air secular radio stations, and "non-kosher,"..A woman who reported being attacked by an ad-hoc modesty patrol aboard a Jerusalem bus has submitted an affidavit describing the incident as part of a petition to the High Court of Justice regarding the legality of sex-segregated bus lines)

* Government to rule as Dan moves to cancel Shabbat bus services

Tel Aviv,Israel -Haaretz, by Shahar Ilan -28 Feb 2008: -- The Ministry of Transportation will today decide whether to approve the Dan bus company's request to discontinue its services on Saturday afternoons, a decision that one secular MK called a sign of "creeping religious coercion"... Dan, which operates numerous bus lines in the Tel Aviv area, currently runs a number that start at 4:00 P.M. on Saturdays, before the end of the Jewish Sabbath when most public transportation is suspended... Its decision to postpone the start of its service on Saturdays to 6:00 P.M. during the winter and 9:00 P.M. in the summer - after the Sabbath ends - was announced over the past few days in notices put up at the company's stations...


PURCHASE BUSES * USA - Lee schools to buy 10 new buses

Guntown,MS,USA -The Northeast Mississippi Daily Journal (Tupelo,MS), by GINNY MILLER-27 Feb 2008: -- Lee County School Board members voted Monday to buy 10 new school buses for the 2008-2009 school year... It will cost $726,250 to add to the fleet, which School Board President Sherry Mask called a "chunk of change," but most of the money will come from an existing 3-mill tax levy... Financial director Randy Thweatt said the district will wait until August or September, about the time the International buses will be ready, to advertise for bids from banks for the note...


REPLACING BUSES * UK - Ken: I will do in Oxford St with trams

Ken Livingstone has unveiled plans to ban all vehicles from Oxford Street, including buses, and install a shuttle tram

London,UK -The Evening Standard, by Katharine Barney -28 Feb 2008: -- ... The £200million move will effectively pedestrianise one of London's busiest shopping streets... The project, which will be paid for by two new commercial blocks at the western end of Oxford Street, will also see areas of Marble Arch grassed over and become part of Hyde Park... Mr Livingstone hoped to start work on the the tram system after the 2012 Olympics, with the scheme to be completed by 2018... (An end to gridlock: Ken Livingstone wants to phase out taxis and buses from Oxford Street. His plan would also grass over parts of Marble Arch, merging it into Hyde Park)


PROTEST * South Africa - Bloemfontein taxi operators torch buses

Johannesburg,South Africa -SABC News - February 27, 2008: -- Taxi operators have set three buses alight at a taxi rank in Botshabelo, east of Bloemfontein. Two Interstate buses were completely gutted and the third was badly damaged. When police arrived, some taxi operators began throwing stones at officers. Shots were fired and two people were wounded. Two people were also arrested. Protesting taxi operators are unhappy about Interstate buses transporting passengers along certain routes...



LESS BUSES * USA - S.F. unveils 'dramatic' plan to revamp Muni

San Francisco,CAL,USA -The San Francisco Chronicle, by Rachel Gordon -February 27, 2008: -- City officials unveiled plans Tuesday for a major overhaul of San Francisco's Municipal Railway transit system that, if enacted, would eliminate some bus lines and truncate, expand or reroute many others... The changes - aimed at improving reliability, speeding travel times and providing more frequent service - are based on an 18-month analysis of transit ridership trends and traffic patterns in San Francisco... The plan would be the first significant restructuring of Muni routes in two decades and comes amid high public frustration with the system... (Chronicle file photo by Craig Lee, 2004 - Muni's overhaul plan would be the first significant restructuring of the transit agency's bus routes in two decades)


Congestion Pricing * USA - Ad campaign on trains, buses

Long Island,NY,USA -Newsday, by Steve Ritea -February 26, 2008: -- A series of advertisements asking riders to urge their state and city lawmakers to support congestion pricing will begin appearing on subways, buses and Long Island Rail Road trains this week, suggesting the plan will generate more money for public transportation and help ease overcrowding... The $500,000 media campaign is financed by contributions from a variety of private organizations who support the mayor's plan to charge drivers $8 to enter Manhattan south of 60th Street during peak hours. The effort is designed to reduce traffic and limit unhealthy emissions... (Video from YouTube, by Marc1a -July 07, 2007: "NYC: Congestion Pricing". The pros & cons of proposed congestion pricing in Manhattan)


DART * USA - Regional buses could cost Ankeny more

The Board of Commissioners of the Des Moines Area Regional Transit Authority is considering changing how it collects local property taxes, which account for about $6 million of DART's total $27 million budget

Des Moines,IA,USA, by GUNNAR OLSON -February 26, 2008: -- Regional bus service could soon cost more for the owners of homes and businesses in Ankeny... Today DART collects property taxes based on the percentage of miles that DART buses spend on the streets of each member city. Under the proposed change, to be fully implemented by fiscal year 2011, DART would collect taxes at the same rate from property owners in all member cities with regular bus service. Fiscal 2011 starts July 1, 2010... The net effect: Property owners in Des Moines would see a transit tax decrease of about 25 percent while the taxes on Ankeny property owners would quadruple...


PET BUSES * Australia - Buses now a dog's breakfast

Australia, by Janet Fife-Yeomans -February 27, 2008: -- ... Yesterday the State Transit Authority revealed what few of its own drivers and transit officers seem to know - dogs and other pets are allowed on buses... The decision is down to the discretion of the driver who has to take into account other passengers, travel time and whether the dog is clean and restrained... (Picture: Pema watched from on board the L20 from Ryde to the city as her owner, Eedra Zey)



* China - Youngman Plans to Ship 1,000 German Technology-Based, Quality CNG Buses to the US Within 12 Months

Beijing,China (USA) -February 26, 2008: -- Youngman Automobile Group, China's premium quality bus and coach manufacturer, announces plans to ship 1,000 high quality German technology-based CNG (compressed natural gas) buses to the US within the next 12 months... Following last month's announcement, ZAP has been appointed as the exclusive importer and distributor for these buses within North America. US-China Bus Deal Projects $200 Million in Revenues by 2009...


Inspections * USA - Reveal big problems in IPS buses

Indianapolis,IND,USA -wthr, by Bob Segall/13 Investigates -Feb 26, 2008: -- ... Based on a tip, 13 Investigates spent the weekend looking under dozens of buses at the lot of First Student, a company that contracts more than 250 buses to Indiana's largest school district... Every day, thousands of IPS students get to and from school on a First Student school bus... Their lot was left unlocked and wide open, leaving hundreds of buses to choose from... 13 Investigates inspected 65 school buses at First Student, and experts identified significant safety issues with about 60% of them... A videotape of the inspections revealed big problems involving brakes, tires, exhaust pipes, leaking fluids and shocks... (An ISP officer inspects a bus on the First Student lot)


BUSMAKERS' NEWS * USA - Azure Dynamics wins hybrid-electric supply deal for vans and buses

Oakland,CAL,USA -Oakland Business Review/MLiveby, by Sven Gustafson -February 26, 2008: -- Oak Park hybrid-electric and electric vehicle powertrain developer Azure Dynamics Corp. said Tuesday it has signed a supply agreement with an Indiana company that manufactures commercial step vans and shuttle buses... The deal with Utilimaster Corp. covers the assembly, hybridization and manufacturing engineering of Azure's P1 hybrid-electric commercial delivery vans and shuttle buses. The vehicles are based on stripped Ford E-Series chassis and Azure's hybrid powertrains. The vehicles will be assembled at Utilimaster's manufacturing facilities in Wakarusa, Ind...


Zero-emissions Bus * USA - Runs super clean, but super pricey

Green, yes. But a new report from the VTA says the $18 million state-mandated pilot project costs too much green - and raises troubling questions about whether the program should continue

San Jose,CA,USA -The SanJose Mercury News, by Gary Richards -25 Feb 2008: -- ... The most glaring figure: Zero-emission buses - or ZEBs - cost $51.66 to fuel, maintain and operate per mile compared to just $1.61 for a 40-foot conventional diesel coach. They break down much more frequently, and replacement parts are next to impossible to order, according to the report... The VTA experiment could be a blow to hydrogen fuel technology, once heralded as the future of green mass transit options. At the least, the report raises significant questions about whether the state should ease off the accelerator rather than pushing Bay Area transit agencies to expand the hydrogen project... (Photo by Gary Reyes / Mercury News - Steve Maloon, Transit Mechanic, fills up a VTA bus with hydrogen at the fueling station at the Cerone Operating Division facility in San Jose today. VTA's Zero Emission Bus program (ZEB) has not been as successful as originally planned after three years of operation. The hydrogen fuel cell powered buses are expensive to buy and maintain. As a result, they cost more to keep on the road than the normal diesel buses used by the VTA)


BUS PASSES * UK - Pools and parks face cuts to fund bus passes for everyone over 60

London,UK -The Times, by Ben Webster -February 26, 2008: -- Libraries, parks and leisure centres face financial cuts after the introduction of free nationwide bus travel for those aged 60 and over. Seaside towns that attract elderly visitors will be badly affected by the Government’s failure to pay for the new benefit, according to local authorities... Most bus-pass holders are currently able to travel free on services only in their local council areas. But, from April 1, they can use buses free anywhere in England after 9.30am. Some passengers are expected to use a combination of local services to travel hundreds of miles. The free bus pass will cover all local services, including open-top tour buses, but will not be valid on most long-distance coaches...


BRTS * Pakistan - ADB and CDGK to start bus rapid transit system

Karachi,Pakistan -The Daily Times, by Irfan Aligi -26 Feb 2008: -- A new concept in urban transport systems is in the offing as the Asian Development Bank (ADB) has allocated US$ 223 million for the Bus Rapid Transit System (BRTS), to be launched in collaboration with the City District Government Karachi (CDGK). The BRTS would facilitate the transportation of at least 20,000 passengers on a persons-per-hour-per-direction basis... The project encompasses the construction of 11 corridors, which will be built in the four tranches of the mega city project...


CORRUPTION * Azerbaijan - "Transport Minister Ziya Mamedov has transferred the Baku bus station for operation to his son"

According to Novosti-Azerbaijan, the owners of the transport companies ask the president to protect them from illegal actions of Transport Minister Z.Mamedov

Baku,Azerbaijan -Novosti/Today.Az -26 February 2008: -- In order to settle problems created by the Ministry, the bus owners have to pay to Ministry's officials. According to Natik Alekperov, chairman of public association "Independent transport workers" , this obliges private entrepreneurs to give up business in this economic sector, releasing a place for businessmen, close to Minister Mamedov... These companies have brought over 200 large and middle passenger buses to Baku, process of order and delivery is going on and several buses will be brought to Baku soon... According to the owners of the companies, Transport Minister Ziya Mamedov decided to take control over the passenger transport of the capital city... For this purpose, the Transgate company, controlled by the Minister, has brought Dew buses to Baku, annulling contracts with companies, serving passengers at routes No 83, 242t, 242, 334, 252, 42, 175, 7t, 59, 105, 109 and 343. 12 companies lost work in the result of it... Furthermore touching upon the announcement of Alekperov, that "Ziya Mamedov transferred the Baku bus station to his son"...



Transport Deal * South Africa - MEC to Sign a Multi-Million One

Eastern Cape,SA -BuaNews, by Gabi Khumalo/ (Washington,USA) -24 February 2008: -- A R107 million Black Economic Empowerment deal to address the public transport challenges facing rural communities in the Eastern Cape, is to be signed by MEC for Safety, Liaison, Roads and Transport, Thobile Mhlahlo... The deal between the department and Africa's Best 350 Ltd, will be an injection of quality public transport services into poverty-stricken areas, said Mr Mhlahlo, adding that they would be enhancing accessibility to economic opportunities through improved mobility... The MEC said a fleet of 175 brand new buses will operate on 166 routes in the Alfred Nzo, OR Tambo, Amathole and Chris Hani Districts...


NEW FLEET * Pakistan - 400 buses to ply on all twin cities routes from March

Rawalpindi, Pakistan -The News International, by Khalid Iqbal -24 Feb 2008: -- District government Rawalpindi has planned to launch 400 public transport buses on all the 11 routes of the twin cities of Rawalpindi and Islamabad from the next month... District Coordination Officer Irfan Elahi told ‘The News’ on Saturday that the Punjab government had asked the city government in January last and even delegated the powers to facilitate the suffering commuters by launching the new bus service...


BUSES' PURCHASE PROSPECTS * USA - Chenango to use $1.28M grant for buses

Oneonta,NY,USA -The Oneonta Daily Star -February 23, 2008: -- Chenango County will use a $1.28 million grant to buy 23 replacement buses for public transportation, RC Woodford, clerk of the board of supervisors, said recently... Chenango's grant was part of $14.7 million in federal funds earmarked for smaller public transportation systems in the state's rural areas. The city of Oneonta, Otsego County and Schoharie County also were listed to receive grants... Woodford said the buses, mostly 16-passenger vehicles, will be added this year to the county's fleet of about 28. The county fell behind on replacing buses in part because of unacceptable bids, he said, and new buses will help provide reliable service...


State-of-the-art * UK - Double deckers put to the test

Doncaster,England,UK -The Doncaster Today, by Paul Goodwin -23 Feb 2008: -- Tickhill's Brian Button has waited 24 years to get on a bus in his wheelchair... Now, thanks to Doncaster's biggest bus operator, 18 state-of-the-art double-deckers have all come along at once... The disabled 60-year-old was a guest at First bus company's Leger Way depot this week where representatives from local access groups got an early glimpse of the new passenger and environmentally-friendly fleet - scheduled to take to the town's streets over the next fortnight... And according to the enthusiastic member of the Doncaster Access Group, the £3m investment is money well spent - and likely to get more people from the borough travelling on the buses... (Picture: Liz Robinson D3097LR: Brian Button, 60, of Tickhill, tries out the new low floored, disabled friendly buses from First)


A story * India - Steering a roadworthy one

New Delhi,India -The India Today, by Stephen David -February 21, 2008: -- For a harried city traveller, the idea of utopia—a smooth ride with minimum stoppage at traffic lights—is doomed to remain just that. With millions of cars being added on roads every year and public transport a near failure in the best Indian cities, decongestion of roads looks like a distant dream... In the country’s cyber capital, Bangalore, narrow roads and two-million twowheelers made for a nightmare combination and national headlines. But the remodelled Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) has to rectify the situation... In a bid to encourage public transport, it has introduced a slew of passenger-friendly initiatives like smart pre-paid cards, global positioning systems (GPS) in buses and, unbelievably posted a profit of Rs 224 crore in 2006-07... If the BMTC Managing Director Upendra Tripathy, 51, has his way, commuting in India’s Silicon Valley may soon turn into a joyride. He has also proposed creating a dedicated bus lane called the Bus Rapid Transit corridor and a Rs 38-crore seven-floor traffic transit centre to monitor and reduce traffic snarls... The corporation recorded a minuscule 0.14 accidents per one lakh km rate which is the lowest in the country. Today, the buses ply one million km and carry three million passengers daily... Of the corporation’s 4,700 buses close to 1,200 are now fitted with a GPS device which comes in handy not only in regulating speed and monitoring their movement, but also helps them recover in case of theft... (Picture: Managing Director Upendra Tripathy)


INFRASTRUCTURES * USA - Buses load first passengers at downtown transit center

Chico,CA,USA -The Enterprise-Record, by JENN KLEIN -22 Feb 2008: -- It's not quite finished yet, but the city's new downtown transit center is in use... With work mostly finished on the new downtown hub for buses at Salem and West Second streets, buses began loading passengers again at the stop Wednesday, said Jim Peplow with the Butte County Association of Governments... City Capital Project Services Director Tom Varga said only "loose ends" remain in the construction of the transit center building, which is still fenced off. But he said the two solar-panel covered passenger shelters on Salem Street are open and in use... (Photo: Bus riders seek shelter under the solar panel roof of the transit Center on Second and Salem)


Cut Crime * UK - Passengers help, on the buses

Solihull,West Midlands,UK -ic -Feb 22 2008: -- Crime on the borough's bus network almost halved in 2007 it was revealed this week... Every district in the West Midlands reported a reduction in bus crime but Solihull and Sandwell saw the biggest drop - with crime falling by 46 per cent... The task force is a partnership between a number of different organisations including West Midlands Police and Centro... Inspector Ian Grundy, from the Safer Travel police team, said: "We will persist to work hard and build on this success - to reduce crime even further both on board buses and at stops and shelters. This means working closely with our partners and local neighbourhood teams and continuing to act on the vital intelligence provided to us by bus operators and, crucially, the travelling public"... (Video from youtube, by wmtlynx -August 22, 2007: "Travel West Midlands Leyland Lynx 1292 aston to castle vale", ex-TWM Leyland Lynx on the A38 in Birmingham)


Riders complain * USA - School activity buses are freezing

Coach tells of windows that won't close, broken heaters

Palmer,AK,USA -The Anchorage Daily News (subscription) (Anchorage,AK,USA), by MELODIE WRIGHT February 22nd, 2008: -- Cold buses were the topic of hot conversation at Wednesday's meeting of the Matanuska-Susitna Borough School Board... Students described for board members long trips through cold nights, huddled in down sleeping bags against the frigid air inside their bus... Wasilla High School basketball coach Jeannie Hebert-Truax led the girls' basketball team to a state-championship last year and continues to coach one of the state's most successful teams... She described freezing conditions, bus windows that don't close, delays due to drivers who became lost, broken heaters and lack of storage for gear...


Payments on Buses * USA - NY commuters to trial contactless ones

New York,NY,USA -Finextra (UK) -22 February 2008: -- MasterCard is working with transport operators in New York on a contactless payments trial that will enable customers to use devices such as cards, key fobs and mobile phones to pay fares on buses and trains... MasterCard is teaming with The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey and NJ Transit for the eight month trial, which is set to kick off in early 2009... Customers will be able to pay fares on buses and trains between New York City and New Jersey by tapping their contactless device at turnstiles and on fare boxes... The trial will cover 13 Port Authority train stations and two connecting NJ Transit bus routes...



Graciously Campaign* China - To encourage passengers to offer seats to needy

Beijing has launched a campaign to encourage people to give up seats to the elderly, pregnant or others in need on public buses and subway trains

Beijing,China -Xinhua -22 Feb 2008: -- ... The 22nd day of every month was chosen as the promotion day in Beijing for passengers to give up their seats to those in need, said Liu Xiaoming, deputy director of the Beijing Municipal Transportation Commission on Friday... "With this move, we aim at creating a harmonious and orderly riding environment, and raising passengers' awareness to take care of the elderly, the weak, the sick, the handicapped and the pregnant," he said... Municipal media will keep a candid eye on this from July to September, praising those who give up their seats voluntarily and exposing those who refuse to do so, according to Liu... (Video from YouTube, by shinichisugii -June 19, 2007 : "Beautiful Beijing - Bus Trip" 2006)


NEW BUSES * USA - NJ Transit receives its first of 1,145 new buses

Newark,NY,USA, by Larry Higgs -February 21, 2008: -- The first of 1,145 brand new, refrigerator-white buses ordered by NJ Transit was parked outside the mass transit agency's headquarters last Wednesday... Bus number 5201 is the first of the vehicles, which will become as familiar to riders, representing about half the fleet of the agency's "transit" or city buses and suburban buses... The list of features on the new bus:
- Improved air conditioning and two inches more leg and hip room in suburban-style buses, brighter lighting and individual reading lights are among the amenities Sarles listed.
- Bus stops also will be shown inside the bus on light emiting diode displays.
- Security cameras installed inside the vehicle and have improved emissions equipment that meets or exceeds federal pollution standards.
- Larger area for drivers.
- Wheelchair lifts for handicapped riders.

(PHOTO COURTESY OF NJ TRANSIT: The first of 1,145 buses ordered by NJ Transit to replace its current aging fleet is seen here. Several new features have been noted, such as handicapped accessibility)


DELAYS * USA - Valley students spending more than 2 hours on bus

Phoenix,AZ,USA -ABC15/KNXV-TV, by Deborah Stocks -21 Feb 2008: -- County officials who rode Thomas J. Pappas school buses last month found that some students spent more than two hours traveling to and from class each day, according to a recent report... Maricopa County officials said they found problems with ride-times, drivers and students on buses for the County-run school for homeless students... Drivers were apparently getting lost, there were fights on buses and children were left to stand in a dirt lot while a bus was being gassed-up...Next year, they will attend traditional schools instead.


PUBLIC TRANSPORT SYSTEMS * Japan - Nighttime expressway buses gain popularity

Expressway buses that run between Tokyo and Osaka at night are growing popularity with people who use them for business as well as pleasure

Tokyo,Japan -The Yomiuri Shimbun, by Nobuyuki Kojima -22 Feb 2008: -- ... Although slower than Shinkansen bullet trains and airplanes, the buses' lower fares attract many customers. Travelers can choose from a variety of buses as their pocketbooks permit, from high-class, premium buses with wider seats to cheaper buses that use sightseeing coaches... I took a ride on one of the busses to experience what it feels like... Earlier this month, I boarded a bus heading to Osaka from Tokyo operated by major tour bus company Orion Tour Co... The fee was 4,500 yen, a bargain compared with the normal 14,050 yen fare for the Nozomi Shinkansen... The bus had four seats per row. The seat was narrow, and my back began to hurt after a couple of hours... (Video from YouTube, by ichibanjp - September 18, 2006: "Bus trip to Tsukuba", From Tokyo station to Tsukuba on JR highway bus in 1988)


OPINION * UK - Low Emission Zone London or Ken's tax on trucks

London,UK -Liberty Scott (New Zealand) -February 20, 2008: -- Since 4 February he has made ALL of London (yes not just central) a “Low Emission Zone”. What this means is that any lorry over 12 tonnes that enters any part of Greater London under the authority of the Greater London Authority must have an engine rated as being euro 3 or above, otherwise it faces a £200 charge. This tends to mean that lorries registered since October 1991 will be exempt, but those older than that will face the fee. Failure to pay will result in a fine of £1500... The scheme will cost £10 million to operate, and is costing £50 million to implement (figures quoted from BBC London) but its benefits are likely to be difficult to detect. The scheme will undoubtedly cost millions to businesses, as currently roadworthy lorries will need to be sold, or the fines and fees passed onto customers. Meanwhile, the lorries will likely be relocated to other parts of Britain, producing dirty emissions there! The scheme is to be extended to lorries down to 3.5 tonnes by July 2008, along with buses, coaches, minibuses, vans, motor caravans and ambulances. Cars are specifically not included, curiously...


Transit Plan * South Korea - Unveiled for Commuters to Seoul

Seoul,S. Korea -The Korea Times, by Kim Se-jeong -21 Feb 2008: -- The presidential transition committee announced Thursday a new transit plan with the aim of reducing chronic traffic jams in suburban Seoul and expressways and inducing more people to use public transportation... According to the plan, a lane for high-occupancy vehicles will be created in designated zones of the Hannam-Pangyo interchanges of the Gyeongbu Expressway and the Yeoido-Jamsil interchanges on Olympic Expressway... Vehicles that carry fewer than nine passengers on the designated lane would have to pay a toll.The committee also suggested expanding bus-only lanes on expressways and downtown Seoul... (Video from YouTube, by djveracious -August 23, 2007: "Seoul Bus Transit " Traveling in Seoul at night)


BUS CARDS * UK - Bus fares swipe card plan

Preston,England,UK -Lancashire Evening Post -21 February 2008: -- Buses across Preston are to be fitted with swipe card readers in a bid to slash journey times and get more people on to public transport... The machines are expected to be installed on Preston Bus, Stagecoach and Fishwick and Sons buses... Passengers will be able to buy swipe cards which can be topped up with credits in the same way as mobile phones. Once on the bus, ticket machines will allow passengers to simply swipe their card to pay for their journey.The move, part of the European Union-funded CIVITAS scheme, is aimed at making buses faster and at ending complaints over drivers not having the right change, which leads to passengers being overcharged... (Picture: A Preston bus)


BUS CARDS * Australia - Brisbane's 'go cards' on sale

Brisbane,Queensland,Australia -The Age (Melbourne,Victoria) -February 21, 2008: -- South-east Queensland will make a big step towards integrated ticketing for public transport when the long-awaited "go card" goes on sale in Brisbane, the Queensland government says... The integrated ticket system for trains, buses and ferries was first promised to be in place in south-east Queensland in 2001, but it has been dogged by problems... During a small-scale trial period, there were reports of card readers malfunctioning and cards not accurately showing the amounts of money deposited on them...


Rowdy Drunks * USA - Will be kicked off Eagle County buses

ECO Transit also will not tolerate fighting, vomiting, agency says

Eagle County,.CO,USA -The Vail Daily (Vail, CO), by Melanie Wong -February 20, 2008: -- Late-night ECO bus riders, watch your behavior — you might be denied a ride... ECO Transit’s new “zero-tolerance policy” means that anyone fighting or disrupting the bus service will be asked to leave at the next bus stop. Bus drivers will also deny rides to anyone who is too drunk to get on the bus, uncooperative toward the driver, or fighting... Transit officials are also worried about something a little less voluntary — vomiting... Vomit can carry contagious diseases, so anytime someone throws up on the bus, it poses a health threat and the bus must be pulled off the route to be cleaned, said Transit Director Harry Taylor...


Upgrades * USA - For crowded subway & buses

Bronx commuters used to long waits can soon rejoice.

New York,NY,USA -The NY Daily News, by DORIAN BLOCK -February 19, 2008: -- The Metropolitan Transportation Authority has unveiled a $13.7 million set of enhancements to the Bronx’s subway and bus lines, increasing current service and creating new routes to transport the growing borough... Much of the money will be spent extending hours on several bus and subway lines, but the priciest single project is a $3.2 million new limited-stop bus — the Bx50 — that will run between Fordham Plaza and LaGuardia Airport... Currently, residents who want to avoid a pricey cab ride take a bus to Flushing, Queens, and transfer to another bus to get to the airport, or they take the subway to 125th St. and a Manhattan bus to Queens... (Photo by Alvarez/News - Bus riders at Fordham Road Plaza hop on. Long waits may soon be a thing of the past)

* MTA buses tearing up the streets, literally
New York,NY,USA -Second Ave. Sagas, by Benjamin Kabak/East Village Idiot -February 19, 2008: -- Last week’s rather pathetic snow storm was a bit of a challenge for the MTA. At first, buses couldn’t handle the wet roads, and after the rain came, the buses were over-equipped for city streets. Chris, the East Village Idiot, noticed a few buses still equipped with snow chains nearly a day after the snow had stopped falling. If the streets are torn up along your favorite bus route, now you’ll know why...


NEW BUSES * Canada - Additional TTC buses to ease commuter rush

Toronto,ONT,CAN -680 News Radio -February 19, 2008: -- Dozens of new TTC buses will be hitting the road, Tuesday, following a $21 million dollar cash injection from the city last week... There will be 30 new buses added for the morning rush and another 40 for the drive home...


SECURITY * UK - Support officers on bus patrols

The officers will ride on buses and help keep routes clear

London,UK -BBC News -20 February 2008: -- A bus company is putting police community support officers (PSCO) on its vehicles to help cut crime and anti-social behaviour... The £180,000 Newport Transport scheme will see four officers riding the routes for the next three years... The firm spent around £80,000 last year replacing broken windows on its buses... The company, which carries around eight million passengers a year, said the PSCOs will also be able to help keep bus routes in the city running smoothly as they will have traffic enforcement powers... (Picture: The officers will ride on buses and help keep routes clear)

* UK - Antisocial behaviour on buses ‘increasing’
Borehanwood,UK -The Borehanwood Times, by Janaki Mahadevan -22 Feb 2008: -- Antisocial behaviour on buses is an increasing problem in Borehamwood, with some drivers being verbally abused every day, according to bus companies and passengers... Despite the companies working closely with Hertfordshire Constabulary to stamp out problems with rowdy and abusive behaviour, incidents continue to cause concern, particularly during peak hours... One bus company operator said verbal attacks on drivers now occur on a daily basis...


Traffic congestion * UK - Boost buses to ease Blackwall one

London,UK -News Shopper -19 Feb 2008: -- Traffic congestion has been getting worse by the day on the A2 and in Greenwich, Blackheath, Charlton and Shooters Hill since Blackwall Tunnel contraflow system changed. Something needs to be done to help ease traffic congestion... Better and more frequent bus services would help... People are still put off using the buses, especially during peak times, due to overcrowding... More people being able to travel for free in the peak hours means passengers trying to get to work cannot get on the buses and are left waiting at bus stops... It is so annoying when you pay full fare... (Picture: Has the change in the Blackwall Tunnel created traffic problems?)


Errant Motorists * South Africa - 12 000 drivers fined in N2 bus lane

Cape Town,South Africa -The Independent Online, by Sipokazi Maposa -February 19, 2008: -- Over 12 000 traffic fines have been issued to private motorists on the dedicated N2 bus and taxi lane in just six months and authorities have now moved to clamp down on drivers who openly flout traffic regulations on the highway... The Bus and Minibus Taxi (BMT) lane was opened in August, but the number of private vehicles using it has increased steadily and last month saw a total of 5 100 fines being issued... According to a city breakdown of the fines, at least 274 fines were issued in August, 141 in September, 299 in October, 4 750 in November, 1 601 in December and 5 104 last month...


Hydrogen-fueled Buses * USA - SeaWorld to debut shuttle buses

Orlando,FL,USA - The Orlando Business Journal -February 19, 2008: -- SeaWorld plans to unveil two new, hydrogen-fueled shuttle buses as part of its newest conservation program... The shuttle buses are part of a pilot program involving the Florida Department of Environmental Protection, Ford Motor Co., Chevron Technology Ventures and Progress Energy. During the program, data will be collected from the SeaWorld vehicles to evaluate efficiency and best applications for hydrogen-fueled vehicles...




* Ghana - MMT Replaces Neoplan Buses With TATA

Accra,Ghana -The Modern Ghana -18 Feb 2008: -- The Management of Metro Mass Transit Ltd. (MMT) has replaced its VDL Neoplan and Jonckheere buses on the Tema - Kinbu corridor with new TATA buses with effect from Monday February 11, 2008... The TATA buses, which are smaller in size and carry only 59 passengers, are expected to load faster so as to reduce considerably, passenger traveling time and also increase the number of trips the boles are likely to make daily...


INFRASTRUCTURE * China - Pudong's buses to be given more space

Shanghai,China -The Shanghai Daily, by Zhang Jun -19 Feb 2008: -- Shanghai plans to build or reconstruct 10 two-level parking lots in Pudong New Area for buses over the next two years, the project officials said yesterday... Pudong's transport authority's blueprint includes the construction of five new two-level bus parking facilities at least by 2010... He said there were 3,400 buses in Pudong at present but only 1,545 parking spaces. The rest had to be parked on the street overnight, causing safety concerns and maintenance difficulties...


* UK - Stagecoach buses to use fuel saver

London,UK -The Press Association -19 Feb 2008: -- Transport giant Stagecoach is to adopt a fuel-saving compound across its entire bus fleet after tests showed it reduced usage by more than 4%... The group, which operates 7,000 buses across the UK, said results of a three-month test of the Envirox catalyst demonstrated a 4.3% fuel saving... Perth-based Stagecoach, which operates the Megabus and Oxford Tube franchises as well as other routes in scores of towns and cities, started using the diesel additive in 2004. A validation test was then carried out last year for 550 vehicles in the North West of England, demonstrating the 4.3% saving...


WARNING BUS DRIVERS WORLDWIDE * What Should I Do If I Have Been in a Truck Accident?·

* Iceland - Protect Against Lawsuits with On-board Computers

Reykjavik,Iceland -Automating Fleet Management, by Heimir Sverrisson (Former Professor University of Iceland and Reykjavik University) -18 Feb 2008: --

* Render first aid and summon medical professionals.
* Contact an attorney as soon as possible. He will send investigators to the site, advise you of your rights, and recommend steps to take.
* DON'T GIVE STATEMENTS to police, an insurance adjuster, the other driver(s), or bystanders. Any admission of fault can reduce your ability to recover damages.
* If possible, take photos of damage to both vehicles, debris, your visible injuries, and the general scene.
* Get contact information from any witnesses before they leave the scene (let your attorney get their statements).
* Record the truck driver's name and driver's license, license plate numbers of the cab and trailer.
* Exchange personal information (including insurance information) with all drivers involved.
* See a doctor as soon as possible. Seemingly minor injuries can turn out to be serious — brain trauma, fractured bones, soft tissue injury. Carefully document your injuries, your treatment, and your recovery over the next weeks and months.
* Report the accident to your insurance agent, but stick to basic facts (where it occurred, when, vehicles involved). DO NOT SIGN ANYTHING without talking to your attorney.
* Make sure that your vehicle and the truck are inspected before any repairs are made. Your attorney can arrange this.



CONGESTION CHARGE * UK - After five years, traffic has been reduced by 21 per cent

Londoners may moan – but the world wants to copy it

London,UK -The Independent, by Ian Griggs -17 February 2008: -- The most controversial transport policy in modern times reached its fifth anniversary today with its architects claiming that the congestion charge has helped London become the only major city in the world to see a real shift away from private cars to public transport, cycling and walking... Data from the Department for Transport suggests that during the first year of the charge, traffic was steadily reduced in central London, after which it began to creep back up, although it is still below 2000 levels. Before congestion charging began, on 17 February 2003, 334,000 vehicles entered the area each day. Transport for London said traffic was now down by 21 per cent, with 70,000 fewer vehicles a day coming into the city centre. In the western extension of the congestion charge zone, which came into effect on 19 February last year, traffic is down by up to 15 per cent on 2006 levels... Oslo and Trondheim in Norway may have been the first places to introduce a congestion charge, but it is London's scheme that has captured imaginations worldwide... (Video from YouTube, by france24english -October 24, 2007: "FRANCE24-EN-Report-London fights against pollution" - London fights against pollutionTraveling by car in London's centre is becoming very expensive. Every driver has to pay the "congestion charge", 8 £ a day. Next year, it will worsen for gas-guzzlers who will have to pay 25 £ a day. The only way to escape from the tax is to drive "clean"


BUSMAKERS' NEWS * India - Tata Motors to make combat vehicles

New Delhi,India -The Business Standard (Mumbai,Maharashtra) -February 18, 2008: -- The country’s largest commercial vehicles maker Tata Motors, having launched the world’s cheapest car, is now readying for some muscular offerings... From being a defence mobility solutions company, Tata Motors is aggressively expanding into tactical and combat vehicle segments... While it plans to sell its tactical range of vehicles in the overseas markets, it also aims to start manufacturing heavy armoured vehicles... “We plan to sell the tactical range in the SAARC, ASEAN, West Asia and African countries also,” V S Noronha, head-defence, said on the sidelines of the Defence Expo 2008...


OPINION * Sri Lanka - A better bus service

Ceylon,Sri Lanka -The Ceylon Daily News -17 Feb 2008: -- The decision by the Transport Ministry to stop issuing new permits for the operation of private buses is a prudent move, which will be received with a sigh of relief by commuters, motorists and the public in general... While having the effect of not adding to the already chaotic highway scene and easing congestion of vehicular traffic, the snowballing air pollution not to mention the dangers posed by the speeding merchants of death on our highways, the new move would also reduce the need for supplementing the existing fuel bill of the Government which is already burdened on many fronts due to rising oil prices in the world market... (Video from YouTube, by Tripmaitrop -April 16, 2007: "Sri Lanka bus in Colombo")