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

Buses World News

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



* ARB approves $200 million for Cleaner School Buses from Proposition 1B Funding

USA -The AirZone Blog -28 Mar 2008: -- Program will reduce exposure of children to pollution from high emitting buses... The Air Resources Board approved today the allocation of nearly $200 million to replace the remaining 74 oldest school buses still circulating in California, and to replace or retrofit an additional 4,500 high polluting buses serving public schools...

* Snohomish transit agency to buy 23 double decker buses

Snohomish County,Wash,USA -Puget Sound Business Journal (Seattle,WAS))/ (Charlotte,NC) -March 31, 2008: -- Community Transit of Snohomish County plans to buy 23 double decker buses for daily commuter runs to Seattle... Community Transit put its first double decker bus, dubbed The Double Tall, into regular service last August... The agency said the number of passengers using its bus, vanpool and paratransit service jumped by 1 million, from 9.9 million riders in 2006 to 10.9 million last year... (Community Transit is planning on ordering 23 Double Decker Buses like the one shown here)


TRANSPORT INDUSTRY NEWS * UK - FirstGroup on track to improve services

Aberdeen,Scotland,UK -The Scoman, by JANE BRADLEY -27 Mar 2008: -- Transportt operator FirstGroup heralded full-year rail revenue growth of 10 per cent as it said it was on track to deliver a £29 million improvement package demanded by the UK government... First, which also reported a 5 per cent rise in passenger revenue at its UK bus arm, said it was "on course" to achieve improvements agreed with the Department for Transport... First's UK bus business boasts a 9,000-strong fleet, carrying three million passengers a day...

* UK - More Men Pass L Test: Bus And Train Use Rises

UK -28 March 2008: -- More men than women are passing their driving test in Northern Ireland... Over the period January 2007 to December 2007, the pass rate for car 'L' driver tests was 51% for males and 41% for females in Northern Ireland - although there is no explanation of why there is such a differential - it was also clear that more people are now using public transport... There were 19.66 million public bus passenger journeys made during the quarter, a weekly average of 1.51 million...


PURCHASING BUSES * India - City orders 240 Volvo buses for urban transport

Khandala,Maharashtra,India -domain-B -27 March 2008: -- Good news for Bengaluru's harried commuters stuck in never-ending traffic jams - the city's traffic woes may ease a little with the news that the Bengaluru Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) has ordered 240 air-conditioned city buses from Volvo India, the Indian subsidiary of the Swedish manufacturer Volvo... This is in addition to the 70 Volvo buses already plying on the roads... "Passengers are very satisfied with the comfort provided by the Volvo buses," said Upendra Tripathy, managing director of BMTC...


Overweight Man * USA - Banned From County Buses

Atlanta,GA,USA -March 27, 2008: -- Henry County man says he’s been kicked off the county’s transit system because he’s overweight... David Washington, 65, has been confined to a wheelchair following an infection after knee replacement surgery. Side effects from pain medications keep him from driving so he’s been using county buses for trips to the doctors and other errands... Washington and his chair combine for 680 pounds. The hoist on the bus that Jim Strickland (WSB-TV Channel 2 consumer investigator) saw is rated at 750 pounds according to the manufacturer's website...



* UAE / Dubai - Scania eyes Dh5b bus order

Dubai,United Arab Emirates -The Gulf News, by Shakir Husain -March 28, 2008: -- Swedish heavy vehicle maker Scania is among the companies bidding for a Dubai order for 1,616 buses, which will significantly boost the city's public transportation system. Many of these will be double-decker buses... Dubai is expected to have 2,500 buses in operation by 2010 compared with about 600 on the roads now... "Qatar needs 1,500 buses in five years. Kuwait is also looking for buses," said Horst Koerner, market support manager of Scania's bus division... Abu Dhabi and Sharjah are also potential buyers... He said there is a big demand for heavy trucks and buses in the region due to large investments in infrastructure and construction projects across the Gulf... Scania said the regional market for heavy trucks is close to 20,000 per year...



BUSMAKERS' NEWS * USA - Coachmen Industries to Produce ADA Compliant Low Floor Transit Buses

Elkhart,IND,USA -BUSINESS WIRE -March 26, 2008: -- Coachmen Industries, Inc., today announced that it has entered into an agreement to produce ADA compliant low floor accessible buses for ARBOC Mobility LLC., a marketer of specialized transit and shuttle buses designed for users with mobility challenges... This bus incorporates patent pending technologies provided by ARBOC Mobility...


GPS * USA - Richmond County To Install Units On All School Buses

Augusta,GA,USA -WJBF/TV, by Renita Crawford -Mar 26, 2008: -- The Richmond County school bus fleet is in for a major overhaul. In April, all 225 buses will be fitted with GPS units... Richmond County School Superintendent Doctor Dana Bedden says the move will help make routes more efficient by using a computerized mapping system...



TRANSPORT POLICY * UK - Rural bus routes under threat could be saved

London,UK -The Telegraph, by David Millward -26 March 2008: -- Threatened rural bus services could be saved under plans unveiled by ministers... The changes, contained in the Local Transport Bill, will give councils the power to dictate services to bus operators... The proposals, which will affect the three million passengers who are estimated to use buses outside London each day, are an attempt to impose order on an industry that was deregulated in the 1980s... One key move will give councils the right to demand "quality contracts" from local operators if they fail to reach an amicable agreement...


MAINTENANCE * Australia - New brakes for buses - but no investigation

Sydney,New South Wales,Australia -The Sydney Morning Herald, by Linton Besser -March 26, 2008: -- Handbrakes on 18 State Transit buses have had to be replaced days after an empty bus rolled away and crashed onto live railway tracks at Epping - but the state's transport safety watchdog has dropped its investigation into the incident... An audit by a State Transit mechanic, initially found 20 of 85 buses at the Willoughby depot had a fault and that four had "failed"... The log was compiled in the days after an unattended Scania bus crashed onto the rail line at Epping... The four buses found to have had a failed brake underwent maintenance at the weekend and had a part replaced as a precaution, said a State Transit spokesman, Paul Jackson... (Photo by Nick Moir - Crash … the scene at Epping eight days ago.)


BUSE'S PURCHASE * India - Volvo sells 240 buses to the city of Bangalore, India

Stockholm,Sweden -AP/The International Herald Tribune (France) -March 25, 2008: -- Swedish bus and truck maker AB Volvo Tuesday said it received an order for 240 buses from the city of Bangalore, India... The company said the 240 buses are set for delivery during 2008 and 2009, and will add to 70 Volvo buses already running in the city...



* India - Bus service to be overhauled

New Delhi,India -The Times of India - 25 Mar 2008: -- With a clear aim to give a fillip to the Capital's public transport system, the government has given the largest allocation of funds to the transport sector... The move would obviously go a long way in improving the nightmarish traffic situation on Delhi roads, where over 900 private vehicles are being added daily, because the public transport system can't cater to the needs of the people... The government has proposed to modernise and expand the DTC fleet by purchasing 1,402 low-floor buses, 750 semi low-floor buses, 600 airconditioned low-floor buses, 250 airconditioned semi low-floor buses and 1,000 standard CNG buses by March 2009... The end plan is to double DTC's fleet size to 6,000 buses by April 2009... But augmenting the DTC fleet alone will not a solution as the city needs 11,500 buses to cater to its present population... (Video from YouTube, by Marquel303 -July 04, 2007: "Travel by bus in India" - North India, Manali )

* USA - Everett wants to buy hybrid buses
Everett,WA,USA -The Everett HeraldNet, by David Chircop -March 25, 2008: -- Something's missing when these buses pull away from bus stops and red lights... No dark, smelly diesel smoke is emitted from their tailpipes... They're also quieter, smoother and more fuel efficient... On Wednesday, the Everett City Council is scheduled to vote on paying $1.7 million for three of the 40-foot, diesel- electric hybrid buses...



RULES ? * Europe - EU forces passengers on and off the buses

The law has been described as a "farce"

London,UK -The Telegraph, by Lucy Cockcroft -25 Mar 2008: -- Bus passengers who travel along a route of more than 30 miles must get off the vehicle midway through their journey to comply with new EU laws... The Brussels ruling dictates that drivers must pull over and let everyone off their bus after 30 miles, to ensure they do not spend too long behind the wheel... By example, from Newquay to Plymouth route has been split in three, even though a single driver is used for the entire distance... The driver is obliged to pull over and ask everyone to get off before the route number on the front of the vehicle is changed, and all the passengers are invited back on board... Passengers have been told they must buy three tickets to complete the route, and they must also break their journey twice... (EN: What it's this?...)


BUSES PURCHASE PROSPECT * USA - Amsterdam in need of two new buses

Amsterdam,NY,USA -Capital News 9 Top Stories, by Mark Repasky -March 25, 2008: -- A special session of the city council has been called for Tuesday night as the condition of Amsterdam's bus fleet goes from bad to worse... Transportation Director Cheryl Scott is asking the council to approve the purchase of two new buses. She said 90 percent of the cost will be reimbursed by Washington... The request comes after state officials ordered two buses off the road permanently because of safety issues...



* India - Tatas plan hybrid Indica, buses

New Delhi,India -Press Trust Of India -February 10, 2008: -- Tata Motors is now embarking on another path-defining move to come out with electric and hybrid vehicles in both passenger, including its flagship Indica, and commercial segments... According to industry sources, the company is working on blended fuel, partial and complete hybrids, electric vehicles and hydrogen-powered vehicles, some of which could be commercially produced as early as 2011... The company is working on a petrol-electric hybrid vehicle capable of delivering about 20 km per litre complying with BS III and IV emission norms that could be applicable to Indica and its variants and also a possible adaptation of the concept to other platforms in future... Moreover, the sources said Tata Motors is also working on five prototype electric vehicle using lithium ion batteries to be produced on the Indica platform, which could have a range of 200 kilometres per charge... (Picture: LPO 1510 CGS bus -CNG bus-)

* India - Hyundai, Caparo ink bus-making deal

Chennai,India -The Times of India -25 Mar 2008: -- Lord Swraj Paul-promoted Caparo India, on Monday said that it has entered into a technical agreement with Hyundai Motor Corporation of Korea for the manufacture of fully-assembled luxury buses in India... The CKD kits will come from Korea and assembled in India. In all 1,500 buses will be made every year and we will need some 20 acres and a couple of hundred crore as investment. The buses would be badged Hyundai - Caparo... The buses would be made for sale in India. Initially three variants fitted with engines ranging from 320 HP to 380 HP would be assembled. Some chassis and engine parts would be locally made and the project will employ some 200 people... (Photo: Hyundai 's Universe bus)



Free Bus Service * UK - To be Introduced…

Yorkshire,UK -vert-i-go pedicabs & free wheeled travel, by Dan -March 24, 2008: -- A free bus service is to be launched from Monday 29th October by South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Executive. The free bus will run on a route from Sheffield Interchange via Flat Street..., and back to the interchange... The ‘environmentally-friendly buses’ will run every seven minutes... Councillor Bryan Lodge, Cabinet Member for Transport and Streetscene at Sheffield City Council, said: “This new service is another example of innovation from South Yorkshire Passenger Transport Authority which was recently named PTA of the Year at the National Transport Awards. It will help connect all the major parts of the City Centre and will help with its economic regeneration.”...



* Philippines - CNG Buses to ply EDSA tomorrow

Manila,Philippines -March 24, 2008: -- After almost 4 years, Compressed Natural Gas buses will finally be able to service the populace of Manila. Starting Monday, 11 buses will ply the main thoroughfare known as EDSA giving free rides to commuters. Passengers won’t be charged a cent in this pioneer run till the 3rd of April... It is expected that the savings in operation will be about P 4000/day ($100 at P40=$1) compared to a diesel powered bus... Right now the current limitation is in the refueling depot. CNG powered buses will have to top off tanks very far from the city...

* USA - 25 buses in Hollis and Brookline will use biodiesel

Hollis,NH,USA -The Nashua Telegraph (Nashua,NH), by JOSEPH G. COTE -24 March 2008: -- The air in Hollis and Brookline should be a little cleaner soon... New fuel and equipment in school buses may cut emissions as much as 60 percent to 70 percent, according to Hollis Transportation president Al Orde... The changes are being made possible by federal money awarded to the Hollis/Brookline School District earlier this week... The federal Environmental Protection Agency awarded the district a $162,850 grant to retrofit 25 buses with pollution control equipment and to run the fleet on biodiesel... (Photo by Don Himsel: Lee Soule, a bus driver for Hollis Transportation for seven years, warms up his diesel-powered schoolbus before the afternoon run Friday. Twenty-five of their buses will be fitted with pollution control and biodiesel equipment)



* Toll-Lane Revenue Proposal Gets a Rewrite in Richmond - State Plan Diverts Funding From Regional Projects

Washington,DC,USA -The Washington Post, by Eric M. Weiss -March 23, 2008: -- Washington area leaders agreed to turn the carpool lanes on Interstates 95 and 395 into express toll lanes in part to raise $195 million for transit, a plan that included buying 184 clean-fuel buses that would speed commuters into the District or to the Pentagon... But that was before the proposal got to Richmond. The state's transit agency reworked the plan, put together by the Virginia Department of Transportation and a consultant. It wants to use toll revenue to extend Virginia Railway Express train platforms in Fredericksburg and to pay $1.3 million for storage for six Fredericksburg-bound train cars that would be bought with $12.6 million in toll money... (Photo by Leslie E. Kossoff -- Associated Press - Carpool lanes on Interstate 395, shown near King Street, and Interstate 95 would be converted into express toll lanes)

* Australia - Bligh seeks superbuses for Brisbane

Brisbane,Queensland,Australia -The Sydney Morning Herald (Sydney,New South Wales,Australia) -March 23, 2008: -- The Queensland government has foreshadowed a trial of "superbuses" to deal with Brisbane's worsening traffic congestion... Premier Anna Bligh will this week put the call out to bus companies to express interest in the trial, which could be held next year... If enough interest was shown in the trial, multiple vehicles could be trialled at the same time, the premier said... Aside from standard buses, Brisbane City Council currently runs a fleet of "banana" buses capable of carrying almost 90 passengers... Ms Bligh said the government was seeking vehicles capable of carrying over 100 passengers, consisting of three compartments...


BUSES RECALLS * USA - Girardin recalls MBIV school buses and commercial ones

Washington,DC,USA -Recallr, by ravenII -March 22, 2008: -- Girardin is recalling 13 buses MY 2007, and 2008 MB IV School and commercial buses, manufactured, from april 2005 to October 2007... The threshold warning system may no detect the presence of a wheelchair or mobility aid user in a certain spot within the defined threshold ares. These lifts do not comply with FEDERAL MOTOR VEHICLE SAFETY STANDARD... Consequence: The user of the lift could be injured should the lift move unintentionally... (Photo: Girardin's MB IV 100 bus)



* Canada - Go Transit ready to deploy double-decker regional transit buses

Toronto,ONT,CAN -Today's Trucking -20 March 2008: -- Ontario's provincially owned public transit network, GO Transit, is launching a fleet of double-decker passenger buses. They can seat 78 passengers -- 46 on the upper level and 32 on the lower level -- offering 37 per cent more seating capacity than its regular highway buses... (Photo: GO's taller transit buses produce fewer emissions per passenger-mile traveled)

* UK - New Buses for Derby
Derby,England,UK -The Derby Evening Telegraph -22 Mar 2008: -- Bus users can look forward to travelling in style after a ?7 million deal was struck with operator Arriva for a new fleet of vehicles across Derby... A total of 59 new buses will be introduced from October this year for services in Chaddesden, Mackworth, Sinfin and Chellaston... The vehicles will have various features, including easy-to-access floors and seating... And as part of the deal, Derby City Council will also spend ?150,000 installing electronic information displays in the city...

* USA - Better Buses Improve Transit System

Raleigh,NC,USA -NBC17, by Yevette Yeon -Mar 12, 2008: -- A fleet of new Capital Area Transit buses equipped with better surveillance, lighting, and handicap accessibility hit the streets in February... The 15 Gillig low-floor buses have several new features that include better video surveillance, LED lighting, four-sided display signage and an automated voice that whenever the bus stops, informs riders of the name and location of that stop... (Photo: NBC17: A fleet of new Capital Area Transit buses equipped with better surveillance, lighting, and handicap accessibility hit the streets in February)


FUEL PRICE RISE * USA - Bus ridership grows

It was not so long ago that it cost $20 or $25 to fill a car’s tank. With gasoline prices well over $3 today, that bill has doubled

Bangor,MAI,USA -The Bangor Daily News, by Steve Colhoun -March 22, 2008: -- ... In response, bus companies in Down East Maine have increased their routes and ridership to give travelers an affordable option... While much of the service of surface transportation firms in Hancock and Washington counties has always been devoted to schools, buses are not just for kids anymore. Funded by an array of federal, state and community grants in addition to riders’ fares, buses now carry individuals from Bangor to Ellsworth, Bar Harbor and even Calais for work, medical appointments and routine visits... The transportation service of WHCA in Ellsworth arranges transportation for MaineCare patients from Calais to Bangor and, when necessary, to hospitals in Portland and Boston, according to director Linda Belfiore. WHCA’s "demand response" service, which has seen an increase of 20 percent a year over the past several years, carries patients by one of its four buses when possible, but also contracts with other companies, such as Downeast Transportation and West Bus Service, for some trips. WHCA also depends on volunteers at times and has a "friends and family" program under which drivers are reimbursed between 22 and 44 cents a mile... (Photo by Kate Collins/Bangor Daily News: Bob Johnson, a bus driver with Downeast Transportation, helps passenger Grace Sinclair carry her bags to the door of her Ellsworth home after she did some shopping downtown on Thursday, February 14, 2008. Johnson is a regular passenger on the downtown bus)

* Bus ridership up with rising gas prices

Barre,VT,USA -The Boston Globe (Boston,MASS) -March 23, 2008: -- To offset the high price at the pump, more Vermonters are taking public transportation and cutting back on travel... The price of unleaded gas reached an average of $3.26 per gallon on Friday, according to That's 10 cents more than last month, and 46 cents more than last year. Five years ago, gas cost half that much... The increase has prompted some Vermonters to take the bus...

* Rising diesel costs leave some schools struggling to run buses

Chattanooga,Tenn,USA -AP/Daily News Journal (subscription - Murfreesboro,TN,USA) -23 March 2008: -- The rising cost of diesel fuel has some school systems in Tennessee scrambling to find the money to keep their buses running... Officials with Rhea County schools in East Tennessee said they may have to ask the state for help because their budget is so tight... And school leaders in Cleveland are diverting spending to keep fuel for their fleet, which is 100 percent diesel... Spring City Rep. Jim Cobb, a Republican, has described the situation as a building crisis... That’s an assessment Rhea County Board of Education chairman Bill Davault agrees with. He says diesel costs are going to put the county in the hole before the end of the year...



CONTROLS * UK - One in 10 private buses 'faulty'

Dublin,N. Ireland-BBC News(London,UK) -21 Mar 2008: -- One in 10 private hire buses in Northern Ireland had a significant fault when tested by government vehicle inspectors... The situation with two coaches was so serious that they were impounded... Stephen Spratt of the DoE's Public Service Vehicle Enforcement urged people to ask for proof of a bus's roadworthiness before hiring it...



* England receives ethanol buses

London,England -Ethanol Producer Magazine (Grand Forks,ND,USA), by Brian Warshaw -March 21, 2008: -- On March 10, Nottingham became the first city in England to operate a regular bus service with ethanol-fueled vehicles. Three newly delivered E95 single-deck buses took over service on the city’s No. 30 route... Reading, England, is not far behind, awaiting the arrival of 14 ethanol-powered double-deckers for service in May. The two cities have been vying to be the first outside of Sweden to use ethanol-fueled vehicles. In Sweden, 600 E95-powered buses ply routes, including approximately 400 in the capital Stockholm... Swedish manufacturer Scania AB, which builds ethanol-fueled buses, is currently the only manufacturer constructing a modified diesel engine for E95 fuel. Scania started developing the technology in 1989 and is now on its third generation of ethanol-compatible engines... (Picture: SCANIA AB. Scania's ethanol-powered buses now run in England)

* Firm spends £7m on new buses - Derby is to get 59 new buses as part of a £7m investment by the bus company Arriva Midlands

Worksop,England,UK -The Worksop Today -22 Mar 2008: --
... From October, there will be 23 single-decker buses for Chaddesden and Oakwood and eight new midibuses for Mackworth and Littleover... Another 17 double-decker buses will be introduced in Sinfin and Mackworth, while Chellaston will get 11 new single-decker buses from February next year. In total, a third of all Arriva Midlands' buses in the city will be replaced...


BUSES SAFETY INSPECTION * Australia - Handbrake checks for buses

Sydney,Australia, by Heath Aston -March 22, 2008: -- All 1900 Government-run Sydney Buses are being urgently checked this weekend on concerns that the bus that rolled on to railway tracks at Epping on Tuesday had a faulty handbrake... State Transit last night confirmed "precautionary inspections of handbrakes" at all of its 10 Sydney depots... The unscheduled checks were seen as a sign investigators do not believe driver error caused the incident...


CONTROL * UK - School buses safety scandal

Inspectors discover faults on half after random check

Belfast,UK -The Belfast Telegraph -March 21, 2008: -- Nearly half of school buses checked when Department of Environment safety inspectors swooped unannounced were found to have defects, the North West Telegraph can reveal today... Defects were found in 17 out of 40. Two buses were immediately impounded while the DoE said today it was considering legal action in seven cases... One vehicle had a braking fault, five had a defective windscreen, one had an emergency exit which would not open and one had no fire extinguisher. Some buses had more than one defect...


Info Security & Personal Privacy * UK - Human Rights on the Buses

Public transport doesn’t often provide pointers for the humanitarian community

USA -Humanitarian Info -March 21, 2008: -- ... The recent cracking of the London OysterCard (following hot on the heels of the earlier crack of the Dutch transit card system) came as no surprise to digital security experts, but it should teach us fundamental lessons about information security and personal privacy issues... Security researchers say they’ve found a way to crack the encryption used to protect a widely-used smartcard in a matter of minutes, making it possible for them to quickly and cheaply clone the cards that are used to secure office buildings and automate the collection of mass transportation fares... No electronic identification scheme is secure. It doesn’t matter how good your technology is, any system which is built by humans can be cracked, and the only defense is to make the cost of cracking it as prohibitive as possible. (The kicker is that you never know if you’ve successfully achieved that - until somebody cracks it and it becomes embarrassingly obvious that you haven’t.) On top of that, the more complex and expensive a system is, the more difficult it is to fix it when something like this happens...


BUS INDUSTRY * Sri Lanka - Private buses to be ‘privatised’

Colombo,Western,Sri Lanka -The Daily Mirror, by Supun Dias -21 March 2008: -- In an attempt to raise funds for the private bus industry the Lanka Private Bus Owners Association (LPBOA) has decided to seek support from the private sector. Among the proposals mooted is to invite private radio stations to bid for their radio channels to be aired on board private buses... LPBOA also hopes to commence a new shuttle service in Colombo and passengers will have to pay monthly to reserve the seats so they can travel within the city to meet their needs... The Transport Ministry and the National Transport Commission will be briefed on the LPBOA proposals within the next few days. “All of these plans are to bring back the Private Bus Industry to its glory”, LPBOA president Gamunu Wijeratne said... (Picture: Feeder buses at Hitec City Station)


BUSES PURCHASE PROSPECTS * USA - $3.2M in funding set aside for Pittsburgh buses

Pittsburgh, Penn,USA - Pittsburgh Business Times/ (Charlotte,NC,USA) -March 21, 2008: -- The Port Authority of Allegheny County will receive about $3.2 million in federal funding to buy new buses... The funding comes from the U.S. Department of Transportation's Capital Investment Program, one of two federal programs that provide local governments across the country with roughly $10 billion in support for new vehicles and facilities each year...The Port Authority of Allegheny County is the 14th largest public transportation system in the country and serves an average of more than 200,000 riders a day...



BUSMAKER'S RECALLS * USA - Champion recall buses built on Freightliner chasis

Washington,DC,USA -Recallr, by By ravenII -March 20, 2008: -- Champion Bus Inc., is recalling buses models: CHAMPION M1235 builded 2007-2008, and CHAMPION / RE CTS, 2007-2008, builts on Freightliner chassis, because the fasteners that attach the steering arm or tie rod arms to the spindle, may be over or under-tightened... Consequence: Incorrectly tightened steering arm fasteners may fatique and fracture wich could cause a crash without warning... Remedy: Champion Bus is working with Freightliner to repair these vehicles free of charge... (Photo: A CTS Model, rear engine)



* India - Tamil Nadu to buy 3,500 new buses in 2008-09

Chennai,India (Bangkok,Thailand) -March 20, 2008: -- The Tamil Nadu government would buy 3,500 new buses in 2008-09, Finance Minister K. Anbazhagan said Thursday here. Presenting his third budget in the state assembly, Anbazhagan said: “The last two years saw the state transport undertakings purchase 5,451 new buses.”... Allocating a sum of Rs.3.30 billion ($81.8 million) for this purpose in the next fiscal, he said: “Another 3,500 new buses will be purchased in the coming financial year.”...

* Nigeria - KNSG to Procure 200 Luxury Buses

Kano,Nigeria -The Daily Trust (Abuja), by Hassan a Karofi -20 March 2008: -- Determined to enhance the transportation sector in the state, the Kano State government has announced plans to procure 200 luxury buses for inter and intra state routes... He said the buses will cost the state government over N2 billion and will be directly supervised by Governor Shekarau...



* USA - Unveil Transit Signal Priority System

Green-Lighting Buses Could Be Expanded Regionally if Congestion Pricing Passes

New York City,NY,USA -All American Patriots (press release - Taeby,NA,Sweden) -March 20, 2008: -- New York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, toured a pilot program on Staten Island has that already cut transit travel times along a busy corridor to and from the Staten Island Ferry 17 percent... This substantial reduction has been achieved by keeping traffic signals green longer or turning them green sooner as MTA buses approach. The pilot program, which is called a Transit Signal Priority (TSP) program, could be expanded throughout the New York Metropolitan region using funding under the Urban Partnership Agreement (UPA) if the Mayor's congestion pricing is adopted, which would allow the City to receive $354.5 million in federal grant aid... (Photo by Edward Reed - New York City Mayor Bloomberg rides MTA bus to demonstrate Transit Signal Priority System: Rides with U.S. Transportation Secretary Peters, MTA Executive Director Sander and Transportation Commissioner Sadik-Khan)


New busway * N. Zealand - A hit but numbers down elsewhere

Auckland,New Zealand -The New Zealand Herald, by Mathew Dearnaley -March 20, 2008: -- Spectacular passenger growth spurred by Auckland's $300 million Northern Busway has been overshadowed by a patronage decline elsewhere... The Auckland Regional Transport Authority yesterday reported that more than 80,000 passengers caught Northern Express buses last month - the first in which the two-lane dedicated busway operated in both directions with all four of its stations feeding suburban services into it... (Photo / Brett Phibbs - Passenger numbers on the Northern Express are up; not so for the rest of Auckland's buses)


Cheap Bus Fares * USA - Competition to escalate

Megabus is starting runs to Baltimore, 7 other Eastern cities

Baltimore,MAR,USA -The Baltimore Sun, by Laura McCandlish -March 20, 2008: -- A $1 bus fare to New York City? Sounds too good to be true. But says it will offer some early-bird fares that low when the low-fare carrier begins East Coast service in late May... Megabus said yesterday that it will start service from New York to seven cities besides Baltimore, including Washington, Philadelphia and Boston... Megabus is jumping into the market at a time when buses are luring more passengers with bargain fares, especially in contrast to train and plane... Owned by Scotland's Stagecoach Group, Megabus opened its first U.S. hub in Chicago in April 2006, and expanded to Los Angeles last summer. It has since carried more than 900,000 passengers and currently serves 24 Midwestern and West Coast cities...


TECHNONEWS * UK - Capital bus link rolls out free internet access

Passengers on bus services between Fife and the Capital are to be given free internet access

Edinburgh,Scotland,UK -The Edinburgh Evening News -20 March 2008: -- ... Transport giant Stagecoach is hoping to tempt motorists on to its buses with the offer of free e-mail and web access on its cross-Forth express coach services through the introduction of Wi-Fi technology on the buses... A total of 29 vehicles in Stagecoach's express coach fleet operating between Fife and Edinburgh are being equipped with the technology...



Buses are wholly unreliable in Belize, but an adventure worth trying.

Belize -Nomadic Dust, by bpfrank -March 19, 2008: -- The majority of mass transport buses in Belize are those sold to the Central American country by the United States (of America), deemed no long fit to transport children to and from school... During my first trip to Belize, the bus I was on experienced much difficulty scaling the side of a hill. To remedy this issue, the entire group I was traveling with filed out of the bus and walked up the hill, alongside the bus. Aside from durability, the buses carry unique crowds of both backpackers and commuters, Belizean and foreign alike... Although, the bus schedule is similarly unreliable and although not necessarily a weak point, the traveler should cushion approximately one hour into all travel times for poor roads, stops, and delays... During my eight hour bus ride to Punta Gorda, the far South of the country, I was “lucky” enough to hear rival radio stations- from the bus driver, and the drunk gentleman with an incredibly loud boom box sitting three rows back. Like I said, it is an experience...


Hydrogen Engines * USA - Florida airport tests buses

Orlando,FL,USA -CNN, by Marsha Walton -March 19, 2008: -- Some Florida amusement park visitors may enjoy space-themed roller-coasters, but the first vehicle they board at Orlando International Airport may be the most futuristic ride of their vacation... The airport is testing four Ford shuttle vans equipped with internal combustion engines modified to run on hydrogen instead of gasoline... (Four hydrogen shuttle buses are part of the fleet at the Orlando International Airport)


BUSMAKERS' NEWS * India - Mercedes obtains clearance for luxury buses; trial runs in May

An ARAI certification saying the vehicle meets Indian safety and emission norms is required before vehicles can be sold

Pune,India -Livemint (N.Delhi,India), by Sudha Menon -19 Mar 2008: -- The Indian unit of Daimler AG’s Mercedes-Benz plans to roll out a 45-seater luxury inter-city bus after having acquired the mandatory certification for the model from the Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI), said a senior executive at the venture familiar with the matter...



PUBLIC TRANSPORT STRIKE * Belgium - Brussels paralysed

Brussels,Belgium - The Belga news Agency/ The Independent Online (Cape Town,South Africa) -March 19 2008: -- Public transport ground to a halt in Brussels on Wednesday as bus drivers called a wildcat strike after a vehicle driven by one of their members was attacked with a Molotov cocktail... Bus and tram lines shut down across the city and metro trains were cripplingly overloaded as the strike took hold at 6.30am (local time)... Brussels transport unions called the strike to demand safer working conditions after a gang of youths in the suburb of Anderlecht hurled a Molotov cocktail at a passing bus. Nobody was injured in the attack, the Belga news agency reported...


SUBSIDIES * Viet Nam - HCM City boosts bus system ones

HCM City,Viet Nam -The Viet Nam News (Hanoi) -19 Mar 2008: -- Bus owners in the city’s transport co-operatives sighed with relief after the city People’s Committee approved an additional VND122 billion (US$7.62 million) in bus subsidies on Monday... Earlier in the year, the city council committee approved VND450 billion ($28.12 million) for the bus system this year... The city People’s Committee urged the Department of Transport and Public Works to strengthen management with the aim of increasing income and cutting fuel and labour costs... The city said costs could be cut by VND13 billion ($812,500) each year... According to co-operative members, the extra subsidy was a temporary solution to maintain the city bus system, adding that a readjustment of subsidy and ticket prices would be the long-term solution...


New Buses * USA - Peoria Charter Coach rolls out green buses

Company unveils 3 new coaches equipped with Caterpillar engines that cut emissions

Peoria,ILL,USA -The Peoria Journal Star by Steve Tarter -March 12, 2008: -- The new buses are white but Peoria Charter Coach Co. President Bill Winkler calls them green... The charter bus operation unveiled three new motor coaches Tuesday at 2600 NE Adams St. equipped with high-efficiency ACERT engines manufactured by Caterpillar Inc...


Chicago Seniors * USA - Ride Free on Buses, Trains Thanks to Squabble

Chicago,ILL,USA -Bloomberg, by Mario Parker -March 18, 2008: -- Chicago-style politics is paying off for 71-year-old Landan Niedringhaus. The area's transit system yesterday became the nation's largest to let seniors ride free, thanks to a squabble between the governor and legislators... (Photo by Tim Boyle/Bloomberg News - A senior citizen displays her reduced fare permit at a Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) bus at a transit station in Chicago, on March 17, 2008)



* Canada - TTC will use $300M funding for hybrid buses

Toronto,ONT,CAN -18 Mar 2008: -- The Toronto Transit Commission has received $300 million from the federal government that will be used to green its bus fleet with the purchase of nearly 700 new hybrid buses... Transport Minister Lawrence Cannon made the cash announcement at the Malvern bus garage in Scarborough on Tuesday. The funding was originally promised in 2004 by the former Liberal government...

* Macau - Government wants nine-seat buses

Macau -The Macau Daily Times, by Anni Lam & Sara Farr -18 March 2008: -- The government wants to introduce nine-seat buses in Macau to solve traffic congestion, according to a consultation on Macau's public transport advancement scheme, which is expected to be released towards the end of this week... In a report in the Chinese language daily Va Kio, with the nine-seat buses, not only will it ease traffic congestion but also help solve problems such as driver shortages in Macau... According to Macau's Road Traffic Law, a nine-seat bus, or mini-van is considered a light vehicle, and as such drivers are not required to take their driving licenses for heavy vehicles. This would mean that Macau could get more local drivers to ease shortage problems, which both bus companies are faced with at the moment...


DRIVERS CLAIMS * UK - How can we get a decent pay fight on London buses?

London bus workers are debating the strategy they need to win change.

London,UK, by Esme Choonara -18 Mar 2008: -- ... The issues are the same at every company – low pay, long hours, more stress, and attacks on pensions... Many bus workers can’t even afford to live in the city that they drive in everyday... The Unite union, which represents the majority of London’s 28,000 bus workers, has launched a campaign for a wage of £30,000 or 5 percent pay rise, whichever is higher, based on a 38-hour week...


BUSMAKERS NEWS * USA & Canada - New Flyer Receives 1,253 Bus Orders Valued at Over US $603 Million

Winnipeg,MB,Canada -CNW/Canada NewsWire (press release - Toronto,ONT,CAN) -March 18, 2008: -- New Flyer Industries Inc., the leading manufacturer of heavy-duty transit vehicles in Canada and the United States, announced today that it has received orders over the last three months for up to 1,253 buses (1,549 equivalent production units or "EUs") for a combined value of over US $603 million. Of these orders, 874 buses (918 EUs) are new orders and 379 (631 EUs) are exercised options. These orders are for a variety of vehicle configurations, including 35-, 40- and 60-foot buses and diesel, hybrid-electric, and compressed natural gas (CNG) propulsion systems... New Flyer's backlog as of the end of February 2008 was 7,478 EUs, which represents an increase of 41% in comparison to the 5,313 EUs in backlog at January 1, 2007. The value of the order backlog as of the end of February 2008 of US $3.05 billion has increased by 69% compared to the US $1.8 billion backlog at the start of 2007. The portion of firm orders included in the backlog has increased to US $1.39 billion as of the end of February 2008 from US $0.8 billion at January 1, 2007...(Photo: New Flyer's Model DE40LFR)