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

Buses World News

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



* Germany - Daimler AG spokesman will head its bus unit

Stuttgart,Germany -Manager Magazin/The Detroit News (Detroit,MICH,USA) -27 June 2008: -- Daimler AG's chief spokesman Hartmut Schick will head the Stuttgart, Germany-based automaker's bus business starting in January, according to the German monthly Manager Magazin. Daimler recently said that Schick, the company's communications chief for nearly seven years, would leave that position and take an operational job at the car and truck manufacturer...




Albuquerque,New Mexico,USA -Big Albuquerque-like Things (BAT) -June 18, 2008: -- Apparently, Monday night's City Council meeting had another interesting piece of legislation, one that was overshadowed by the arena study and the 2000 Gold hearing. According to KOB-TV: ... "ABQ Ride, Albuquerque’s bus system..." ... 10 new Rapid Ride buses! That's gotta be for a new Rapid Ride route! Wonder where they'll go next... The 30-40 regular buses will probably, I imagine, be used to replace the older buses on the fleet, perhaps either the aging 300 series or the tiny 400 series which are always breaking down...


CHEAP BUSES * USA - Banishing buses to L'Enfant

Washington,DC,USA -The Examiner /The Greater Greater Washington -19 June 2008: -- DDOT is planning to force all low-cost bus carriers, like Bolt Bus, DC2NY, and the Chinatown buses to stop loading in Chinatown and at various other spots around the city (a few pick up in Dupont Circle), reports the Examiner... Instead, all buses will have to load and unload at a special zone at 10th and D Southwest, right by the L'Enfant Metro... (Photo by mattlehrer on Flickr)


Officers on the buses * UK - To tackle anti-social behaviour

Leicestershire,UK -The Leicestershire Constabulary News -19 June 2008: -- Officers in Harborough are getting on the buses to take action against anti-social behaviour in Broughton Astley... The Joint Action Group in Harborough, made up of local police, council representatives and members of the community, have launched the scheme in partnership with Arriva Buses to crack down on loutish behaviour...


SAFETY * Venezuela - Anticrime troops posted on buses

About 500 guardsmen have been assigned to ride on buses in Caracas as a deterrent against frequent armed robberies and killings of bus drivers

Caracas,Venezuela -Bolivarian News Agency/AP/ (USA) -19 June 2008: -- Venezuela's government started posting National Guard troops on buses yesterday to try to prevent violent crime... Some will escort buses by motorcycle through crime-prone areas, General Alirio Ramirez told... President Hugo Chávez unveiled the idea on his Sunday television program, but it was not clear whether the project would be permanent...


Failing Buses * Australia - Brake concerns on bendy buses

Sydney,Australia -June 20, 2008: -- Sydney bus drivers are demanding 80 new $650,000 bendy buses be withdrawn from services because their brakes have been failing for almost a year... The drivers have reported the sudden locking of the brakes to the State Transit Authority (STA) since September last year, but the Volvo buses have continued to navigate routes around the northern beaches, eastern suburbs and Victoria Road... The reports, which total more than 70, all describe drivers having to slam on the brakes when normal pressure is ineffective, knocking passengers off their feet...


REDUCING POLLUTION * USA - NY utility settlement will retrofit school buses

Money from a state settlement with a western New York utility will be used to retrofit school buses to reduce air pollution...

Albany,NY,USA -Associated Press/Forbes -19 June 2008: -- State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner, Pete Grannis, said Rochester Gas & Electric, which is a subsidiary of Energy East Corp., settled violations at its Russell Power Plant last February... The utility agreed to replace the plant with a cleaner one, pay a $200,000 civil penalty and fund $500,000 worth of clean energy projects... On Wednesday, Grannis said the clean energy money will be used to purchase and install emissions control equipment on public and private school bus fleets in Monroe, Livingston, Ontario, Orleans and Wayne counties...

* New diesel rules: School districts had plenty of time to prepare

Sacramento,CA,USA -The Capitol Weekly -June 19, 2008: -- ... California’s children are the real victims of poor air quality. Nearly 1 in 10 California children suffers from asthma compared to 1 in 20 nationally. In the San Joaquin Valley, 1 in 6 youngsters have problems with this respiratory disease. Since 1980, the national asthma death rates among children under 20 years of age have increased by nearly 80 percent, and California asthma death rates have contributed more than its share to this dramatic rise... Because improving children’s health is such a high priority, the voters approved $200 million in state bond funding (1B transportation infrastructure funds) to help school districts to retrofit and replace older buses ahead of state mandates. School districts should take advantage of this funding to get the earliest protection for children and mitigate the financial impacts of the regulation. Replacing and retrofitting school buses should be a high priority for children’s health protection in every school district...Now is not the time to delay protections from diesel pollution from school buses in a state where we have the worst air pollution in the country. Voters want our schools to clean up school buses. Parents want cleaner school buses. And school personnel, who are charged with stewardship of children, are obligated to protect them from the most toxic air contaminant in our environment...


BUSMAKERS NEWS * Australia - Drivers in revolt over bus brakes

The brakes on 80 new Volvo buses have been failing randomly for short bursts in a string of incidents that have injured passengers and placed the public at risk

Mount Isa,Queensland,Australia -The North West Star, by LINTON BESSER -20 June 2008: -- ... according to scores of driver reports seen by the Herald... Drivers warned State Transit Authority management as early as last September that the brakes were not slowing the buses properly before suddenly locking up... But the buses, each worth $650,000, have continued to ply routes along the northern beaches, in the eastern suburbs and along Victoria Road. The drivers are demanding the buses be withdrawn from service... A revenue protection officer was knocked to the floor of a Volvo bus that abruptly locked up last week. At least two passengers have been injured in similar incidents... Volvo and the State Transit Authority say the buses are safe and blame drivers for not adapting to them. But the buses have been in service for 18 months, and complaints have intensified... He said he was aware of the reports dating back to last year, but that numerous tests - including a 53-day trial - had been unable to replicate the problem... Late yesterday, the transit authority agreed to a union request to shorten the trial to 45 days...


HYBRID BUSES * USA - CTA tests fuel-stingy they

Chicago,ILL,USA -The Chicago Sun-Times, by MARY WISNIEWSKI -June 17, 2008: -- The Chicago Transport Authorities is testing a new hybrid electric bus that can get seven to eight miles per gallon — double the mpg of current CTA hybrids... The new hybrid engine uses batteries to run an electric motor which runs the bus. The current hybrids use a diesel engine to power the bus, with the help of an electric motor... When batteries lose power on the new electric hybrid, a small turbine engine, powered by diesel, propane or compressed natural gas, turns on to recharge the batteries. The CTA claims this configuration produces lower emissions than other hybrids and reduces noise pollution...

* Lafayette buys hybrid buses

Lafayette,Ind,USA -WLFI -June 19, 2008: -- The Area Plan Commission approved purchasing six new hybrid buses for Lafayette's CityBus. The buses will replace six diesel buses now on the road. The hybrid buses are more expensive to buy, but the purchase will save tax payers money in the long run... A federal grant will pay for 90-percent of the new buses...


Cost-cutting * USA - Bus plan to save RDA $238,000

Chicago,ILL,USA -Post-Tribune by Erik Potter -June 18, 2008: -- The Regional Development Authority approved cost-cutting changes in Valparaiso's Chicago bus service plan that will save the RDA $238,000... The alterations, given initial approval last week, mean the RDA will purchase the land for the parking lot and station, while the Northwestern Indiana Regional Planning Commission will order the buses, a reversal from previous plans... The RDA will still put up the $440,000 local share for the buses, plus about $1.4 million for land purchasing and street improvements...



BUS LANES * Ireland - Dublin operating hours extension proposed

Dublin,Ireland -Busrage -18 June 2005: -- Dublin City Council, who are now very keen to appear active on the transport front in our fair city, are talking about extending bus lane operating hours from 7pm to 8pm... They are also talking about making the lanes active on Sundays in cases where they are not currently.. We love the idea, but why stop there? Why not make them 24 hours a day, 7 days a week - with services using them to boot?... Oddly enough, a poster on suggests that the plan will not be put into practice. Why? Because “they didn’t have enough information on traffic levels at 8pm”. We can thank our lucky stars that these muppets won’t be on the Dublin Transport Authority then...


STATISTICS * Sri Lanka - State sector bus service increases, private sector decreases

With various new initiatives, public passenger transportation showed some improvement in 2007

Columbo,Sri Lanka -The Island, by Charumini de Silva -18 June 2008: -- The average number of buses operated per day by Sri Lanka Transport Board (SLTB) increased by 9% to 4,127. The average number of buses operated by the private sector however decreased by 2% in 2007... The total operated kilometres and passenger kilometres of SLTB increased by 16% and 15% respectively, during the year... Meanwhile, the new registration of motor vehicles in 2007 decreased marginally... The registration of passenger buses too decreased by 21% in 2007 stated the Central Bank of Sri Lanka Annual Report 2007...

* Sri Lanka - Public vigilance averts disaster, hand grenade found inside a bus

Sri Lanka -Ministry of Defence (PR) -19 June 2008: -- A major disaster was averted this evening (June 18), when a timely detection of an improvised hand grenade was made by a passenger on a public transportation bus plying from Awissawella to Colombo, route no: 122 near Salaka, close to the Ibbanwela junction... The hand grenade was detected by a Navy sailor P.K.V Rathnasiri who got suspicious of an unattended box. As no individual claimed ownership of the parcel Rathnasiri along with the bus conductor immediately informed the Police calling for bomb disposal squads while, assuring safety of the passengers and commuters nearby... The hand grenade was set inside a box and improvised, the Slave Island Police OIC said speaking to our correspondent...


BUSES PURCHASE * Australia - Hills District to get 20 new buses

Sydney,New South Wales,Australia -The Sydney Morning Herald, by Linton Besser -June 18, 2008: -- The NSW Government will buy 20 new buses for the growing public transport needs of commuters travelling from the Hills District in the city's north-west to central Sydney... More than 45,000 commuters are loading into 900 buses from the Hills District each week day, with long queues of passengers forced to wait for buses... Patronage over the past 12 months has grown by 14 per cent along the congested M2, the NSW Transport Minister, John Watkins, said in Cammeray this morning...


School Buses * USA - Commuters May Soon Ride These One To Work

A plan would use school buses sitting idle during the summer months, to help transport commuters

Cincinnati,OH,USA -WKRC TV Cincinnati -16 June 2008: -- Soaring gas prices and dirty air... those are just two of the reasons you're being urged to take the bus this summer. We've heard this all before -- but apparently not enough are getting the message. So a meeting today will try to find more alternatives for public transportation in greater Cincinnati... A plan introduced by Hamilton County Commissioner Todd Portune would use school buses, sitting idle during the summer months, to help transport commuters... Portune also met with Butler County Commissioners to push for creation of a multi-county transit authority for suburban bus lines... (Photo: Metro Bus Station ) (See Video)


OVERLOADED BUSES * New Zealand - Police checking for

Police in Christchurch have been cracking down after reports of overloaded buses

Christchurch,New Zealand -TVNZ -Jun 17, 2008: -- ... As high fuel prices drive commuters out of their cars and onto public transport, the extra numbers are putting pressure on the system. The number of people catching the bus has reached a 30-year high and is climbing each month... It's the same in many main centres, with motorists feeling the pinch of petrol prices... The buses are proving so popular that sometimes they have had to skip people and they have to wait for the next bus. But many buses are packing in as many people as possible at one time which has led to police pulling over buses to check if they are being overloaded... Bus operators say there is too much demand and they need time to adjust... And so after years of trying to win more customers, at least for now bus operators feel they are on the road to success... (See Video)


NEW BUSES * USA - Megabus launches double-decker buses

Boston,CT,USA -The Boston Globe, by Paul S. Makishima -June 17, 2008: -- Megabus, they of the clan that offers free Wi-Fi and Net fares as low as $1, is introducing double-decker buses on its New York to Washington run... How cool is that... Megabus, whose parent Coach also owns Gray Line New York Sightseeing, says it's the first company in the United States to use double-deckers for city-to-city travel... Company representatives say that the tall guys will be available on the Boston-New York route sometime in the next four months. Stay tuned...

* India - 700 more buses for public transport - Most of them will serve city, suburban areas

Chennai,India -The Hindu, by R.K. Radhakrishnan -16 June 2008: -- In just about 40 days from now, the first batch of the planned additional 700 buses will be added to State transport corporations, making it the second largest addition in a single stroke in recent times... Most of the buses will serve city and suburban areas, while some will be allocated to towns that are in dire need of augmentation of services. The buses had been added to the city roads with the financial help of the government but the Transport Minister said his department was trying to garner more revenue without resorting to increase in bus fares... The accumulated losses and the operating losses were reasons for considerable worry though, he said...


ROAD SAFETY * Taiwan - Foundation promotes it with driving contest

Taipei, Taiwan -The China National Post/CNA -23 June 2008: -- Representatives from trucking and bus companies made a pledge to promote traffic safety and better protect pedestrians and drivers of other vehicles... At an event organized by the Jing-chuan Culture and Education Foundation in Taipei, the executives and drivers signed a document to help spread the concept that "Road safety is no accident" as being promoted by the World Health Organization (WHO)... Lin Yueh-chin, chief executive officer of the foundation pointed out that there are an average of 130,000 people hospitalized every year due to injuries inflicted from...Among other activities yesterday, the foundation held the final round of competition for 30 heavy-duty trucks, including trailers, and buses... The 30 were selected in preliminary rounds of competition from 1,000 truck and bus drivers to promote driving skills and safety... (Photo 1. Trucks and buses line up at the venue of a driving competition yesterday, part of a campaign launched by Jing-chuan Culture and Education Foundation to promote traffic safety -2. Tseng Yu-ching poses before the race. Tseng was the only female truck driver in the competition)



EXCHANGE * India - Malaysian firm offers A/C buses for PMPML ad rights

Pune,India -The Times of India -11 Jun 2008: -- Authorities of the Pune Mahanagar Parivahan Mahamandal Limited (PMPML) are delighted about an offer received from a Malaysian firm which has agreed to provide 2,500 air-conditioned buses as “royalty'' to the PMPML in exchange of advertisement rights for a period of 15 years... The proposal by the firm, Landmark Media, will be placed before the board of directors next week, PMPML chairman and managing director Subbrao Patil said on Tuesday... The authorities also said that the revenue potential from advertisement rights was huge as the city has unique features and was growing at a fast pace. The authorities felt that advertising with the PMPML would be advantageous because unlike in Mumbai, where there is a good network of suburban railway, in Pune, the only mode of public transport were buses...


BUSES' PURCHASE PROSPECTS * USA - Governor hands S.D. $9 million for new buses

Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger yesterday announced the statewide distribution of $136 million in transportation bond money, including $9 million to replace old buses in San Diego

San Diego,CAL,USA -San Diego Union Tribune, by John Marelius -June 11, 2008 : -- ... “By investing in transit projects across the state, we can stimulate the economy, reduce traffic congestion and protect the environment by reducing greenhouse emissions,” Schwarzenegger told a news conference at the Fashion Valley Transit Center as sleek red trolleys glided by overhead... “The funding of these projects will encourage the use of public transit and give Californians an alternative to rising gas prices,” he added... Harry Mathis, chairman of the Metropolitan Transit System board of directors, said the $9 million appropriation would be used to replace old diesel-burning buses with cleaner-burning new ones that are more fuel efficient...


FREE BUS * UK - Start date for city shuttle bus

A date has been set and a route determined for a free city centre shuttle bus which will come to Bradford in three months

Bradford,England,UK -The Bradford Telegraph Argus, by Jo Winrow -10 June 2008: -- ... The six-month trial of Metro's FreeCityBus service will begin on Monday, September 29, and the route will link the Interchange, Forster Square, Kirkgate shopping centre, the markets, Centenary Square, the University and College and the National Media Museum... In March 2009 its success will be evaluated against criteria that includes the condition that at least an average of ten passengers must use the service on every round trip. Bus manufacturer Optare is to supply three new Solo vehicles for the service... (Picture - The new city shuttle bus on a trial run today)


PASSENGERS' CLAIM * UK - Concern at 'life-line' bus cuts

Cuts to a rural bus service will leave many without a link to nearby towns for work and shopping, it is claimed

Gwynedd ,UK -BBC News -11 June 2008: -- One woman said she collected 250 names on a petition demanding the number 38 service, between Barmouth and Blaenau Ffestiniog in Gwynedd, is protected... Sarah Gilbert said many would be left stranded if the service was cut... A spokesman for Gwynedd County Council said a review of public transport had been held recently and the new 38 service would reflect this... (Picture: The bus service runs 10 times a day each way at present)


Gas Prices Increase * USA - More Inland commuters use public transit

Riverside,CA,USA -The Press-Enterprise, by DUG BEGLEY -June 10, 2008: -- ... As more people make the leap to public transit, however, Inland transit agencies are scrambling to meet the demand without seriously increasing their own costs... Inland bus stops are also bustling. Ridership for April was up 12.6 percent overall and it increased more than 40 percent on some commuter lines, according to a Riverside Transit Agency report. Omnitrans in San Bernardino County also reported a 3.6 percent increase in overall bus ridership during April... The Rideshare carpool program managed by the Riverside County Transportation Commission is also busier... John Standiford, the agency's deputy executive director, said calls to the program are up 40 percent for the first four months of 2008, compared with 2007... Many commuters are using public transportation because they're fed up with filling their gas tanks, officials said... (Photo by Silvia Flores / The Press-Enterprise - Arnold McClain, of Moreno Valley, takes the Metrolink to his job in Irvine. It's cheaper to ride the train and have his wife pick him up at the station, he said, than to buy gasoline)


BUS SYSTEM * USA - ICx gets $15.6 million Calif. bus contract

Washington,DC,USA -Associated Press/Forbes -10 June 2008: -- ICx Technologies Inc. said Tuesday its ICx Transportation unit has received a $15.6 million contract to direct part of an upgrade to California's Orange County Transportation Authority bus network... ICx will manage the technology portion of the authority's "Bus Rapid Transit" upgrade project, the company said in a release. The first portion, on three lines, is slated to roll out in summer 2009. Work has started on the project and will run through 2012... The company will install a real-time, bus-arrival passenger information system, begin design on a signal priority system and work on enhancing the signal system to improve highway arterial operations, the company said...



BUSES' RENTAL PROSPECTS * Thailand - Cabinet okay sought for new bus fleet

6,000 NGV buses to replace old diesels

Bangkok,Thailand -The Bangkok Post, by AMORNRAT MAHITTHIROOK -10 June 2008: -- The Transport Ministry will today seek cabinet approval for the Bangkok Mass Transit Authority's (BMTA) 110-billion-baht plan to lease 6,000 new gas-fuelled, air-conditioned buses for 10 years to replace its 3,100 old diesel-fueled ordinary buses... Deputy Transport Minister Songsak Thongsri said yesterday the leasing plan was part of a project to rehabilitate the loss-ridden city bus organisation... The new gas-fuelled buses will be introduced next May together with electronic ticketing, a GPS-based bus-locating system and a new fare rate that is expected to finally free the state enterprise of its heavy debt burden... With the cabinet's approval, the BMTA will call bids and select a single bus lessor to supply 6,000 buses, he said. The lessor will also be contracted to maintain the buses and to install an electronic ticket system, a surveillance camera system, and 22 new bus depots with NGV filling stations... Mr Songsak insisted that the rental would cost the BMTA less than buying new buses. The total rent is estimated at 110.16 billion baht for 10 years...


BUSMAKERS' NEWS * USA - Daimler bus unit cutting 190 jobs

Thomas Built Buses will eliminate 190 jobs from its Triad-area work force of nearly 1,600

Charlotte,NC,USA -The Charlotte Business Journal -June 10, 2008: -- ... According to a report in the High Point Enterprise, the first cuts were made Monday at the school bus manufacturer's plant in High Point, and layoffs will continue throughout the month, a company spokeswoman told the newspaper... Thomas Built is owned by Daimler Trucks North America, formerly known as Freightliner... Company officials blamed the weak economy for a slump in new bus orders... In April, Daimler Trucks announced plans to cut about 1,500 jobs this month at the Rowan plant, with the 2,900-employee operation cutting back to a single shift from two. The plant had already been operating on a periodic shutdown basis since April 2007, with the company citing higher product costs associated with implementing new federal standards for diesel-engine emissions. A weakening economy contributed to the Rowan cutback as well...


* USA - Gas prices killing your budget? Why not hop on the bus instead?

Seattle,WASH,USA -The Seattle Post Intelligencer, by MOISES MENDOZA -10 June 2008: -- ... As gas prices skyrocket, more Seattle-area residents such as Smith are parking their cars and taking the bus... The proof is in the numbers. During the first few months of 2008, King County Metro Transit buses averaged 376,000 boardings per day, a 6 percent increase over a year earlier, said Metro Transit spokeswoman Linda Thielke. In April, there were 395,000 boardings -- a record... And crowded or not, riders should always be prepared to face unusual situations, employees and riders say... But the societal cross section that rides the bus -- everyone from homeless folks to businessmen to tourists from Japan -- may be one of its appeals. Smith said it is for him, despite that unfortunate puking incident... John Fabre, who has been driving buses for 38 years, agrees. "You meet interesting people all the time," he said. "I have this thing, I like to talk to people. People are easy to talk to if they feel comfortable with you."... (Photo by Dan DeLong / P-I - Riders wait to board a Metro bus Monday at the International District platform in the bus tunnel. With crowding a concern at peak hours, Metro announced Friday it is adding 22 new buses to ease the situation)



BUSES STOP STORIES * USA - Dreams and Desperation on New York's Forsyth Street

... By the end of the year, two or three cut-rate Chinatown-to-Chinatown buses had adopted the strip as their base of operations, stopping there to drop off and collect passengers before lighting out for Washington, Boston and points beyond...

New York,NY,USA - The New York Times, by SAKI KNAFO -June 8, 2008: -- It began in 1998 with a routine act of bureaucracy, a decision by the city’s Department of Transportation to put up a pair of red and white metal signs in the eastern section of Chinatown, on a desolate block in the shadow of the Manhattan Bridge. The signs, which bore the cryptic message “Bus Layover Area — 6 a.m.-midnight,” in effect allowed private interstate buses to wait briefly by the curb, seven days a week... As the popularity of the buses increased, their numbers multiplied, and by 2002 three companies were wrangling over the little block, Forsyth Street between East Broadway and Division Street. One company owner hired several women to sell tickets on the sidewalk, and his competitors followed suit. Quarrels between rival ticket sellers became commonplace... Each day, hundreds of people descended on the strip. To take advantage of the surge in foot traffic, local business owners eventually began selling Asian snacks like sweet olives and shrimp crackers, along with less exotic items like Pringles for the increasingly prevalent non-Chinese traveler... In just a few years, a vibrant, competitive and largely self-contained economy had materialized around the bus stop, or bah-see zhan, an economy that employed at least 200 people, all of them bound to one another in a complicated network of alliances, dependencies and feuds... The bus stop represented different things to different populations. To some riders, like college students, it was simply a place to begin a cheap journey to Philadelphia, Washington or other points along the Eastern seaboard. To many Chinese immigrants who made up the bah-see zhan economy, the bus stop was something else yet, a bubbling hotpot of ambition, creativity and bickering — New York boiled down to its essential elements...Last March, in an effort to impose order on the often fractious and sometimes violent scene, officers from the Fifth Precinct, which covers Chinatown, floated the most recent in a string of proposals to banish the buses from the heart of the neighborhood... Yet many on the strip still fear that the bus stop will be dismantled, and if that happens, what the city will have lost is a community that, in the span of a single block, manages to capture the immigrant experience in both its most troubling and its most inspiring aspects... In the meantime, the bus owners and the ticket sellers and the shopkeepers and the building managers continue to struggle, fight, fail, prosper, and strive... (Photos by James Estrin/New York Times - 1 · The dramas that play out on a single block in the shadow of the Manhattan Bridge capture the immigrant experience in both its most troubling and its most inspiring aspects - 2 · A vibrant, competitive and largely self-contained economy materialized around the bus stop, or bah-see zhan - 3 · Women work on commission, selling bus tickets)


BUSMAKERS' NEWS * Pakistan - China-based firm to make CNG buses in Karachi

Karachi,Pakistan -The Daily Times -7 June 2008: -- A Pakistani company established in China has shown interest to manufacture CNG buses in Karachi with an investment of $5 million. A 3-member delegation of Commerce and Sourcing House (CASH) and China’s King Long United Automobile Industry comprising president CASH, Jamshedullah, project manager King Long’s, Andrew Chen and manager Chang Hua held meeting with Sindh Transport Minister, Akhtar Hussain Jadoon, Friday... They informed about their plan for manufacturing CNG buses having capacity to carry 45 seat and 30 standing passengers and discussed plan to ply these buses on six-month experimental basis in Karachi and interior of Sindh. Commerce and Sourcing House will provide the investment of $5 million, while King Long United Automobiles Industry will provide technology...


TECHNONEWS * Europe & USA - Buses as mobile sensing platforms?

According to European researchers, modern buses could be used as mobile sensing platforms, sending out live information to be used to control traffic and detect road hazards

Jackson, TN,USA -Smart Mobs, by Roland Piquepaille -June 6, 2008: -- ... The 3.83 million euro EU-funded MORYNE project was completed in March 2008 with a test in Berlin, Germany. During this test, the researchers ‘equipped city buses with environmental sensors and cameras, allowing the vehicles to become transmitters of measurements, warnings and live or recorded videos to anyone allowed to access the data.’ (See BBC Video: Buses 'could be road sensor hubs' )

* USA - "BUS"TING TERROR - Coach Lines install Anti-Hijacker tech

New York,NY,USA -The New York Post, by SUSAN EDELMAN & REUVEN BLAU -June 8, 2008 -- Authorities can now put the brakes on terrorists who hijack New York buses... Like something out of the movie "Speed," a new GPS device enables authorities to remotely control a bus - slowing it down to 5 mph and preventing it from restarting once it has stopped. The device has been installed on thousands of local commuter and tourist buses... The technology is designed to prevent a terrorist from ramming a bus filled with people and explosives into buildings or tunnels... Private bus companies have received millions of dollars from the Department of Homeland Security for the security systems. It costs $1,500 to equip each bus, with $50-per-bus monthly maintenance costs... (Photo: Several metro-area bus lines have gotten millions of dollars from the Department of Homeland Security for a new security system that can remotely stop hijacked city tourist and commuter buses in their tracks)


BUSES PURCHASE * USA - New Ramp Equipped Buses

Ramp and lift-equipped vans deliver vital public transportation in rural areas

Springfield,ILL,USA -WIFR -Jun 5, 2008: -- Governor Rod R. Blagojevich announced today that the state has awarded $4.5 million to pay for 77 ramp and lift-equipped vehicles that will improve rural public transportation across Illinois... In the Illinois Department of Transportation’s (IDOT) Region 2 of northern Illinois, $975,568 will be awarded to purchase 19 vehicles...


COMPLAINS * Pakistan - Public transport system on verge of collapse

Only 700 buses out of the target of 900 are plying 20 out of the 53 allotted routes - PTA inviting private companies to launch buses

Lahore,Pakistan -The Daily Times, by Rana Kashif -5 June 2008: -- The existing public transport system that replaced commuter vans with buses on the verge of collapse because of financial loss said Urban Transport Bus Owners Association President Bashir Sial... District Regional Transport Authority (DRTA) Secretary Munir Ahmed Joiya said, “We realise that the transport system of the city is in poor condition but the situation will be controlled soon”... The system of high occupancy public transport buses was introduced in response to a treaty with the United Nations (UN) to save citizens from environmental pollution caused by the outdated commuters vans... Another reason for introducing private bus companies was the failure of the Punjab Road Transport Company, which cost the government Rs 2.5 billion a year in staff salaries and utility bills only, the official said... The official said that the Transport Department had tried launching 900 buses in the city replacing almost 7,000 commuter vans, but they could only introduce 700 of them, which caused problems for commuters... Acording to the department, around 950,000 commuters travelled by buses every day. The existing transport system could carry only 50 percent of them, the official said... (Video from YouTube, by shahidwaseem - June 24, 2007: "Rash driving by Deawoo 160KM/H" - Rash driving by Deawoo bus service. Speeding upto 160KM/H. From Islamabad to Lahore on motorway )


INSPECTIONS * USA - Surprise checks catch bad buses

Boston,CT,USA -The Boston Herald, by Jessica Fargen -June 5, 2008: -- A surprise spot inspection of dozens of vehicles carrying small children to schools and day care this morning uncovered a myriad of troubling violations including drivers without licenses, overloaded vans and kids who weren’t in car seats, according to state officials... The Registry of Motor Vehicles along with Boston Police conduct the spot checks of school transportation vehicles twice a year... This morning, inspectors fanned out to ten locations in the city and at times found children in serious danger, said Rachel Kaprielian, the newly appointed registrar of the RMV... Kaprielian said one van was in “full non-compliance.”... The driver had no license to transport children, the van had no license plate and no safety features, she said... The school transportation vehicles inspected today are not operated by the Boston Public Schools...


BUSES PURCHASES * UK - Bus builder wins Dublin contract

The company is to build about 1,000 buses

London,UK -BBC News -5 June 2008: -- A County Antrim bus builders has secured an 11 million euro deal to construct 50 new vehicles for Dublin Bus... Wrightbus in Ballymena is to start delivering the buses from November this year through to March 2009... The contract is part of a fleet replacement programme aimed at ensuring that the average age of the Dublin Bus fleet is no more than six years... Dublin Bus carries over 150 million passengers annually and on average 500,000 each day across its network... Dublin Bus already operates 50 single decks and 20 articulated buses manufactured by Wrightbus... Dublin Bus currently has a fleet of 1,182 buses... (Photo: The company is to build about 1,000 buses)


More Passengers * USA - Getting on board the bus

Commuters increasingly realize that taking an IndyGo ride is more cost-effective for them

Indianapolis,IND,USA -The Indianapolis Star, by John Tuohy -June 5, 2008: -- The Hummer might be near death, but the motorcoach is thriving in Indianapolis... Thanks to soaring gasoline prices, ridership on the Fishers Express bus to Downtown Indianapolis has more than tripled since its launch in October, mirroring a nationwide trend toward public transportation... David Spiech, 43, Noblesville, is part of a surge that pushed the express bus' ridership to 11,056 for the month of May and has helped account for a 25 percent increase in IndyGo riders in the past year... IndyGo spokeswoman Ronnetta Spalding said fuel costs are driving the rise... The spike in riders reflects a national trend. The American Public Transportation Association reported this week that Americans took 85 million more trips on public transportation in the first three months of this year than they did for the same period last year... The Fishers bus has been so popular that IndyGo started another express bus in Carmel in March -- and ridership there is already at 8,000 passengers a month... (Photo by Rob Varela/Ventura Star: Rising gas prices are spurring drivers to park their cars and making packed buses a common sight in Ventura County)

* California - Gas prices drive more to mass transit

Ventura,CAL,USA -The Ventura County Star, by Stephanie Hoops -June 4, 2008: -- Ventura County bus ridership figures have soared to new highs as the average price for regular unleaded gas has surged to more than $4 a gallon, according to area transportation officials...

From January through April, tallies show the following increases:
* 17 percent — VISTA, or Ventura Intercity Service Transit Authority
* 23 percent — Gold Coast Transit (formerly South Coast Area Transit), with routes throughout western Ventura County.
* 23 percent — commuter buses from Ventura County to Los Angeles County

The tremendous shift in bus commuting may be an indicator of things to come, as climbing gas prices continue to empty wallets with no end in sight... Gold Coast carries the most riders of any bus service in the county, with about 3.5 million boardings a year... (Photos by Rob Varela/Star staff - 1 · Passengers board a northbound VISTA bus Tuesday morning in downtown Ventura for Santa Barbara County destinations. Officials say VISTA ridership is up about 17 percent this year - 2 · Commuters wait for a bus Tuesday morning in downtown Ventura. VISTA bus routes have been added to meet the increased demand)

* Bus use grows in Cheyenne

Cheyenne,WY,USA -Casper Star-Tribune Online (Casper,WY,USA), by JOAN BARRON -June 8, 2008: -- ... National published reports say the use of public transit is soaring because of high gasoline prices. In some metropolitan areas, the demand is swamping transit systems. In Washington, D.C., for example, it's standing-room-only on commuter buses from the city's suburbs... According to the American Public Transportation Association, 2.6 billion trips were taken on public transit systems in the U.S. In the first three months of the year, there was a 3 percent increase over the same period in 2007... The Cheyenne Transit system experienced a phenomenal increase in riders -- nearly 80 percent over the last five years. But there has not been a big surge in riders since gas prices climbed toward $4 a gallon, said Joe Dougherty, the director... He attributed the growth in business to the increase of "transportation disadvantaged" riders in the capital city...


Sideline Older Buses -USA - New Emissions Standards Could Do it

A proposed mandate could take away hundreds of school buses that don't meet air quality standards - Buses made before 1987 will have to be permanently parked or replaced

Chico,Redding,CAL,USA -KHSL -4 June 2008: -- ... The Air Resources Board wants school districts to retrofit the filters on their school buses to reduce toxic pollutants emitted into the air by 85 percent. Their goal is to keep students safe... But officials from Shasta High School District say it will cost 15 to 20 thousand dollars to make these modifications on each bus... The District's Director of Transportation Tom Carroll, "we want to provide good, safe, economic service. But mandates like this make it darn near impossible"... The Air Resources Board says there's 300 million dollars in state funding to help pay for these changes...



* Finland - Hurting bus companies and their passengers
Bus passengers in the Greater Helsinki area should prepare themselves for hard times, warn bus companies

Helsinki,Uusimaa,Finland -The Helsingin Sanomat -4 June 2008: -- ... The reason is that the soaring cost of fuel - diesel prices have almost reached the towering levels of those for petrol - has further exacerbated the financial problems facing carriers... The crunch being faced by bus companies could lead to cuts in service, with an obvious knock-on effect for passengers in terms of crowded buses and missed connections... As we have reported earlier, the price of diesel has risen by around 35% in just over a year. Ari Heinilä of the Finnish Bus & Coach Association (LAL) describes the steepling climb as hair-raising: "In the metropolitan area the battle for market share is already so tough that it makes one stop and think whether there is any sense at all in the whole business."... During the current decade, the bus operators in the Greater Helsinki area have consistently made losses in the region of EUR 5 to 10 million each year. There are rumours in the market that at least one of the large companies is up for sale... The large international bus companies Concordia and Veolia also blame rivals and market leader Helsingin Bussiliikenne, owned by the City of Helsinki, for the equivalent of dumping prices to secure routes... Ilkka J. Kari, the Chairman of Helsingin Bussiliikenne, vehemently denies the accusations. The carriers are now turning to the state for help in the form of a rebate on fuel taxes or reductions in value added tax. If no help is forthcoming, the general view is that public transport services will suffer... (Photo by LEIF ROSAS - The No.61 from Tikkurila to Mellunmäki was packed full on Tuesday afternoon. If push comes to shove over fuel prices, bus passengers in the metro area will have to prepare themselves for cuts in services, meaning longer waits and more standing-room-only journeys)

* UK - Bus bosses debate rising cost of fuel

London,UK -Get Reading -4 June 2008: -- Bus bosses will tonight discuss how to deal with the problem of rising fuel prices for services across Reading – with the possibility of fare restructuring... Services in West Berkshire are already being reviewed because of the pressure of high fuel prices on the bus service provider... Newbury Buses, part of Reading Transport Ltd, runs West Berkshire’s buses using funding from the council and has been forced to make the review because world oil prices are putting severe strains on the financial viability of some services... Declining passenger numbers on some services are also adding to the problems... Reading Transport Ltd will tonight consider how to deal with the rising fuel cost problem more widely across Reading and Newbury...

* USA - Wausau Buses Packing Them In

Eau Claire,WI,USA -WEAU/TV 13 -Jun 4, 2008: -- Operators of the Wausau Area Transit System are crediting the high gasoline prices for a ridership increase that has continued despite a rise in bus fares by 25 percent in January... At that time, the system expected ridership to decline by seven percent but instead it rose just under two percent... And that was before the gas prices really jumped in recent months and got more people considering public transit...Transit director Greg Seubert says the system is getting a lot of calls from people interested in bus transportation as a cost-cutting choice... Those are people who can afford other options, such as driving a car, but choose public transit instead...


BUDGET DIFFERENCES * Australia - Passengers miss the bus again

The devil is in the detail - especially in a NSW budget

Sydney,New South Wales,Australia -The Sydney Morning Herald, by Linton Besser -June 4, 2008: -- The State Government has trumpeted record spending on public transport, including funding for 150 new articulated buses to soak up growing demand on the State Transit network... And yet a close look at the budget papers reveals there is insufficient funding for even one new government bus in the coming financial year... A week ago, the Premier, Morris Iemma, described the $112 million spending on 150 new buses as "sensible planning" to "meet the inevitable growth that will come as Sydney grows and petrol prices rise"... But just $100,000 has been allocated for 2008-09 for "new buses for passenger growth for State Transit Authority"... An articulated bus costs more than $600,000 on the road... The program for new buses is a four-year spending program of $111.7 million, and it is unclear how much will be specifically allocated year on year...


SAFETY * Malaysia - Government wants bus passengers to belt up while on the road

Kuala Lumpur,Malaysia -The Star -June 4, 2008: -- The Government will make it compulsory for passengers on new buses to wear seat belts, particularly those on tourist coaches, Deputy Transport Minister Datuk Seri Lajim Ukin said... He said the installation of seat belts was made compulsory for new buses, in line with the international standard as set by Act 80 of the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe from November 2007... “The Government will enforce seat-belt fitting for new buses soon,” he said in reply to Senator Lee Chee Keong at the Dewan Negara yesterday...


NEW BUSES * India - Now, AC buses for public transport in Capital

Delhiites will be able to commute in cool comforts of air-conditioned and eco-friendly public buses at an affordable fare

New Delhi,India -PTI/The Hindu -3 June 2008: -- ... Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit, will flag off eight bright cherry-coloured AC buses which will ply on CNG fuel, on June 5 to mark the World Environment Day... "We have identified three routes for the buses having sitting capacity for 35 people each. Later on more buses will be incorporated for the commuters," a senior official said... He said of the eight cherry-coloured AC buses, two will ply on the Ring Road route, three on route no 522 -Ambedkar Nagar to Arya Samaj Road- and the remaining three on route no 85 -Anand Vihar to Punjabi Bagh-...


NEW "GREEN" BUSES * USA - AC Transit Orders 8 More Fuel Cell Bus Systems

Has Options 13 More

USA -Green Car Congress, by Mike Millikin -2 June 2008: -- AC Transit of Oakland, CA has ordered a minimum of eight new 120 kW PureMotion Model 120 fuel cell systems from UTC Power of South Windsor, CT, with options for an additional 13 units, to power AC Transit’s next-generation hybrid-electric, Van Hool fuel cell buses, scheduled for delivery in 2009 and 2010... Because of the higher fuel efficiency, there will only be 8 rather than 9 hydrogen tanks on the roof. NiMH batteries will be used for energy storage, according to Van Hool, which is doing the complete integration. Sodium nickel chloride batteries were used in earlier versions... The buses use Siemens electric motors mounted in the wheelbase to have more space available for standees. The two-door 40’ low-floor buses will be significantly lighter, have a lower center of gravity and will have a better integration of the components than the first generation, including Van Hool designed roof top cooling...


STORIES on BUSES * Turkey -The Otübus Experience

Riding on a city bus in Istanbul is like being in the live version of the 1994 adrenaline-packed action flick "SPEED"

Istanbul,Turkey -Be Fit With Biray In Turkiye -June 2, 2008: -- ... The driver maneuvers the bus like Sandra Bullock on speed. Weaving in and out of traffic, hoping not to kill anyone along its path. But unlike the Hollywood version, he actually succeeds in keeping the city in tack, taking you from point A to point B, C, D, E...X without much cross-city destruction... In the course of my thirty-minute bus ride (and after I got over my fear of flying), the people who flew in and out at each bus stop, some while the bus was moving, had very interesting stories to tell. Many thoughts went through my mind...

- A 30-something lady gave up her seat to an older mid-forties woman. Same mid-forties woman, then gave up her seat for an elderly man in his mid-sixties. Perhaps respecting your elders is a universal gesture, with no cultural boundaries. My heart melted. Despite a crazy world, there's always room for compassion.

- A passenger entered the bus from the back, not able to get on from the front because it was too crowded. He handed his bus card to a passenger, and the passenger handed it to the next passenger, and so forth until the card slowly made its way to the front. The bus driver slid his toll through the machine. Then the bus card slowly made it back to its owner. It's amazing that in a city where you're taught to keep a close watch on your belongings and trust no one, that at least 7 people had a hand in helping this stranger pay the correct bus toll.

... The people on the bus represent a cross-section of a unique culture. Rich or poor, young or old, regardless of race, religion, socioeconomic class, or gender... everyone relies on the bus
(or some form of public transportation) in their Istanbul existence. Let's face it, the bus is cheaper, more efficient, much faster - and anyone with a car knows that Istanbul traffic can be a nightmare! ...