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

Buses World News

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


The World's * 10 Most Dangerous Roads *

1. The North Yungas Road, Bolivia
Built by Paraguayan prisoners of war in the 1930s, the North Yungas Road, which locals call the “Road of Death,” snakes across roughly 40 miles of the Andes in northeastern Bolivia. In 1995, the Inter-American Development Bank named the La Paz to Coroico route “the world’s most dangerous road.” And for good reason. The unpaved road is bordered by 3,000-foot cliffs. More than 100 travelers die every year trekking the route’s hairpin curves.

2. BR-116, BrazilThe second longest road in Brazil, BR-116, runs from Porto Alegre through Curitiba and Sao Paulo, all the way to Rio de Janeiro. The Curitiba-Sao Paulo section of the highway is nicknamed “Rodovia da Morte” (Highway of Death). The name fits. The road runs around--and even through--the edges of steep cliffs. The result: “accidents and road fatalities are distressingly common,” as one travel advisory puts it.

3. Sichuan-Tibet Highway, ChinaIn China, the number of deaths caused by car accidents has nearly doubled in the past 20 years, climbing from 3.9 to 7.6 per 100,000 of the population between 1985 and 2005. During this time, the number of cars on the road increased ninefold, and the number of other vehicles, principally motorcycles, jumped by a factor of 54. Government statistics show nearly 82,000 road deaths--5.1 for every 10,000 motor vehicles--in China in 2006, according to the Xinhua News Agency. Ironically, the least populated regions had the highest overall death rates per 100 000 motor vehicles. The Sichuan-Tibet Highway, a high-elevation road between Chengdu and Tibet where landslides and rock avalanches are common, is undoubtedly part of the problem.

4. Pan American Highway, Costa Rica The Pan American Highway, a network of roads that stretches nearly 30,000 miles from Prudhoe Bay, Alaska, in North America to the lower reaches of South America, is the world's longest "motorable road," according to Guinness World Records. Although only a small portion of the road runs through Costa Rica, that portion boasts some of the most dangerous miles. Called the Hill of Death, the stretch of the Pan-American Highway from San Isidro de El General to Cartago is a gauntlet of narrow curves, steep cliffs, flash floods and landslides.

5. Coastal Roads, CroatiaThe good news for the droves of tourists pouring into the fishing villages and sea resorts that crowd Croatia’s Dalmatian Coast on the Adriatic Sea is that they don’t need to worry about land mines. The detritus of a decade of ethnic warfare that ended with the breakup of the former Yugoslavia is far from the narrow, congested and curvy roads along the coast, which brings us to the bad news. The coastal roads and the fast-driving Croats that crowd them probably account for more deaths and injuries than accidents associated with unexploded ordinance ever do.

6. Cotopaxi Volcan, Ecuador
Traveling to Ecuador? Be careful, the roads are dangerous, and the most dangerous of them all is one many tourists unwittingly travel. Slightly south of capital city Quito, the Cotopaxi Volcan Road is a 25-mile span of treacherous dirt road that connects the Pan American Highway with Cotopaxi Volcan national park, which boasts the highest active volcano in Ecuador at 19,460 feet. The “road” is plastered with potholes and runs through a nightmarishly deceptive “stream” that puts the “flash” in flash floods when it rains. Add poorly maintained cars and poorly trained drivers, and you’ll appreciate the trials and tribulations of a drive in the jungle.

7. Luxor-al-Hurghada Road, EgyptThe road that links the ancient city of Luxor in southern Egypt and Hurghada, the regional hub for several scuba diving resorts on the Red Sea, is a death trap. The vast majority of drivers never turn on their headlights after the sun goes down, setting the stage for the high accident fatality rate that has earned the road a spot on this list. Ironically, the only thing more dangerous than driving on the road at night with your headlights off is driving at night with them on. If the bandits don’t get you, the terrorists probably will. In 1997, terrorists shot and killed 62 German tourists in Luxor in a massacre that resulted in a massive government crackdown that endures today.

8. A44, U.K.The A44 runs from Oxford to Aberystwyth. The two-lane road has tallied enough accident fatalities and serious injuries in recent years to earn the ignominious honor of having government surveillance cameras installed to deter speeding and otherwise encourage cautious driving. And on a road where more than 25% of crashes on are head-on collisions, caution is well advised.

9. Patiopoulo-Perdikaki Road, GreeceAlthough the Ottoman Empire occupied Greece for 400 years, they never conquered a small mountainous region in central Greece called Agrafa. They had the military fire power and political will to do so. They simply didn’t have any way to get there. The roads were as dangerous in the steep, mountainous region then as they are now.

10. Grand Trunk Road, India to AfghanistanThe Grand Trunk Road was built in the 16th century to connect the major cities of India with those of Pakistan and Afghanistan. It hasn’t changed much since then, but the world around it has. The road is chronically congested with ox carts, animals, bicycles and pedestrians and massive numbers of cars and buses.

FORBES (New York,NY,USA) -20 Aug 2008


ALTERNATIVE FUEL * USA - DOT Says Run Your Car on Water Technology Works

The critics say that this hydrogen on demand technology simply cannot work. A document by the U. S. Department of Transportation (DOT) stating that the critics are wrong

Washington,DC,USA -Green Tech Gazette -August 20, 2008: -- ... Yes, the DOT report, which is about the safe handling of hydrogen, states that “hydrogen injection” as they call it does reduce emissions and increase gas mileage... The report talks mostly about fuel cell cars or vehicles with internal combustion engines that run on compressed hydrogen gas or liquid hydrogen. It does, however, also give some room to cover hydrogen injection systems (focused on diesel engines) including the electrolysis of water... The DOT document focuses on run your car on water technology for diesel engines since this has been more widely developed and publicly acknowledged for use with long haul trucks... The point is that government acknowledgement of this emerging run your car on water technology is a good first step. No longer can there be a valid argument on whether or not this technology works... The only real question is “How well can I get it to work?”...


ALTERNATIVE FUEL * UK - Sainsbury’s to use landfill gas to power delivery lorries

Grocery giant Sainsbury's is to use a bio-methane combination fuel in its heavy duty diesel lorries used on its Bristol to Dartmouth distribution route

Bristol,UK -New Energy Focus -20 Aug 2008: -- The move follows a trial of the "Genesis" Dual-Fuel, provided by US-owned company Clean Air Power... The combination fuel involves a mixture of standard diesel and methane gas sourced from a landfill site in Surrey, provided by Gasrec ... The "Running on Rubbish" initiative will operate on the 500km round trip from the Sainsbury's distribution centre at Emerald Park in Bristol to the supermarket's new environmental store in Dartmouth... As the fuel has been developed for an ordinary diesel engine, Sainsbury's will be able to use its existing fleet of Mercedes-Benz Axor lorries. The technology patented by Clean Air Power allows an existing diesel engine to operate on a combination of diesel and methane with minimal change required to the base engine. Up to 80% of diesel can be substituted by methane depending on the conditions... And, according to the makers of the fuel, the diesel engine's performance is maintained at a reduced cost when compared to using normal diesel fuel, and produces a marked reduction in carbon emissions...



NEW BUSES * China - Beijing buses equipped with CCTV

Beijing,China -Beijing Youth Daily/The Standard (Hong Kong)/AFP -16 Aug 2008: -- Chinese authorities are to install CCTV surveillance equipment systems on more than 1,400 buses in Beijing, state media reported... In the latest security move in the Olympic host city, the buses will be equipped so that the driver can press an alarm button in case of an emergency, the state-run Beijing Youth Daily reported... The security gear also includes four cameras on each bus, the report said... Such equipment has already been set up at 25 Olympic bus stops prior to the Games...



Encouraging alternative transportation by reassigning street space long reserved for cars and trucks to bikes, buses and pedestrians

New York,NY,USA -The New York Times, by Hope Cohen -August 16, 2008: -- For decades, New York City’s Department of Transportation tried to make this town as friendly as possible to cars, mainly by giving them enough room to move as quickly as possible. Under Mayor Michael Bloomberg, however, the department has been encouraging alternative transportation by reassigning street space long reserved for cars and trucks to bikes, buses and pedestrians... To accommodate all this movement, the city can no longer be as accommodating as it has been toward stationary vehicles. Before traffic reaches a standstill, as it threatens to do, the city should start phasing out curbside parking... Not all curbside parking, of course; cars can be stored along the narrow streets of most residential neighborhoods without causing gridlock. On particularly clogged roads, though, all lanes should be reserved for moving traffic. Yet even as bike lanes are carved out and streets are “greened” (sometimes with plants, often with chartreuse paint), the department has continued to preserve parking lanes for cars and trucks...


NEW BUSES FLEET * USA - North Shore gets new MBTA buses

Medford,MA,USA -The Malden Observer -Aug 15, 2008: -- MBTA General Manager Daniel A. Grabauskas announced the rollout of a brand-new fleet of emission-control diesel buses to North Shore communities served by the T this week... A total of 70 camera- and bike-rack-equipped buses will be deployed into service at a rate of five buses per week through the fall. These buses operate under the most stringent engine exhaust emissions regulations... Approximately 26,000 customers board each weekday, with Route 116 the most heavily used, carrying 4,388 customers...


Bus Routes * UK - Threatened by £300,000 cut

Cambridgeshire County Council has announced a six week public consultation on plans to reduce or withdraw services

Cambridge,UK -The Cambridge News On Line -15 Aug 2008: -- A £300,000 cut will be made to subsidised bus services, threatening the future of nine routes across the county. Cambridgeshire County Council has announced a six week public consultation on plans to reduce or withdraw services including the X14 Huntingdon - Cambridge Science Park; 196 Waterbeach - Fen Ditton - Cambridge; and 2 Cambridge - Hardwick - Caldecote buses... Rising costs and the need to pump money into other core services such as education and social care have been blamed for the cut... The council subsidises 70 routes, spending £2.77 million a year and the nine services which could be cut are those which scored lowest when transport bosses looked at the average number of passengers, cost per passenger journey, the purpose of the journey and alternative transport available... (Video from YouTube, by derekbatty - June 29, 2008 - "Catching the bus in Cambridge" - Get a cappuccino from Dining Out and sit on the wall of the Round Church with students from Cats College, kicking your feet and the catching the buses as they turn the corner)


SAVING MONEY * USA - Smart bus ideas need a chance

* Albemarle Co. Transportation Changes Save Thousands

Albemarle County,VA,USA, by Liz Palka -Aug 15, 2008: -- State and local governments alike are scrambling to save money amidst the recent rise in energy and fuel costs. Along those lines, the Albemarle County School District plans on saving thousands by making a few changes to its transportation plan... By making a few relatively simple changes to the school transportation plan, the Albemarle County School District could save almost $100,000... New bus routes are not the only change the school officials are implementing this year. Other changes include using hybrid vehicles to transport smaller groups of students, eliminating excessive bus routes, and combining others so that buses are filled to capacity...

* The Racine Unified School District will begin streamlining its transportation system

Racine,WI,USA -The Journal Times -August 15, 2008: -- Starting this fall, there are good ideas here, and the district deserves encouragement not only because the result should be a more efficient system but because it also should eventually be lower cost... An outside study of Unified’s transportation system done a couple of years ago found that the district transportation cost per student was $913 compared to a state average of $413. That’s quite a difference especially when one considers that some districts cover larger areas with a lower population density... As part of its plan, the district is starting a transition this fall to straight-line busing. School buses will no longer dip into each cul-de-sac to pick up each child in front of each home. Buses will instead run like city buses. There will be a designated stop at which children will be expected to gather. Already one can see that this will save many miles and much time... Unified also plans to make more use of city buses, another completely logical step... Here’s the payoff. The district is planning to have 1,300 children ride city buses this year. The actual number may be fewer — it was last year — but even if it falls to half that’s still a significant number of school buses which don’t have to be on the road. As a bonus, the sliding charge from the city bus system turns into a flat fee if student numbers cross a threshold between 800 and 900...


STEEP GAS PRICES * USA - Boost Bus System

OCTA saw a record-breaking 6.2 million boardings last month

Orange County,CAL,USA -The Orange County Register, by ELLYN PAK -August 14, 2008: -- Steep gas prices pushed a record-breaking number of people onto Orange County's public buses last month... The Orange County Transportation Authority reported 6.2 million boardings in July, a figure that topped the previous ridership record during the transit system's 36-year history... OCTA's main bus fleet consists of 572 active buses. More than 220,000 riders rely on buses each day... (Photo by JOSHUA SUDOCK/ THE ORANGE COUNTY REGISTER - Steep gas prices boost bus systemPassengers board an OCTA bus at the Fullerton Transportation Center last summer)


NEW RULES * Canada - Province adopts federal bus standards

Education ministry will decide if vehicles can be used by schools

Vancouver,BC,Canada -Canwest News Service/The Vancouver Sun, by Jonathan Fowlie & Linda Nguyen -August 14, 2008: -- British Columbia will adopt new federal safety standards announced Wednesday that create a new class of vehicle meant for use on small school outings such as field trips and sport events... But it was not immediately clear whether the new standard will be used to force other vehicles -- such as controversial 15-passenger vans -- out of the province's school fleets... Transportation Ministry representative Dave Crebo said B.C. will recognize the new standards, but that it would be up to the education ministry to determine their use for B.C. schools...


Public Transportation Service * USA - SEPTA Announces Largest Expansion in Its History

Philadelphia,PA,USA -MarketWatch -Aug. 14, 2008: -- SEPTA has announced 65 initiatives to expand and enhance transportation services for growing employment, retail and residential markets, to alleviate overcrowding and improve mid-day, evening and late-night service... Most of the initiatives will take place in September and November and come at a time of tremendous growth of public transportation, as commuters seek ways to offset rising gasoline costs and become more environmentally friendly... The new initiatives include more frequent service, additional peak, off-peak and weekend service and new late-night Regional Rail service. These measures are designed to address issues of overcrowding, assist growing employment, retail and residential markets and provide service for passengers who lack transportation while working unconventional job hours... (Video from YouTube, by Jayayess1190 - June 02, 2008: "Septa buses" - Here are videos of buses around my neighborhood, the Mt. Airy section of PhiladelphiaNew Flyer D40LFs and Neoplan An460s)


BUSES' SPARE PARTS * China - Ultracapacitors Are Adopted in Hybrid Buses

Hangzhou,China -Power Electronics -Aug 13, 2008: -- Spotlight on Digital PowerMaxwell Technologies has announced that Golden Dragon Bus Co., a producer of medium and heavy duty buses, has selected Maxwell's BOOSTCAP ultracapacitors for braking energy recuperation and torque assist in fuel-efficient, low-emission, diesel-electric hybrid buses Golden Dragon is producing for the Hangzhou, China, Public Transport Group Co.... According to David Schramm, Maxwell's president and chief executive officer, Maxwell has completed delivery of 720 48-V BMOD0165 P048 multi-cell ultracapacitor modules to Golden Dragon for installation into 45 hybrid buses ordered by the Hangzhou Public Transport Group Co... Golden Dragon delivered the first prototype hybrid bus with an ultracapacitor-based energy storage system to Hangzhou in July 2007, for comparison with other hybrid drive systems under actual operating conditions... (Photo: A Golden Dragon Bus Commuter Series)



Amazing video * Poland - Bus overturned by tornado

This extraordinary video shows the moment a packed bus was flipped over by a tornado

Mykanów,Poland -The Telegraph (London,UK), by Matthew Moore -18 Aug 2008: --
(See Video) Horror as passengers on a Polish bus record the moment a tornado flips the vehicle on its back ... The footage, filmed by a passenger, shows the tornado whipping up power before overturning the vehicle, to the audible horror of the people inside... The ordeal took place on Friday near the town of Mykanów in Poland, according to details left on LiveLeak, the video sharing website where the clip was posted... The bus was carrying 37 members of a choir, all of whom escaped serious injury, it is claimed on the website. Eight people were taken to hospital with minor injuries, according to other sources... Three people died in the storms which buffeted Poland at the end of last week, devastating villages in the south of the country... In the video, the bus passengers can be heard shouting in panic as the tornado becomes visible in front of them... The camera man rushes to the front of the vehicle in time to see the tornado cutting its way through a field at the side of the road, just metres from where the bus had pulled over... The vehicle then begins to shake violently, teetering briefly before toppling on its side, provoking screams of fear from the passengers... Although the camera man then loses his grip on his camera, it appears that the bus continued rolling for several seconds before coming to a halt...



SHUTS DOWN * USA - FMCSA shuts down another bus company

Washington,DC,USA -The Dallas Morning News/Land Line Magazine -August 15, 2008: -- Federal officials announced on Thursday, Aug. 14, that they’ve shut down the operation of a third Houston bus company in the wake of an Aug. 8 crash that killed 17 people in Sherman, TX... A press release from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration said Liberty Charter & Tours poses an “imminent hazard” to public safety. Liberty, like two other bus companies that had already been shut down, is controlled by businessman Angel de la Torre... One of his buses – the one that crashed in Sherman – reportedly had a retreaded front tire that delaminated. According to The Dallas Morning News, de la Torre could face criminal charges if he or his employees were found to have falsified safety records...




Already the operator of the country’s biggest public bus fleet, BMTC, now plans to roll out 1,000 more buses next year. "More buses = fewer cars"

Bangalore,India -The Times Of India /The Bangalore Blog, by R Krishnakumar -13 Aug 2008: -- The Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation (BMTC) is pitching the equation with great enthusiasm as a solution to the congestion on Bangalore’s roads. The corporation is planning to increase the number of buses, as part of an ongoing fleet expansion, by another 1,000 next year. Already the operator of the biggest public bus fleet in the country, the BMTC is rolling out more buses when issues like absence of dedicated bus lanes remain. The idea, though, is to combine accessibility, frequency and efficiency... Dastagir Sharieff, chief traffic manager (operations), BMTC, told The Times Of India that the expansion is part of a drive to increase the modal split of public transport in Bangalore.


Bus Travel * Cambodia - Disgusting and Uncomfortable

Phnom Penh ,Cambodia -Your Phnom Penh Pal -13 Aug 2008: -- ... Traveling by bus in Cambodia is often exhilirating, loud, disgusting and uncomfortable and rarely does it get you to your destination quickly. More often than not, the buses are a model of inefficiency, though they are quite cheap... By western standards, Cambodian roads are terrible. The national roads - note they're not even called highways - are barely two lanes wide without any sort of divider or shoulder and often lacking in the pavement department. Adding to the levels of exhilaration (some may say discomfort), it is almost immediately apparent that the rules governing road use appear to be practically non-existent...


RULES * Canada - New standards proposed for 15-passenger vans

Don Mills,Ontario,Canada -Canwest News Service, by Linda Nguyen -August 13, 2008: -- The Canadian Standards Association has published new voluntary safety guidelines for 15-passenger vans, seven months after seven high school basketball players and a teacher were killed in a van crash in Bathurst, N.B.... The new standards, released Wednesday, were designed to apply to a proposed category of multi-functional vehicles... Though not school buses, this new class of vehicle would be used to transport groups of school-aged children on field trips, sporting events and extracurricular activities... The standards suggests that these vehicles be constructed to meet school bus guidelines in terms of their joint strength, crashworthiness, rollover protection, emergency exits and compartmentalization... Other safety standards commonly found on school buses such as warning lamps or stop arms were not included in the standards...


BUS SERVICE * Iran/Kurdistan - Opens between Urmya province and Hajji Omaran

Daily service begins for travelers coming to Erbil or going to Iran

Erbil,Kurdistan,Iraq -The Kurdish Globe, by Qassim Khidhir -13 August 2008: -- ... After more than three years of consistent effort, road transportation for passengers on Federal buses traveling between Kurdistan Region and Iran started for the first time on August 5, the same day when the Hajji Omaran border gate between Kurdistan Region and Iran officially opened... Izzat Najmaddin Qadir, owner of Federal, a passenger transport company that carries passengers from Kurdistan Region to Urmya province in Iran by modern buses, told The Kurdish Globe that Federal transports 30 passengers daily from Erbil city, the capital of Kurdistan Region, to Urmya province in Iran, also known as Azerbaijan province... (Photo by Qassim Khidhir - A man walks in front of the first bus carries passengers from Kurdistan region to Iran)


STRIKE * India - Pvt bus owners go on

Protesting against the poor condition of the roads, the private bus operators of Jalpaiguri district launched an indefinite bus strike from today

Jalpaiguri,Kolkata,India -The Statesman News Service -Aug. 13, 2008: -- ... The decision comes after a bus employee died in a road accident near Dasdarga between Siliguri and Jalpaiguri on Monday. The agitators blamed the poor road condition for the accident and the employee's death... Though the North Bengal State Transport Corporation tried to run some buses between Siliguri and Jalpaiguri district today, the agitators stopped those vehicles in different areas like Goshala More, Mainaguri by-pass, etc.... Mr Sirajul Ahmed, secretary of the Dooars Bus Association, said, “More than 450 buses and almost 1400 workers are participating in the strike. The stir will continue until the administration promises to do something on the issue”... Another official Mr Chandi Sarkar added, “We have not received the new fair chart already implemented in Kolkata"... The bus operators also alleged that they were facing trouble from the student passengers...



RIDERS' PROTEST * South Africa - Free-ride buses torched

About 5 000 protesters set 10 Putco buses alight early on Monday on the Moloto road in Cullinan, Gauteng police said

Cape Town,South Africa -Independent Online -August 11 2008: -- ... Sergeant Miranda Scoltz said the protesters burnt the buses in Cullinan following confusion about tickets... "Apparently they got the wrong information about the tickets. Putco buses sent out a message stating that no tickets were on sale, so they could use the buses for free, but someone sent out the wrong message"... No one was injured and no arrests had been made.The Moloto road in Cullinan leading to Umhlanga was closed to traffic...


ACCIDENT * USA - Authorities begin interviewing bus crash survivors

Houston,TX,USA -The Houston Chronicle, by DANE SCHILLER, TERRI LANGFORD & JAMES PINKERTON -Aug. 10, 2008: -- Authorities began interviewing survivors Sunday to try to re-create the scene of the deadly charter bus crashed on U.S. 75 Friday that claimed the lives of 17 member of Houston's Vietnamese Catholic community... Among other items, they're trying to figure out where passengers were sitting and whether anyone was able to evacuate, officials with the National Transportation Safety Board said at an afternoon press conference... They said they haven't yet been able to interview the driver of the bus, 52-year-old Barrett Broussard, who remains in critical condition at Wilson N. Jones Medical Center in Sherman... A dozen people died at the scene on U.S. 75 on their way to an annual religious festival in Missouri. Five others have died at hospitals, including two deaths Saturday. More than 30 others remain hospitalized in the Dallas area, including at least 11 in critical condition... (Photo by Paul Moseley Fort Worth Star-Telegram - NTSB Senior Investigator David Rayburn examines the bus debris on Sunday in Sherman)

* Bus industry analysts urge action after crashes

New York,NY,USA -Forbes/Associated Press, by SAMANTHA BOMKAMP -11 Aug 2008: -- In the wake of recent bus accidents in Mississippi, Nevada and Texas that killed and injured dozens, industry observers are urging broader safety measures... "I keep thinking that each one of these accidents is going to be the tipping point to spur progress in Washington," said Jim Hall, a safety analyst and former chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board. "We continue to see an urgent need for safety improvements in the industry"... Hall, who was chairman of the board from 1994 until 2001, said the bus industry is in dire need of renewed and stricter safety measures, including seatbelts, stronger roof structures that would prevent collapse and "glazing" designed to prevent passengers from falling out of windows in a crash... He said the NTSB has made many attempts in recent decades to improve bus safety, and believes some of the inaction toward improving safety for bus travel is "class-based"...

* 'Grossly deficient' upkeep was a factor in fatal North Texas bus crash

Dallas,TX,USA -The Dallas Morning News, by RICHARD ABSHIRE & MICHAEL A. LINDENBERGER -August 11, 2008: -- An unlicensed bus company's "grossly deficient vehicle maintenance" contributed to Friday's crash in Sherman that killed 17 people, federal authorities said Sunday... The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration also took the rare step of declaring the Houston company an "imminent hazard" to public safety and ordered its owner to cease all commercial operations immediately... A shutdown order that preceded the crash applied only to interstate operations and only to another of owner Angel De La Torre's bus companies... Mr. De La Torre has not responded to interview requests, and his attorney has declined to comment... The authorities said his companies, Angel Tours and Iguala Busmex, violated rules in several ways, including by using retreaded front tires and not regularly inspecting vehicles...


NEW BUSES FLEET * UAE/Dubai - Three double-decker buses start running on Dubai-Sharjah route

Dubai,United Arab Emirates -The Khaleej Times, by Joy Sengupta -10 Aug 2008: -- Three 81-seater, double-decker buses were on Friday introduced by the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) on the Dubai-Sharjah route... The buses commence their journeys from Al Ghubaiba (Bur Dubai) bus station and drop passengers at the Al Jubail and Al Rolla bus stations in Sharjah... According to senior officials of RTA's Public Transport Agency, a total of 70 double-decker buses are expected to run on the Dubai-Sharjah route by the end of this year...



Vancouver,BC,CAN -AZD, by davinder -August 12, 2008: -- Translink to replace 1,400 Vancouver Buses with variety of Clean Transportation Technologies (Ind. Report)... British Columbia's TransLink transit system says that within a decade, it plans to replace 1,400 diesel buses in Vancouver with newer, more efficient models that will cut emissions by between 35 and 80 percent. The fleet will expand with 260 additional buses in FY 2008-09, but during the same period, total TransLink emissions will drop more than seven percent, thanks to more fuel-efficient transport, including hybrid buses and electric trolleys... The new fleet will include an array of bus technologies, including CNG, fuel cells, and biodiesel. In the meantime, older buses will be fitted with filters to reduce particulate emissions by up to 97 percent...

* Malaysia - Scomi sees strong demand for buses

Petaling Jaya, Malaysia -The Star, by YAP LENG KUEN -10 Aug 2008: -- With the increasing focus on public transport, Scomi Engineering Bhd sees growing demand for new buses, especially in Kuala Lumpur and Penang... It counts Rapid KL and Rapid Penang as the two major city operators but has seen a host of other intercity operators increasing their orders for buses... “If we deduct purchases by Rapid KL (which are usually on tender basis), demand for new buses is around 1,000 to 1,500 units per year,'' said Scomi Engineering president Hilmy Zaini... The company is undergoing improvements in the manufacturing process that will enable it to produce 500 buses a year, and has invested substantially in structural designs that meet the R66 European safety standards...


NEW BUSES FLEET * USA - MBTA unveils fleet of 'green' buses

Boston,MAS,USA -The Boston Globe, by Anne Baker -August 7, 2008: -- On the outside, they may look like the traditional yellow-and-white MBTA buses. But they're actually green... Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority General Manager Daniel Grabauskas announced today the launch of 155 new low-emission buses... Seventy will serve the North Shore, 65 will go to the South Shore, and 20 will run routes in Boston from the Cabot Garage in South Boston, the MBTA said in a statement... The total cost for the 155 new buses is $112 million, said MBTA spokesman Joe Pesaturo...Grabauskas said the fleet was worth the cost and will help the MBTA maintain its current high ridership... “We need to offer [riders] a clean, safe, reliable and on-time system,” he said. “Maintaining a state-of-the-art bus fleet is certainly a part of maintaining our increase in ridership”... (Photos by George Rizer/Globe Staff - 1: MBTA General Manager Daniel Grabauskas introduced a new low emission bus today in Lynn - 2 : inside the new buses)


BUSMAKERS' NEWS * UK - Lothian upgrades fleet with Optare and Wright

London,UK -A Transport of Delight -13 Aug 2008: -- A 60-vehicle order has been placed with Wrightbus for 50 Eclipse Gemini double deckers and 10 Eclipse single deckers all on Volvo chassis, for delivery after October this year; the company has recently placed into service Scotland's first examples of the Optare Solo SR... (Picture: Eclipse Gemini model Bus)



* Transport groups dismiss PTEG claims of fuel price profiteering
The Passenger Transport Executive Group has claimed that bus and coach operators have used the excuse of increases in fuel to unnecessarily increase the cost of their fares, claiming that Arriva, First, Stagecoach and Go Ahead are paying no more today than they were a few months ago as their fuel prices were forward purchased up to a year in advance.

* Cardiff Bus gives away free day tickets to every household
Cardiff Bus is distributing a guide to its bus services and a free day rover ticket to every resident in the Welsh capital over the summer months, hoping to attract new customers, keen to make savings on the cost to run a car.

* Judge rules that Oyster 'hack' can be published by Dutch university
A team of students from a Netherlands university have been given permission on how to copy an Oyster card - the electronic ticketing system used throughout London. The ruling overturned one in June prohibiting details - into the weakness of the Mifare Classic chip (at the heart of every Oyster card) - being published.

* Welsh operators face big bills from council timetable changes
Each time a bus operator alters its bus/coach timetable mid-term the Welsh Assembly could charge them a considerable amount, with the charge primarily going towards the cost and time of council workers updating bus stop timetable cases.

* Go South Coast re-brands operators in coach sales push
Bells, Tourist, Kingston and Levers, Damory and Wilts & Dorset have seen their operations (or specific coach operations in W&D' case) re-branded with a two-tone blue livery applied but each will retain its local trading name.

* Stagecoach consolidates in Manchester with talks to buy Bullock's operations
Although unconfirmed by Stagecoach (as was the case when speculation mounted a couple of months ago when we reported on them looking to buy Highland Country/Rapsons) Stagecoach is almost certainly in negotiations to purchase the 50 vehicle Bullock's of Cheadle bus operation, whose main route is the busy Wilmslow Road corridor in Manchester.

* West Coast Motor and Citylink reach agreement on Argyll routes
Campbeltown-based West Coast Motors had started competing services earlier in the year after commercial agreement broke down between themselves and Citylink. WCM's service operated 10 mins before Citylink's and offered cheaper fares, attracting much loyalty from local commuters, though now, following an agreement, WCM will resume operations as a Citylink contractor.

From: "A Transport of Delight" (London,UK) -13 Aug 2008


PUBLIC TRANSPORT SYSTEM * Vietnam - Gas price up, bus services in great demand

The increase of gas price and the expansion of Hanoi has prompted a sudden increase in the number of bus passengers in the capital

Hanoi,Viet Nam -The VietNam Net Bridge -7 Aug 2008: -- ... Many bus routes have been overloaded for a long time and they are even more overloaded at present... “To get a seat on the bus, I have to wake up early to go to the bus station and leave my office late,” said a man who often travels on the bus route from Nhon to Giap Bat, Hanoi. He complained that if he arrives late, he has to stand on one leg on the bus... The Nhon-Giap Bat bus route has only 25 buses which serve 25,000 passengers per day on average. Up to 60% of the passengers travel during peak hours (6.30am-8.30am, 4.30pm-7pm)... Consequently, many buses have to carry large numbers of passengers, sometimes double the designed capacity during peak hours: It is not uncommon that a 90-seat bus carries 180 to 200 passengers. Many passengers, thus, have to stand on one leg...


TRANSPORT PLANS * USA - S.F.'s road map for reinventing Muni revised

San Francisco,CAL,USA -The SFChronicle, by Rachel Gordon -August 7, 2008: -- San Francisco transportation planners said Wednesday they want to replace low-ridership bus lines with cheaper-to-operate van service as part of an ambitious plan to overhaul Municipal Railway's decades-old route structure aimed at improving service along the busiest corridors... Muni officials outlined their latest ideas to remake the system in a revised version of the Transit Effectiveness Project plan, a data-driven document that took a line-by-line look at ridership on each bus and rail route to see which should be eliminated, rerouted or kept the same based on demand. The plan also recommends schedule changes... The overarching goal is to reduce travel time and improve reliability on the Bay Area's busiest transit system, which averages nearly 700,000 boardings a day but is hampered by chronic schedule and overcrowding problems...


Fatigue Reforms * Australia - Unviable, says bus vice-president

The new Heavy Vehicle Driver Fatigue Laws may work for the trucking industry, but are not practical for the bus industry...

Kadina,South Australia,Australia -The Yorke Peninsula Country Times, by Nick Perry -12 August 2008: -- ... according to Bus and Coach Association of South Australia Vice-President, Kadina’s Peter Dunn... Due to be introduced on September 29, the reforms comprise a number of new rules and regulations for all vehicles weighing more than 12 tonnes, including all passenger vehicles over 12 passengers, both privately and government owned... Peter, who has also been a delegate on the National Board of the Bus Industry Confederation, says the rules seem to be primarily designed for the truck industry, and many of the new regulations won’t work for buses... Department for Transport, Energy and Infrastructure (DTEI) told heavy vehicle industries planning would be the key to running efficiently with the new laws but, Peter says, nobody can plan for a flat tyre, and very rarely for unexpected bad weather or other problems such as bad roads... Similarly, emergency runs will be illegal if they take drivers over the permitted amount of hours in one day... Furthermore, with the new system being split into work hours and rest hours, it means if a driver is conducting a bus tour, they cannot make their passengers a cup of tea, or even guide an elderly person into a shop or toilet, as these count as work time and the required rest break would not be possible... Breaking these laws will incur a number of heavy fines, as will breaches of the new work diary...



BUS SAFETY * USA - Reform is urged after accidents

New York,NY,USA -The Detroit News/Auto Briefs -12 Aug 2008: -- In the wake of recent bus accidents in Mississippi, Nevada and Texas that killed and injured dozens, industry observers are urging broader safety. "I keep thinking that each one of these accidents is going to be the tipping point to spur progress in Washington," said Jim Hall, a safety analyst and former chairman of the National Transportation Safety Board... Hall said the bus industry is in dire need of renewed and stricter safety measures, including seatbelts, stronger roof structures that would prevent collapse and "glazing" designed to prevent passengers from falling out windows in a crash...



BUSMAKERS' NEWS * UK - Roush catches the bus with its Hybrid Technology

Leading engine development and engineering services provider, Roush Technologies, is supporting Northern Ireland based Wrightbus on a major hybrid drive performance and optimisation programme

Essex,UK -Easier Motoring -30 July 2008: -- It is further confirmation of Roush’s rapidly expanding hybrid and alternative fuels activity. The company is involved with projects from small capacity, lightweight units through to heavy commercial and industrial applications. The recent surge in interest and demand for hybrid vehicle systems has caused Roush to strengthen its already established resources available to the sector, including additional investment in its advanced dynamometer facilities in Essex. In recent months, it has undertaken base engine design, control systems and advanced calibration projects for a significant number of major OEMs.



PASSENGERS' TRANSPORT INDUSTRY * Australia - Boom time for Melbourne buses

Melbourne,Australia -ABC -5 August 2008: -- Bus patronage across Melbourne is booming with a huge 44 percent growth in passengers travelling on Sundays in the past 12 months following a raft of improvements offering a greater choice of public transport services... Public Transport Minister Lynne Kosky says a combination of recent upgrades and changes to bus routes – the vast majority which run until 9pm, every day of the week – means 53,000 trips are made on Melbourne’s buses every Sunday... A snapshot of routes upgraded since June 2007 shows:
* A 58 per cent rise in patronage on the Route 901 SmartBus (Ringwood-Frankston);
* A 50 per cent rise patronage on Route 784 (Mornington-Osborne);
* A 32 per cent rise in patronage on Route 564 (Bundoora RMIT-Epping Plaza & Northern Hospital); and
* 25 per cent growth on Route 408 (St Albans-Highpoint City)...
* On weekdays, total bus validations in Melbourne grew by 6 percent in the 12 months to June 2008, compared to the previous year, while Saturday validations rose by an impressive 15 percent...
(Video from YouTube, by nic03 - June 19, 2006: "A Melbourne City Bus Adventure" I got I took video. You will see a typical Melbourne town, roundabouts!, Aussie cars, and typical Melbourne homes. They all have fenced in front yards and some people park their cars on their front lawns. I know, it's interesting)



* ZF Electric Drive for low-floor buses

Germany - ABC (Australia) -5 August 2008: -- At the IAA Commercial Vehicles 2008, ZF will present a concept for a new serial hybrid drive for city buses which is currently being developed by ZF Passau GmbH, the ZF Off-Road Driveline Technology and Axle Systems division... Two electric motors are integrated into the axle and are also used for energy recuperation during braking. The serial hybrid drive concept makes particularly economical and environmentally friendly operation possible, in particular for city buses with tough inner-city applications characterized by numerous starting and braking processes. Suitably dimensioned electric motors allow for zero-emission driving in certain operating states, for example at traffic lights and bus stops or when accelerating out of the bus stop... City buses are comparatively slow-moving: traffic lights, high traffic volume, bus stops. All of these things leads to frequent starting and braking as well as standstill times. For this reason, hybrid drives are a particularly economical and resource-preserving alternative... (Picture: ZF Bus)

* Hannover Bus new player in luxury bus transport

Hanover,Germany -ABC (Australia) -5 August 2008: -- Volkswagen Commercial Vehicles has introduced the latest addition in the Crafter series... Featuring 14 seats and a huge cargo area, the Hannover Bus is sure to be a hit with airport shuttle operators, tour and resort operators, taxi and limousine serviced operators, the care industry or anyone that has a need to move 13 people and large luggage in class... All 13 passenger seats are fitted with 3-point seatbelts and offer excellent legroom for each passenger. Aisle seats are equipped with armrests for enhanced comfort... With extensive luxuries such as full interior trim and tinted windows the Hannover Bus is a true winner in the luxury small bus market... Features such as comfort driver seat with suspension, electric windows and door mirrors are all standard. Other standard features include park distance control for front and rear, a multi-function steering wheel and remote central locking... (Picture: Volkswagen's Crafter)