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

Buses World News

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



Bus Drivers of the world PROSPERITY for 2009 !!!

For all the people in the PASSENGERS TRANSPORT INDUSTRY have a HAPPY NEW YEAR !!! ...

And for those who manage the world ... simply lets we may arrive to ... !!!

And to our readers... thanks ... and we'll be back with you the next week


Bus-Treiber der Welt Wohlstand für 2009!

Für alle Menschen in der PASSAGIERE TRANSPORT haben ein gutes neues Jahr! ...

Und für diejenigen, die Verwaltung der Welt ... einfach können wir erreichen ... !



RECALLS * China - Daimler recalling 3,108 vehicles in

Beijing,China - Huliq News /Xinhua news -22 Dec 2008: -- German automaker Daimler AG is recalling about 3,108 Viano and Vito vehicles in China due to problems with the air bag, brake system and spare wheels, the official Xinhua news agency reported Tuesday... In a filing to the General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (GAQSIQ), the automaker said 255 Viano and Vito vehicles, produced from June 24, 2008 to October 15, 2008, had air bags made of substandard nylon and this may cause malfunction... On another 2,806 vehicles, produced from November 2003 to April 2008, have a defect spare wheels which could easily fall off. The remaining 47 vehicles, produced from May 28, 2008 to June 27, 2008, have problems with parking brake cables...


AUTOMAKERS CRISIS WORLDWIDE * China - To launch auto industry bailout in January

China's economic planning body is expected to roll out an auto industry rejuvenating plan as early as in the coming January

Beijing,China -Huliq News -22 Dec 2008: -- ... The Shanghai Securities News reported today, citing informed sources... Zhang Ping, Minister of the National Development and Reform Commission (NDRC), said during a press conference in Beijing Wednesday that Chinese government will quicken its steps to roll out a policy package to revive nine key industry sectors hurt by the global financial crisis, which include the heavily hit auto industry... A government source familiar with the process told the newspaper that the bailout plan for the auto industry would be submitted to the State Council this week for approval and if all goes well, the plan might come into effect early in January...


BUSMAKERS NEWS * China - To explore three markets for growth

The global financial crisis has dealt a heavy blow to China's bus sales

BeijingChina -Huliq News/Auto Industry News -23 Dec 2008: -- ... In October, there were 21,900 buses sold in the Chinese market, down 17.49% month on month, down 13.18% year on year, said Auto Industry News today. Many bus makers are expected to seek their sales growth in the public transportation, rural bus service and bus exports... Amid the financial crisis and market slump, bus-makers in China are seeking ways to boost their sales in three market sectors: the public transportation, the rural bus service and bus exports to some countries and regions. The Chinese government has started its rural transportation network program to link bus services with all village units across the vast country. This means a huge market for China's bus manufacturers... In the first eleven months this year, Huanghai Bus produced 3,965 buses and sold 4,366 buses for public transportation. This segment has ensured steady sales growth for the company to ease the impact of the financial crisis on its newly launched travel coach making project...


COLD STORMS * USA - Ice a worry for Tuesday morning commute

Seattle,WASH,USA -The Seattle Post Intelligence, by AMY ROLPH -December 22, 2008: -- Snowplows and traffic will likely have worn through much of the snowpack covering the Seattle region's roads by Tuesday morning -- making way for ice... If meteorologists are correct, Monday night will bring a reprieve from the snowy malady that's plagued the region for over a week. But there's still a good chance that icy highways and slushy roads will still make driving challenging for many Tuesday morning.
And a tiring fleet of Metro buses still running on reduced schedules could leave some commuters out in the cold... At this point, drivers are getting used to hearing warnings about staying off the roads, using caution and leaving early. But the warnings just keep coming...
(Photo by Robert Sumner/P-I - A Sound Transit bus stuck in the snow on Ninth Avenue east of Westlake Avenue in Seattle. December 22, 2008)


NEW BUSES FLEET * Colombia - Barranquilla: They're introducing new buses!

Barranquilla,Colombia -PBH -22 Dec 2008: -- This is truly the end of an era...A couple of days ago, they inaugurated the first "new generation" barranquillero bus:

which is going to replace the current barranquillero bus:Who knows, they'll run out of money for the project?



‘Bonkers’ * UK - London Mayor Unveils Designs for Bus Criticized as

London,UK -Bloomberg, by Brian Lysaght -Dec. 19, 2008: -- London Mayor Boris Johnson unveiled two new designs for the city’s iconic Routemaster double-decker buses and vowed to put a 21st century version of the vehicle on the road by 2011... Johnson, a former Conservative member of Parliament who was elected in May, promised during the campaign to scrap the “bendy” and bring back the Routemaster... The winning plans came from a venture between U.K.-based sports-car maker Aston Martin and architects Foster and Partners; and from Capoco Design Ltd., an automotive studio based in Salisbury, England... The city will pass the proposals to bus makers for further development and will seek bids next year for the contract to build the vehicle, said Peter Hendy, London’s transportation commissioner.
The new model will use environmentally friendly technology such as diesel-electric power and lightweight metal bodies.
Both designs, like the original Routemaster, have an open rear platform to allow passengers to jump on and off and would use conductors to collect tickets, Hendy said... (Images: The £25,000 first prize was jointly awarded to Aston Martin and Foster + Partners -top image-, and bus, coach and truck design company Capoco Design -below-)


Driver-Protection * USA - Partitions to Be Tested on Buses

New York City Transit will begin a pilot program to test partitions that would separate bus drivers from passengers

New York,NY,USA -The New York Times, by WILLIAM NEUMAN -December 18, 2008: -- The test program was prompted by the death on Dec. 1 of Edwin Thomas, 46, a bus driver on the B46 route in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, who was stabbed to death after an argument with a passenger who had not paid his fare... The partitions will be tested on buses operating out of the Flatbush Depot in Brooklyn, where Mr. Thomas worked. Driver partitions are now being used or tested in bus systems in several major cities, including Chicago, Washington, Milwaukee and Baltimore, according to Mr. Fleuranges... The pilot program was proposed by a committee studying bus driver safety and composed of representatives of Transport Workers Union Local 100 and the transit agency’s management...



BUSMAKERS' NEWS * Turkey - Daimler receives a major order for 100 more Mercedes-Benz city buses for Istanbul

Istanbul,Turkey -The Financial -18 Dec 2008: -- The Turkish transport operator Istanbul Elektrik Tramvay ve Tünel Isletmeleri (IETT) and the Daimler subsidiary EvoBus GmbH have concluded another contract for the supply of 100 Mercedes-Benz CapaCity buses for the city of Istanbul... IETT had already ordered the first 50 CapaCity buses in mid-2007, and a further 100 buses soon followed during the current year... The most recently ordered buses will expand the fleet to 250 Mercedes-Benz CapaCity buses operating in the BRT system next year. Another 500 Mercedes-Benz Citaro solo and articulated buses are also in operation in the region... According to Daimler, the large-capacity Mercedes-Benz CapaCity buses produced in Mannheim operate on specially constructed bus tracks running from the suburb of Avcilar to the inner city of Istanbul...


Satellite TV * USA - In long-distance buses in Tamil Nadu

Will make for a whole new travelling experience

Chennai,TN,India -The Times of India, by M. Gunasekaran -18 Dec 2008: -- The days of small screen television sets and VCD or CD players in buses operated by the state transport corporations in Tamil Nadu (except in Chennai) are over. Taking over is satellite TV... Passengers travelling by these buses will now enjoy the luxury of viewing crystal clear programmes on 22" LCD screens, no matter if the buses have to bump over potholes on the road. What's more, if the driver stops the bus at a wayside motel, there will be no discontinuity in the programme-- it will resume as soon the driver re-starts the bus...ñ


Luxury Bus Fleet * USA - Birmingham's attract 100,000 extra passengers a month

Birmingham,UK -The Birmingham Mail, by Patrice John -Dec 18 2008: -- A range of luxury buses boasting air conditioning, leather seats and tinted windows have been hailed a success after attracting an extra 100,000 passengers on board each month... The fleet, which travels on six routes through Birmingham, Walsall and West Bromwich, enjoys a stringent cleaning regime and passengers can even claim refunds if buses do not run on time... And on a visit to Birmingham, shadow transport minister Theresa Villiers praised Centro and National Express for encouraging more people to use the service... She also said the use of real time information, which gives passengers accurate data about when their next bus would arrive, also added to their appeal...


Buses too crowded * USA - In Baltic can no longer catch the bus to and from school

Dell Rapids,SD,USA -The Baltic Beacon, by Elizabeth Reiss -December 17. 2008: -- Middle and high school students in Baltic can no longer catch the bus to and from school because the district's buses have become too crowded... The Baltic Board of Education recently decided to discontinue in-town busing services for anyone in sixth grade or higher. The district continues to bus any student who lives in the country... "We leave the school with a bus that's over capacity, and we can't do that," Haagenson said... The school has three bus routes, and as buses come into town in the mornings and leave town in the afternoons, they stop at various locations, mostly day cares...


CLEAN BUSES * USA - More than $5.5 million awarded to clean up school bus fleet

Sacramento,CAL,USA -Air Resources Board/Yuba net -Dec 18, 2008: -- The Air Resources Board announced today $5.5 million first-round grant monies from the Lower-Emission School Bus Program to schools within air districts for replacement and retrofit projects. These grants will affect 123 buses in 41 school districts throughout California, cutting toxic diesel particulate matter and smog-forming nitrogen oxide emissions... To date, the program has received 172 applications totaling more than $21 million in replacement projects, and 705 applications totaling $13.3 million in retrofit projects. Overall, ARB has received $35.8 million in applications to date...


Fuel Cell Bus Fleet * Canada - Program Advancing for Olympic Buses

VANCOUVER,BC,CAN -FOX BUSINESS -Dec 18, 2008: -- Ballard Power Systems today announced that the pre-production fuel cell bus, manufactured by the New Flyer Industries Canada ULC, ISE Corporation and Ballard consortium, successfully completed its field trial and Notice to Proceed has now been authorized for manufacture of 20 fuel cell buses for BC Transit's hydrogen fuel cell demonstration fleet... Ballard will begin delivery of its HD6 fuel cell bus modules in December 2008 with the remaining modules delivered through mid-2009. .. during the evaluation period, the pre-production bus operated up to 16 hours per day in Victoria and Whistler, and accumulated over 575 hours of on-road testing... The fuel cell buses have a driving range of approximately 450 kilometers along with an electrical efficiency of 57% at rated power, more than double the efficiency of an internal combustion engine...



BUSMAKERS' NEWS * USA - Troy-based Fisher to invest $7 million and create 539 jobs

Electric-engine bus a boost for Livonia

Livonia,Mich,USA -The Detroit Free Press, by MARY FRANCIS MASSON -December 16, 2008: -- A new company wants to hire new workers to build new vehicles in Wayne County... Given the downturn in the region's auto-based economy, this might seem surprising. But Fisher Coachworks LLC, which formed earlier this year, got a state tax credit Monday to manufacture a lightweight, fuel-efficient, 40-foot-long bus in Livonia... The $11.3-million Michigan Economic Growth Authority tax credit is based on Fisher investing $7 million and creating 539 jobs through the production of the electric-engine buses... (Image: Artist's rendering from Fisher Coachworks - The mass-transit bus is to offer about twice the mileage of others)


"Euro VI" standards * Europe - Parliament endorses they for trucks and buses

Brussels,Belgium -Xinhua (China) -Dec. 16, 2008: -- The European Parliament on Tuesday endorsed the new "Euro VI" standards, which set tougher emission limits on nitrogen oxides and particles from trucks and buses... The house voted overwhelmingly in favor of a compromise between representatives of the European Parliament and European Union (EU)member states... The proposed "Euro VI" regulation lays down harmonized technical rules for heavy vehicles over 2,610 kg, which all new vehicles will have to comply with in order to get the necessary type approval... The regulation aims to reduce by 2012 emissions from trucks and busses of nitrogen oxides by 80 percent and particles by 66 percent compared to the "Euro V" standards, which entered into force in October 2008...



PASSENGERS' SECURITY * Canada - Greyhound steps up security after attacks

New measures, including a ban on most carry-on luggage and magnetic screening, come months after a passenger was beheaded on board

Winnipeg, Canada -The Los Angeles Times (USA), by Kim Murphy -December 14, 2008: -- Sleep hasn't come easy to freelance music agent Joseph Egan since that Halloween bus ride on the lonely rural highways of western Canada... Three months after a sleeping passenger had been beheaded by his seatmate on the same prairies west of Winnipeg, Egan was confronted by a drunken woman behind him... A horrifying string of stabbings and threats on intercity buses has prompted Greyhound Lines Inc. to roll out stepped-up security screening at terminals across Canada... The measures, even stricter than most of those the company adopted in the United States after the Sept. 11 attacks, include a ban on most hand-held luggage, hand searches of any items carried on board and magnetic screening of all passengers at the terminals... The heightened passenger screening debuted this month at bus stations in Winnipeg, Edmonton and Calgary, and will be expanded Monday to include all major intercity bus terminals across Canada... (Photo)


BUSMAKERS' NEWS * Germany - MAN AG Buys Volkswagen’s Brazilian Truck, Bus Unit

Munich,Germany -Bloomberg, by Chris Reiter and Heloiza Canassa -Dec. 15, 2008: -- MAN AG will acquire Brazil’s largest truckmaker from Volkswagen AG, MAN’s biggest shareholder, for about 1.18 billion euros ($1.58 billion) in cash, marking the German company’s first major investment in South America... VW Truck & Bus, based in Resende, Brazil, will become part of Europe’s third-biggest truckmaker on Jan. 1, Munich-based MAN said today in a statement. Volkswagen, the owner of 29.9 percent of MAN, had been in talks with MAN for months about the carmaker’s Brazilian truck operations. The maker of the Golf hatchback will retain a presence in the Brazilian truck market through its Scania AB unit. The acquisition gives MAN, which also makes diesel engines for ships and power plants, a strong footing in South America, where it previously had little business...


Woman-only buses * Pakistan - In Peshawar soon

Peshawar,Pakistan -Internews/The Peninsula (Quatar) -December 15, 2008: -- Women commuters in Peshawar, the capital of Pakistan’s restive North West Frontier Province, who have to go through much hassle everyday in the public transport will soon have an exclusive bus service for themselves... NWFP Minister for Social Welfare and Women Development Sitara Imran said that provincial government wanted to start women bus service on trial basis as two such attempts in the past failed. She said that initially two CNG-run busses would be plied on route between Haji Camp and Hayatabad to judge public response... The conductors of the white-blue coloured busses would be also educated women. The drivers would be male but female conductors will deal with the women commuters to make their travel comfortable. Each bus will be provided with one policewoman to ensure security of the commuters...


"GREEN" BUSES * Ireland - Dublin Bus goes all Ballymena green

Dublin,Ireland -O'Connall street -15 Dec 2008: -- Bus has gone all Ballymena green this morning as The Wright Group unveiled Dublin’s first ever Hybrid-Electric bus at a launch in Dublin Castle... The bus, which is double deck and low floor wheelchair accessible, will enter service in the Dublin Bus network for a trial period of three years... Manufactured by the Co. Antrim based company, The Wright Group, who are the United Kingdom and Ireland’s leading independent supplier of accessible buses for public transportation systems, this bus is the first of its kind in the Republic of Ireland... The trial is funded in part by the Government’s Transport 21 Investment Programme and is part of Dublin Bus’ commitment to investing in and developing greener business practices. Hybrid vehicles are a developing technology in the transport industry. They combine an electric motor with an internal combustion engine...


Luxury buses * UK - Boost passenger numbers

Weybridge,UK -Environmental Transport Association -15 Dec 2008: -- A bus company is using luxury buses fitted with air conditioning, leather seats and tinted windows to attract an extra 100,000 passengers each month... The services use the latest tracking technology to allow passengers to know how far away the next bus is and vehicles are cleaned regularly... Passengers can even claim refunds if buses do not run on time... A spokesperson for the Environmental Transport Association (ETA) said: “If people are to be tempted out of their cars, this is the of quality of service that is needed”...



INSPECTIONS * India - Govt to launch drive to curb illegal plying of private buses

Lucknow,Uttar Pradesh,India -The Zee News (Noida,Uttar Pradesh) -Dec 14, 2008: -- In the wake of 'bus fire' tragedy in Firozabad district in which 60 passengers were killed, the state transport department is going to launch a massive drive to check fitness of public vehicles and illegal plying of private buses form December 31... The directives have been issued in this regard on directions of Chief Minister Mayawati after a bus, which was surrendered on transport department's record, caught fire in Firozabad district on December 9 killing 63 persons... The ARTOs (additional road transport officers) have been asked to monitor such vehicles and sent its reports regularly to transport commissioner. It has also been directed to the officers to realise penalty from the erring vehicle owners if the surrendered vehicles were not found in the specified places during surprise inspections...


* Australia - Brisbane bus drivers quit because of pressure, says union

Brisbane,Australia, by Alison Sandy -14 Dec 2008: -- Bus drivers are being driven out of Brisbane City Council almost as quickly as they're being driven in, causing a shortfall of 400... While 500 were recruited in the past year, about 300 quit... The council has blamed low unemployment, commuter demand and extra buses, but the Queensland Rail, Tram and Bus Union said there was too much pressure on drivers...


No more buses * Ireland - Until bottlenecks go, says Dempsey

New vehicles to be withheld until authorities remove 40 ‘pinch points’ to improve efficiency

Dublin,Ireland -The Sunday Times (UK), by Richard Oakley -December 13, 2008: -- Noel Dempsey, the transport minister, will not approve new vehicles for Dublin Bus until local authorities remove more than 40 “pinch points” that slow buses to a crawl... He has told councils and transport officials in the capital to eradicate the points within the next two years to allow Dublin Bus to achieve an average speed of 20kph on all routes, up from the current 13kph... The minister has said he will not fund any extra vehicles until the existing ones are working more effectively, despite calls from the Oireachtas transport committee to introduce a further 350 buses immediately...


FREE BUS SERVICE * USA - To Light-Rail Station: Will It Be Popular?

North Bergen,NJ,USA -The New York Times, by DAVID HOLMBERG -December 12, 2008: -- The new buses are free and they are green, but North Bergen township officials say that commuters may still need a little prompting to take advantage of a new shuttle service that will take them to the light rail station from either end of town... Nicholas J. Sacco, the mayor of this Hudson County township, and other officials hailed the buses at a news conference recently. The shuttle service is part of a three-year pilot program that will use two buses to carry commuters from parts of town that are underserved by mass transit during rush hour. Each bus seats 18 passengers and will operate from 6 to 8 a.m. and 4 to 7 p.m., traveling to the North Bergen Light Rail station at Tonnelle Avenue and 51st Street... (Photo by Timothy Ivy for The New York Times - SHUTTLES The new 18-seat buses serving the North Bergen light rail station cost $65,000 each)


IDEAS * USA - The Bus-wait Formula

8th Annual Year in Ideas

New York,NY,USA -TheNew York Times, by CLIVE THOMPSON -December 12, 2008: -- You arrive at the bus stop to catch the ride to work, but the bus isn’t there. Your destination isn’t very far, so you think, Hmm, maybe I should just walk. But then you might find yourself halfway between stops when the bus whips past, which would be deeply annoying. What to do? Should you walk or should you wait?... This question has plagued commuters for years, but this year three undergraduate students at Harvard and Cal Tech decided to resolve it. “We were sick of sitting at a bus stop, not seeing the bus and torturing ourselves over whether we should start walking,” says Scott Kominers, a Harvard student studying math, economics and ethnomusicology. So Kominers and his co-authors, Justin Chen and Robert Sinnott, drew up the problem as a classic game-theory dilemma, began crunching the numbers and, three pages later, had their answer: You should probably wait — and whatever you do, don’t second-guess yourself... Mind you, their equation breaks down in extreme cases. If your journey is relatively short — less than a mile — and you suspect the next bus is half an hour away, they calculate that you should walk. (Though you should walk decisively, without dallying at each stop along the way). But since most trips involve more-punctual buses and longer journeys, waiting is, far more frequently, the winning strategy...


NEW SERVICE * USA - Danville launches new bus service for $1 a ride

Danville,Ky,USA -AP/WZTV Fox17 -December 13, 2008: -- A Danville bus service once reserved just for the elderly and disabled is preparing to open its doors to the general public for $1 a ride... The Danville Advocate-Messenger reports the newly named DAN-TRAN will begin service Dec. 22 with its blue and white buses... Danville isn't the only central Kentucky community experimenting with new bus routes. The Richmond Register reports a trial run of a route connecting Richmond and Berea could become permanent after experiencing two extremely successful months...



* USA - New Flyer Receives Orders For 1,482 Buses Over Last Three Months. 900 Hybrids to Chicago

Washington,DC,USA -The Green Car Congress -14 December 2008: -- New Flyer Industries Inc. has received orders, including firm orders and options, over the last three months for up to 1,482 buses (2,412 equivalent production units or “EUs”) for a combined value of US$1.004 billion. These orders are for a variety of vehicle configurations, including 35-, 40- and 60-foot buses with clean diesel, diesel-electric hybrid, gasoline-electric hybrid and compressed natural gas (CNG) propulsion systems... Of these orders, 1,294 buses (2,224 EUs) are new orders and 188 buses (188 EUs) are exercised options. These orders, when combined with previously reported orders, bring the total number of buses ordered to date in 2008 to 4,815 (6,690 EUs) representing a total of US $2.78 billion in sales... The largest of these orders is from Chicago Transit Authority (CTA) in Chicago, IL. The CTA Board of Directors has approved the order of up to 900 60-foot diesel-electric hybrid buses (total firm orders and options)... New Flyer’s 60’ diesel-electric hybrids use the GM-Allison system coupled with a 330 hp Cummins engine. CTA has previously ordered a total of 1,258 buses from New Flyer since 2002 including 1,050 40’ diesel and hybrid and 208 60’ hybrid buses...

* India - Special edition Volvo 9400 Signature series AC-buses

New Delhi,New Delhi,India -Wheels Unplugged -13 Dec 2008: -- Volvo Buses India has launched its special edition Signature series, which is touted to be the first coach with a multi-axle configuration in the country, thereby taking the inter-city luxury AC coach segment to its next level... The company claims that the newly-launched Signature series will offer the best-in-class riding comfort and is backed by well-proven technology in India and the new model will offer a new standard in performance-economy ratio among all the vehicles in this segment. The coach is equipped with an electronic architecture, which offers even greater benefits for operators...


RIDERS' SAFETY * Malaysia - Stronger roof may save lives

Putrajaya,Persekutuan,Malaysia -The New Straits Times -13 Dec 2008: -- Bus companies must understand that passenger safety is good business practice, and a joint responsibility with the government.
Road Transport Department director-general Datuk Solah Mat Hassan said the transport industry must see that "companies that invest in public transport safety make more money"... He said the preliminary investigation into the express bus crash near Tangkak showed the greatest damage came from the roof, which could not stand the impact of the crash... The Malaysian Institute of Road Safety Research had proposed that all new buses, especially express buses, should be fitted with the R66 type of roof which could better withstand the impact of crash... While the cost was 25 to 30 per cent higher than conventional bus roofs, the safety of passengers justified it... (Photo: my malaysia books)


Bus Fares * UK - Up by 8%

Sheffield,England,UK -The Star, by Richard Marsden -12 December 2008: -- South Yorkshire's biggest bus company today announced it is increasing fares by an average of eight per cent in the new year... First is putting up its prices despite falling oil prices - because it bulk-bought its fuel for next year in the summer, when the cost was high... But the rise also follows a hefty increase in First Group's UK profits and despite its South Yorkshire arm already charging more than some of the firm's other British bus subsidiaries... (Photo: £5m investment: Brandon Jones with First’s new buses which have partly been blamed for the rise)


NEW FLEETS * Dubai - 500 ultra-modern buses for Dubai public transport

Almost 500 extra buses have been procured by the Roads and Transport Authority (RTA) in a bid to cut traffic congestion in Dubai

Dubai -Zawya/Gulf News -Dec 13, 2008: -- The Public Transport Agency at the RTA announced the arrival of 476 new buses on Friday. The new fleet includes standard buses, articulated buses and double-decker buses... Eisa Abdul Rahman Al Dossari, CEO of the RTA's Public Transport Agency, said:
RTA is seeking to raise the percentage of trips made by mass transit modes to 30 per cent by 2020"... The new buses are fitted with the latest technology and will feature an audio announcement informing passengers of the next bus stop. A bus positioning system will be linked to a control centre at the agency...



NEW: Hybrid Bus Fleet - * USA - City of Montebello adds

Montebello,CAL,USA -The Whittier Daily News, by Amanda Baumfeld -12 Dec 2008: -- A fleet of 25 new hybrid buses will help the Montebello Bus Lines reduce fuel cost at a time when the state is cutting transportation funding, officials said... The buses are part of a Federal Transit Administration's Cooperative Procurement Pilot Program. Montebello is the lead agency in the program that began May 2007... The City Council unanimously approved a contract with New Flyer Industries of America Inc. for 25 hybrid gasoline-electric buses at a Wednesday meeting... The $16 million in funding comes from federal and state grants, according to city documents... (Photo)



RTC Says * USA - most bus stop accidents are the fault of drivers

Las Vegas,NV,USA -KTNV Las Vegas -Dec 11, 2008: -- The Regional Transportation Commission is trying to make the streets and sidewalks safer for their passengers... This comes after a series of deadly accidents at bus stops... New efforts are underway to prevent accidents like one which killed a woman on Boulder Highway earlier this year... A study released by the RTC Thursday found that most accidents at bus stops are the fault of drivers... They say driving under the influence and driver distraction are the root causes of these accidents...



BUSES' PARKING * USA - Where Do You Park 10,000 Charter Buses?

Getting Riders to Swearing-In A Trickier Puzzle for Planners

Washington,DC,USA -The Washington Post, by Lena H. Sun -December 9, 2008: -- Transportation planners for President-elect Barack Obama's inauguration say an estimated 10,000 charter buses will arrive in the Washington area for the event, posing what they say would be an unprecedented logistical nightmare... The estimate is based on bookings, queries from operators and projections of crowd size from D.C. officials, according to Eron Shosteck, a senior vice president of the American Bus Association, which represents 800 independent bus operators. That number does not include smaller buses or passenger vans organized by churches and other groups... The sheer size of the charter bus contingent, carrying as many as a half-million people, has an enormous cascading effect on the rest of transportation planning. Widespread street closures downtown will prevent charter buses from dropping passengers off at events, so officials need to figure out where buses will park. The parking locations, in turn, will affect where and how many people squeeze on to packed Metro trains...


BUSMAKERS NEWS * USA - Dodd: Automakers should consider making buses

Detroit automakers will need to consider manufacturing buses and rail cars if they expect to get a lifeline from Congress...

Washington,DC,USA -The Connecticut Post, by PETER URBAN -10 Dec 2008: -- Among the caveats included in a 31-page bill to provide General Motors and Chrysler access to $15 billion to stay afloat through March is a requirement that they study the feasibility of making public transit vehicles... Senate Banking Committee Chairman Chris Dodd included the provision after broaching the idea to business leaders of General Motors, Chrysler and Ford during a hearing last week where they presented their proposal for a $34 billion bailout... The Connecticut Democrat noted during the hearing people aren't buying cars right now, but many municipalities and states are eager to boost mass transit...


BUSES PURCHASE PROSPECTS * Canada - Council commits $18.7m to buy new buses

Halifax,Nova Scotia,Canada -The Chronicle Herald , by AMY PUGSLEY FRASER-10 Dec 2008: -- Council committed $18.7 million to transit buses on Tuesday night, reaffirming a commitment made earlier this year to one of its biggest priorities... The money will come from council’s next two budgets (2009-10 and 2010-11) but the approval Tuesday means the buses can be ordered and delivered faster, according to a staff report. If the regular budget approval process were followed, the buses would not arrive in time for proposed service improvements in the next few years to be implemented on schedule... Part of the plan includes spending $2.5 million next year on six new buses... (INGRID BULMER - Passengers get on a Metro Transit bus at the Mumford terminal in Halifax on Aug. 13. HRM council voted Tuesday to spend $18.7 million on transit buses. )

* NJ Transit orders 57 new buses to revamp fleet

Newark,N.J.,USA - December 10, 2008: -- New Jersey Transit is ordering new buses to keep up with record ridership... The agency's board of directors has approved the $12.5 million purchase of 57 new buses to upgrade its aging fleet and expand routes around the state... Thirty-nine of the new buses will feature a low-floor design that allows for easier boarding and disembarking. They also have ramps to accommodate riders with disabilities... Most of the low-floor buses will go toward increasing capacity on routes in the southern part of the state, in Atlantic City and routes around Morris County...


FREE RIDES * China - Bus firm offers for elderly

A Beijing bus operator will allow 1.6 million people aged 65 and above to travel free on its buses from Jan 1

Beijing,China -The China Daily, by Wang Qian -10 Dec 2008: -- Peng Zilin, director of publicity for Beijing Public Transport Holdings Ltd (BPT), said Tuesday all the company's buses have been renovated to ensure that more than 10 percent of seats are reserved for the elderly, children, pregnant women, and the disabled... BPT statistics show there were 1.6 million people aged 65 or above at the end of last year, and this figure will grow to 1.9 million by 2010... Before the middle of this month, all BPT drivers and conductors will have to pass a test on the new rules... Peng said drivers and conductors were also told buses must not be driven until all needy passengers are given seats... It is not compulsory for a passenger to give up a seat, and such requests by drivers and conductors are often ignored... Peng said he hoped passengers would abide by the company new rules...


* Malaysia - Bus passengers risking their lives

Batu Tiga,Malaysia -The Malaysia Star, by DAVID LOW -9 Dec 2008: -- It is very sad to read the news about the bus accident near Tangkak that took 10 lives. But it is not a surprise at all, judging by the way how all the buses speed on the highway... Buses are now running even faster than cars. People like us who want to save money on travelling and who rely on public transport are usually the victims of this kind of accidents... It is indeed very sad because we too want to be part of the government plan which encourages us to use public transport to ease road congestion. Unfortunately, taking public transport, especially express buses, could sometimes be more dangerous than driving your own car. It is like putting our lives at risk just to save some money... (Video from YouTube, by watraffic -February 23, 2006: "Arrogant express bus driver" - Utama Ekspres bus drivers arrogantly overtaking from the left)


STRIKES WORLDWIDE * UK - Bus pay dispute action suspended

Industrial action involving Aberdeen bus crews has been suspended following a round of fresh talks

Aberdeen,UK -BBC News -9 Dec 2008: -- Members of the T&G Unite union held the first in a planned series of strikes at the weekend, with a 48-hour stoppage scheduled to start on Friday... First Bus in the city has tabled an improved pay offer which was put to union representatives on Tuesday... In response the union called off action planned for the next two weekends so members could consider the latest deal... Bus drivers, technical staff and cleaners staged a 24-hour walkout from Saturday morning, bringing First's services in the city to a halt... Further 48-hour strikes had been scheduled for this Friday and Saturday, as well as the following weekend... Workers have been seeking a 5% pay rise and have already rejected a 4% offer... (Photo: There was 24-hour First Bus strike action at the weekend)

* India - Buses to halt in tracks to protest arrests under non-bailable section

Kolkata,India -Express News Service -Dec 10, 2008: -- The CITU-backed West Bengal Transport Federation (WBTF) is all set go on a strike on Wednesday to protest against the arrest of bus drivers under a non-bailable section of the Indian Penal Code... The Road Transport Workers Federation (RTWF) is also supporting the strike to protest against Section 304, under which the bus drivers are arrested for negligence in all accident cases...


SEATBELTS * UK - School bus move planned

Aberdeen,UK -BBC News -9 December 2008: -- Every school bus in Aberdeenshire could be fitted with a seatbelt in the next two years, under plans being discussed... Councillors will be asked to agree moves which would go further than the law requires... All 829 school buses in Aberdeenshire would have to comply with the new rules if councillors agree to the recommendations on Thursday...


Emissions System Warnings * USA - EPA Orders to install

Buses to install dashboard lights by 2010, to signal whether emissions control equipment is malfunctioning

Washington,DC,USA -The Washington Post, by R. Jeffrey Smith -December 5, 2008: -- The Environmental Protection Agency mandated yesterday that manufacturers of heavy diesel trucks and buses install dashboard lights by 2010, like those devised for cars more than a decade ago, to signal whether emissions control equipment is malfunctioning... The equipment is meant to help enforce compliance with pollution limits that the government tightened last year. The EPA has estimated that those limits, which lower emissions of particulate matter, sulfur dioxide, carbon monoxide and nitrogen oxides, will prevent 8,300 premature deaths and more than 9,500 hospitalizations, bringing $70 billion worth of health benefits in exchange for annual expenses totaling $2.3 billion... The Bush administration's mandate came three months after the EPA approved California's request for legal authority to demand that the state's 400,000 diesel trucks install the new warning lights and related computer equipment. "EPA believes that a consistent nationwide . . . program is a desirable outcome," the agency said in its statement announcing its final regulation...


Driver’s death * USA - Spurs bus safety measures

Friends at wake hope officials will now see need for Plexiglas shields

New York,NY,USA -Metro New York, by Patrick Arden -Dec 8, 2008: -- Hundreds of bus drivers lined up along Flatbush Avenue at last night’s wake for Edwin Thomas, their co-worker murdered by a passenger one week ago... The drivers talked, hugged and wondered whether they would now get Plexiglas partitions similar to the shields currently in cabs. NYC Transit had rejected that protective measure in 2003... Back then, a series of brutal assaults against drivers had led their union to suggest installing partitions. Shields were already in San Francisco buses, but NYC Transit “said it would be too costly,” recalled Ed Watt, secretary-treasurer of Transport Workers Union Local 100... The idea was revived last week in a meeting between NYC Transit President Howard Roberts and Local 100 President Roger Toussaint. In addition to a Plexiglas partition, the city’s 4,600 buses may be equipped with a direct-to-911 “panic button” and an automatic announcement telling boarding passengers to pay their fares...


* India - Buses lack first-aid kits

Chennai,India -express buzz, by Yogesh Kabirdoss -8 Dec 2008: -- Accidents happen, always unexpectedly, and having a first-aid kit or disaster preparedness kit is just good common sense. However, the Tamil Nadu State Transport Corporation (TNSTC), Villupuram, does not seem to think so... Though licences are issued to drivers and conductors only after they undergo training on first-aid for a stipulated period, the first aid kits are missing in almost all of 3,200 buses operated by the TNSTC, Villupuram...


* Vietnam - Bus ads halted

The city People's Committee announced last Friday it was putting on hold a plan to allow buses to carry advertisements, citing weaknesses in the system, including poor oversight of advertising activity in the city

Hanoi,Vietnam -The VietNamBrigde -7 Dec 2008: -- The committee said in a statement that advertising content had often infringed on traditions and customs and that the contents to be permitted on buses had yet to be decided... It advised concerned agencies to carry out further studies to make the plan feasible... An estimated VND100 billion (US$6.25 million) will be collected annually if buses are allowed to carry ads, given the city has a fleet of nearly 3,200 vehicles... There has been a ban on such advertising since 2002 on safety and aesthetic grounds...

* Errant Ho Chi Minh City buses irk officials

Ho Chi Minh,Viet -Thanh Nien News -December 10, 2008: -- An explosion of unlicensed buses and routes in Ho Chi Minh City is confounding passengers and authorities alike as the end of the year approaches... There are often more than 10 buses parked outside Suoi Tien theme park in the city’s District 9 as the drivers and assistants solicit passengers... Passengers are hustled into buses, no matter where they say they want to go... These unlicensed buses are bound for central and northern regions, even though Suoi Tien bus station is only authorized for public buses traveling to localities in HCMC and neighboring Dong Nai and Binh Duong provinces... Several of the unauthorized buses do not have any markings to indicate the company name, departure time or destination... (Photo: An unlicensed bus picks up passengers on the Hanoi Highway, in front of Ho Chi Minh City’s Martyrs’ Cemetery)


* South Africa - Bus crisis looms

Cape Town,South Africa -business.iafrica, by Ebrahim Moolla -8 Dec 2008: -- Millions of commuters could be left stranded from next month if the national department of transport does not pay out a R1.2-billion bus subsidy, the SA Bus Operators Association (Saboa) said on Monday... Saboa's vice president Adolph Komane said, almost three million passenger trips and a total of 1.5 million passengers would be affected each day, if subsidies were not paid out... Saboa had been told that efforts by the department to obtain money from the Treasury had also failed... He said efforts to get the department to discuss the matter further had not been fruitful...


PUBLIC TRANSPORT SYSTEM * Pakistan - High fares, overcrowded transport

Eid turns sour for passengers returning home

Islamabad,Pakistan -The Daily Times, by Atif Khan -7 Dec 2008: -- People taking public transport to reach their hometowns for Eid have complained of overcharging by transporters and overcrowded buses/vans... They told Daily Times at the city’s inter-city bus terminals on Saturday that transporters were charging Rs 50 to Rs 200 more than normal fare without any let or hindrance... These bus terminals are situated at G-9 Markaz, Soan, Pirwadhai, Faizabad and on Peshawar Road... Fazal Khan, a passenger, said he had to pay Rs 200 against the normal fare of Rs 120 for Swabi only because transport authorities had closed their eyes to overcharging by transporters this Eid... Zulfiqar Ahmed, another passenger, regretted availability of limited number of inter-city buses... When contacted, Sher Khan of Motorway Police said rules promised action against drivers of overcrowded buses/vans but traffic cops showed leniency in this respect before and during Eid days. He said if ticketed for overcrowded vehicles, transporters paid the fine ‘happily’ as the money they earned by overloading was far more than the fine...


Use City Buses * USA - Fuel Costs, Economy Driving More People to

Bloomington,Ill,USA -The Pantagraph, by Scott Richardson -December 07, 2008: -- Higher fuel prices earlier this year may have driven some people to permanently change the way they get around the Twin Cities, say officials at the Bloomington-Normal Public Transit System... After climbing along with pump prices, the number of riders on city buses remains higher than a year ago despite a drop in the cost of gasoline and a recent increase in bus fares. Most passengers started paying $1, which was 25 cents more, on Sept. 1... Transit officials throughout the United States did heavy marketing to take advantage of motorist frustration over high gasoline costs. The Twin City transit system took part in a nationwide one-day effort in June called Dump the Pump where anyone rode for free. Response in the Twin Cities was good...