User-agent: Mediapartners-Google* Disallow: Buses World News: February 2009

Buses World News

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


The Bus-Stop * USA - Guessing Game

New York,NY,USA -The New York Times, by SOPHIA HOLLANDER -February 27, 2009: -- Marie Lewis does not take the bus often. But Ms. Lewis, a 50-year-old nurse from Rockland County, knows this much: “If you miss it, you’re in trouble,” she said at a bus stop in the East Village on a recent morning... Ms. Lewis had just hustled across 14th Street at First Avenue only to watch the M15 bus lumber away. She stared bleakly down the avenue. Cars rushed past, but the hulk of a bus was nowhere to be seen... “I’m not about to stay here forever,” she said, resolving to walk several blocks to an appointment. If she knew her bus would arrive in the next two minutes, would she wait? ... “Yes,” Ms. Lewis said emphatically. But there was no way to know... She swung around and strode down the block, two minutes before a bus arrived... (Photo by James Estrin/The New York Times - Electronic boards announcing arrival times at city bus stops, like this one at 11th Avenue and 57th Street, will soon come down)


STRIKES * Mexico - Transport strike in 17 states

Mexico,DF,MEX -WW4 Report's blog -24 Feb 2009: -- Some 500,000 Mexican bus and truck drivers and owners held a one-day strike on Feb. 16, slowing freight deliveries and forcing many passengers to find alternative transportation in 17 of the country's 32 entities (31 states and the Federal District)... The strike was called by the Alliance of Multimodal Transport, recently formed by about 200 transport associations. The alliance is demanding that the federal government freeze diesel fuel prices at 6.31 pesos (about $0.43) a liter; the fuel is distributed by the state-owned Petróleos Mexicanos (PEMEX) oil company... The strike was uneven...


NEW BUSES FLEET * USA - Metro to debut 24 new buses

Cincinnati,OH,USA -Business Courier -24 Feb 2009: -- Cincinnati’s Metro transit system is adding 24 news buses to its fleet, replacing some that are 19 years old... The new buses have an accessible “low floor” design, with a ramp instead of a lift for wheelchair riders, according to a news release. They also feature lower windows on the “street” level, more comfortable seat designs and up-to-date emission control technology... Metro said last year’s fare increase helped pay for the new buses, along with federal and state grants. The vehicles were manufactured by New Flyer in St. Cloud, Minn., and join Metro’s fleet of 388 buses...


BUSMAKERS' NEWS WORLDWIDE * UK - Bus-builder Proposes 235 job cuts

A recent order cancellation was a factor, the company said

Ballymena,UK -BBC News -24 February 2009: -- The UK's largest independent coach-building firm, Wrightbus, has announced plans to make 235 staff redundant... The Ballymena-based company, which employs 1,000 people, said a 90-day consultation process had begun... "We will be actively working with union and employee representatives to explore ways in which we can reduce the number of job losses," a spokesperson said... (Photo: Workers at Wrightbus in Ballymena

* India - Volvo 9400 bus wins Auto Technology of the Year award at NDTV Car & Bike Awards

Mumbai,India -Wheels Unplugged -25 Feb 2009: -- Volvo 9400 6x2 multi-axle inter-city bus was announced as the Automotive Technology of the Year at the NDTV profit Car & Bike awards 2009, held in Mumbai... Considered as the most credible of all Auto industry awards, the NDTV Car & Bike Awards have grown in strength and recognition since inception in 2006. The automobile fraternity looks at these awards as a true recognition of the year's most deserving products, campaigns, achievements, and the people behind them... (Photo: Volvo-9400-6x2-multi-axle-bus)


Stimulus Funds * USA - HART Plans To Order New Buses With

Tampa,FL,USA -The Tampa Tribune, by RICH SHOPES -February 24, 2009: -- Bus riders will get a smoother ride next year thanks to millions in federal stimulus funds... Hillsborough Area Regional Transit is poised to get $15.1 million and says it will use some of the cash to buy 29 buses and refurbish 124 others... If approved Monday by its governing board, HART will order the buses right away to take delivery next year... (Tribune file photo by LAURA KINSLER: Hillsborough Area Regional Transit plans to use some of its federal stimulus money to purchase and refurbish buses)

* Kanawha County plans to add two new buses to system with stimulus help

Kanawha County,WV,USA -The Charleston Daily Mail, by Cara Bailey -February 27, 2009: -- Riders of the Kanawha Regional Transportation Authority will soon be able to take advantage of two new buses, as money from the economic recovery package rolls into Kanawha County... KRT Assistant General Manager Doug Hartley said preliminary numbers show $2.97 million from the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act being available for the county urban transit properties...


NEW BUSES * India - CTU bus to be UT's latest mascot

Chandigarh,India -The Times of India, by Vibhor Mohan -24 Feb 2009: -- The trademark blue-and-white CTU bus is ready to shake off the colour bar and adorn itself with images representing the city’s rich heritage... The promotion-on-wheels campaign, to kick off with the upcoming lot of 17 AC mini buses due to hit the roads by March-end, would transform the age-old ‘look’ of Chandigarh Transport Undertaking bus, even it means loss of advertisement revenue for the administration... Graphics of Sukhna Lake, Rose Garden and Rock Garden on these vehicles would showcase the city’s charm and attract tourists... UT home secretary Ram Niwas said the new lot of hi-tech buses would also look aesthetic with motifs of popular places on it... Select images of rare miniature paintings and sculptures housed at Museum and Art Gallery could also be replicated on the buses to add variety...


REGULATIONS * Australia - BIC calls for changes to PBS for bus and coach industry

Australia -ABC -24 February 2009: -- The Bus Industry Confederation (BIC) is calling on the National Transport Commission (NTC) to provide a separate Performance Based Standard (PBS) directly relating to buses and coaches in its response to the PBS discussion paper... BIC states there are clear advantages for the PBS Scheme to look at passenger transport vehicles, (buses and coaches) in a different manner than freight vehicles and argues that the PBS standards as they are currently assessed, limit the uptake of the scheme because it is predominantly a pass/fail process based on freight vehicles and therefore is seeking greater flexibility in assessing PBS passenger vehicles. This means, in essence, a review of the purpose of PBS by the Council of Australian Governments (COAG) and the Australian Transport Council (ATC).


RIDERSHIPS' DIP * Canada - Bus companies across Canada saw that after beheading in Manitoba

Winnipeg,MB,Canada -The Canadian Press -24 Feb 2009: -- Bus companies across Canada saw a dip in ridership after last year's gruesome beheading aboard a Greyhound bus in Manitoba... Passenger numbers provided to The Canadian Press by several bus companies show thousands of riders shunned buses following the death of Tim McLean last July... A spokeswoman for Greyhound confirms the company saw business drop following the murder but declined to say how much... Around seven million people hopped on Greyhound buses last year overall - virtually the same number that took the bus in 2007... The Ontario Northland line says 11,000 fewer people took its buses between July and December of last year... Saskatchewan Transportation Co. also saw 2,800 fewer people on its buses last year...


STUDY * USA - The transformation of transportation

Mass transit creates 22,000 for every $1 billion invested, compared with 5,500 jobs in the oil, coal, and gas sector (and by extension the auto industry)

Boston,MASS,USA -The Boston Globe, by Derrick Z. Jackson -February 24, 2009: -- In the half-month since the Senate nearly slashed mass transit from the stimulus bill, yet more locales broke ridership records from coast to coast... According to University of Massachusetts economist Robert Pollin, who is a consultant to the Department of Energy, every $1 billion in clean or green energy industries creates 17,000 jobs, compared with 5,500 jobs in the oil, coal, and gas sector (and by extension the auto industry). Mass transit creates even more jobs, 22,000 for every $1 billion invested, needing many people to build and maintain it. Pollin said the job creation for mass transit is 70 percent more than for defense spending and 30-to-40 percent more than for a tax cut... Pollin himself is not ready to say GM or Chrysler should die. "It's so frustrating because there are so many innocent people involved in the auto industry, the workers, the suppliers," he said. "The level of fragility is perhaps even worse than 1929. As opposed to 1929, we know what we're doing and it still isn't working. Perhaps we've got to let them limp through for the next year or two. But they need new management."... But at some point very soon, Obama must decide that limping is not enough to keep up with a nation whose commuters and even vacationers are radically rethinking transportation. From New York to Madison, from North Carolina to Seattle, people are not clamoring for new Cadillacs. They want the buses and trains of a new America to run on time...


BUS-ONLY LANE * USA - JTA's First BOL Opens On Westside

Jacksonville,FLA,USA -News4jax -February 24, 2009: -- Bus only lanes -- common for years in many large cities -- have arrived in Jacksonville... The city's first -- a two-mile stretch of Blanding Boulevard between Morse Avenue and 103rd Street -- opened Monday... It's the first piece of the Jacksonville Transportation Authority's goal of upgrading mass transit to a system that could eventually include light rail, commuter rail, street cars and even making use of the St. John's River... (Photo: The JTA says the bus-only lane does not reduce the number of lanes for cars, but buses have the right of way at all times - SEE VIDEO)

* NYC to cabbies: Say cheese!

New York,NY,USA -Newsday -February 23, 2009: -- New York City taxi drivers who sneak into bus lanes may get their 15 seconds of fame... Transportation officials said Monday that they'll be videotaping midtown Manhattan bus lanes in an effort to catch cabbies who don't belong there... The city reserves two curbside lanes along 34th Street for buses that carry over 31,000 passengers a day... Taxis are only allowed there in rare instances. A medallion owner can be fined $150 for a bus-lane violation...


BUSES' PURCHASE PROSPECTS * USA - Madison to buy hybrid buses with stimulus money

Madison,Wis,USA -Associated Press/The Chicago Tribune -February 23, 2009: -- Madison Mayor Dave Cieslewicz, says the city will use $9.5 million in federal stimulus money to buy more diesel-electric hybrid buses... Cieslewicz says the city plans to buy 18 more of the buses... It bought its first five hybrid buses in 2007. Each hybrid bus costs $500,000, or $180,000 more than a regular bus... But Cieslewicz says the hybrids will replace existing buses and help reduce emissions because they use 30 percent less diesel fuel than regular buses. He says that will help Dane County lower its level of air pollution...

* RIPTA plans to start buying hybrid buses

Providence,Rhode Island,USA, by Bruce Landis -February 24, 2009: -- The Rhode Island Public Transit Authority will start buying hybrid buses to replace the conventional diesel-powered buses it uses now, officials said yesterday... Mark Therrien, the authority’s assistant general manager, said the authority will use money that will come to it under the federal economic stimulus program to start buying the buses... Diesel-electric hybrid buses carry both diesel and electric motors... They cost considerably more. RIPTA general manager Alfred J. Moscola said that a conventional bus costs from $380,000 to $400,000, and that a hybrid can cost $200,000 more than that...


INFRASTRUCTURES * USA - Durham opens new mega bus station

Durham,NC,USA -abc11tv/WTVD -22 Feb 2009: -- The City of Durham opened a brand new transportation center downtown on Monday... The brand new building will be home to regional and intercity bus service along with taxis... The center, which cost $17.5 million to build, stands on the footprint of the old Heart of Durham Hotel. It was paid for with a mix of city, state, and federal funding... (See video)


The Back Story * USA - On NABI articulated buses pulled off CTA routes

The 7500 series articulated buses from North American Bus Industries have had a checkered "career" at the CTA

Chicago,ILL,USA -CTA Tattler -22 Feb 2009: -- ...And now all 226 of the 60-foot buses first introduced in 2003 to serve high-volume express routes have been pulled from service pending inspection for cracks in the articulation joints and bus axles... Mayor Daley and other CTA officials in a 2003 press release heaped much praise on these NABI buses, remarking on their "increased reliability and comfort"... But as reports, it didn't take long to see signs of trouble in the buses: "Shortly after the 7500-series went into service, the CTA noticed several manufactural defects in the buses. Poor suspension systems often caused bumpy rides, the rear doors often malfunctioned, and cracks appeared in the articulation joint. This led the CTA to momentarily stop payment to NABI in 2004. In May 2007, CTA Chairman Carole Brown stated on her blog that the CTA was still working with NABI to correct ongoing suspension problems, calling it a “serious issue” that “must be fixed.”... also reminds us that the CTA has started to receive up to 150 hybrid articulated buses from New Flyer, with almost 100 in service. But that's not enough to take the pressure off losing these 226 buses... (Video from YouTube, by nikolakovic - 21 de febrero de 2007 - "Crazy bus drift" ... It will be the best fucking-eating trip ever-picnic trip or a school-educational trip-. In the bus is the PARTY!!!)


The best 'green' essay * USA - Will win a yellow hybrid bus

USA -The USA Today, by Jeanette Der Bedrosian -22, Feb 2009: -- Taking a cue from the trend toward eco-friendliness, a bus manufacturer is offering a free hybrid bus to a school whose "green" practices are best extolled in a student essay... Students who enter the contest, which is open until April 30, should write 500-word essays on the ways their school seeks to become green... Ten finalists will be posted on the website May 11-17, and the public will vote on who should win. In addition to the hybrid bus prize, the winning student will get a $5,000 scholarship, and a faculty sponsor can win $3,000 for educational materials... (PR Newswire - Warrenville, Ill.-based IC Bus has created a student essay contest to promote environmentally friendly school programs)


Bus to Riders * Kazakhstan - Warning ad !!!

Bus conductors got tired from cleaning the salon and offered an alternative: “We ask you very much to eat bananas, sunflower seeds and nuts together with peel and shell!!!”
Almaty,Kazakhstan -Kazakhstan News, by Mursya -February 21st, 2009: -- Recently we have published a photo-post about the citizens’ nasty habit to throw away litter through the windows to the yards they live in... I have just found a photo made by me on a cameraphone inside one of the public buses in Almaty... which said... “We ask you very much to eat bananas, sunflower seeds and nuts together with peel and shell!!!”


Black Boxes on Buses * Vietnam - Breath tests to improve traffic safety

Buses will have to install a black box to navigate their journeys as well as aid safer driving

Ho Chi Minh City,Vietnam -Look at Vietnam, by Kap Thanh Long -February 21, 2009: -- ...According to the amended Law on Road Traffic to take effect July 1... The black box is a device to support the driver rather than just recording errors to apply penalties, said Nguyen Van Thanh, deputy chief of the ministry's Road Administration... As well as a navigational tool, the black box would also assess the safety of the vehicle, the number of passengers and warn the driver if he is speeding, he said... He said it would also help the transport enterprises to better manage their business, adding there would soon be a decree to clarify the boxes' function and criteria... There are around 1,000 transport enterprises nationwide of different sizes, he said... The amended Law on Road Traffic also set a zero alcohol blood limit for drivers of automobiles, tractors and specialized land vehicles, while tightening the drink driving limit for motorbike riders... This means car drivers are not allowed to drink a single glass of beer or wine before driving, Nguyen Son of the Road Administration said... (Photo: Police take an alcohol breath test of a motorbike rider in Ho Chi Minh City)

* Students, poor residents fear bus fee increase

Ho Chi Min City,Vietnam -Look at Vietnam –February 23, 2009: -- A proposal by the HCM City Department of Transport to increase bus fares is causing a stir among many poor students and residents... At the end of last year, the department submitted a plan to the municipal People’s Committee to increase local bus charges. If the proposal is approved, ticket prices would increase by VND1,000 from March 1st... The price of a ticket for routes under 31km would then be VND4,000. Moreover, monthly vouchers would be replaced with books of 60 tickets, costing VND120,000 (US$7), and VND85,000 ($5) for students... (Photo: Commuters from Nguyen Van Cu Street in Long Bien District take the bus from Ha Noi to neighbouring Hung Yen Province)

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Shutting off the engines * USA - New law limits how long buses, trucks can idle

Clearing the air

Reading,PA,USA -The Reading Eagle, by Darrin Youker -27 Feb 2009: -- A new state law limits how long large diesel-fueled vehicles can sit without drviers shutting off the engines... And that includes school buses... Environmentalists say it will reduce greenhouse gases... Truckers say they need to run their engines to power electrical equipment in their cabs... (Photo: Reading Eagle: Tim Leedy - School buses, like these at Muhlenberg High School, are still allowed to idle in some circumstances)



FALLEN OFF * UK - Bus firm ordered to reduce fleet

London,UK -BBC News -21 Feb 2009: -- A London bus firm has been ordered to reduce its fleet of buses after it was found to have breached safety rules... London Central Bus Company Ltd was ordered to take 20 of its buses off the road - reducing its fleet to 618 - following a maintenance report... The investigation, by the Traffic Commissioner for London, heard evidence that a wheel had fallen off one of the company's buses while in service... (Picture: A wheel fell off one of the firm's buses while in service in July 2008)


BUSES PURCHASE PROSPECTS * USA - Stimulus Money to Aid City Bus Fleet

Sioux City,IO,USA -KPTH FOX 44 -21 Feb 2009: -- Stimulus dollars may help Sioux City replace half of its aging transit bus fleet. The city should receive Federal stimulus money to replace up to five of its 23 bus fleet. Highway dollars the city receives every year should buy an additional six buses. Over half of Sioux City's current bus fleet is older than accepted Federal standards... City Transit Director Curt Miller says there's a 12 to 17 month turn-around time once the order is placed with the manufacturer...



SAFETY ISSUES * USA - CTA takes accordion-style buses off the streets over

Commuters warned of longer waits, advised to take the 'L'

Chicago,ILL,USA -The Chicago Tribune, by Jon Hilkevitch -February 20, 2009: -- CTA bus customers are advised to avoid rush-hour travel starting Friday, ride trains instead or be prepared to wait longer for crowded buses to arrive as the result of safety problems sidelining nearly 200 articulated buses that are the workhorses of the fleet...   On Thursday the transit agency removed from service the 60-foot-long buses, which are 50 percent longer than the standard-size bus and carry more people, as a precaution after finding serious cracks in the chassis of one vehicle, officials said...   It was not known when the buses, which face inspections and possible repairs, will be returned to the streets...   Taking out of service all North American Bus Industries Inc. (NABI) buses is expected to affect commuters across the system, particularly from 7 to 8 a.m. and from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. weekdays, officials said... (See Video)


Buses Checkpoints * USA - ACLU of Wash creates rights signs for buses

Port Townsend,Wash,USA -AP/Peninsula Daily News/The Seattle P.I. -February 20, 2009: -- The American Civil Liberties Union of Washington has created signs to be posted in Jefferson Transit buses to let Olympic Peninsula bus riders know their rights if they are questioned by Border Patrol agents... The Jefferson Transit board this week approved offering the ACLU space for one sign per bus at no charge... The signs, to be posted next month, will tell riders three things: if you're a U.S. citizen, you don't have to prove it; if you're not a U.S. citizen and are 18 or older, you must show immigration papers to federal agents, and everyone has a right to remain silent... The Border Patrol has expanded its enforcement actions on the north Olympic Peninsula with a series of vehicle checkpoints. Agents have been reported boarding Olympic Bus Lines buses...


CHECKS ON BUSES * UK - Operations target anti-social bus users

Over 1,000 arrests have been made in a major operation to combat antisocial behaviour and pickpocketing on London’s buses

London,UK -Mayor Watch, by Martin Hoscik -February 20, 2009: -- ... Funded by Transport for London and enacted by officers from the Met’s Transport Operational Command Unit, Operation Ridgeway saw up to 200 officers carry out “high-visibility patrols” on the bus network... During the operation officers distributed anti-theft chains to bus passengers and targeted pickpockets and those involved in antisocial behaviour. Revenue Protection staff from TfL also carried out random fare checks on buses...



* USA - NYC Transit tests three-door bus in Bronx

New York,NY,USA -Daily News Bronx, by Edgar Sandoval & Pete Donohue -February 20, 2009: -- It's "Let's Make a Deal" in the Bronx, where NYC Transit is testing a bus with three doors... Exiting straphangers can choose door No. 1, located near the driver and farebox, door No. 2 in the middle of the bus, or door No. 3 toward the rear... The 60-foot big rig started a month-long road test on the Bx12 local route last week. The route includes Fordham Road and Pelham Parkway... If the bus handles the daily grind, officials are expected to place a bulk order for eventual distribution along other routes across the city... This would be good news for New York's economy, since Volvo subsidiary Nova Bus has built a plant in upstate Plattsburgh... The plant will employ 186 workers by the end of the year and 300 when at full capacity, around 2012, Nova Bus spokeswoman Nadine Bernard said... (Photo of a three-door bus built by Nova Bus)

* India - Ashok Leyland to supply 500 more buses to Angola

Chennai,India -IANS/Sindh Today -Feb 19, 2009: -- India’s second largest commercial vehicle manufacturer Ashok Leyland will supply 500 more buses to Angola by March-end, taking the total order to 1,000 vehicles valued at $43.5 million, it said Thursday... According to the company, the order for the supply of an additional 500 mini buses - 50 being air-conditioned - was bagged last month... Last August, Ashok Leyland had bagged an order to supply 500 buses - 300 specially designed vehicles and 200 Falcon buses...



* Stimulus bill to bring 40 new hybrid buses to Buffalo

Buffalo,NY,USA -The Buffalo News, by Sharon Linstedt -19 Feb 2009: -- The just-signed $787 billion federal economic stimulus plan will bring 40 additional hybrid buses to the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority... Lawrence Meckler, the NFTA's executive director, announced today that the federal program contains $24.1 million earmarked for the bus purchase...


PROJECT * USA -. To power fuel cell electric bus with hydrogen from Lake Erie

NASA Glenn working on

Cleveland,OH,USA -The Plain Dealer, by John Funk -February 13, 2009: -- The NASA Glenn Research Center, Greater Cleveland Regional Transit Authority (RTA), Great Lakes Science Center, and United Technologies Corp. (UT) are working to create a fuel cell-powered bus using hydrogen from lake water... Further, the equipment to separate the hydrogen out from the water would be powered by the science center's wind turbine and solar panel array... United Technologies' UT Power division would loan the fuel cell bus to the RTA for two years for use on a downtown route... The bus would be quieter than a diesel bus. Its only emission would be water vapor... Hartford, Conn., has been using a UT Power fuel cell bus since 2007... (Photo from The Plain Dealer/File - The canopy of 156 solar panels and nearby wind turbine at the Great Lakes Science Center in Cleveland would be used to power an electrolyzer designed by NASA Glenn Research Center. The device would use the electricity to break down water into hydrogen and oxygen)


Bus Left You Waiting in the Cold? * USA - Use Your Cell Phone to Track It Down

WASH,USA -University of Washington News and Information, by Hannah Hickey -10 Feb 2009: -- University of Washington (UW) doctoral students Brian Ferris and Kari Watkins have developed OneBusAway, a free service that enables bus riders to check the arrival status of buses using a cell phone or computer...Watkins says research shows that removing uncertainty significantly reduces peoples' frustration with using public transportation. "When people have to wait, they think that twice as much time is passing," she says. "If I know ahead of time, I can grab that cup of coffee and be back out in time to catch my bus. And that kind of information makes taking public transit so much more livable"...OneBusAway is based on MyBus, a program created in the mid-1990s by UW professor Daniel Dailey that allows people to enter a bus route and stop number and receive anticipated arrival times. MyBus combines odometer readings from each bus, relayed through dispatch, and route information to estimate a bus' current position. Ferris and Watkins say OneBusAway makes MyBus more user-friendly and accessible to people away from their computers. Ferris recently added a new feature to OneBusAway that tracks canceled buses to prevent people from waiting for buses that will never arrive. (Photos by Kathy Sauber (above) - Brian Ferris, a doctoral student in computer science and engineering, uses his iPhone to check the status of a late bus. Ferris created OneBusAway, a free service that lets bus riders use phones, computers or iPhones to get real-time updates on bus arrivals - (below) This is where the stop number normally appears on the posted schedule)



Financial Crisis * USA - Metro may cut bus service 20 percent

Even as King County leaders celebrate record Metro ridership, there's news that the financial crisis could mean extremely deep cuts in Metro bus service

Seattle,WASH,USA -KING5/MSNBC -Feb. 18, 2009: --
Outgoing King County Executive Ron Sims says the recession may force the county to cut Metro Transit by up to one million service hours per year -- about 20 percent of its workload... That means more than 75,000 daily bus passenger trips would be eliminated... Sims says new sales tax projections show an unprecedented $100 million funding gap for 2010... Because people are spending less money at stores, there is less sales tax being collected, and it's the sales taxes that cover about two-thirds of Metro's operating costs... If things don't turn around, the proposed cuts would cancel current routes and proposed expanded service, cause more employee layoffs, and delay buying new buses...


OFFENCE * India - 400 passengers travel without tickets on MTC buses everyday

Chennai,India -The Times of India -18 Feb 2009: -- Passengers travelling by the Metropolitan Transport Corporation ( MTC) buses are often witness to a bus being halted by MTC ticket checking inspectors, sometimes during peak hours, to catch those taking a free ride... In what makes for startling statistics, an average of 350-400 persons are caught daily in Chennai for ticketless travel in MTC buses... The corporation collected Rs 1.40 crore as fines from ticketless travellers in 2008, when the number of ticketless travellers almost doubled, compared to 2007 when only 65,000 offenders were caught... Official sources revealed that as many as 1.27 lakh persons were caught from January to December 2008 for travelling without tickets. In January this year, more than 13,500 passengers were caught for committing the offence and were made to pay fines that totalled Rs 17.27 lakh - the highest amount in fines ever collected by MTC from ticketless travellers in a month... MTC collects an average of Rs 13 lakh a month as fines for ticketless travel...


PUBLIC TRANSPORT SYSTEM * USA - Measure R Latest: Bus Improvements

But Terrible News, Too

Los Angeles,CAL,USA -Curbed Los Angeles, by Dakota -February 17, 2009: -- MetroRider LA has got its hands on a list of Measure R-funded bus improvements suggested by Metro; suggestions range from adding Rapid buses on Third Street and Venice Blvd to reconsidering San Fernando Valley to Westwood “X” express service. Meanwhile, in the comments section, Kymberleigh Richards, public and legislative affairs director of Southern California Transit Advocates, leaves a link to her editorial that appeared in Sunday's Daily News. The state is so piss poor they're going after Measure R...


Electronic Fare Cards * USA - MTA: Get Ready for TAP Cards

Los Angeles,CAL,USA -NBC LosAngeles -18 Feb 2009: -- Reusable electronic fare cards will replace paper passes for daily use on Metropolitan Transportation Authority buses and rail lines starting March 15, Metro officials said Tuesday... The Transit Access Pass, or TAP card, was designed to eventually replace bus, subway and train passes across all public transit systems in Los Angeles County... To promote the use of the new system, Metro will provide complimentary TAP cards to customers who do not already have one when they buy a $5 day pass until April 11, or until supplies run out, according to Metro... After that, the plastic cards will cost $2 each...


Work Stoppages * Ireland - Dempsey urged to take 'hands on' approach in bus crisis

Dublin,Ireland -The Irish Times -February 17, 2009: -- Politicians and business representatives have called for action after the National Bus and Rail Workers Union announced its members would be taking part in work stoppages starting at the end of the month... Labour spokesman on transport Tommy Broughan has called for Minister for Transport Noel Dempsey to take a hands on approach to the escalating action at Dublin Bus and Bus Éireann... Mr Broughan asked the Minister to engage with staff and management at the transport firms and address what he described as "savage" cutbacks in jobs and services that would have a "profoundly devastating impact" on rural and urban communities across the country...

* Dublin Bus drivers vote for all-out strike from March 1st

Dublin,Ireland -The Irish Times, by ELAINE EDWARDS -February 18, 2009: -- Siptu-represented drivers at Dublin Bus have voted to strike from midnight on March 1st in protest at the company's decision to cut jobs and bus routes throughout the capital... The Dublin Bus branch of Siptu decided today to implement the mandate received from drivers... The union said the strike action was not just for one day only but would be "continuous" as it was apparent that "no alternative course of action is left open to Siptu drivers in Dublin Bus to protect their conditions of employment in the company"... CIÉ management at Dublin Bus is planning to cut 290 jobs, including 160 drivers, and intends to reduce its fleet by 120 buses. Bus Éireann is planning 322 redundancies, including 110 drivers and a fleet reduction of 150 vehicles... (Picture by Eric Luke: Siptu bus drivers protesting outside Leinster House today)



HYBRID-ELECTRIC BUSES * USA - City Of Raleigh Unveils New $565,000 buses

Raleigh,NC,USA -The City of Raleigh has purchased four new clean burning hybrid diesel-electric buses that will serve a free route that will circle downtown and will even run late on weekends. The City of Raleigh also says they may try and fuel the buses with used cooking grease... Called the "R-Line" or Downtown Circulator, the buses will circle around downtown Raleigh as part of a new free service that will run about every 10 or 15 minutes... According to the city, the buses use a hybrid diesel-electric drive which allows the use of battery power during portions of the route, allowing the vehicles to run much cleaner than normal diesel buses... However, the new vehicles are not cheap. The city transit department said that each of the four new buses cost around $565,000 apiece, putting the pricetag at $2.26 million for this initial purchase... The city added that 80% of the funds came from federal tax dollars, with 10% from the city and an additional 10% from other local government funds...


HYDROGREN FUELED * Germany - To receive fuel cell-powered city buses

North Rhine,Westphaliam,Germany -Clean Tech -February 13, 2009: -- Arnhem, Netherlands-based Nedstack is to deliver two fuell cell-based city buses to North Rhine Westphalia by 2010... Germany's Minister of Economic Affairs plans to sign a contract on February 17 for the delivery of two buses to the city of Cologne, according to Nedstack, a Netherlands-based fuel cell developer... Nedstack manufactures proton exchange membrane (PEM)-based hydrogen fuel cells that combine hydrogen and oxygen in an electrochemical reaction to produce electricity... Buses are a better platform for fuel cells, the company said, because they can store enough compressed hydrogen within their extra space for a typical city route, and can better accommodate the reformer which extracts hydrogen from other stored fuel like methanol or natural gas... (Image from Nedstack - Buses: A fuel cell powered bus offers more passenger comfort and lower operational costs than its conventional counterpart powered by diesel or natural gas. And above all, a fuel cell bus is whisper silent and completely emission free!)


INFRASTRUCTURES * Australia - Upgrade to Bus Interchange: Liverpool

NSW,Australia -The StreetCorner -17 Feb 2009: -- NSW Minister for Transport David Campbell today announced work on the Liverpool station bus interchange upgrade would begin later this month... Mr Campbell said the contract for the upgrade had been awarded to civil construction, consulting and urban development organisation, BMD Constructions...


OLD BUSES * Thailand - Transport flags tough new bus controls

Private buses face tough new controls from the Transport Ministry in an attempt to do away with the decades-old vehicles rattling about Bangkok's streets

Bangkok,Thailand -The Bangkok Post, by AMORNRAT MAHITTHIROOK -17 Feb 2009: -- ...
Deputy Transport Minister Prajak Klaewklaharn said passengers should be able to feel safe in buses which are in good condition... Mr Prajak is about to appoint a team to look into a safe limit on the age of private green mini-buses and larger white-blue buses run under concessions from the Bangkok Mass Transit Authority... Past attempts to set age limits on buses have drawn protests from their operators... Land Transport Department chief Chairat Sa-nguansue said the operators usually recover their investment after their buses have been in service for five to seven years. Mr Chairat said any age limit should not put them at a disadvantage... The release of a Land Transport Department survey which shows only one-third of the 3,154 private buses serving Bangkok are of an appropriate age... More than half are at least 10 years old, with the oldest 54 years old... The BMTA, which awards concessions to private bus companies, has said it had no power to ban buses which pass an annual inspection...


Eco Buses * China - Transalon: An electric bus for fast-paced Chinese cities

Concept bus powered by electric engine

China (UK), by Jolly
-Feb 16 2009: -- Being the world leader in population and the fastest emerging market in the world, China needs fast and green transportation facilities that could carry much more that what normal facilities are designed for. Industrial designer Xiao-Fang Shen has designed a green ride for the urban population of China. Transalon, as the bus has been named, runs on clean electricity... The glass body and a roof mounted AC unit do promise a cool and a scenic ride all through. The interiors too have been designed by keeping the population of the place in mind. Ample space has been designed for people who’ll have to stand once all the seats have been booked. An LED display shows information regarding the next stop and weather outside... The technology used in the bus that includes AC units, electronic driving controls and LED displays to name a few will all use lots of electricity. Since the bus itself is designed to run on electricity, it would be considered an energy-efficient transportation system...


NEW BUSES FLEET * UK - Arriva brings in 199 buses

Liverpool,UK -The Liverpool Echo, by Neil Hodgson -Feb 16 2009: -- Arriva provides some 70% of the bus services covering Merseyside... Its investment in the region is part of a total £63m cash injection to its bus services throughout the UK... The transport group provides bus and rail services across the UK as well as throughout 10 European countries...


BUSMAKERS' NEWS * UK - Firms given new Routemaster task

Bus manufacturers have been invited to submit their plans for London's new Routemaster buses

London,UK -BBC News -15 Feb 2009: -- The city's mayor, Boris Johnson, announced the new design in December following the New Bus for London competition... Manufacturing firms are now being asked to show Transport for London (TfL) how they would combine their engineering solutions with the winning designs. The first buses are expected to be in service by 2011...


PUBLIC TRANSPORT SYSTEM * Malaysia - Better Rural Public Transport

Butterworth,Malaysia -Bernama -February 15, 2009: -- The Government will provide better transport system to rural residents to improve their quality of living, said Second Finance Minister Tan Sri Nor Mohamed Yakcop... He said Rapid Penang would add more new routes to its service in response to demands of the rural population who have requested for better public transport...