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

Buses World News

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


PASSENGERS' COMPLAINS * Vietnam - HCMC debate over bus services continues

Unhappy passengers

Ho Chi Minh City,Vietnam -Look At Vietnam -March 25, 2009: -- Duong Hong Thanh, deputy director of the municipal Transport Department, admitted that bus services needed to be improved, including the unwelcoming attitudes of drivers toward some passengers and their poor treatment of monthly pass holders... The city has a total of 3,225 buses operating on 151 routes, 36 of which are non-subsidized routes... He said the buses serve about 5.4 percent of resident's travel demands, carrying an average of 936,000 passengers a day with projections of a 5.8 percent increase by 2010 and 6.2 percent by 2012... Nguyen Thi Bich Hang from the HCMC University of Transport said their recent survey confirmed many passengers were unhappy with the service... The survey of 45,000 bus passengers shows more than 28 percent complained of confined spaces and bad smells, while 18 percent said they had experienced discrimination from drivers and assistants for using monthly passes... (Photo: Top officials of Ho Chi Minh City inspect an environmentally friendly bus fueled on natural gas that is expected to serve passengers in July)


BUSES PURCHASE * USA - Maryland Orders 100 Hybrid Buses

Maryland,USA -Move Trends, by Audie Chamberlain -Mar 23, 2009: -- Maryland Governor, Martin O’Malley, recently announced the state’s intention to purchase 100 hybrid buses. The plan will take advantage of the $8.4 billion in public transportation aid that is being given to individual states as part of the $787 billion federal stimulus package... However, studies have shown that in comparing hybrid buses to diesel models, the hybrids use 20 percent less fuel and are 50 percent quieter. Hybrids are also twice as reliable as diesels... The Maryland Transit Administration’s new hybrid diesel electric buses are expected to hit the streets of Maryland sometime this spring. The MTA also expects to have up to 600 hybrid-electric buses by 2014...

* Santa Monica’s Big Blue Bus to Receive Nearly $13 Million in Federal Economic Stimulus Funds

Santa Monica,CAL,USA -BUSINESS WIRE -March 25, 2009: -- The City of Santa Monica’s Big Blue Bus has announced it will receive $12.8 million from the federal government’s economic stimulus package, which will be used to upgrade the agency’s fleet and improve its infrastructure... Specific provisions in the grant require that the money be used for capital expenditures and not for operating costs or service enhancements... Transit agency plans to purchase 10 new hybrid buses from local bus manufacturer... More than a dozen additional businesses will benefit from contracts, including makers of fuel systems, tires, seats, rubber flooring, GPS systems and security cameras... Longer articulated buses will also be purchased to add capacity to popular Rapid 3 and 7 lines...


Shuttle Bus * USA - Hell on wheels

Brooklyn Ikea service has more than 50 violations

Brooklyn,NY,USA -NY Daily News, by Tim Persinko, Amanda-Rae Prescott & Elizabeth Hays -March 24, 2009: -- When it comes to the free Ikea shuttle, customers seem to be getting what they pay for... The Swedish furniture giant’s popular buses between its Red Hook store and three nearby subway stops have been hit with more than 50 safety violations since November — for infractions from broken headlights and worn tires to unlicensed drivers and missing safety inspections... In November, state inspectors even ordered one bus immediately off the road after they discovered that both rear emergency exits were broken and wouldn’t open... (Photo: Here a shuttle bus at the store waiting for passengers.The buses have received over 40 fines and violations for unlicensed drivers, bald tires, etc.)


PUBLIC TRANSPORT SYSTEM * USA - L.A.’s Orange Line: Bus Rapid Transit

Los Angeles,CAL,USA -Street Films, by Clarence Eckerson, Jr. -March 22, 2009: -- ... In October 2005, the Los Angeles County Metro Authority (or Metro) debuted a new 14-mile BRT system in the San Fernando Valley using a former rail right-of-way. Unlike many "rapid" bus transit systems in the U.S., the Orange Line is true BRT - it features a dedicated roadway that cars may not enter, has a pre-board payment system so buses load quickly and efficiently, and uses handsome, articulated buses to transport passengers fast - sometimes at speeds approaching 55 mph!. The roadway is landscaped so ornately you could almost call it a bus greenway... Perhaps the biggest problem is its soaring success: ridership numbers have some calling for the BRT to be converted to rail, and Metro is exploring ways to move more passengers, including buying longer buses... A formerly 81 minute trip now takes 44-52 minutes - over an hour in round-trip savings - making a bona fide impact in the lives of commuters...


HYBRID BUSES * USA - Staten Island fire sparks probe into

After two electrical fires in the last two months investigators are looking into potential problems with the city's new fleet of hybrid buses

Staten Island,NY,USA -Staten Island Advance/SILive, by Maura Yates -March 23, 2009: -- The buses use regenerative braking technology to generate electricity to power the batteries... A fire broke out aboard a parked bus just before 1:30 a.m. March 14 on a ramp at the St. George Ferry Terminal. The driver smelled smoke and saw flames coming out of an electrical panel behind the driver's seat. No passengers were on board at the time and the driver was not injured... Another fire had been reported aboard another hybrid bus on Jan. 13 in Flatbush, Brooklyn. No passengers were injured in that incident... An investigation into the cause of the first fire found a melted metal stud on a "barrier box" in an electrical panel behind the driver. The extra stud had been installed in the wrong place, and may have come into contact with several 24 volt power cables nearby, causing a short, investigators believe... After the first fire, all vehicles being built by Orion at its Mississauga, Ontario, factory, or in its Oriskany, N.Y., plant, were put "on hold" until they could be checked to see if any other buses had studs mistakenly installed in the same spot... (Photo: A hybrid bus is unveiled at the Castleton Bus Depot in September)



* Germany - Daimler gets order for Mercedes-Benz buses

Frankfurt,Germany -The Detroit News -25 March 2009: -- German car and commercial vehicle maker Daimler AG says its EvoBus division received an order for 260 Mercedes-Benz Citaro city buses from the Emirate of Dubai, but didn't release financial details... Stuttgart-based Daimler, which also makes Mercedes-Benz cars and Freightliner trucks, said Tuesday that production of the buses for Dubai's Roads & Transport Authority will begin in the current quarter and the deal includes a service and maintenance agreement...



PUBLIC TRANSPORT SYSTEM * Dominican Republic - Santiago, Metro Bus Station

(Video of the Metro Bus Station in Santiago, Dominican Republic)

Santiago,Dominican Republic -DR Adventurers Blog -22 March 2009: -- This is a video of inside and outside the terminal and surrounding area and inside of waiting area, ticket counter and convenience store within terminal. Travelling to different cities via motor coach is a preferred method of travel between the major cities in Dominican Republic... There are few methods of transportation for getting around in the Dominican Republic comfortably. The Metro usually is the most rapid non stop transportation to and from the 3 major cities, Santiago, Santo Domingo and Puerto Plata... The early morning and late evening rides can sometimes be chilly, especially the window seats when you can get an icy blast of air-condtioning, carry an extra blouse or jacket - for some reason many buses wont or cannot make adjustments to the air-conditioning temparature to insure passenger comfort...


SEGREGATED BUSES * Israel - 'Haredim to continue running buses segregating men, women'

Jerusalem,Israel -Haaretz Service -22 March 2009: -- Ultra-Orthodox groups announced on Sunday they would continue to run a bus route segregating men and women in Jerusalem... The announcement came despite efforts by the Transportation Ministry to prevent the operation of the publicly-funded bus route that runs from the capital's Haredi (ultra-Orthodox) neighborhoods to the Western Wall... The High Court of Justice in January told the ministry to look into problems on the bus routes... The petition was submitted after a number of female passengers said they were humiliated and even attacked for not using seats reserved for women at the back the buses, or because of their clothing... Justices Elyakim Rubinstein, Salim Joubran and Yoram Danziger stopped short of ordering bus companies to stop the "mehadrin" lines but asked the Transportation Ministry to form a committee within 30 days to study the problems and recommend changes...


ALTERNATIVE FUELS * Norway - City buses turn to sewage for 'clean' fuel

Can the key to "clean" energy be found down in the sewer?

(Photo: A biogas bus being refueled) Oslo,Norway -AFP -22 March 2009: -- That's the idea in Oslo, where city officials soon plan to introduce buses that run on biofuels extracted from human waste... As of 2010, the new buses are due to start plying the streets of the Norwegian capital...(Photo: A biogas bus)... The biofuel, which is methane generated by fermenting sludge, will come from the Bekkelaget sewage treatment plant which handles waste from 250,000 city dwellers... "By going to the bathroom, a person produces the equivalent of eight litres (2.1 gallons) of diesel per year. That may not seem like a lot, but multiplied by 250,000 people, that is enough to operate 80 buses for 100,000 kilometres (62,000 miles) each," Ole Jakob Johansen, one of the people in charge of the project at Oslo city hall, says...(Photo: The Bekkelaget treatment plant's methane storage tank)... Compared to diesel, biomethane is a giant green step forward... In addition to being carbon neutral, it emits 78 percent less nitrogen oxide and 98 percent fewer fine particles -- two causes of respiratory illnesses -- and is 92 percent less noisy... Even the price is advantageous, says Johansen...



* Charleston's CARTA moves to buy buses

Charleston,VA,USA -The Greensville News, by Prentiss Findlay -March 21, 2009: -- Charleston Mayor Joe Riley won out over North Charleston Mayor Keith Summey on Thursday in a battle to determine the way $6.5 million in federal stimulus money for transportation projects would be used... Riley wanted the money used primarily to replace high-maintenance Charleston Area Regional Transportation Authority buses that are more than 10 years old so that workers have more reliable transportation... CARTA will apply for the funds through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The $4.75 million for up to 15 new buses is part of nearly $6.48 million that has been designated for CARTA through the stimulus legislation. However, before the agency receives the money, it must get approval from the Federal Transit Administration for its intended use of the funds...

* Federal Aid To Keep Bus Wheels Turning

New Port Richey,FL,USA -The Suncoast News, by Carl Orth -March 21, 2009: -- The wheels might be coming off the economy, but Pasco County buses will keep on rolling through the recession with federal stimulus money... With an aging fleet of 28 buses, Pasco County Public Transportation can replace up to 11 buses with federal aid, according to Michael H. Carroll, the county's transportation manager... With more and more riders using PCPT, its buses have been racking up plenty of miles, Carroll observed. The oldest bus dates back to the origins of the fixed-route county bus system, in 1998, Carrollnoted...

* Stimulus money funds new buses

Cincinnati,OH,USA -The Cincinnati Enquirer -March 20, 2009: -- Metro will receive about $17.5 million in federal stimulus money to replace old buses with energy-efficient models, upgrade its radio system and make other improvements to the Greater Cincinnati bus system... The funds will enable Metro to replace nine buses beyond their useful life with hybrid buses that use about 30 percent less fuel, as well as retire six old 40-foot buses with 30-foot hybrids on a new route connecting museums, arts and entertainment venues...

* County's stimulus to be used to buy 16 buses

Pittsburgh,PA,USA -The Pittsburgh Tribune Review, by Rich Cholodofsky -March 21, 2009: -- The Westmoreland County Transit Authority has received more than $4.8 million in federal stimulus money, which will be used this year to buy replacement buses and to build a new maintenance facility in Hempfield... The authority will purchase 16 buses for rural routes. The small, 24-seat buses will replace 15 vehicles in the authority's fleet...


FEMALE BUSES * Pakistan - Karachi will have 50 buses specially for female passengers

Karachi,Pakistan -Tea Break -March 20th, 2009: -- Out of total number of buses that KPTS will bring on roads, 50 buses would be exclusively earmarked for women passengers and will have female conductors... This was stated by Sindh Transport Minister, Akhtar Hussain Jadoon, while replying to a supplementary question during question hour in Sindh Assembly on Wednesday... He said that transport problem in Karachi will continue to persist unless new buses are inducted... He said that with 1:1500 bus- population ratios, Karachi still needs an additional number of 10,000 buses...



* USA - Maryland House Backs Bus Driver Interference Bill

Annapolis,MD,USA -NewsChannel 8 -19 March 2009: -- The Maryland House unanimously approved legislation Thursday that would stiffen penalties for interfering with a school bus or mass transit driver while they are operating those vehicles. "Interfering" includes obstructing, hindering or otherwise disrupting or disturbing the drivers... The bill makes it a misdemeanor carrying a penalty of up to 18 months...


NEW BUSES FLEET * India - 1,000 more low-floor buses in Delhi by September

New Delhi,India -IANS/Sindh Today -March 18, 2009: -- Around 1,000 more low-floor buses will be plying on the city roads by September this year as part of the government’s plan to phase-out the “killer” Blueline buses and ease public transport woes, the Delhi High Court was told Wednesday... The Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) informed the court that they have already placed order for 2,500 low floor buses and 40 percent of them would be on the roads by September and the remaining by February next year... The DTC said a proposal for another 2,000 low-floor buses is lying with the state government...


LEAK FUMES * USA - Ore. DEQ says diesel school buses could be harmful to students

Medford,Ore,USA - KDRV -March 17, 2009: -- The Oregon Department of Environmental Quality says riding the school bus could be harmful to thousands of Oregon students... They say close to 4,000 diesel-powered school buses leak fumes into the cabin because of a problem with the emissions system. The DEQ says children exposed to the fumes could develop health problems into adulthood, such as an increased risk of cancer, heart disease, and impaired neurological development. The Oregon legislature is discussing two bills to fix the problem... (Photo from blogcdn: School bus exhausr)


NEW ROUTES * USA - Bus service to add

Texas,TX,USA -The Galveston County Daily News, by T.J. Aulds -March 19, 2009— Two years ago, about the only form of public transportation to be found in the mid-county was sidewalks... These days, two buses run routes from Wal-Mart to downtown Texas City. Soon, even more buses will be running on routes in Texas City and a route in La Marque, plus another between the mainland and Galveston... Until October, Galveston was the only city in the county with regular bus routes...

* Council supports new bus service

Waynesboro,VA,USA -The News Virginian, by Jimmy LaRoue -March 19, 2009: -- For the same cost as its current service, Waynesboro could have a daily, deviated fixed route bus service, city officials were told Wednesday... Following an hour-long tour of a proposed bus route by transit officials and a presentation during the council members agreed to pursue the new service that would convert the current 50 hours of weekly demand service to 50 hours of a deviated fixed route service... City Manager Mike Hamp said the city contributed $41,600 in fiscal year 2008 and $44,096 this fiscal year for the bus service, and added the cost would remain about the same under the new proposal. The city’s share represents 32 percent of the overall operational cost, with 50 percent coming from federal money and the other 18 percent from the state...


AXED SERVICES' * UK - First Bus wields the axe on Wiltshire services

Wiltshire,UK -This is Wiltshire, by Craig Evry -17 March 2009: -- First Bus has said the tough economic climate has led to its decision to no longer operate services between Trowbridge and Devizes and Trowbridge and Melksham, while three west Wiltshire villages will not be served at all... First has axed services 237 (Trowbridge to Melksham), 266 (Trowbridge including the school bus from Clarendon and John of Gaunt schools), 77 (Trowbridge to Devizes via Steeple Ashton and Keevil) and will no longer serve Holt, Staverton and Broughton Gifford... Wiltsire County Council said a few minutes ago it was aware of First's decision and had made arrangements for all three of the services to continue to an almost identical timetable... (First Bus wields the axe on Wiltshire services )

* Sawbridgeworth: Funding battle to save town bus routes

Sawbridgeworth,Harlow,UK -The Harlow Gerald -18 March 2009: -- A community bus service could be extended to save threatened routes in Sawbridgeworth... The SW1, 2, 3 circular services, operated by Arriva, are due to end in August after Hertfordshire County Council (HCC) removed the £483,000 of funding required to run the service... Although it is the most used community service run by the council, with 16,000 passengers per year, it is also the most costly and has been identified as no longer being a core service... Discussions between East Herts Council and HCC's Passenger Transport Unit have indicated there may be alternative solutions with potential for a more focused, community transport operation that addresses the key needs of local residents... The council has indicated that they would be prepared to donate one of their buses for such a venture, but potential partners and funding will need to be sought... The recommendation that East Herts Council makes available a subsidy of approximately £24,050 for community transport was accepted at a meeting of the Executive on Tuesday night...


PUBLIC TRANSPORT SYSTEM * Cuba - Sees Major Transport Recovery

Cuba’s transportation system has undergone a major overhaul since 2005

(Photo by Caridad: New Chinese buses, many articulated, have replaced older worn out units) Havana,Cuba -The Havana Times,by DALIA ACOSTA -March 18, 2009: -- An end to Cuba’s severe transport crisis finally appears to be in sight, after three years of substantial investments and reforms, although future economic growth could pose new challenges...Like many people in the Cuban capital, Flores uses the government-subsidized public transport system to get to work. Last year the number of routes connecting outlying neighborhoods to the areas where economic activity is concentrated was doubled, after Chinese and Russian buses arrived on the streets...Today there are 16 bus routes plying between the centre and the suburbs, and one which connects the outlying areas. In addition there are minor routes between these major arteries...(Photo by Elio Delgado: The famous and disliked “camels” like this specimen have been replaced in the capital by the modern buses)


BUSMAKERS' NEWS * USA - Factory takes on production of shuttle buses

Leaders get a close look; expansion will add 18 jobs

Woodburn,OR,USA -The Statesman Journal, by Ruth Liao -March 18, 2009: -- A Woodburn bus factory has expanded its production to make shuttle buses and created 18 new jobs for the plant, officials said... Supreme Northwest officials said they expect to add more jobs after production kicks into full gear. The Woodburn facility began producing the StarTrans bus line in January... The plant currently employs 52 people, Supreme Northwest general manager Fred Ballowe said... On Tuesday, the company hosted an open house, which drew state and county leaders in transportation and business development... (Photo by Timothy J. Gonzalez The Statesman Journal: Guests tour Supreme Northwest bus manufacturing facility on Tuesday in Woodburn during an open house. The company began building shuttle buses in January)


NEW BUSES FLEET * USA - Cardinal Buses Announces Arrival of New to USA Temsa TS 35 - 38 Passenger Mid-size Motorcoach

Middlebury,IN,USA -PRWEB -March 18, 2009 -- Midwest charter motorcoach leader, Cardinal Buses, ranks among the first charter bus companies nationwide to receive delivery of two mid-size Temsa TS 35 motor coaches... Responding to the demand for a stylish and reliable mid-size charter bus, Cardinal Buses has chosen BusWorld's 2008 Motorcoach Manufacturer of the Year, Temsa, as the answer. The Temsa TS 35 lends passengers a friendly and sociable coach interior that many 30 - 40 passenger groups desire while maintaining all the advantages and amenities of a larger motorcoach... (Photo: Cardinal Charter Bus)


BUSES PURCHASE PROSPECTS * USA - Agency poised to order 30 buses

Rider gains strain Y-S Transit fleet

Marysville,CA,USA -The Appeal-Democrat, by Howard Yune -March 17, 2009: -- An increase in riders is wearing down Yuba-Sutter Transit's bus fleet — and pushing the transportation agency to order as many as 30 buses in the next three years to keep up... Yuba-Sutter Transit is poised to acquire 10 new buses this fall for its Dial-A-Ride service, transit manager Keith Martin said Monday... A vote to buy the vehicles — which the transit agency's board of directors will make on Thursday — also would give Yuba-Sutter Transit the option to buy up to 20 more buses through 2012, depending on ridership... If approved, the 16-seat vehicles would join the local bus fleet as early as October at a cost of about $80,000 each. In addition to Dial-A-Ride routes, they would traverse rural scheduled routes and occasionally the main routes between Yuba City and Marysville...

* STIMULUS PLAN - Company: Buses Entirely U.S .-Built

Albuquerque,NM,USA -
The Alburquerque Journal/TMC News -Mar. 17, 2009: -- About 20 new buses being purchased for ABQ Ride with federal stimulus funds will be built entirely within the United States, a spokesman for bus manufacturer New Flyer said Monday. The buses are being purchased with the bulk of an $11.3 million allocation of federal stimulus money to Albuquerque... City Transit Director Greg Payne said Monday that the city would prefer to buy the buses in-state, but he said New Flyer is the only company that produces the hybrid-electric buses and has treated the city well...

* Stimulus $678,000 for new buses

Gaylord,MI,USA -The Gaylord Herald Times, by Chris Engle -March 17, 2009: -- Otsego County’s bus system will likely get six new buses to replace a portion of its aging fleet if federal stimulus funding comes through... The new buses will be upgraded to run on compressed natural gas (CNG) or diesel, a move which will slash fuel and maintenance costs and provide more eco-friendly transportation... (Photo by Chris Engle - Ron Dale, a mechanic at the Otsego County Bus System garage, checks the engine fluids on a bus. The system will likely receive six new buses which will be converted to run on compressed natural gas. “We’ve talked to other mechanics and everyone’s having good luck with natural gas,” he said. “It’s a good thing all around.”)



PUBLIC TRANSPORT SYSTEM * Nigeria - One year on, complaints trail Lagos BRT scheme

Exactly one year after hitting the roads, commuters recount sad tales of waiting to board BRT vehicles

Lagos,Nigeria -Punch, by MIKE ODIEGWU -16 Mar 2009: -- When about 280 vehicles of the Bus Rapid Transit hit the Lagos roads last year, the Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority, a government parastatal, left no one in doubt that the scheme would offer high capacity services... Among other advantages of the scheme, LAMATA had said that the BRT would operate along major corridors of the metropolis and also offer fast and efficient fare collection services... Commuters who woke up early and besieged the bus stations complained of staying on long queues for hours... On Thursday, for instance, commuters grumbled over stretched queues in various termini of the BRT in the state... (Photo: BRT buses parked at Ketu Bus-Stop)


STRIKE * Australia - Union says bus driver strike will affect 150,000

Adelaide,Australia -ABC News -Mar 15, 2009: -- The Transport Workers Union (TWU) says three-quarters of Adelaide's bus services and more than 150,000 passengers will be affected by a Torrens Transit drivers' strike on March 23... The union says Torrens Transit has a week to avoid the 24-hour strike by agreeing to improved pay and conditions for drivers... Union's state secretary Alex Gallacher says the drivers have been forced into industrial action by unacceptable conditions including meal and toilet breaks and compulsory overtime... (ABC News: file photo: The union says drivers have been forced into industrial action by unacceptable conditions)


* Australia - George St buses go cashless

Sydney,Australia -ABC news -Mar 16, 2009: -- Buses on Sydney's George Street will become cashless from today, as part of the roll out of prepaid tickets throughout the CBD... Wynyard became the first cashless bus stop a fortnight ago... The New South Wales Government says passengers can buy tickets from 76 outlets within the George Street corridor or at 900 outlets throughout Sydney... Transport Minister David Campbell says the new ticketing system is already working...


The end of an era * UK - Old Leyland buses reach last stop

Edinburgh,Scotland,UK -The Scotsman, by CHRIS MARSHALL -14 March 2009: -- They have been a familiar site on the streets of the Capital for the past 90 years... But today marks the end of an era for Edinburgh's association with Leyland buses, which are being retired after ferrying passengers around the city since 1919... The last of the Leylands, which are F-registered and were bought back in 1989, are now being sold off...
The move came as the firm made space for 40 new buses it had bought to add to its Edinburgh fleet... The company replaces ageing buses annually, but this was the first time it had offered surplus vehicles for sale online, meaning anyone could own their own bus if they liked...
(Photo: Bus driver Keith Lawson waves from the cab of one of the old buses which have been supplied by Leyland for 90 years)

* Council makes post bus cost claim

Scotland,UK -BBC News -14 March 2009: -- An increase in subsidies requested by Royal Mail to keep remote post buses on the road could have been met, Highland Council has revealed... Royal Mail plans to stop operating five services - two in the far north and three in the west Highlands - in April... A council officer said it was likely the council would have agreed to pay the extra subsidy asked for the two northern services... Royal Mail has previously said it was first and foremost a postal operator, not a transport company, and its first priority was the collection and delivery of mail... (Royal Mail plan to cease services after 16 April)

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* Germany - Mercedes-Benz Fleet Testing Fuel Cell Bus

Stuttgart,Germany -The Inventor Spot, by George Delozier(CAL,USA) -March 2009: -- While busses are great when you live in the city and want to keep the number of vehicles on the road as low as possible, they require a lot of power to move and are run almost non-stop... Obviously this leaves room for improvements and we have seen many in the past year or two... Recently, Mercedes-Benz offered another solution to public transportation in the form of a Fuel Cell Hybrid bus... The Citaro Fuel Cell Hybrid Bus is a part of Mercedes' Overall Zero-Emission Plan, as well as Daimler's Shaping Future Transportation program... The idea began back in the mid 1990s and evolved into a diesel-electric hybrid... From there, the plans were reviewed, revamped and resubmitted and eventually the Fuel Cell Hybrid Bus was born... (Image: How A Fuel Cell Works)

* UK - Bus firm warns of 150 job losses: Alexander Dennis

Camelon,Falkirk,UK -BBC News -16 March 2009: -- The UK's biggest bus and coach builder Alexander Dennis Limited (ADL) has warned 150 jobs could go at the firm... The Falkirk-based manufacturer, which employs 2,200 people globally, said it was in talks with trade unions to minimise the impact of the cuts... The company's chief executive Colin Robertson blamed a market slowdown, and said the full impact of this had only recently become obvious... Nearly half of ADL's entire workforce are based at the plant, which produces bus bodies for use in Hong Kong, North America and Europe... (The firm is the biggest manufacturer of buses in the UK)



* Stimulus money will keep downstate buses rolling

Springfield,ILL,USA -Associated Press/The Chicago Tribune -March 13, 2009: -- Millions of dollars of federal stimulus money will grease the wheels of downstate Illinois buses... The Illinois Transportation Department says downstate cities will get $27 million for bus systems, while rural areas will get $21 million... The stimulus cash will pay for new buses, facility improvements, equipment and software... IDOT says half the money will be available within six months and the rest will arrive early next year...

* Stimulus funds mean new buses

Saginaw,MI,USA -The Saginaw News/ - March 16, 2009: -- Six new buses could come to Saginaw thanks to $2.4 million in federal stimulus money for Saginaw Transit Authority Regional Services... The STARS Board of Directors also could use the funds to improve its headquarters... STARS operates 58 buses; drivers have kept about 45 of them on the roads for nearly 10 years, he said...



SHUT DOWN * South Africa - Remant Alton buses skid to a halt

Beleagluered municipal bus service Remant Alton is in trouble again

Johannesburg,Gauteng,South Africa -The Times, by MONICA LAGANPARSAD -Mar 13, 2009: -- The bus company, which is contracted to the eThekwini municipality to provide public transport, has announced that it will shut down all services for a month, effective immediately... Earlier in the week, bus drivers refused to work saying the condition of the buses was dangerous to both themselves and passengers. Union officials convinced some of the drivers to return to work... Management said today that a cash shortfall, allegations and reports of intimidation, hijackings and robberies have affected operations and necessitated a shut down of services... The transport company has been plagued by cash flow problems and continual stand-offs with employees since being awarded the transport tender in 2004... Recently a number of employees were retrenched sparking demonstrations by other employees in solidarity with their colleagues...


BUSES PURCHASE PROSPECTS *India - Government mulls new stimulus package for commercial passenger vehicles

Khandala,Maharashtra,India -domain/B -13 March 2009: -- The government is considering another stimulus package for the automobile industry hit by the current economic slowdown... If approved, the proposal will lead to replacement of about 40,000 buses of state transport corporations (STCs)... According to a SIAM study, 32 state corporations run over 32,000 buses that are over 15 years old and fall under the overage category. The new stimulus package will allow STCs, to replace a total of over 40,000 buses... Though these buses are meant for the semi-urban and rural areas, even high-end bus manufacturers like Volvo and Mercedes Benz can bid for the tenders, since individual states are free to decide on the type of buses they will require... SIAM study also found out that because of the paucity of buses, over 14-crore roads kilometres have remained uncovered till now... (Video from YouTube, by Marquel303 - July 2007: "Travel by bus in India": North of India, Manali)


SAFETY * USA - School Buses Among Safest Way to Travel in Iowa

IO,USA -Newswise/University of Iowa Health Sciences -13 March 2009: -- University of Iowa researchers Jingzhen (Ginger) Yang, Ph.D., assistant professor of community and behavioral health in the University of Iowa College of Public Health, and colleagues examined the incidence of school bus crashes in a study published in the March issue of the injury prevention journal Accident Analysis and Prevention... On average, there were about 13 non-fatal injuries and less than one fatality per 100 million bus miles traveled. When compared with overall vehicle crash fatality and injury rates, fatalities in school bus crashes were more than three times less likely, and injuries during school bus crashes were more than five times less likely... The researchers looked at crash data from January 2002 through December 2005 identified in the Iowa Crash Data, a comprehensive database of all reported crashes in Iowa. They then used school bus mileage data, provided by the Iowa Department of Education, and calculated the crash, injury and fatality rates per 100 million bus miles traveled...


BUSES' CONTROLS * UK - Wardens on the road to success

Paisley,Renfrewshire,UK -Paisley Daily Express, by Cameron Hay -Mar 12 2009: -- The introduction of a ‘Bus Wardens Hit Squad’ in Paisley has led to a dramatic drop in the number of traffic regulation breaches by vehicle operators... Strathclyde Partnership for Transport’s Service Compliance Scheme has delivered improvements for bus passengers throughout Renfrewshire and is now being adopted by other local authorities... The initiative was set up in November 2007 to target ‘cowboy’ operators... Since then, the number of breaches of traffic regulations has fallen from 287 in the first month to just 24 by December last year... Incidents of engines left running while buses were stationary fell from 83 to 10... Bus wardens have the power to insist drivers switch off engines if the bus is caught in stationary traffic for more than two minutes... And the number of buses failing to display correct destinations fell from 94 to just one incident in the last month of 2008...


TECHNO-BUSES * Turkey - Antkart targets easy transport in Antalya

Antalya locals are enjoying their improved transportation system lately

Antalya,Turkey -Hurriyet Daily News -12 March 2009: -- Through Antalya’s new "Smart Stops" services, passengers can receive information about buses on their mobile phones and on new screens set up at 30 of the city’s bus stops. Speaking at a press conference, Talip Küner, chairman of board of Antkart Technology Services A. explained, "Passengers will be able to learn how long they will wait and how far away the bus or minibus is via this system." Adding that the screens have been installed at 30 stops so far, Küner said they have coordinated with Turkish GSM operators Turkcell and Avea, while negotiations are still ongoing with Vodafone... Passengers can send a message to 9707 to receive bus times. A message containing the information is expected to come in 25 seconds...



* TARC to get more hybrid buses - Federal stimulus funds to pay for hybrid buses

Louisville,KY,USA -The Louisville Courier-Journal -March 12, 2009: -- TARC is getting a $17.7 million boost from the massive federal stimulus package to help it go green -- creating hundreds of jobs in the process... The money will buy the Transit Authority of River City 10 hybrid buses and build a maintenance annex behind Union Station featuring solar heat, recycled water and roof vegetation... Louisville expects to get at least $200 million under the stimulus program in the coming months for housing, roads, bridges, schools and sewer, water and other projects...

* Grant will help transit groups link Tennessee cities, rural areas

Nashville,TN,USA -The Tennessean, by Clay Carey -March 12, 2009: -- More than $3.6 million in federal money has been awarded to state transit groups to lay the groundwork for a public transportation network that would connect residents in rural parts of the state to Tennessee's bigger cities... In all, the state said in a news release, the grant money will help connect more than 40 rural towns and counties to larger cities... The state-administered money will go to seven community groups and private companies. According to the Tennessee Department of Transportation, it can be used to buy buses and vans, as well as wheelchair lifts, computers and other equipment used to get transit systems off the ground... (Photo by SHELLEY MAYS / THE TENNESSEAN - Passengers exit the Music City Star train and line up to ride a Metro bus into downtown at Riverfront Station in Nashville)


PUBLIC TRANSPORT * Japan - To help Myanmar upgrade public transportation in Yangon

Yangon,Myanmar -Xinhua (China) -March 12,2009: -- The Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA) will help Myanmar upgrade the urban public transportation of Myanmar's former capital of Yangon to international standard as part of the cooperation program between Japan and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)... The JICA, which is Japanese government's overseas aid agency, had conducted research for two times in Myanmar with a workshop being held on the move last year and the findings will be based to seek ways of improvement of the urban transportation... According to statistics of the Yangon municipal authorities, there is a total of 310 bus lines with 6,330 buses transporting over 3 million passengers per day in the city... As part of its efforts to reduce traffic jam and ensure safety in traveling, the Yangon traffic police authorities have started removing a total of 370 very-old-aged buses running in the former capital, which were left behind by the Second World War, and replacing them with modern ones. Of the total, 207 have been transferred to the remote suburban areas... Instead, about 300 modern buses have been imported to reinforce the city's public transportation, the authorities said...



ART DESIGN on BUSES * USA - Red-hot designs connect with Syracuse University's corridor buses

Specially designed buses for the Connective Corridor will go into use starting Thursday

Syracuse,NY,USA -The Syracuse Post -11 March 2009: -- ... The eye-catching design came from a student team that won a competition as part of a class at Syracuse University's College of Visual and Performing Arts. The team included Jessica Alpert and Ana Mihai, the team leader... The Connective Corridor is an emerging effort to help connect University Hill to downtown Syracuse and also to highlight downtown's cultural and civic institutions. The idea behind the specially designed buses, the university says, is to draw attention to the corridor, and also to help people find their way along the route: If you see one of the buses, you know you're in the right place... (Photo by Li-Hua Lan / The Post-Standard - Jessica Alpert (left) and Ana Mihai, both Syracuse University juniors, watch as the bus wrap they helped design is applied by professional installer James Morgan, of Port Jervis, with the help of his fiancee Susan Messenger (right). The wrap was being placed on a Connective Corridor Centro bus Friday at the Centro garage in Syracuse)



Moroccan Transport Madness

Rabat,Morocco -Existensis, by Vago Damitio ~ March 10th, 2009: -- I feel like I have traveled around enough in Morocco at this point to write a small piece on how transport works here. In a nutshell, it works, but only in the most loosely defined sense of the word...


There are local buses that you get a ticket from the guy on the bus on and the more efficient long transport buses. Again, no clearly defined stops, no real help from the drivers, sometimes you have to pay for baggage going underneath, sometimes you don’t... The bus times and schedules are not at all clear, rarely or not posted, and even if you have a seat assigned, you can expect to find someone in it and then you just find another seat. The more local style buses will sell more tickets than seats and while they don’t seat people on the roof, Hanane and I rode on a blanket covered gearbox next to the driver that wasn’t too uncomfortable but required everyone exiting the bus to climb over us... Next to us was a guy on a stool, a guy hanging out the door, and the driver smoking while he blared tinny Moroccan music. This was about an hours ride. Oddly romantic except for the baggy pants kid in the Palestinian scarf who kept flinging unwanted comments towards us... When we got off the bus in Fes, Hanane ripped him a new one and he meekly apologized and went on his way. There is more to this story, but you will have to hear it over coffee with me someday… Anyway, buses are scheduled badly and few and far between, overcrowded, and pretty fun…watch your bags close and be careful not to miss your stop...


NEW BUSES FLEET * Mexico - Guadalajara Gets Greener with Macrobus

Guadalajara,Jalisco,MEX -The City Fix, by Rhys Thom -20 March 2009: ... The new Macrobús corridor spans 16 kilometers along Calzada Independencia, one of the city’s most iconic but congested avenues. The system’s fleet of 41 articulated buses will operate on exclusive car-free lanes with frequent pick-ups from the 27 stations that integrate with the city’s existing bus routes and light rail lines. It is expected to serve 130,000 passengers per day... Unlike a conventional bus system, BRT features accordion-style buses with multiple doorways and pre-paid electronic ticketing, as well as permanent bus stations with elevated platforms, similar to a subway or rail system...


INHUMAN BUS DRIVER * UK - Mum and tots told: 'Get off my bus'

She said: "It was a long way for Grace to walk, especially in the freezing cold, but the driver didn't give us a choice. It was disgusting and humiliating"

Sheffield,UK -The Star, by Nick Ward -10 March 2009: -- A young Sheffield mum was kicked off the bus with her two toddlers and forced to walk a mile in the freezing cold... because her one-year-old son accidentally rang the bell... Mum Cheryl Lee caught the number 47 bus at Castle Market in the city centre with her two children - Grace, aged two, and Joshua, one - to visit a friend in Newfield Green... First business development director and deputy managing director Brandon Jones said: "The concerns raised by Cheryl are currently being investigated and I have expressed my apologies directly for the inconvenience caused... "Although use of the bell when not required is a frustration for other customers as well as the driver, incidents such as this reflect badly on the majority of drivers who do a good job."... (Picture: Stuart Hastings - Flabbergasted: Cheryl Lee and her children Grace and Joshua)



* India - Volvo buses set for slow drive on bumpy road

Bangalore,Karnataka,India -India PR Wire -10 March 2009: -- Volvo Buses India Ltd, which posted a robust 115 percent growth in 2008, is aiming a slower growth this calendar year due to the economic slowdown and fund crunch in the luxury bus segment, a top official said here Tuesday... 'These are tough times for all players in the passenger transport sector. With interest rates still higher on funding purchase of luxury buses and institutional finance scarce, private bus operators are not in a position to invest in our hi-tech products for the time being,' Sweden-based Volvo Bus Corp's Indian subsidiary managing director Akash Passey told reporters here... The company is expecting a modest 20 percent growth in 2009 even as the overall bus segment is set to witness a decline of 25 percent...

* Germany - Daimler Buses sees 2009 volume sales dropping

Frankfurt,Germany -Reuters, by Michael Shields & Greg Mahlich -Mar 10, 2009: -- Daimler hopes a series of efficiency-boosting measures will help cushion the blow to its market-leading bus business this year from the global economic downturn, with sales set to fall in 2009, it said on Tuesday... Sales of buses and chassis rose 4 percent last year to a record 40,600 units while its operating margin advanced to 8.4 percent from 7.1 percent in 2007... In Europe, the economic slump will hit the travel coach sector especially hard in 2009 while the market for city buses should remain more or less stable, it said... It said tougher refinancing conditions may reduce demand in Mexico, Turkey, and South America but added its U.S. business should remain brisk due to a big order backlog there...


FARES UP * USA - Mayor's plan raises bus fares by 25 cents

The City deals with budget deficits: High fuel costs and employee pay raises are putting pressure on the city to raise bus fares for the first time in six years

Honolulu,Hawai,USA -The Honolulu Advertiser, by Sean Hao -March 10, 2009: -- The city is considering a series of fare hikes for the popular TheBus transit system, starting with a 25 cent, or 12.5 percent, adult fare hike to $2.25 this year... If approved by the City Council, that increase is likely to be followed by more fare hikes. The plan to increase fees is driven in part by city budget deficits and rising costs at TheBus... The heavily subsidized public transit system lost $151 million in the 12 months that ended June 30 2008, according to a recently released audit. That's up nearly $12.5 million from the prior year's losses... The mounting loses are attributed mainly to increases in the cost of fuel. However, in the future TheBus also will be grappling with higher wages. Last summer O'ahu bus drivers, mechanics and other support staff approved a contract giving them a 21 percent pay raise over the next five years... The city is spending $127 million to subsidize TheBus this year... (Photo: Bus riders may face a series of fare hikes)