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

Buses World News

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


HERO'S * Australia - Bus driver saves 37 children after crash in Sydney's south

Only after Ms Harper helped all the children off the bus did she think about herself

Sydney,Australia -The Daily Telegraph, by Rhys Haynes -September 12, 2009: -- Anita Harper was with her "family" when it happened. The oncoming vehicle swerved across two lanes of traffic towards her and the busload of schoolchildren in her care... Ms Harper yanked the steering wheel left and crashed her bus into a rock wall on Heathcote Rd, at Lucas Heights, in Sydney's south... As the busload of screaming schoolchildren looked out the window and realised the enormity of the incident, the protective instincts of Ms Harper, who does not have children of her own, kicked in. Covered in blood from a cut to her head from a flying coin-box, and with a broken ankle, Ms Harper, 67, rescued her kids... She passed each through a window as they cried in terror. All 37 of them... (Picture: Anita Harper passed each child through a window following the accident)


Sexually Assaulted * USA - Metro Schools May Face Lawsuit Over School Bus Assault

If you're a parent, and your child rides the school bus, this has to be one of your worst fears: 12-Year-Old Sexually Assaulted On School Bus

Nashville,TENN,USA -News Channel 5, reporter Mark Bellinger -Sep 11, 2009: -- A Nashville mother is considering legal action against Metro Schools after her daughter was allegedly sexually assaulted by another student on a school bus... The 12-year old is afraid and will not go to class, because she is afraid of the suspect... Police said the attack happened on a school bus around 4 p.m. on August 31. Students were on their way home from Dupont Hadley Middle School... Police charged the boy with aggravated sexual battery. The victim's mother said the school suspended him for ten calendar days...


DANGEROUS TRIPS * Afghanistan - The road ahead

Kabul,Afghanistan -BBC News/News By Bilal Sarwary -12 Sept 2009: -- It's a sunny summer morning at a busy bus station in Jalalabad, capital of eastern Afghan province of Nangarhar... The bus connecting the city to the Afghan capital of Kabul is about to start... In his voice hoarse, Lal Mohammad, the driver makes the final announcement...

Jalalabad is renowned throughout Afghanistan for its fertile soil and the chaotic nature of its traffic...
The stench of diesel fumes mixed with the sweat of the man is overpowering as Mohammad takes a turn and stopped the car in the middle of the road... A police officer board the bus here and politely asked passengers to disembark... His men then undertake a quick search. The shell luggage, seats, floor and even the hood are scanned for weapons and opium... Mohammad soon gets the green light from the officer to proceed...

Like any other part of the country, security on the road remains a major concern... As the Hindu Kush mountains
appear picturesque in the distance, switches on the music Mohammad Pashtun, and one by one, passengers are serenaded in a state of silent terror... The spell is broken when the bus stopped suddenly on a narrow road, flanked by peaks and fragments of rock ledge... Nearby, soldiers from the Afghan National Army are keeping an eye on the road from their Humvee... Their faces show an intense distrust - a result of months of relentless violence...

(Photo: Kabul Halalabad Highway)
It is only recently, several tankers of fuel from ISAF convoys and transport have been attacked by the Taliban in this valley... A soldier boards the bus, ordering passengers to disembark immediately - is the latest in a series of checkpoints in security along the route... Khan is on his way to Kabul to settle the case for her son who was killed by a local commander in the district of Sarkano. ..


SAFETY * USA - Muni checks security cameras in wake of attack

San Francisco,CAL,USA -The San Francisco Chronicle/SF Gate, by Rachel Gordon -September 12, 2009: -- San Francisco Municipal Railway officials said Friday that they do not routinely inspect the surveillance cameras on the fleet to ensure they're working... Muni staff quickly began inspecting the vehicle-surveillance system this week and by late Friday afternoon were about halfway done. The crew, with a core of six video technicians, will work through the weekend and into next week, Municipal Transportation Agency spokesman Judson True said... Transit agencies began using surveillance cameras in the 1970s, and the technology and reliability has improved greatly since, said Greg Hull, the American Public Transportation Association's director of operations, safety and security programs... (Photo from korenixsecurity: bus-surveillance system)


Bus Options * USA - Commuters will get better

Rosemount,MINN,USA -The Rosemount Town Pages, by Emily Zimmer -September 11 2009: -- Starting Sept. 14, Rosemount residents who take the bus to downtown Minneapolis will soon have some new, hopefully more convenient options... In response to requests from riders the Minnesota Valley Transit Authority plans launch a new bus service between the Rosemount Community Center and downtown Minneapolis... Said Executive director Beverley Miller, “The plan that we are implementing was the preferred choice of most respondents and we are pleased to be able to offer these service improvements while staying within our budget.”... (Photo from A MVTA 479 Express which runs from Minneapolis to Rosemount daily)


BUSES PURCHASE PROSPECTS * USA - Decatur getting new buses with federal funds

Decatur,ILL,USA -Associated Press/The Chicago Tribune -September 10, 2009: -- Some shiny new public transportation vehicles are headed to Decatur... U.S. Transportation Secretary, Ray LaHood, is announcing that the city will receive $1.7 million for four 35-foot biodiesel buses, two wheelchair vans and renovation of a bus storage facility... The funding is through the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009... Since President Obama signed the act into law in February, more than $7.2 billion in grants has been made available for transit improvements around the United States... (Photo from haunteddecatur: hd bus)


SAFETY * Malaysia -Balik kampung rush: 1,200 buses tested for safety

Malacca,Malaysia -The Star, by MARTIN CARVALHO -September 10, 2009: -- The Road Transport Department has inspected some 1,200 express buses over the pass 10 days to ensure their roadworthiness during the “balik kampung” (homecoming) exodus this coming Hari Raya... Its director-general, Datuk Solah Mat Hassan, said some 2,000 enforcement officers are currently carrying out inspections of the tires and brakes of some 5,081 express buses to ensure they meet road safety requirements... He said 10 buses were found with brake problems while another 79 were found using worn out tires... (Picture from travelplus: Malacca Central, bus and taxi terminal)


Eco-Maintenance * USA - Big Blue Bus with New Facility

Santa Monica,CAL,USA -Business Wire -9 Sept 2009: -- Santa Monica`s Big Blue Bus is ready to turn the key on its new state-of-the-art, environmentally significant maintenance facility. The project came in under budget and on time, and features the latest in sustainable transit maintenance technologies... The Big Blue Bus operates a fleet of over 200 energy efficient vehicles, transporting more than 80,000 passengers a day across a nearly 52-square mile service area. Nationally recognized for its long-standing commitment to a cleaner environment, the entire fleet operates on alternative fuels, including liquefied natural gas (LNG), which helps cut emissions by over 80 percent... (Photo from


Public Services * UK - New business for local bus firms

Bridgwater,Somerset,UK -BBC News -7 Sept 2009: -- New bus operators have begun their five year contracts with Somerset County Council running public services routes... This round of contracts has also shown a move towards smaller, more locally-based companies by Somerset County Council which oversees the process... The Bridgwater-based WebberBus has taken over the 670 service which was previously run by First, running through Wookey Hole, Wells, Wedmore, Highbridge and Burnham-on-Sea... It has invested in two new buses which are planned to be used solely for this route and has invested £1.5m into its bus fleet over the past four years... (Picture: WebberBus is based in Bridgwater)


HYDROGEN BUSES * Brazil - Launches First Fuel Cell Bus in Latin America

Sao Paulo,Brazil -VOA News (UK) -6 September 2009: -- If you travel by bus in Sao Paulo, Brazil these days your vehicle may be powered by hydrogen fuel cells. The city's urban transportation system recently launched the first of up to five hydrogen buses. The hydrogen reacts with oxygen to produce electricity and water... The bus uses a hybrid system that combines the hydrogen fuel cells with high power batteries. It can be driven three hundred kilometers on the hydrogen cell and an additional fifty kilometers on its batteries... The bus carries passengers in communities around Sao Paulo... The United Nations Development Program, the World Bank and other private, public and international groups supported the project... (Photo: New "clean" bus is expected to reduce pollution in heavily populated Sao Paulo)


SAFETY * China - Shanghai buses to have emergency escape windows

Beijing,China -Xinhua -7 Sept 2009: -- Emergency escape windows will be installed in about 8,000 city buses in Shanghai before the 2010 World Expo opens in May next year, local transport authorities said... All new buses must be fitted with escape windows opposite the rear door, and old buses will be gradually fitted with the emergency windows, according to the newspaper... Most air-conditioned buses don't have emergency exits, posing a concern after 27 passengers died and 74 were injured in a bus fire in southwest China's Chengdu City in Sichuan Province on June 5... The accident led to Shanghai Communications, Transport and Port Bureau recommending dedicated escape windows for the city's bus fleet... (Photo from Xinhua: In this June 11, 2009 file photo, a bus company personnel breaks emergency escapewindow open with a violent stamp during an emergency drill in Shanghai, in the wake of a freak bus blaze in southwest China's Chengdu on June 5 that killed 27 passengers, leaving another 63 injured)


TECHNO-NEWS * UK - Transport 'should get free wi-fi'

Labour has called for free wi-fi to be on all trains and buses in Scotland

Scotland,UK -BBC News -6 September 2009:
-- Free wireless internet access should be available on all trains and buses in Scotland, according to Scottish Labour... The party said offering wi-fi would help make public transport "more attractive" to commuters and encourage them to ditch their cars... Mr Park said that to meet climate change goals more people needed to get out of their cars and into public transpor ... A Scottish Government spokesman said record amounts were already being spent on public transport and that innovative ideas are already being considered... (Picture: Businessman working on a laptop on the train)


BUSMAKERS WORLDWIDE * Indonesia - Komodo buses to hit the street

Jakarta,Indonesia -Car and Auto Industries - 18 Sept 2009: -- Malaysian-controlled automaker PT Asian Auto International launched its locally manufactured "Komodo" buses Tuesday... Local components used in Komodo buses now account for 50 percent of the total... AAI would produce 13 articulated buses fueled by compressed natural gas for PT Eka Sari Lorena... Lorena won the Jakarta administration public bidding to procure the buses for the Jakarta Bus Rapid Transit System, known locally as the Busway... At 110 centimeters high and 18 meters long, the bus can carry 155 passengers, seating 41 of them, and comes with a 1,100-cc engine... Given its lower cost, the bus is expected to outpace its competitors on the market...

* Japanese bus makers eye tie-up

Tokyo,Japan -The Economic Times (India) -31 Aug 2009: -- Japan's Nissan Diesel Motor Co. and Mitsubishi Fuso Truck and Bus Corp. said Monday they had agreed to explore a merger of their bus manufacturing operations amid a weak market... The two firms aim to integrate their planning, research and development, production and sales in the bus industry under a joint venture company... The two makers already have a partnership under which they supply certain types of buses and coaches to each other... Germany's Daimler AG has an 85-percent stake in Mitsubishi Fuso Truck and Bus while Nissan Diesel Motor is fully owned by Swedish truck maker Volvo...

* India - Tata Motors, Ashok Leyland fail to meet bus delivery deadline

Delhi / Mumbai, India -The WSJ/Mint (USA) -11 Sept 2009: -- A Rs4,000 crore Centrally funded initiative to boost public transportation in cities has been forced to slow down due to sluggish supply and missed deadlines... Only 283 buses have been delivered of the 11,431 that various state transport authorities ordered from bus makers including Tata Motors Ltd and Ashok Leyland Ltd after the Union government said in January that it would provide financial assistance under the Jawaharlal Nehru National Urban Renewal Mission as part of a government stimulus package to buy the buses... (Photo by Ramesh Pathania / Mint: Poor show. Only 283 buses have been delivered of the 11,431 that various state transport authorities ordered)



Monopoly Over Passenger Bus Service * Canada - Open the highways to competition

Why did governments think they needed to regulate intercity bus travel in the first place?

Don Mills,Ontario,Canada -National Post -September 05, 2009: -- At the core of the problem with Greyhound Canada's decision on Thursday to withdraw its buses from Manitoba and Northern Ontario is the belief that the federal and provincial governments should have a significant roll in setting bus company routes and timetables -telling Greyhound what communities it must service and how often... Federal Transportation Minister, John Baird, is wrong... Greyhound is not being "heavy handed." It is not holding bus passengers hostage. If its service cuts are not truly being made to stem financial losses, but rather to squeeze politicians for subsidies to compensate for unprofitable routes, then Ottawa and the provinces are themselves mostly to blame. Greyhound is able to use such leverage only because governments have granted it a near monopoly over passenger bus service from Ontario west... For years, governments have seen it as politically desirable for small, remote communities to have regular bus service, especially those towns without regular air or rail service. But such service is too costly and the profits (if there are any) are too thin to attract big bus companies... So provincial and federal transportation boards and regulators have negotiated trade-offs: If bus companies would provide reasonably reliable and cheap service on money-losing remote routes, regulators would keep competitors off the profitable routes between large cities... What is needed is deregulation -- or no regulation at all -- so independent operators can run vans and smaller buses to and from less populated routes. Throw open the highways to competition. Give no subsidies, but let little companies and individual entrepreneurs have the chance to determine what level of service is profitable, rather than leaving those decisions to provincial and federal transportation boards... Such a system would undoubtedly lead to more and better service from distant communities, not less...


Mexican's Buses * USA - Safety Rules Unmet, Audit Finds

Some Mexican passenger buses aren't being inspected when they enter the U.S. because they cross the border on evenings and weekends...

Washington,DC,USA -Associated Press/The Wall Street Journal -Sept 2, 2009: ... there are no inspectors or the crossings lack safe places for inspections, according to a government audit made public Wednesday... Daily bus inspections weren't being conducted at border crossings at Calexico and San Ysidro in California and Laredo and McAllen-Hidalgo Bridge in Texas, the Transportation Departments inspector general's office said in its report... At the San Ysidro and Laredo crossings, bus inspections were being carried out on the road's shoulder within inches of moving passenger buses, the report said... The North American Free Trade Agreement granted access to U.S. roads to Mexican trucks and buses. Congress has delayed their travel further into the U.S. by first requiring certain safety measures be in place... The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Association, which oversees safety monitoring for Mexican trucks and buses, agreed with all recommendations made by the inspector general's office. In a written response to the audit, the association said it was working with Customs and Border Protection to improve space for bus inspections... (Photo by colinaz: Crossing the border at Tucson, AZ)


Unpleasant Orders on the Bus * USA - Is Fining Funky Passengers Fair?

Honolulu is considering a law that would make it illegal to emit any odors that offend other passengers on public transportation

Honolulu,Hawai -The Big Black News Blog –September 2, 2009: -- If you are funkier than chitterlings; if you wear more perfume than a French whore; if you frequently snack on foods that smell like a wrestler’s armpits, while riding the bus -- you’d be wise to catch a cab if you’re in Honolulu. Because your funk could cost you a $500.00 fine or six months in jail... The bill will be heard on Thursday... As a longtime bus-rider, I certainly know what it’s like to be trapped on a hot bus with someone who smells like a shitty diaper, but I am not sure how I feel about the vagueness of this bill. The proposal says that it intends to punish people whose “odors unreasonably disturb others or interfere with their use of the transit system." But what if another passenger doesn’t like your brand of soap? What if you’re a cook in a restaurant and you have to take the bus to get home? This bill sounds like it has the potential for abuse, and unless this it’s written in more clear, concise manner - I doubt it will pass...


"BUS-WAR" * UK - Inquiry into buy-out

The two companies had initially agreed to a code of practice

London,UK -BBC News -3 Sept 2009: -- The buy-out of a Lancashire bus firm by Stagecoach is being investigated by the Competition Commission (CC)... The Scottish transport firm, based in Perth, was involved in a "bus war" for passengers with Preston Bus Limited before purchasing it earlier this year... The CC is considering action after concluding that the move "will reduce competition and potentially harm the interests of passengers"... Stagecoach said the merger had secured jobs and provides a better service... The two firms were involved in competition for fares in the city from 2007... A spokesman for Stagecoach, one of the UK's largest bus and coach firms, said it did not agree with the CC provisional findings... The CC is inviting responses before publishing its final report on the merger in November... Possible remedies for the loss of competition are measures to ensure new operators can work some routes or selling all or part of the business... (Picture: A Stagecoach bus )


Bus Riders Union * USA - Gives failing grades to MTA

The Bus Riders Union found that the MTA is failing in a number of categories

Los Angeles,CAL,USA - The Los Angeles Wave, by LEILONI DE GRUY -Sep 3, 2009: ... After releasing the results of a survey that asked bus riders to rate the Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority’s bus services, the Bus Riders Union found that the MTA is failing in a number of categories... More than 2,600 local bus riders were asked to score the MTA on its fares, frequency of service, weekend and night services, accessibility, timeliness and overcrowding... “There were seven categories,” said Esperanza Martinez, lead organizer for the Bus Riders Union. “And six out of those seven categories, the MTA received a ‘D’ and in one of them they received an ‘F’” ... But Helen Gilstrap, an MTA spokesperson, believes those figures may be skewed. “We also did a survey in June of this year and our survey went to 15,800 riders and out of that percentage the results came back and showed that 80.6 percent were satisfied with [their] bus service,” she said. “And of that same amount 73.3 percent reported that bus service was better than it was last year”... Additionally, of those surveyed by the union, 67 percent gave the MTA a ‘D’ or lower on weekend and night service; meaning riders receive significantly poor service after 8 p.m. and on weekends. This, said Martinez, is due to the system being designed to only get the traditional worker to and from where they need to go... (Photo from onestoptransit: Los Angeles buses)



BUSMAKERS' NEWS * China - Truck factory, it’s look out Daimler-Benz

Foton is the second-largest commercial-vehicle producer in the world – and is nipping at the heels of German powerhouse Daimler-Benz

Changping,China -The Christian Science Monitor, by Peter Ford - 11 Sept 2009: ... Foton is the second-largest commercial vehicle manufacturer in the world, churning out 440,000 trucks, buses, and vans in the first half of this year... But what was most surprising was their founding date: 1996... This company has been going for only 13 years, and already it is snapping at the heels of the world’s biggest producer, Daimler-Benz. Messrs. Daimler and Benz lodged their first automobile patents in 1886, 123 years ago...


This kind of pace blew Kent Molen away, too. He is a long-time employee of Cummins, the US engine makers, and he came to China last year to be plant manager for the new joint venture that Cummins and Foton have set up... “When I came here in January 2008, there were 16 beams up, that’s all,” he recalls. “I was told we’d be producing engines by November, and I thought, ‘How the heck is that gonna happen?’ ” ... But it did. The first engines rolled off the line in early December. “I was absolutely amazed that this building came together so quickly,” Mr. Molen admits. “We went from ground to a producing facility in a year”... He was also pretty impressed by the cost. The million-square-foot, state-of-the-art plant designed to turn out 400,000 engines a year cost only $400 million. “That’s incredible,” he says... How much would a similar factory cost in the United States?... “I don’t know,” he replies. “Too much”... (Photo by Ng Han Guan/AP - Chinese workers assemble a bus at a factory owned by Chinese auto manufacturer Foton Motor Group in Beijing Friday. China's recovery gained momentum in August as stimulus spending helped boost industrial output, investment and retail sales in the world's third-largest economy, offsetting a slump in exports)

* USA & Canada - 3,000 Hybrid Buses: Daimler Buses North America Reaches Milestone with New Firm Orders

Oriskany,NY,USA & MISSISSAUGA,ONT,Canada -PRNewswire -Sept. 2, 2009: -- Daimler Buses North America announced today that sales for the Orion VII diesel-electric hybrid bus have surpassed 3,000 units - more than any other manufacturer in the world. Over 2,200 units are already in service, with an additional 850 firm orders in backlog from cities such as New York City, Seattle, Houston, Ottawa and Puerto Rico... Houston Metro is placing an additional order for 80 Orion VII diesel-electric hybrid buses for 2010 delivery. This compliments its existing fleet of 56 Orion VII hybrids which were delivered in 2008 and the 40 units that will be delivered in 2009. Another long-term customer Puerto Rico is transitioning into hybrid buses for its existing fleet of conventional diesel Orion transit buses with an order of 40 Orion VII diesel-electric hybrid buses. These will be produced and delivered in 2010... (Photo by blogto: TTC hybrid bus Orion interior)



Deploys Police * S. Africa - On new buses after shooting

Johannesburg,SA -AFP, by Justine Gerardy –Sep 2, 2009: -- Armed police tailed Johannesburg buses Wednesday and guarded commuters on board, after two people were shot on the new public transport system rolled out ahead of the World Cup... The shooting late Tuesday came just two days after the launch of the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT), known as Rea Vaya, which has angered the mafia-like minibus taxi industry that currently dominates the city's commuter routes... A policeman and a passenger on one of the new buses were shot in the legs from a moving minibus in Soweto township on the outskirts of Johannesburg, police spokesman, Kay Makhubela, told AFP... Both were hospitalised and in stable condition, police said. So far no arrests have been made... (Photo 1 from afp: A new bus in Soweto, part of the "Rea Vaya -(we are moving- public transport system) (Photo 2 from voanews: Police keep guard inside a bus during the launch of the BRT rapid transit system in Johannesburg)



PUBLIC TRANSPORT * Indonesia - Mad Microbus From

Now In Motion

Padang,Indonesia -Jalopnik (USA), by Peter Orosz. Image and Video Credit: Zsolt Molnár, with a hat tip to Kari -Aug 19 2009: -- Remember those over-custo. ized neon-colored opelets from Padang? We now have video of them honking their horns in musical ways as they move through the Indonesian streets...
(Video from You Tube, by marhara1 - 2 Aug 2009: "what happens when a die-hard falls in love with an "unmodifiable" automobile")

Wonder what they’re like on the inside? Not too spacious, decked out with a tile floor and stuffed animals:
(Video from YouTube, by marhara1 - 2 Aug 2009: "what happens when a die-hard falls in love with an "unmodifiable" automobile")... Human passengers are welcomed by loud pop music and kretek smoke...



LAYOFFS * Canada - States Cut Back and Layoffs Hit Even Recipients of Stimulus Aid

Recalling the vice president’s visit to the New Flyer factory in St. Cloud, Minn., Mayor David Kleis said ruefully, “The expectations were just very high here after that town hall meeting”

Winnipeg,Manitoba,Canada -The New York Times, by MICHAEL COOPER -September 4, 2009: — It was just five months ago that Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. made the New Flyer bus factory here a symbol of the stimulus. With several cabinet secretaries in tow, he held a town-hall-style meeting at the factory, where he praised the company as “an example of the future” and said that it stood to get more orders for its hybrid electric buses thanks to the $8.4 billion that the stimulus law devotes to mass transit... But last month, the company that administration officials had pictured as a stimulus success story began laying off 320 people, or 13 percent of its work force, having discovered how cutbacks at the state level can dampen the boost provided by the federal stimulus money. The Chicago Transit Authority did use some of its stimulus money to buy 58 new hybrid buses from New Flyer. But Chicago had to shelve plans to order another 140 buses from them after the state money that it had hoped to use to pay for them failed to materialize. The delayed order scrambled New Flyer’s production schedule for the rest of the year, and led to the layoffs... So far David Wahl, 52, who had worked there for a decade, filed for unemployment benefits, and a couple of days after his 52nd birthday, he drove to the Workforce Center in Crow Wing County to see if he might qualify for help getting a driver’s license allowing him to become a long-haul truck driver...