User-agent: Mediapartners-Google* Disallow: Buses World News: September 2010

Buses World News

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



* Singapore - Transport Minister observes bus frequency situation

Singapore -FTP/Fit To Post, by Ion Danker -September 14, 2010: -- Transport Minister, Raymond Lim, made an unannounced trip on bus service 960 on Monday morning to get a better feel of the current rush hour bus frequency situation... Mr Lim was on hand to observe the loading situation in Bukit Panjang since the operator increased the number of bus trips during the morning peak period since July... He also visited the bus stop in front of Block 270 at Bukit Panjang, which was recently extended to accommodate more buses and an arrival information panel installed to provide real-time bus arrival information for commuters... According to a Channel NewsAsia report, the Ministry of Transport (MOT) said the situation in the area has improved since the changes were implemented... MOT added that the unannounced visit will help officials see first-hand the impact of measures implemented to improve the public transport system. Mr Lim last visited the same area in June... Some commuters spoke to were impressed by Mr Lim’s surprise visit...

Dubai - RTA Survey: 77% Of Public Bus Users Favour More Dedicated Lanes

Dubai -Dubai City Guide -13 September 2010: -- A recent survey carried out by the Roads & Transport Authority (RTA) revealed that 77 per cent of public transport users in Dubai favoured widening the scope of Dedicated Lanes for Buses and Taxis scheme to cover more streets, over and above Al Mankhool, Al Khaleej, Khalid bin Al Waleed and Al Ghubaiba streets; which saw the debut of the scheme in mid May last... Elaborating on the results of the survey, Maitha said: “The questionnaire covered 5 categories related to the scheme spanning 516 public transport users, 119 private vehicle motorists, 221 cab drivers, 151 public bus drivers, and 56 RTA inspectors... Among public transport users 77 per cent wished the scheme to cover other streets in Dubai, 75% stated that the scheme helped shorten the journey time, 76 per cent believed that the scheme would be an attractive element for using mass transport, and 74 per cent expressed their satisfaction with the awareness campaigns of the scheme" ... (Photo from tinypic: Dubai is now building a mass transit system)

* Ghana’s Work on Bus Rapid Transit to start next month

Accra,Ghana -GBN -September 14, 2010: -- The first phase of construction works under the country’s Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system would take off next month... The BRT will serve a radial arterial route running from Kasoa in the Central Region through Malam and Kaneshie and terminate at the central business district in Accra... Mr Kwadwo Antwi, Head, Project Communication of the Urban Transportation Project said the physical design work would also include the building of new overhead pedestrian crossings fitted with elevator to help commuters, especially the physically challenged, access to the bus terminal in the inner lane... He said the whole project had been divided into phases and would last for about 18 months and the new system would be operational in 2012... Some transport operators, especially members of the GPRTU, initially resisted the introduction of BRT because of fears that once it became operational, its members would lose their jobs.,, (Photo from ghanabusinessnews)

* UK - Find a Bus Top Shelter with Google Maps

London,UK -Google Maps Mania -September 13, 2010: -- Bus-Tops is a fascinating public art project in London. Bus-Tops will be installing screens on the roofs of bus shelters across London, creating a medium for artists to show their work... In order to enable the public to make bus stop suggestions Bus-Tops have created an excellent database of London bus stop shelters. If you click on any of the mapped bus stops you can click through to a dedicated page about that bus stop. As well as viewing the bus stop's position on a Google Map you can view it in Street View, you can get a unique URL for that stop and you can also view all nearby stops... This is a great resource to find London bus shelters. Very occasionally it is known to rain in London. So, if you are a regular user of London buses, this could be a handy resource to find a shelter whilst waiting for your bus... (Image: London's Bus-Tops)



* UK - Made of wood, with no engine and few seats, the first look at a Boris bus

Belfast,North Ireland,UK -This is London/The Evening Standard, by Ross Lydall -16 Sept 2010: -- A prototype of the new Routemaster bus commissioned by Boris Johnson was unveiled today... It is made mainly of wood and plastic and has neither engine, driver, conductor nor even many seats... But it brought to life for the first time the Mayor's £7.8million vision that may soon be dubbed the "Boris bus"... The Evening Standard was given a sneak preview of the life-size replica being built by Northern Ireland firm Wrightbus in advance of the completed model arriving in London next month... The first bus will take at least another year to be delivered and will undergo testing - possibly picking up passengers in the capital - in about a year... Six will then enter service in January 2012, concentrating on central routes that call at the busiest rail stations...
The bus is designed to be more accessible than a conventional double-decker, with two staircases and three sets of doors at the front, middle and back. This restores the rear open platform beloved by many passengers as it allows them to hop on and off if it gets stuck in traffic...
(Photos - Above: Just the ticket: Kulveer Ranger on the wood prototype - Below: Now and then: the popular old Routemaster bus)

* USA - BAE Systems to Power New Flyer Hybrid Transit Buses in Everett/Washington, and Atlanta/Georgia

Johnson City,N.Y.,USA -BUSINESS WIRE/MarketWatch -Sept. 14, 2010: -- BAE Systems is expanding its support of cleaner, greener transit with new buses powered by the company's HybriDrive(R) system in Everett, Washington, and Atlanta, Georgia. 15 New Flyer Xcelsior 40-foot hybrid electric buses for Community Transit, serving residents of Everett, Washington... In Atlanta, HybriDrive technology will power two 35-foot Xcelsior buses for Atlantic Station... The buses will be equipped with BAE Systems' lithium-ion energy storage system, which offers longer life than other battery technologies and reduces vehicle weight for improved fuel economy and lower emissions... BAE Systems' HybriDrive technology currently powers more than 2,700 buses in cities across North America and in the United Kingdom, have accumulated more than 150 million miles of passenger travel and have saved more than 10 million gallons of diesel fuel, while also preventing the release of more than 100,000 tons of carbon emissions... The HybriDrive system it consists of a generator, an electric motor, and an energy storage system managed by computerized controls. A diesel engine turns the generator and operates independent of the electric drive motor, allowing it to run at nearly consistent speed for optimum efficiency. The system also uses no mechanical transmission, a major maintenance item on conventional diesel buses... (Photo: BAE Systems: BAE Systems' HybriDrive-powered New Flyer Xcelsior buses soon will be transporting passengers in Atlanta, Georgia, and Everett, Washington)

* India - Force Motors localises production of Intercity Coach

Jaipur,Rajastán,India -BusWorld -19 Sept 2010: -- MAN Force Motors, which currently makes heavy commercial trucks, will roll out the first of it’s planned inter-city coaches in due course. The inter-city coach has been fully localised and the body is being built by Azad of Jaipur. The bus, like the trucks, will carry the MAN brand... Force Motors is a low profile, vertically integrated mainly commercial vehicle maker, making its own engines, chassis, gear boxes, axles, etc for its entire product range. As a component maker, Force Motors is the sole supplier of engines to Mercedes Benz India for its passenger cars, apart from making the cab and nine-speed gear boxes for its joint venture, MAN Force Trucks... (Photo from MAN's CNG bus Thailand)

* Poland -Scania increases bus production capacity in Poland

Slupsk,Poland -BusWorld -18 Sept 2010: -- After extensive renovation, Scania’s facility in Słupsk has been transformed into one of Europe’s most modern, efficient factory for bus manufacturing. Workstations and production logistics have been designed for efficient, high-quality production according to the method-based way of working that characterises the Scania Production System (SPS)... The facility in Słupsk, with 700 employees, is the hub of Scania’s European production of fully built (bodied) buses for public transport. The Scania OmniCity and OmniLink models are bodyworked here... Buses in the Scania Omni range have mainly been delivered to such markets as the Nordic countries, Poland, Great Britain, France and Italy. Scania has initiated an effort to increase sales to other major markets, for example Germany Europe’s largest bus and coach market... (Photo: Re-opening Slupsk Scania)

* USA - Foton America Bus Company delivers CNG Bus for Altoona testing

Brookfield, Connecticut,USA -BusWorld -17 Sept 2010: -- Foton America, based in Brookfield, Connecticut, has delivered it’s 40’ CNG-powered low-floor transit bus to the Altoona Bus Research and Testing Center at Pennsylvania State University. The testing facility is responsible for the operation of the Federal Transit Administration’s new model bus testing program... The bus is powered by an inline 6 cyl, VG turbo ISL-G Cummins engine which develops 250 – 325 hp. CNG cylinders are 8-31L Type IV supplied by Lincoln Composites. The 32-37 seat transit bus achieves an average of 950 miles/1530km per fill-up in congested traffic... As it enters the new model bus testing program, it will undergo rigorous performance evaluations in the areas of maintainability, reliability, safety, performance, structural integrity and durability, fuel economy, noise, emissions testing and brake testing... Foton America’s is convinced that their bus will emerge with a qualitative and comparative test report that can be provided to potential purchasers during the procurement process... (Photo: A Foton CNG bus USA)

* UK - Optare to add CNG

Leeds,UK -BusWorld -16 Sept 2010: -- British bus and coach manufacturer Optare says it may well add Compressed Natural Gas engines to its EcoDrive range of low carbon power options. The firm says this is a direct result of its new strategic partnership with Ashok Leyland. "This option could be attractive in European markets where there is a good supply of CNG" ... Ashok Leyland has already delivered some 6,000 CNG powered buses to Indian operators as part of its development work on alternative fuels. The firm's 5.7 litre turbochargecooled 180 hp natural gas engine has similar emissions to the best Euro 5 EEV diesel units, but with 26% less carbon... (Photo: Ashok Leyland MPFI CNG engine)

* Holland - VDL Bus & Coach shifts to integral construction for the future

Valkenswaard,The Netherlands -WorldBus -15 Sept 2010: -- VDL Bus & Coach is repositioning itself in order to be ready for the future. The new strategy is based on two elements: a newly developed VDL logo that symbolizes the current market strategy of the company, and a new integral strategy for vehicle construction... For bus and coach manufacturer VDL Bus & Coach, 2009 was a turbulent year. Despite the declining demand, the company invested in new products and processes... VDL Bus & Coach endeavours to become one of the best three bus and coach manufacturers in all of Europe... Also renewed is the look of the current line of buses – apart from the completely renewed Futura the Citea line buses become a new frontal treatment... (Photo: VDL Citea 2010 Low Floor public transport bus, ‘Bus of the Year 2011’ award)

* The Netherlands - World Premiere for the "Futura", the new coach from VDL

Valkenswaard,The Netherlands -BusWorld -13 Sept 2010: -- With the New VDL Futura, Dutch manufacturer VDL Bus & Coach introduces a classic high deck coach for the European market. A 2-axle coach with a length of 12.9 metres and a 3-axle coach that stretches to 13.9 metres are the first models of a modular product family that meets all the requirements of the international touring coach market... The chassis, with a modern front axle and electronically-regulated air suspension, offers the comfort of a luxury limousine. An unusual aspect of the interior is the flat floor. The New VDL Futura is delivered with a newly designed generation of seats, with which the interior can be fully adapted to the individual wishes of the customer. A top-notch climate control system provides a comfortable temperature and healthy, fresh air under all weather conditions... (Photo VDL's Futura bus 2010)



SAFETY * USA - CTA crime on the rise

Despite increases in crime, CTA says system is safe

Chicago,ILL,USA -The Chicago Tribune/WGN News, by Nick Boyan -September 14, 2010: -- Crime on CTA trains and buses has risen more than 26 percent since 2006 and it is still rising this year... Chicago Police data obtained by the Better Government Association shows crime is on pace to be up 12 percent this year even though ridership rose 0.4 percent... The most frequent areas for crime are downtown and the Near North Side... Any crowed area with distracted people can be targeted by pickpockets... Robberies were up 77 percent from 2006 to 2009 while thefts were up 17 percent... Aggravated batteries and assaults are on pace to decline from last year... The CTA says the system is safe... It has added more security cameras this year and it is now working on a new poster to make people aware of thieves...


NEW BUSES FLEET * USA - Metro adds 48 diesel-electric hybrid buses to improve fleet reliability

A day in the life of Metro

Washington,DC,USA -The Washington Post, by Ann Scott Tyson -September 14, 2010: -- Metro's bus fleet reached a high level of reliability this summer as the arrival of scores of new buses reduced mechanical breakdowns... Metro has added 48 New Flyer diesel-electric hybrid buses to its fleet of more than 1,500 buses in recent months, helping reduce the average age of vehicles in the fleet from eight to seven years, officials said... In June and July, the bus fleet achieved its "highest reliability ever" when measured by the number of miles between breakdowns... The new buses were purchased with $27 million in federal recovery funds. In addition, Metro bought 80 paratransit vehicles worth $3.7 million and is building a new bus body and paint shop worth $21 million, projects that are creating 150 jobs locally and across the country, officials said... Officials welcomed the environmental gains from the new buses, which will decrease Metro's diesel fuel consumption by 300,000 gallons a year and reduce carbon monoxide and hydrocarbon emissions by 90 percent, according to Metro... (Photo: An examination of the nation's second largest rail transit system)

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BUSMAKERS' NEWS * India - Volvo Buses India to sell 600 units by Dec

Mumbai,India -Reuters, by Aniruddha Basu & Ramya Venugopal -Sep 8, 2010: -- The Indian unit of Sweden's Volvo Bus Corp plans to sell 600 units by December and will raise capacity to 1,000 units by 2012, Akash Passey, managing director, said on Wednesday... Volvo Buses India Pvt Ltd, in which the Swedish parent holds 70 percent, is a joint venture with Bangalore-based Azad Group... Currently, Volvo Buses India's operations contribute about 8 percent to global bus volumes, said Rune Lundberg, senior vice president at Volvo Bus Corp... Volvo Buses India, which is present across 11 cities in the country, plans to set-up five bus centres offering accident repairs, parts warehouse and refurbishment services across five major cities in India, over the next 6 to 8 months, Passey added... Workshops, full contract business and soft sales are expected to account nearly 50 percent of revenue for Volvo Buses India, in the next 3-5 years, Passey added... (Video from YouTube, by VolvoBuses -16 June 2009: Volvo 9700 was awarded the title COACH OF THE YEAR 2008 by a jury of industry journalists from 17 leading European bus and coach industry publications. The trophy was handed over during the Busworld Exhibition in Kortrijk 2007)



BUSES' STOP * USA - Transit systems easier to predict with smart phone apps

Washington,DC,USA -USA TODAY, by Jeff Schweers -30 Aug 2010: -- Allen Stern says he had a 40-minute wait between buses when he lived in Manhattan. Using a free mobile app that became available about a year ago, he could at least tap into the Metropolitan Transit Authority with his cellphone and find out exactly how far away the next bus was from his stop... Cities across the USA use the Internet and smart phone technology to help riders make connections with their transit systems, whether the system is bus or rail or tram... Los Angeles, Philadelphia and Boston are among the cities that have begun test-driving systems within the past eight months. Orlando announced in July that it had given the green light to a project to provide bus schedule information on select routes to riders with smart phones by October... San Francisco, Washington and Chicago have apps that allow riders to use their Internet-accessible phones to get real-time information showing when their next bus or train is due... Most apps are available for all kinds of phones with Internet access. The apps provided by the municipal transit authority are free... (Photo by Jack Gruber/USA TODAY: San Francisco, Chicago and Washington (shown) have apps that allow riders to use their Internet-accessible phones to get real-time information showing when their next bus or train is due)


SAFETY * USA - New cameras to catch Metrobus drivers' mistakes

Bladensburg,MAR,USA -The Washington Post, by Ann Scott Tyson -August 27, 2010: -- Metro is installing cameras on its entire fleet of 1,500 buses as part of a five-year, $3 million program to monitor bus driver performance and improve safety... The new camera system focuses on drivers and activity outside the buses, transit officials said. The cameras record constantly during bus operations, and when a driver makes any extreme movement -- such as turning the bus sharply or braking or accelerating quickly -- the cameras capture the eight seconds before the incident and the four seconds after. The video and audio of the incident are then automatically downloaded wirelessly from the bus... More than 1,000 Metrobuses already are equipped with security cameras aimed at passenger areas and outside the front of buses to document and deter accidents, crimes and conflicts, Metro spokesman Reggie Woodruff said. If the video on those cameras is not retrieved within a couple of days, the cameras record over it... He said Metro will begin turning on the cameras in October, and all will be operational by January... (Courtesy of WMATA - A technician installs DriveCam equipment at the Bladensburg Metrobus division)



All-electric bus * USA - Picking up passengers in Southern California

Mass Transit is a much more environmentally friendly way to get people around than individual cars

Los Angeles,CAL,USA -Greentechmedia, by Darren Quick -September 1, 2010: ... Commuters in the San Gabriel/Pamona area of Los Angeles County can do their bit for the environment by traveling on three Proterra EcoRide BE35 all-electric buses purchased by Foothill Transit... Public transportation company, Foothill Transit, has purchased three of the buses and two charging stations from Proterra. The buses have 72 kW-h lithium-ion battery packs that are just 50 percent larger than the 53 kW-h battery packs found in the Tesla Roadster and provide the buses with three hours of running time or a range of 30 miles (48km). They come in 550lb (249kg), 18 kW-h modular units supplied by Altairnano... Foothill Transit is paying Proterra US$5.6 million for the three EcoRide BE-35 buses and two chargers but, if all goes well, hopes to expand its fleet to 12 buses... (Photo from greentechmedia/SEE VIDEO: The EcoRide BE-35 all-electric bus)