User-agent: Mediapartners-Google* Disallow: Buses World News: April 2011

Buses World News

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


BUSES' INSPECTIONS * USA - buses feel heat of Federal safety crackdown

Washington,DC,USA -Fleet Owner, by David Cullen -Apr 13, 2011: -- Surprise inspections nationwide by a joint federal-state law enforcement “strike force” pulled 289 motor-coach buses and their drivers off the road for being unsafe in just one nine-day stretch. According to the Dept. of Transportation (DOT), the “coordinated enforcement strike force” of Federal Motor Carrier Administration (FMCSA) inspectors working with state and local law-enforcement officers issued out-of-service violation citations to 156 drivers and 262 vehicles... Those violations were found amid 2,782 passenger-carrier safety inspections conducted between March 28 and April 6 as part of FMCSA’s ongoing effort to focus more closely on the safe operation of passenger buses... Earlier, from March 12 to March 28, an estimated 3,000 passenger carrier safety inspections were conducted across the country, noted DOT, resulting in nearly 300 passenger-carrier vehicles being put out of service that 17-day stretch... (Photo from usdotblog: FMCSA Administrator Anne Ferro talks with safety inspector at Washington, DC, checkpoint near National Mall)


Mass Transit * USA - How Smartphones Can Improve Public Transit

Smartphone apps may be the key to getting people out of their cars and onto mass transit

Boston,MASS,USA -Autopia, by Keith Barry -April 8, 2011: -- An interesting study of commuters in Boston and San Francisco found people are more willing to ride the bus or train when they have tools to manage their commutes effectively. The study asked 18 people to surrender their cars for one week. The participants found that any autonomy lost by handing over their keys could be regained through apps providing real-time information about transit schedules, delays and shops and services along the routes... Though the sample size is small, the researchers dug deep into participants’ reactions. The results could have a dramatic effect on public transportation planning, and certainly will catch the attention of planners and programmers alike. By encouraging the development of apps that make commuting easier, transit agencies can drastically, and at little cost, improve the ridership experience and make riding mass transit more attractive... Unfortunately, gathering and releasing all that data requires some tech savvy, which too often is lacking at some transit agencies...

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BUSES PURCHASE PROSPECTS * USA - Hattiesburg School District to buy new buses

Hattiesburg,Miss,USA -AP/Daily Reporter -April 07, 2011:  --  The Hattiesburg School District will spend $803,000 for eight new school buses and nine vehicles, including a new car for the superintendent...  Director of Transportation, Audrae Barnes, tells the Hattiesburg American that two of the buses will be used for activities. She says the other six will replace older buses...  Of the nine vehicles, Barnes says two will be used for driver's education, two will be used by school resource officers, two will be used by the maintenance department, one will be used by the transportation department and one will be used by the technology department... 

* UK - Government cash for green bus initatives

Poundbury,Dorchester,UK -This is Sommerset -7 April 2011:  --  Seven new green buses will be picking up passengers in the West next year thanks to a Government grant of almost £650,000... Transport Minister, Norman Baker, said he had provided £475,000 for five single-decker buses to operate in Taunton... He has given Dorset County Council £166,000 for two single-decker electric buses for Poundbury, the village on the edge of Dorchester on land owned by the Duchy of Cornwall... Mr Baker said the cash was part of £46 million from the Green Bus Fund for 542 new low-carbon buses to be on roads across the country by March 2012... The money is part of the Government's drive to invest in projects that encourage use of sustainable local transport, and promote green growth... The fund has previously supported almost 150 buses around the country... (Photo from inhabitat: Tindo bus green public transit)


CHALLENGE SLOW BUSES * USA - Man on Tricycle Outspeeds 42nd Street Bus

New York,NY,USA -NBC New York, by Susannah Griffee -Apr 6, 2011: -- A man riding a child's tricycle beat the M42 bus in a race across town just to show how slowly it really moves... Mark Malkoff, a comedic filmmaker from Queens, raced the M42 bus for more than a mile on 42nd Street from 10th Avenue to Madison Avenue. Riding 4.7 mph, he clocked in at 12 minutes and 42 seconds, almost three minutes faster than the bus... Malkoff told NBC New York he got the idea for the race when he saw children riding Big Wheels on the street... (Photo: My Damn Channel)



* UK - Warrington Borough Transport invests £750k

Penketh,Warrington,UK -The Warrington Guardian -6 April 2011: -- Bus passengers in Penketh will get a roomy ride thanks to a £750,000 investment on new buses... Warrington Borough Transport has welcomed the arrival of six new Optare Solo minibuses for use on services visiting the Penketh area... The buses are environmentally friendly, have full cctv systems for customer safety and have been designed with high backed seats and updated interiors for customers comfort... The switch comes from customer feedback after a demonstration bus like the ones now in service was used on the route last year... The new buses mark the retirement of the last high floor single-deck buses in the fleet which have served the Penketh routes for the last 13 years... (Photo from warringtonboroughtransport: New, Optare Solo buses fleet)

* USA - Bendy buses debut in New Haven

New Haven,CT,USA -Yale Daily News, by McKenna Keyes -April 6, 2011:  --  As of last Monday, the Connecticut Department of Transportation added 12 60-foot buses to the New Haven CTTRANSIT fleet of public buses. These longer buses are formally called articulated buses, which are commonly referred to as “bendy buses,” and have the ability to make turns like a 40-foot bus, using an accordion-like middle section that allows the last 20 feet of bus to bend inward. The new buses, which are roomier, were met with positive reviews from New Haven residents interviewed yesterday... Ragsdale said he has had a more challenging experience of adapting to the new bus, adding that there are more buttons, gadgets and length to deal with. However, he said the bendy buses are a good addition to the New Haven fleet because passengers have a more comfortable riding experience... The articulated buses are in accordance with U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s 2010 emission standards. Fourteen similarly environmentally friendly 40-foot buses were added to the New Haven fleet by the end of April... (Photo by McKenna Keyes: As New Haven bus driver Wilbert Ragsdale describes it, the bus he has been driving for the past 20 years has grown a 20-foot tail)


Bus 'hop card' * New Zealand - Welcome sign of progress

Auckland has been waiting many years for a public transport system with a transfer ticket ...

Auckland,NZ -NZ Herald -Apr 6, 2011:  ... At last there is a sign of progress...   Auckland Transport, a body set up with the Super City, has adopted a debit card that will enable passengers to change buses with ease...  Its "hop card", introduced by agreement with Infratil's subsidiaries Snapper and NZ Bus, sounds like the Snapper card that the former Auckland Regional Transport Agency rejected in favour of a bid from a French provider, Thales...  Auckland has been waiting well over a year for the Thales contract to produce a transferable ticket and will continue to wait for the hop card to be extended to trains, ferries and buses not operated by NZ Bus. But at least that is the plan now...  Car users naturally would like to see all public transport off the roads and on to rail, but that is not practical for a city of diverse daily travel patterns. Buses are here to stay. Under the eye of an agency that believes in them, improvements are beginning to happen...   (Photo by Dean Purcell)




* UK - Alexander Dennis secures £100m in bus contracts. More than 500 vehicles ordered this year

Falkirk,UK -Business7 -Apr 7 2011: -- Alexander Dennis has won £100 million of bus manufacturing contracts this year...  The Falkirk company confirmed it has secured orders for more than 500 vehicles from a range of UK and international customers...  These include 160 for FirstGroup, 116 for Go-Ahead Group, 99 for Arriva and 43 for London Sovereign...  Hong Kong's MTRC and New Zealand based Mana Bus have also ordered extra buses...  The company said the first dozen bus chassis for a 120-vehicle order for NZ Bus have arrived in New Zealand...  The body kits are being built by Kiwi Bus with the first of the vehicles due to go into service before the Rugby World Cup...

* USA - New Alexander Dennis' 'Double Tall' transit buses on Seattle streets

Seattle,WASH,USA -The SEATTLEPI, by SCOTT GUTIERREZ -April 7, 2011:  --  Seattle is getting a taste of London with a new fleet of "Double Tall" transit buses on city streets...  The double-decker buses belong to Community Transit, which is running the first of the 23 new buses this week between Lynnwood and downtown Seattle. The 14-feet tall double-decker buses are replacing 60-foot articulated buses that were built in 1998 and are ready to be retired. The 23 buses were purchased with a federal stimulus grant and will be rolled out into the fleet this spring, Community Transit reports...  Each bus costs about $830,000 and paid for with $13.8 million in federal money, including a $10.8 million stimulus grant, plus a $3 million state grant and $2.2 million in local money, Community Transit spokesman Martin Munguia said...  The Double Talls were manufactured by Alexander Dennis Ltd., the same company that makes the famous London double deckers. Since federal funding for the buses has a "Buy America" requirement, the Scotland-based bus company established a plant in the United States so the buses could meet federal standards, which was required by the federal stimulus grant... (Photo by Joshua Trujillo/Seattlepi: A Community Transit doubledecker bus drives southbound on I-5 in Seattle)

* India - ALL seeks to be among global top five bus makers

Chennai,India -The Financial Express, by R Ravichandran -Apr 5, 2011: --  Hinduja group flagship Ashok Leyland is aiming to become among the top 10 global players in the trucks business and top five in the bus segment in the next five to 10 years. The company believes this could be achieved with a combination of domestic as well as overseas sales (including exports) apart from strengthening its exiting products portfolio, brand image, service and dealers network, expanded overseas presence (through offices) across countries and huge investments into R&D and other facilities... The managing director of Ashok Leyland, Vinod K Dasari said, “We believe the domestic market alone will not help us sustain our share and that is why we are involved in expanding presence across the globe including in Africa, West Asia, Latin America and Saarc countries. We hope that 25% of our sales come from our international operations (including exports).”... (Photo from t3.gstatic: An ALL bus)

* UAE / Dubai - MAN to debut first CNG low-floor solo bus in the Region

Dubai -Zawya -5 Apr 2011: -- Market leader in gas-powered city buses to premier MAN, Lion's City CNG Model for hot countries at the upcoming 59th UTIP World Congress in Dubai ... The world's assured accessible natural-gas reserves are estimated at almost 190 billion cubic metres - at today's rate of extraction that's enough for the next sixty years. If one adds the natural-gas resources (meaning gas that cannot yet be extracted or only with great effort), then the range is around 130 years... At more than 75 billion cubic metres, the world's biggest deposits of natural gas have been found in the Near and Middle East, followed by Eastern Europe / CIS (62 billion), North, Central and South America (17), Far East/Pacific (15) and Africa (14)... Security of supply and combustion characteristics are factors in favour of natural gas as an alternative source of energy for both stationary and mobile applications - this is being recognised by more and more countries around the world. This is why the UAE, for example, decided years ago that natural gas was to account for twenty percent of the total amount of fuel consumed on its roads by the year 2012...


High Gas Prices * USA - Could fuel metro bus ridership

Waterloo,IOW,USA -WCF Courier/Cedar Valley Business, by JOHN MOLSEED -April 4, 2011: -- When gas prices rise, so does the number of bus riders. In Black Hawk County, the increase in rider fares doesn't make up the difference in the increase in fuel costs, said Mark Little, operations manager of the Metropolitan Transit Authority of Black Hawk County...  Fuel costs for the MET have climbed from $1.45 per gallon average in March 2009 to $2.27 per gallon average in March 2010. This year, MET paid $3.23 per gallon its first fill this month...  Ridership is up about 3 percent so far this fiscal year, with 271,631 passengers riding the MET fixed routes through Cedar Falls and Waterloo compared to 263,838 riders up to the same time last year... (Image from static.seekingalpha: Saupload high gas prices cartoon)


INFRASTRUCTURES * USA - Modern Design and Sustainability to Albany CDTA’s with New Bus Stations

Serving 3.5 million commuters annually, Duo-Gard’s bus stations provide added security and convenience to riders

Canton,MICH,USA -Enhanced Online News -April 4, 2011:  --  Duo-Gard Industries Inc. today announces it has teamed up with the Capital District Transportation Authority (CDTA) of Albany, NY, to install its sustainable bus stations as part of the new BusPlus program. In this latest project, Duo-Gard once again demonstrates its ability to combine modern aesthetic design, high functionality and sustainability by installing these new stations at BusPlus stops between Schenectady and downtown Albany. The customized design for the CDTA sets new standards in the typically humdrum world of bus stations – providing added security and convenience to the Capital District's 3.5 million annual commuters on the busy Route 5 corridor...  (Image from alloveralbany: BusPlus station)


VANDALISED BUSES * Bangladesh - Lawmaker attacked, 100 buses vandalised in Bangladesh strike

Dhaka,Bangladesh -IndiaVision (India)-Apr 4, 2011: -- Islamist activists Monday attacked a lawmaker, vandalised 100 buses and set fire to a petrol pump in Chittagong port city of Bangladesh during a day-long strike called to protest the government's policy to ensure "equal status" to women... Police picked up 135 activists and in the sporadic pitched battles, 53 people were injured... A madrassa student had died on the eve of the strike...  Lawmaker R.M.A. Obaidul Muktadir Chowdhury escaped unhurt though four policemen were injured in the attack... The policy seeks to give "equal status" to women in Bangladesh that is an Islamic republic and has a predominantly Muslim population... (Photo from amaderdesh: Bangladeshi students go berserk over death of colleague)

* USA - History Repeats Itself In Bus Vs. Rail Protests

Los Angeles,CAL,USA -
KCet org, by Matthew Fleischer
-April 5, 2011: -- As you may have heard, Metro has approved plans to significantly rollback its bus service. 300,000 hours, or 4% of all bus routes, will be cut. This comes only a year after Metro already cut bus services by 8%. Prompted by low-income transit advocates, the Federal Transit Administration is investigating whether these proposed rollbacks violate the Civil Rights Act--as it can easily be argued they disproportionately affect poor, minority riders... This wouldn't be the first time Metro faced federal sanctions for bus reductions in the face of rail expansion. Back in 1994, a group called the Bus Riders' Union sued Metro for reducing bus service while simultaneously constructing a multi-billion dollar rail line to Pasadena...  The current plan to the bus fleet to 1,900 means Metro's total fleet will be 200 smaller than the 2,100 buses that drove the Bus Rider's Union to sue back in the 90's... With the Expo Line (hopefully) set to open in due time, there may indeed be a few lines that become redundant with the expanded rail service. But as my colleague Alex Schmidt is currently investigating, many of the proposed cuts will take place in LA's poor working class communities, far away from new rail construction... History appears to be repeating itself in Los Angeles... Rail vs. bus shouldn't be a choice we need to make in Los Angeles. Everyone is excited for LA to finally get a world-class light rail network...  Granted, LA's bus system is not always convenient for riders stuck in traffic. This city is in obvious need of increased light rail options. But our expanding rail network needs to complement our existing bus system, not replace it, nor shortchange it... (Photo from Buy 500 buses by 2010)

* USA - Vandals damage Edgewood buses

Edgewood, Maryland, USA -The Enquirer -5 April 2011:  --  Vandals damaged Edgewood Schools' bus fleet early Tuesday, causing classes to be delayed two hours in the Butler County school system...  Edgewood officials said someone entered the locked parking lot where the district's fleet of 30 school buses are stored and deflated the tires of 28 of the buses...  The 3,750-student district in the city of Trenton returned to classes Tuesday after being off for spring break...  No suspects have been indentified and the Butler County Sheriff's office is investigating, school officials said...

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TRANSPORT POLICIES * Europe - * EU plan to phase out 'conventionally fueled' cars by 2050. The Commission says Europe's transport system remains unsustainable.

Brussels,Belgium -Gizmag, by Tannith Cattermole -April 11, 2011: -- The European Commission has released a white paper detailing ambitious plans to transform Europe's transport infrastructure by 2050...  The overall goal is to create a unified transport system capable of meeting the needs of the 500 million EU citizens...  Without change, oil dependence of transport will remain around 90%, CO2 emissions from transport will remain one third higher than their 1990 level and congestion costs will increase by about 50% by 2050...  The major goals set out in the "Roadmap to a Single European Transport Area" are:

The gradual phasing out of conventionally-fueled cars in cities with a view to significantly reduce oil dependence, greenhouse gas emissions and local air and noise pollution
Use of smaller, lighter and more specialized road passenger vehicles with focus on fleets of city buses, taxis and delivery vans that can be adapted for new alternative propulsion and fuels.
A 50% shift of medium distance intercity passenger and freight journeys from road to rail and waterborne transport
An overall 60% cut in transport emissions by 2050
Switching to cleaner public transport in cities, as well as the option of walking and cycling
A higher share of travel by public transport with minimum service obligations. Public transport quality and connections must be improved if consumer behavior is to change: currently 71% of car users feel that public transport is less convenient than the car while 72% say they don't use public transport because of a lack of connections, 54% mention lack of reliability
Multi-modal travel planning and integrated ticketing across Europe

The European Twowheel Retailers' Association welcomed the plans but were felt that the part two-wheelers could play in helping cut emissions had been underplayed...  (Photo: A lorries protest in UK)