User-agent: Mediapartners-Google* Disallow: Buses World News: August 2013

Buses World News

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


* Singapore / China - DRIVERLESS SHUTTLE

* Singapore - To try out driverless shuttle on public roads

(Photo: NTU - Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University will be running a Navia autonomous shuttle to the nearby JTC Corporation's CleanTech Park) 
Singapore,China -Gizmag, by Ben Coxworth -August 16, 2013: -- Should you be at Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University (NTU) sometime soon, and wish to take the shuttle bus to JTC Corporation's CleanTech Park, you might find yourself in a vehicle that drives itself. Plans call for just such an autonomous shuttle to start running the 2-km (1.2-mile) route, as a real-world test of driverless public transportation... The electric 8-passenger vehicle is a model already being made by France’s Induct Technology, and is known as the Navia... Passengers get on board at a designated stop, and select their destination stop on a touchscreen display of the route. The vehicle then heads out onto public roads at a maximum speed of 12.5 mph (20 km/h). It uses four LIDAR (LIght Detection And Ranging) units, along with stereoscopic optical cameras, to generate a real-time 3D depth map of its surroundings. This allows it to avoid obstacles, stay in its lane, and generally keep from getting into trouble...



ULTRA LUXE BUSES On demand in * India

* India - Business-class luxury on popular routes

Rajkot,Ahmedabad,India -The Business Standard, by Sohini Das & Vimukt Dave -August 19, 2013: -- Planning to travel to Mumbai from Ahmedabad? Drop your plans to take a cab or your car. Take a bus, instead. It could be equipped with anything from a conference room with wi-fi and projectors, recliner seats with massagers, entertainment screens on each seat to an in-house pantry and chemically-treated toilets... Ultra-luxury bus travel is an emerging trend in inter-city transport and the latest entrant is the Surat-based logistics player Siddhi Vinayak Logistics (SVL). A player in the logistics industry with a fleet of 5,975 trucks and a turnover of Rs 1,400 crore, SVL is set to launch its 'seven-star' bus by November this year... It plans to offer business-class luxury on popular routes like Mumbai-Pune, Mumbai-Surat, Mumbai-Ahmedabad, Mumbai-Bangalore and Surat-Ahmedabad... In the Saurashtra-Surat belt, 700-800 air-conditioned (but not luxury) buses ply with around 80-85 per cent occupancy... 



* South Caroline - Greenville electric bus company expanding

(Photo: Proterra's commercial bus design) 
Greenville,S.C.,USA -The AP/The Greenville News -19 Aug 2013: -- A company that makes electric-powered buses in Greenville says it has increased its workforce to more than 200 full-time employees. Proterra says business is increasing, prompting it to double its workforce this year. The company has installed a second production line... CEO Garrett Mikita says the company built eight buses last year. It's expected to build 40 this year and 100 next year... The company's buses have seats for 35 passengers and room for 31 riders to stand...



* Florida - RTS buses are useful if you know to take advantage of them 

(Photo: Gainesville Regional Airport Bus) 
Gainesville,FL,USA -Alligator, by Hanna Marcus -August 19, 2013: -- Maybe you have 10 minutes to get clear across campus for your next class. Maybe you and some friends want to explore downtown without the hassle of finding parking. Maybe you don’t have a car and need a quick lift to the grocery store. In many of these cases, walking won’t cut it. So how about taking the bus? But before you hop onto one of Gainesville’s Regional Transit System’s many buses, you might want to learn these do’s and don’ts for bus travel. 


* USA - SCHOOL BUS SERVICES: Are they as safe as we think they are?

* Oregon - Maybe not as safe as you think

Portland.ORE,USA -KATU News, by Anna Canzano -Aug 19, 2013: -- How safe will your children be when they step on a school bus in a few weeks? ... A far-reaching search of public documents, and interviews with current and former officials involved in school bus safety in Oregon, reveal everything from buses that are in bad condition to falsified inspection records... Ultimately, it is the certified inspectors from the school district and state who are responsible for keeping buses safe. It's a system that has only been in place since 2007... The On Your Side Investigators requested three years worth of school bus inspections from our largest local districts. The documents reveal problems ranging from expired fire extinguishers and loose seats to exhaust systems that were starting to rot... In nearly every school district that inspectors visited in the past three years, they found buses in such bad shape that the vehicles are immediately taken out of service - 19 in Portland, 12 in Canby, 11 in Gresham and 9 in Tigard-Tualatin (just to name a few)... Rob Saxton, Oregon's deputy superintendent of public instruction, repeatedly insisted that the state has a history of success in keeping kids safe and making sure the 3,700 school buses on the roads are working the way they are intended... In comparison, Washington state takes a very different approach. The Washington State Patrol inspects every school bus ever year, with additional surprise inspections on 25 percent of the fleet...

* Utah - After beating caught on tape, school district adds cameras to buses to help stop bullying

(Photo, by Mark Johnston/Daily Herald: Alpine School District bus cameras) 
Alpine,UTH,USA -The Daily Herald, by Barbara Christiansen -August 20, 2013: -- Students who are bullying may not be able to hide behind their peers' reticence from snitching this year, as the Alpine School District adds video cameras to its buses... Nearly 21,000 students ride about 19,000 miles a day in the state's largest district, and that's just to and from school. It doesn't count field trips and extracurricular activities. District officials have purchased camera systems to use in the buses, with a plan to eventually equip its fleet of almost 300 buses... ASD is spending $93,800 for 48 school bus video systems from Gatekeeper Systems, Inc.... District spokesman John Patten said the district had a pilot program with the cameras and determined they were helpful...

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* Malacca - Electric buses for Ayer Keroh,Malacca -The Sunday Daily, by Vathani Panirchellvum -18 August 2013: -- Malacca's plans of becoming a green technology city state steps closer with the advent of electric buses, scheduled to be launched before Chinese New Year next year... Chief Minister Datuk Idris Haron said that for starters 10 buses will ply the World Heritage City of Bandar Hilir, giving a positive impact on the environment, according to a report in Melaka Hari Ini, a community newspaper... Idris added that the project will give positive returns in the long run as the buses can fit up to 40 passengers and will reduce the usage of fuel as much as RM0.20 per km, bringing in a profit of RM0.49 per passenger to the government... The buses can move up to 40km per hour, he said, adding that it is based on the town bus concept, with standing room for most, and seats prioritised for the elderly and people with disabilities...



* Viet Nam - Downgraded buses continue to ply in city streets

(Photo from SGGP - Buses with ragged seats (L) and broken parts (R) still ply in the streets) 
Ho Chi Minh City,Viet nam -Saigon, by Quoc Hung and Thuy Doan -Aug 18, 2013:  ... The buses plying the Ho Chi Minh City streets are in poor and downgraded condition... When building a bus network, the City aimed to make it a foundation for sustainable public transport, to encourage people to use buses to reduce traffic congestion, protect the environment, and create an organized and civic urban lifestyle. However, the current bus network has not been able to meet these expectations... Therefore, lack of maintenance of buses has seen their present downgraded condition... In 2002, when Ho Chi Minh City had just started the bus service there were 587 buses, with most vehicles now past their expiry date. In later years, the number of buses increased to 2,434. These too need upgrading or replacing... During the period 2011-2015, the City Department of Transportation plans to buy 1,680 new buses at a total cost of nearly VND2 trillion...

* Israel - Haifa’s new long buses make a less than stellar start

(Photo by Rami Shlush: Metronit in Haifa. Some locals complain of slow speeds and long waiting times, but at least getting on is nice and easy) 
Haifa,Israel -Haaretz, by Roy (Chicky) Arad -Aug. 18, 2013: -- Haifa launched its new rapid-transit system, the Metronit, over weekend, but let’s say it’s making slow but steady progress. The long so-called bi-articulated buses have their own dedicated lanes, and because we’re talking about Haifa, they run on Shabbat... It took a while before one Metronit arrived. Roman Grimsky, a brawny fellow wearing a Likud T-shirt, had just come back from the beach. “They said the Metronit would come every few minutes,” he said. “I’ve been waiting 20 minutes, and earlier I waited half an hour. It stops at every station, even when nobody’s waiting.” ... According to Grimsky, the new system needs twice as much time to get him where he’s going. “I’m for the [regular] buses,” he said...

* Malaysia - School buses exceeding 30 years not allowed on the road after Jan 1'

(Photo: A Schoolbus in Kuala Lumpur)
Kuala Lumpur,Malaysia -Bernama/New Strait Times -19 August 2013: -- Effective January 2015, school buses which are more than 30 years old will not be allowed on the road and stern action will be taken against the operators concerned, Land Public Transport Commission (SPAD) chairman Tan Sri Syed Hamid Albar said today... Those who failed to comply with the regulation would be charged in court and they faced losing their licence, he told reporters when met after witnessing the signing of an agreement of understanding for the 1Malaysia School Bus Project between DMS Dynamic Sdn Bhd and Chery Automobile (M) Sdn Bhd. Syed Hamid said they were currently 17,000 school buses registered with SPAD nationwide and 2,000 of them were more than 30 years old... The government, he said, provided a financing scheme of up to RM250,000 for a nine-year-period to help the operators to replace their old school buses with new ones...



* India - Tata Motors plans bus production in the Urals 

Mumbai,Maharashtra,India -The Moscow Times -18 August 2013: -- India's leading bus manufacturer, Tata Motors, seems set to begin making vehicles in the Ural mountains... The company, which produces a range of cars, buses and trucks, is looking at the Bashkir trolleybus factory as a possible production facility, Ufa city hall's press service said, adding that Tata officials had toured the factory to gauge its technological capacity... Tata, which reported $35 billion in consolidated revenue in 2012, has a growing interest in the CIS as a marketplace and already partners with Ukraine's Borispolsky bus factory, RIA Novosti reported, where it rolls out 1,700 buses a year for a variety of buyers, according to its website... However, in Russia Tata will need to fight to gain a foothold: Billionaire Oleg Deripaska's Basic Element controls about 65 percent of the market... The factory upon which Tata has set its attention is in Russia's republic of Bashkortostan, to the west of the Ural mountains. In 2010 it produced 119 trolleybuses, 32 percent of total Russian production that year, the Bashinform news agency reported... ..




* W. Virginia - School buses now rolling greener

(Photo: Natural Gas A Bus Fuel Option) 
Charleston,W.Va.,USA –Metro News, by Jennifer Smith -August 15, 2013: -- The wheels on the bus go round and round thanks to an eco-friendly fuel. Two-thirds of the state’s school buses are now using bio-diesel. It’s made up of diesel and either vegetable oil or animal-based fats... Ben Shew, the Executive Director of the Transportation Office for the state Department of Education, said school systems have been using the green fuel for several years... In fact this school year, the Transportation office will purchase 5-million gallons of biodiesel out of 6-million gallons of bus fuel. But it doesn’t come cheap... It also improves student safety. That’s because fumes from regular diesel can add up. With buses so close to school doors and windows, fumes can seep into classrooms...



* DC - Regulators nobble cheap travel

(Photo: Chinatown_buses)
Washington,DC,USA -The Economist -Aug 17, 2013: ... Potential passengers still gather near the Chinese gate in Washington, DC, to catch a cheap ride to New York. A one-way ticket costs around $20, against a whopping $150 on the train. It is far from luxurious, but you can watch films on your iPad or flirt with the other young travellers... For some 15 years “Chinatown bus” lines have shuttled thrifty folk between east-coast cities for a fraction of the price of name-brand carriers... Fierce competition for passengers in New York led to the “bus wars” of 2004... In March this year they withdrew the licence of Fung Wah, the longest-running Chinatown bus service. Two other lines, Ming An and Lucky Star, soon followed it off the road... But out on the road companies like Fung Wah and Lucky Star were surprisingly safe. Each had been involved in only one crash (with no injuries) in the past two years. That compares favourably with the coaches of Greyhound and Peter Pan, which log more miles and crash more often. The traditional carriers seem to burst into flames more often, too... 

* Pennsylvania - Buses are too much, Scott residents say

(Photo: Pittsburgh Port Authority bus) 
Scott,PENN,USA -Post-Gazette, by Carole Gilbert Brown -August 15, 2013: -- Some residents of Orchard Spring Road in Scott want to know why Port Authority buses travel their street from 6 a.m. to 11 p.m. every day, even on the weekends... Many of the buses are empty, Lori Lang told the township commissioners at their meeting Tuesday... The residents said more than 60 Port Authority buses use their street... Illnesses or hardships can make public transportation a necessity for many people, Commissioner Bill Wells suggested... But Barbara Hopkins, who catches a bus every day on Orchard Spring, called the number of buses that daily traverse the road "ridiculous" ...

* New York - NYC bus drivers plead for protection from assaults

(Photo: WARD FOR NEWS - Wayne Roberts, 40, a NYC Transit driver on the B46 bus line, navigates behind newly installed partition aimed at protecting drivers from dangerous passengers) 
NY,USA-The Associated Press/The Yeshiva WN -August 15, 2013: -- New York City bus drivers are facing a spate of assaults from passengers while on the job. And they are calling for more to be done to protect them... According to the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, about 88 drivers are assaulted each year and about a thousand more are harassed... The Transport Workers Union Local 100 has rallied at MTA board meetings. The union is calling for the installation of more security cameras and protective partitions on buses, along with an overall increase in services... The MTA says it plans to have about 2,500 buses with partitions and almost 2,900 buses with cameras by the end of 2015. But drivers complain that it is too little too late... The current fleet of buses stands at 5,700...


* China - PUBLIC TRANSPORT: The "sauna buses"

* Suzhou official bans buses without air conditioning after having to ride in one

(Photo: Suzhou official hot)
Suzhou,Jiangsu,China -Shanghaiist, by James Griffiths -
-Aug 15, 2013: -- Suzhou transportation official has pledged to stop using over 700 buses which do not have air conditioning, Southern Metro Daily reports... Shao Jianlin, transportation secretary of the Jiangsu city, was persuaded to take a trip in one of the "sauna buses", which drivers say can reach internal temperatures of 45 degrees celsius, after which he agreed that, holy shit, these buses need air conditioning... Some 18 percent of buses in Suzhou do not have air conditioning. The transportation bureau has said that it will replace them all by summer 2014, meaning that residents still have a few more months of having to travel in the mobile sweat boxes...



* USA - School buses with GPS system & new Zonar Card program

* Florida - Bay County school buses get high tech

(Photo by Heather Leiphart | News Herald - Adam Wolvier installs a new security camera into one of about 150 Bay County school buses last week) 
Panama City,Bay County,FL,USA -WHJG 7 news, by Cameron Taylor -Aug 14, 2013: -- Bay County parents and students will see some high tech upgrades to their school buses when they head back to school next week. Some of the new upgrades include a GPS system that will track your child... The new technology is designed to keep your child safe when they ride the bus... Children in Pre-K through 5th grade who ride the bus will be given color coded "Zonar cards" ... They'll have your child's information on them plus what bus they're supposed to take... When your child takes the bus this year, all they have to do is scan the Zonar card and from there the district will know when and where your child got on and off the bus... District transportation officials say the new Zonar card program will start at two elementary schools...



* Hampshire - Saving Fuel: Buses to switch off at stops in bid to save fuel

Hampshire,EN,UK -This is Hampshire -15 Aug 2013: -- If your bus suddenly cuts out at a stop, don’t worry – the driver is simply adhering to company policy... Wilts and Dorset’s Reds buses, which run between Andover, Tidworth and Salisbury, are among those operating the policy, designed to cut carbon emissions... As the company is equipped with more reliable modern buses, bus bosses are encouraging their drivers to turn off engines at bus stops to also save fuel... Andrew Sherrington, operations manager at Salisbury Reds, says the tradition of drivers letting bus engines idle for long lengths of time is no longer necessary...

Shropshire - Elderly and disabled people: Tears over the loss of vital ShropshireLink bus service

(Photo: Shropshire bus service in Shrewsbury) 
Shropshire,UK -The Shropshire Star -August 14, 2013: -- Users of a council-run bus service due to be axed in Shropshire in the autumn today said it was a lifeline which had made a huge difference to people’s lives... One passenger on the ShropshireLink revealed how they had burst into tears when they heard it was to cease operating... Bruce Marks, 76, from Levi Court, Ellesmere, have been regular passengers for almost five years... Mr Marks, who uses a wheelchair, said it was very difficult for him to use public transport, whereas the ShropshireLink buses were equipped with wheelchair anchor points... Bus drivers on the ShropshireLink service regularly help passengers with their shopping bags and make sure wheelchairs are secure before driving off... Nick Evans, from Shrewsbury, has worked as a driver in the Oswestry area for five years, but he and up to 20 more bus drivers and office staff have been told their contracts will be terminated at the end of November...

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* India - Busmaker Mahindra invest $82 million in trucks and buses

* India - Mahindra to invest $82 million in trucks and buses, new products

Mumbai,India -Reuters/First Post, by Aradhana Aravindan/Sunil Nair –Aug 15, 2013: -- Mahindra and Mahindra Ltd, India’s biggest utility vehicle manufacturer, plans to invest 2 billion rupees to strengthen its current product line-up of trucks and buses, the company said in a statement on Wednesday... Mahindra plans to invest another 3 billion rupees to explore new products, it said... On Tuesday, the company posted a forecast-beating 29 percent rise in first-quarter profit, as strong demand for its tractors compensated for falling sales of its sport utility vehicles...



* India - Buses: Govt. employees Strikes

* India - Govt. employees strike work; RTC, private buses go off the road

(Photo by Kommuri Srinivas - The usually busy RTC bus station wore a deserted look as RTC staff join the indefinite strike for Samaikyandhra in Ongole on Tuesday) 
Hyderabad,Andhra Pradesh,India -The Hindu -August 13, 2013: -- Normal life was paralysed in Central Coastal Andhra Pradesh owing to the indefinite strike call given by Andhra Pradesh Non-Gazetted Officers (APNGOs) and the APSRTC employees from the early hours of Tuesday... This turned out to be a virtual bandh call, as all RTC and private buses were off the road; shops and establishments were closed. Small and medium entrepreneurs in the Autonagar and Industrial Estate, restaurants and even small kiosks downed their shutters in support of Samaikyandhra... Schools and some colleges declared a holiday on Tuesday. The busy Bandar and Eluru Road, which otherwise bustle with activities and shoppers, wore a deserted look at 11 a.m. The only people on the roads were security strike forces in their camouflaged overalls and the members of different joint action committees (JAC) who took out rallies in protest against the Congress Working Committee’s decision to bifurcate the State. Private vehicles were allowed to run and autorickshaws...

* India - Telangana effect: Buses to Tirumala stopped for first time in four decades

(Photo by Mohammed Yousuf - Various departments in state Secretariat wear deserted on the first day of their indefinite strike called by Andhra Pradesh Non-Gazetted Officers’ Association against proposed bifurcation of Andhra Pradesh in Hyderabad on Tuesday) 
Tirupati,Andra Pradesh,India -IBN Live -Aug 13, 2013: -- For the first time in nearly four decades, buses going to the famous Hindu temple atop Tirumala Hills were stopped on Tuesday as transport employees joined the indefinite mass strike to protest the centre's decision to bifurcate Andhra Pradesh... Over 1500 buses of state-owned Andhra Pradesh State Road Transport Corporation (APSRTC) which ply daily between Tirupati and Tirumala Venkateswara temple, went off the roads since midnight as employees joined the strike by government employees in the Seemandhra (Rayalaseema and Andhra)... This is the first time after 38 years that buses going to the famous temple were stopped, severely inconveniencing the pilgrims. The bus services to the hill shrine were always exempted from strikes by APSRTC employees to press for their demands...


* USA - Michigan's Bus Rapid Transit

* Michigan - Metro Detroit's rapid-transit buses will look like rocket ships

(Photo from Greater Cleveland RTA -A bus rapid transit service with dedicated lanes similar to this Cleveland system is in the works for the Detroit area) 
Detroit,MICH,USA -MLive, by Khalil AlHajal -August 12, 2013: --The new CEO of the Regional Transit Authority has offered up a striking visual description of what the bus rapid transit system planned for Metro Detroit will look like... John Hertel was named last week to head the authority charged with coordinating and improving public transportation systems in Wayne, Oakland, Macomb and Washtenaw counties... Plans for a regional bus rapid transit system running along four main corridors have been in the works for years, and creation of the Regional Transit Authority earlier this year brought the project closer to reality...




* Gumi - OLEV-powered buses enter regular use in

(Image: One of Gumi's two new buses that will draw power from the road using the Online Electric Vehicle -OLEV- system) 
Gumi,South Korea -Gizmag, by Ben Coxworth -August 5, 2013: -- The South Korean city of Gumi’s transit system will see the addition of two electric buses that draw their power from the road. It’s the latest step in the development of the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology's (KAIST's) Online Electric Vehicle (OLEV) system, in which electric cables embedded in the asphalt provide power to vehicles traveling on its surface... The cables in the road produce magnetic fields, which receiving devices in the vehicles’ undersides pick up and convert into electricity. It can be a continuous process, or cables can be placed in separate locations along the road, providing ongoing top-ups to a relatively small battery within the vehicle. Typically, only about 5 to 15 percent of the road surface needs to be excavated for the embedding of the cables... The buses will run a 24-km (15-mile) round trip route in Gumi’s inner city between the train station and the In-dong district. They will maintain a 17-cm (6.7-in) gap between their underbodies and the asphalt the whole time, receiving 20 kHz and 100 kW (136 horsepower) of electricity at a maximum power transmission efficiency of 85 percent...