User-agent: Mediapartners-Google* Disallow: Buses World News: June 2014

Buses World News

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



* UK - Bus campaign to counter extremism

Gwent,EN,UK -South Wales Argus -29th June 2014: -- A British Muslim community is sponsoring 125 buses to run in the South-West of England and Wales – including Gwent – to mark 125 years since its foundation in 1889... It is part of a wider awareness campaign that has spanned the UK from Glasgow to Bournemouth and also sponsored buses across the UK during the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee... Its message is simple – that it stands for loyalty, freedom, equality, respect and peace, values common to Islam and Britain...


BUSMAKERS NEWS * Canada: Nova Bus'

* Quebec - Nova Bus gets $11.3M contract to make 20 buses

Saint-Eustache,QBC,CAN -The Press-Republican, by DAN HEATH -June 29, 2014: -- Nova Bus has secured a $11.3 million order for 20 compressed natural-gas-powered transit buses... The Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority, based in the Buffalo area, approved the purchase at a recent meeting... It includes an option for an additional 166 buses to be built at the Plattsburgh plant over a five-year period, with costs to be determined when the option is exercised...



* England - £90m drive to get more on buses

Yorkshire,EN,UK -Yorkshire Post -28 June 2014: -- Stagecoach is to spend a record £90​m on new ​buses as part of a drive to get more people travelling by public transport... The transport group, which runs bus​es and trams across Yorkshire, said revenues ​rose five per cent to £2.9​bn in the year to April 30, with pre-tax profits ​two per cent​ higher at £180.7​m.​.. The improvement was driven by the group’s regional bus division, which carried more passengers and increased revenues compared with a year ear- lier.​.. The investment will introduce over 500 new greener buses in its regional operations...



* South Africa’s City Sightseeing buses win top international awards

(Photo: All ready to go at Gold Reef City, Johannesburg) 
Johannesburg,SA -South Africa net, by Kate Turkington -27 June 2014: -- You’ve seen them all over the world – those iconic open-top red buses trundling their way round cities from Perth to Paris, from Sao Paulo to San Francisco. But have you tried the Johannesburg and Cape Town award-winning buses yet? ... Johannesburg boasts some of the best weather in the world, so a trip on one of our City Sightseeing buses is not only loads of fun, informative and eye opening, but it also gives you the opportunity to enjoy wonderful sunshine... City Sightseeing Joburg and Soweto has just won a prestigious award for the Best New City Sightseeing Operator of the Year...



* Ontario - Manufacturers cry foul over Buy American bill 

(Photo: A Prevost Greyhound bus) 
Ottawa,ONT,CAN -The Globe and Mail, by BARRIE MCKENNA -Jun. 27 2014: -- A move by the Obama administration to require 100 per cent U.S. content in all federally funded transit projects could decimate Canada’s bus and rail car industry... Canadian manufacturers are crying foul over a massive U.S. government-backed transportation bill they say will wreak havoc on existing supply chains and make it very difficult to continue making buses and subway cars in Canada... As with New Flyer, Nova Bus, owned by Volvo, has a plant in Plattsburgh, N.Y., to meet existing U.S. content rules on government-funded transit contracts... Coach bus maker Prévost, also owned by Volvo and based in Sainte-Claire, Que., is considering opening a plant in Plattsburgh, N.Y., if it wins a key contract with New York City transit authority – to meet local Buy American rules... The Canadian transit industry lost a key player in 2012, when Daimler AG of Germany shuttered its subsidiary, Orion Bus Industries of Mississauga, Ont., blaming slumping transit sales in North America...




* Otago / New Zealand: Smaller buses may be used future

(Photo: Otago's small bus, 22 in the fleet, is seen in the wet city centre on route to Pine Hill) 
Dunedin,Otago,NZ -ODT, by David Loughrey -27 Jun 2014: -- Smaller buses may be a part of Dunedin's revamped public transport system, as the Otago Regional Council looks for flexibility in the network... ORC support services manager Gerard Collings said yesterday as new contracts were awarded, the council would try to ''optimise'' bus sizes... The plan has been developed this year by the regional council, along with the Dunedin City Council, New Zealand Transport Agency, Queenstown Lakes District Council and bus companies... Use of smaller buses has been suggested as a way of providing a cheaper service on routes with lower patronage...


INFRASTRUCTURES * Canada: Fed up with crowded buses and gridlock in Toronto?

* Ontario - Metrolinx says relief is on the way — in about 10 years

(Photo by Darren Calabrese/National Post: Traffic moves past closed lanes at the corner of Eglinton Avenue and Oakwood Avenue as Metrolinx prepares to connect the Eglinton Crosstown LRT to the subway line in Toronto) 
Toronto,ONT,CAN -National Post, by Sammy Hudes -June 26, 2014: -- Metrolinx, the provincial agency tasked with improving public transit in greater Toronto, held a board meeting at its headquarters on Bay Street Thursday. Unfortunately for transit users frustrated with overcrowded streetcars and buses, relief appears to be a number of years away... The preliminary concept for Regional Express Rail would see electrification to each of Go Transit’s seven corridors in the GTHA, making trips 10-25% quicker and improving the frequency to as little as 15 minutes apart... The electrification process would take up to 10 years, and Metrolinx plans to present a more detailed service plan in September regarding the roll out...



* Arizona - New CNG buses for Sun Tran fleet

(Photo - New CNG Sun Tran buses)
Tucson,AZ,USA -The Tucson News Now, by Elizabeth Walton -Jun 26, 2014: -- Passengers may notice a change in several of the Sun Tran buses they ride, the fleet will soon have 24 buses that use compressed natural gas, according to a recent release... These new buses use a newer CNG engine, which produces lower emissions than standard fuel and older CNG buses; they will replace the 14-year-old CNG fueled vehicles that are currently being used... Other enhanced features of the new buses are low-floor, ramps and kneeling features to allow for more convenient boarding of passengers with disabilities; as an added safety feature the buses will have on-board cameras...




Stockholm - Electric hybrid buses with quick-charge facility demonstrated in 

Stockholm,Sweden -Corporate Vattenhall -25 June 2014: -- Volvo, Vattenfall and SL in cooperation for tomorrow's public transport... Stockholm is set to demonstrate and evaluate how buses with electric power can contribute to better living conditions. This is part of ZeEUS, an EU project being conducted in six European countries. Starting this autumn, eight Volvo electric hybrid buses will enter regular operations in the city. The technology these buses use will offer significantly reduced energy consumption, lower exhaust emissions and less noise. Behind the demo project, which is co-financed by the EU, are Volvo Buses, SL (Stockholm Public Transport) and energy provider Vattenfall... As of this autumn and for two years ahead, eight Volvo electric hybrid buses will be put into regular operations on SL's Route 73, which goes through the heart of central Stockholm...



* Pennsylvania - Bethlehem Area are record audio as well as video on school buses

(Photo: A Bethlehem Area School District bus) 
Bethlehem,PENN,USA -The Morning Call, by Adam Clark -June 24, 2014: -- Bethlehem Area School District will have a new form of instant replay to consult this fall when investigating reports of bullying... The district, which has long recorded video on its school buses, will also record audio under a policy passed 6-3 at Monday's school board meeting... Recordings will not be monitored daily but will be reviewed in instances of alleged bullying, Superintendent Joseph Roy said...


SAFETY BUSES * Singapore

* Singapore - LTA looking into issue of blind spots on big buses

(Photo by KUA CHEE SIONG: A tour group boarding a bus)
Singapore -The Strait Times, by ROYSTON SIM -June 25, 2014: -- Guidelines and standards for large buses are to be examined to see if more can be done to help their drivers observe blind spots, the Land Transport Authority (LTA) said yesterday. The announcement came a day after a coroner's inquiry into the death of three-year-old Kryshan Nirmal Kumar - who was run over by a bus at a cemetery off Old Chu Kang Road last December - suggested that the placement and design of blind spot mirrors for buses should be examined...  Bus operators yesterday also acknowledged that more can be done to tackle the problem. They say one option is to install cameras, and the Singapore School Transport Association has met a government agency to discuss funding for them...



* Penang / Malaysia - Rapid introduces 13 new buses

(Photo: Rapid Penang in Jetty Bus Terminal) 
George Town,Penang,Malaysia -New Strait Times, by MUHAMAD SYAKIR ABDUL WAHAB -24 June 2014: -- Rapid Bus Sdn Bhd has introduced a fleet of 13 new fully-seated buses to support its Bridge Express Shuttle Transit (Best) services recently... The new bus, scheduled for long-distance travel, consists of 41 seats compared to the regular Rapid bus which has only 26 seats... It is also equipped with closed-circuit television (CCTV) cameras with recording capabilities and global positioning system (GPS) for bus tracking purposes...

* Massachusetts / USA - Bridj startup plans to roll out big data, luxury buses, beat the T for commuters

(Photo by Dian Zhang - A Bridj worker readies a 14-passenger Mercedes-Benz van for a daily commute to Kendall Square) 
Kendall Square,Cambridge,MASS,USA -The Cambridge Day, by Dian Zhang -June 24, 2014: -- A new company is joining services such as Zipcar and Uber in competing with traditional transportation such as taxi and the T: Bridj. Based on Main Street in Kendall Square, Bridj’s founders claim it is the world’s first smart transit system using big data to find where people live and work, then using luxury buses to help them commute... Bridj launched its first test shuttle June 2 and has about 10,000 people signed up. Still in testing phase, the service is free until mid-July, when prices from $5 to $8 per ride will be rolled out along with payment structures such as weekly passes... With $ 1.1 million funded and another $3 million to 4 million in investments to be announced, Bridj plans to expand to a couple more cities in the next move, George said. Major cities in China, India and Japan are being considered too. More details will be announced in the future...



* Hawaii - Hydrogen-powered buses coming to Big Island

(Photo: Hawaiian park to introduce two hybrid buses using both hybrid battery and hydrogen fuel)
Kailua-Kona North,Hawai,USA -West Hawaii Today, by TOM CALLIS -June 24, 2014: -- Hawaii Island could be less than a year away from having some of the first hydrogen-powered buses in the state on its roadways... As part of a pilot project spearheaded by the Hawaii Natural Energy Institute, three shuttle buses will be converted to hydrogen power... At 10 cents a kilowatt hour, the cost of using hydrogen could be equivalent to $6 dollars a gallon for gasoline. The electric engines the hydrogen powers are more efficient, which essentially cuts that cost in half, to roughly $3 a gallon for comparison purposes... Another benefit is the absence of pollutants... The buses can drive for up to 150 miles on a “full charge of hydrogen,” Stan Osserman, HCATT director, he said the Big Island’s abundance of renewable resources makes it a promising place for using hydrogen-powered vehicles, which is why the buses are being located here...

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* New-energy buses launched with China Yuchai Engines

(Photo: The Yutong city bus is 10.5 meters long with a capacity of 79 passengers. It is a natural gas-electric hybrid bus) 
Singapore -PRNewswire/MarketWatch (USA) -June 24, 2014: -- China Yuchai International Limited announced today that new-energy buses running on engines supplied by the Company's main operating subsidiary, Guangxi Yuchai Machinery Company Limited, have been launched in Fushun City, Liaoning Province located in Northeast China... As a national pilot city for new-energy buses, Fushun has made its first large purchase of new-energy buses from Zhengzhou Yutong Bus Company. Out of the 800 new buses ordered, 600 buses were installed with GYMCL's gas-electric hybrid engines with the remaining 200 buses running on GYMCL's liquefied natural gas engines...



* New York - Take Action: File complaints with NJ Transit Buses

New York, NY,USA -Chekpeds -June 22, 2014: -- Every weekday afternoon our neighborhood is overrun by New Jersey Transit buses: they congest our streets, block our crosswalks, and ruin our quality of life. This problem is not just a nuisance it is a pedestrian safety issue... We have reached out to the NYPD for assistance and have seen little improvement. It’s time for us to take a different approach, and the first step is to begin filing formal complaints with New Jersey Transit. Every time you witness a New Jersey Transit bus creating an unsafe traffic condition file a complaint on the NJT website... Be sure to include the date and time of the incident, the route and bus number, and as much detail as possible, the form also allows you to include an attachment, so take pictures. Keep track of the complaint information in case its needed at a later date. You can log the complaint in NJT page. The more complaints we lodge with New Jersey Transit the stronger our case will be when we request assistance from New Jersey Transit and our elected officials in finally resolving this dangerous situation. So start filing complaints and share this information with your networks...




* Oregon - e-Bus Rolls into PDX

(Photo: A prototype of the BYD electric bus) 
Astoria,ORE,USA -Portland Radio Project/The Daily Astorian, by REBECCA WEBB -June 22, 2014: -- If you catch the bus over the next couple of weeks, you might get to ride on an experimental electric bus - an e-bus... For the first time, TriMet is test-driving an all-electric bus in the Portland area. And if it happens to stop at your stop, you'll get a free ride - since the e-bus is not yet equipped with a fare box... The electric buses, made by Chinese-owned Build Your Dreams (BYD) Motors, are also being tested in other U.S. cities (such as Manhattan, where the Metropolitan Transportation Authority rolled out a similar e-bus, last year) along with Canada, Europe and South and Central America. With a range of over 155 miles on a single charge, BYD e-buses meet an estimated 80 percent of urban transit needs, and are widely used in Shenzhen and other Chinese cities... BYD's e-buses use iron-phosphate powered batteries which the company claims are non-toxic and environmentally friendly...



* England - London buses are about to get smarter

London,EN,UK -Tech Digest, by James O'Malley -June 23, 2014: -- Transport for London (TfL) is currently testing a couple of new techie innovations in buses: live maps to show you where you are, and impressively/terrifyingly, a display showing how many seats are free upstairs... TfL seem to be working on making the bus experience (marginally) better. According to IanVisits, a couple of clever innovations is on the way... Firstly, buses could soon be getting screens mounted at the bottom of the stairs that show a map and the real time location of the bus. Using data from Open Street Map, it'll also display the names and locations of the next few stops, and how long it will take for the bus to get there... Not only will this be great for tourists, but it should reduce the feeling for seasoned Londoners visiting an unfamiliar part of the city of going on a mystery tour... The other innovation is both clever and potentially disturbing: These same screens could soon apparently be showing the number of free seats on the upper deck, to save you the trip up top if it is full...


STOP-WORKING * New Zealand

* Wellington - Bus drivers plan stop-work meeting

(Photo: Wellington's buses) Wellington New Zealand -Stuff, by TIM DONOGHUE -23 June 2014: -- Bus services in Wellington and the Hutt Valley will be "severely affected" on Wednesday when bus drivers will hold a stopwork meeting to discuss the effects of phasing out trolley buses... The 500 drivers employed by Go Wellington and Valley Flyer fear their wages and conditions could be eroded if rival bus companies tender for services once the trolley wires come down in 2017... Manufacturing and Construction Workers Union secretary Graeme Clarke, who represents workshop crews servicing the buses, conceded it was an unusual situation for the union to find itself publicly in agreement with Fulljames and NZ Bus...




* California - San Francisco Shower Bus gives homeless a place yo get clean

(Photo: ALava Mae shower bus) 
San Francisco,CAL,USA -CBS -June 21, 2014: -- San Francisco has 3500 homeless people living on the streets and just seven facilities for them to wash up. Relief is on the way... From a distance, it looks like a food truck, but step inside and it’s clear, there’s no food here. It’s called a Lava Mae... Doniece Sandoval is the founder. She came up with the idea of converting old Muni buses into showers two years ago... The shower buses will run off city fire hydrants. Lava Mae worked out a deal with the city to use and pay for the water... The great recession drained the number of city shower facilities from ten to seven, forcing the homeless to put their names on waiting lists just to clean up. Sandoval hopes to fill the gap the city left behind while helping the homeless get back on their feet... The shower bus is one such resource. But it’s a pricey solution... It costs $75,000 to convert a Lava Mae bus. Still, this Bay Area idea is quickly gaining traction worldwide. There are now programs in Singapore and Brazil...



BUSMAKERS NEWS * Germany: Daimler's

* Daimler Buses to exhibit three buses at RDA Workshop 

Stuttgart,Germany -Daimler PR -Jun 20, 2014: -- Daimler AG plans to present three vehicles from its current range of premium buses at the 40th RDA Workshop in Cologne (29 - 31 July 2014)...
(Photo: The Setra TopClass 500 offers passengers exceptional spaciousness and comfort)
At its joint stand with Mercedes-Benz, Setra, the brand from Neu-Ulm, will be showcasing the S 516 HDH luxury coach (above) from its new TopClass 500... The Sprinter Travel 65 (below) exemplifies the all-new Euro VI generation of minibuses with numerous innovations in vehicle technology...

At this year's RDA Workshop, the Mercedes-Benz Travego will be on view in an attractive touring version with Euro VI technology...



* Maine - Bus refurbishing group gets $19 million contract 

Augusta,Maine,USA -AP/The Washington Times -June 20, 2014: -- A business that got its start overhauling military vehicles has been awarded a $19 million contract to refurbish 32 Massachusetts transit buses... The Massachusetts Bay Transit Authority board of directors approved the contract with the Maine Military Authority in Limestone. He says the contract could increase to $24 million with optional and additional tasks... The quasi-state agency has refurbished thousands of military vehicles at the former Loring Air Force Base in Limestone since it began in 1997. It has moved to buses as military budgets have declined... MMA spokesman Tim McCabe says rehabilitating the buses will increase the 12-year life expectancy of the vehicles by another six years...


GREEN BUSES * USA: Florida's

* Port Charlotte school buses to run on natural gas

Port Charlotte,FL,USA -NBC2 News, by Chris Gilmore -Jun 20, 2014: -- Charlotte County School board members have made a major investment in their bus fleet. They approved a contract to convert 30 of their buses to run on natural gas... Board members say the change will save them money in the long run... As the school district phases out their buses that regularly run on diesel fuel, they will be spending up to $155,000 each to buy the new CNG buses... Things even out when the projected $100,000 savings in annual fuel costs is introduced...



* Oregon - TriMet's two-week electric bus test

(Photos by Michael Lloyd/The Oregonian: TriMet will begin testing an all-electric bus on various routes starting next week) 
Beaverton,ORE,USA -The Oregonian, by Joseph Rose- June 20, 2014: -- TriMet announced Friday that it will test its first all-electric bus on selected routes over the next two weeks... If you're lucky and the zero-emissions Build Your Dreams Motors bus pulls up to your stop, you get a free ride...
The BYD Electric buses run entirely off battery power lasting up to 24 hours on a single charge, with single off-peak charging time of two to four hours. The nine buses would reduce emissions of nitric oxide and nitrogen dioxide that contribute to the creation of ozone by an estimated 330 kilograms per year, and carbon dioxide greenhouse gas by an estimated 896 metric tons per year...


TRANSPORTATION NEWS * India: DTC buses' - PMPML's Strike

700 DTC buses break down every day

New Delhi,India -The Times of India, by Rumu Banerjee -Jun 20, 2014: -- The Delhi Transport Corporation finds itself facing an unprecedented crisis of breakdowns. The corporation has admitted that 600-700 of its buses have been failing every day in the past few weeks - that's roughly one in every six DTC bus on the road and an unheard of breakdown rate of almost 16%... Add to that an average of 33 cluster buses that fail on the road every day and you get a picture of the breakdown epidemic facing the public transport system in Delhi, mainly on account of DTC's aging and inefficient fleet. Officials admit the corporation is so busy repairing its broken vehicles each day that services are hit... The fact that most other DTC buses plying on the roads are headed for scrap-having outlived their life- adds to the problem. Spare-parts for these buses are difficult to come by, thus leading to more break downs...

* Maharashtra - Bus drivers go on strike

(Photo: Pune it seems to have the worst public transport in India) Pune,Maharashtra,India -The Times of India -Jun 20, 2014: -- About 40 PMPML buses, operated by a private transport operator, were off roads in Pimpri Chinchwad on Thursday following a strike by the drivers. All the buses are from Bhosari depot... PMPML officials, however, said that the bus services were not disrupted as the buses were taken from other depots... Although the reason for the strike is not certain, the drivers claim that they have not received their salaries in the past couple of months. PMPML has over 300 buses operated by different private operators. The transport undertaking pays the operators on the basis of kilometres covered by each bus per day... PMPML officials said that they have no idea whether the drivers would resume work on Friday...



* California - Google, other buses to take parking spaces

(Photo by Mike Kepka, The Chronicle: A group of Google employees load up on a Google bus at 24th Street at Valencia Street in April) 
San Francisco,CAL,USA -San Francisco Chronicle, by Michael Cabanatuan -June 19, 2014: -- In case the critics needed another reason to denounce Google buses and the other sleek corporate shuttles being blamed for the demise of this fair city, here's one: The Municipal Transportation Agency's 18-month test to allow the private buses to use select Muni bus stops will take away parking - something certain to provoke a fight in San Francisco... On Friday, the MTA will hold a hearing on a number of changes allowing corporate shuttles to use certain Muni stops. And some of those stops will need to be extended, which will take away parking spaces...



* Ontario - TTC buses to get Wi-Fi, but don’t fire up your tablets yet

(Photo by RANDY RISLING / TORONTO STAR: It’s part of a new dispatch system that will keep buses better organized, but transit officials aren't promising to provide access to riders)
Toronto,ONT,CAN -The Star, by Tess Kalinowski -Jun 19 2014: -- The TTC will begin installing the technology to make its buses and streetcars Wi-Fi capable in 2016... Although transit officials are promising better service as a result, it doesn’t necessarily mean commuters will be able to browse the Internet... The Wi-Fi capability is part of the $95-million computer-aided dispatch automatic vehicle location system (CAD/AVL) that will replace the 1970s system the TTC uses to communicate with bus and streetcar drivers, according to a report before the TTC board on Tuesday... The technology is considered crucial to making the TTC’s surface routes more reliable by alerting the control rooms that track vehicle movements to buses or streetcars that are veering off-route or off-schedule, said TTC spokesman Brad Ross...



* Indiana - FWCS gets state grant to slash bus emissions

(Photo by Samuel Hoffman/The Journal Gazette: Clarence Erickson of Hug Filtersystems explains the diesel particulate filters that Fort Wayne Community Schools will install on its buses)
Fort Wayne,IND,USA -Fort Wayne, by Julie Crothers -18 June 2014: -- A more than $314,000 state grant will help reduce pollutants emitted from Fort Wayne Community Schools buses, school officials said Tuesday. FWCS received a grant from the Indiana Department of Environmental Management to pay for the installation of diesel particulate filters on two dozen 82-passenger buses. The grant will also cover the cost of the equipment to clean and maintain the filters...  The Hug Filtersystems filters are designed to remove diesel particulate matter, also called soot, at an efficiency rate of 85 percent to 99 percent... The filters work by burning the accumulating soot continuously keeping them clean will also save money long-term...




* Texas - Board approves 4 new buses for Sanger ISD 

(Photo: Purple Bus Project) 
Denton,TXS,USA -Denton R.C., by Britney Tabor -18 June 2014: -- The Sanger school district will soon add four new school buses to its fleet... At a school board meeting last week, trustees gave their approval for the district to purchase two 71-passenger buses and two 14-passenger buses, according to Eric Beam, Sanger’s deputy superintendent... One 71-passenger bus will be powered by propane and one by diesel, and one of the 14-passenger buses will be equipped with a wheelchair lift, Beam said. Costs total $328,000... The purchase of additional buses was among the top priorities included in an estimated $2.5 million capital improvement project list Superintendent Kent Crutsinger presented to the school board last fall...

* Missouri - BOE approves nine new buses

Morgan,MO,USA -Hartselle Enquirer -June 18, 2014: -- Morgan County School Board approved the purchase of nine new school buses at a cost of $757,943.60 at its regular monthly meeting Thursday night... Two of the buses ($83,755.08) are equipped to accommodate special needs students while the other seven ($73,804.18 each) are full size with the capacity to accommodate 72 students...The buses will be purchased using Fleet Renewal funds...

* New Jersey - Freehold Regional board will buy six school buses 

Manalapan,NJ,USA -Tri Town News, by JACK MURTHA -19 June 2014: -- The Freehold Regional High School District should roll out several new school buses in the 2014-15 school year... At its June 9 meeting, the Board of Education approved the purchase of six 29- passenger buses from Wolfington Body Co., Mount Holly... Each bus will cost just under $55,183, for a total price of $331,100, according to the district... The board completed the purchase through the Middlesex Regional Educational...



* Washington - Economics fuel change to propane buses in Toppenish

(Photo by GORDON KING/Yakima Herald-Republic: The Toppenish School District has recently acquired two propane-powered buses and Thorington believes they will be cheaper to operate than conventional diesel-powered buses) 
Topenish,Yakima,WASH,USA -Yakima Herald-Republic, by Rafael Guerrero -June 19, 2014: -- From the exterior, the Toppenish School District’s two newest school buses look like the others in the fleet of 20. But a closer look reveals green stickers at the back and near the passenger doors. One word — propane — tells the story... Toppenish this month became one of a handful of school districts in the state to inch toward propane by adding two propane-powered school buses in an effort to fight rising diesel prices by finding a cleaner and cheaper fuel... The main objective for Toppenish is to trim fuel costs. The district has already spent more than $90,000 on diesel in the 2013-14 school year; there are no projections yet on how much the district will save, but fuel costs will go down... There are no immediate plans to purchase more propane-powered buses, but that could change if the rollout goes well. Ideally, District Transportation Director Blaine Thorington said, they could replace half of the district’s 20-bus diesel fleet...



* S.K. - Seoul to get double-decker buses to ease overcrowding

(Photo from Getty Images: An old Routemaster double-decker bus in London) 
 Seoul,South Korea -The W.S.J., by Kwanwoo Jun -June 19, 2014: -- The streets of Seoul will likely resemble those of London or Hong Kong next year... South Korea’s transport ministry is planning to introduce double-decker buses in 2015 to alleviate overcrowding for commuters traveling between Seoul and its surrounding suburban areas... The transport ministry confirmed on Wednesday it will introduce a fleet of 20 double-decker buses for commuters making the journey between the capital Seoul and its surrounding Gyeonggi Province and nearby Incheon city in 2015 as a pilot project... Overcrowded commuter buses have become a major safety concern as they travel on high-speed expressways with some passengers standing all the way, the ministry said... The ministry last week announced a plan to add 222 buses—all single-decker— in July to the existing fleet of 1,629 commuter vehicles. The buses carry a total of 110,000 people on weekdays between Seoul and suburban areas...



* Thailand - Federation of Thai Industries' pitches local buses to agencies

(Photo: The bus from Bangkok's Eastern Bus Terminal -Ekamai- to Ban Phe) 
Bangkok,Thailand -The Bangkok Post, by Piyachart Maikaew -19 Jun 2014: -- State agencies are being urged to buy locally assembled buses to help stimulate the sagging bus industry... The BMTA is preparing a procurement programme for 3,183 natural gas buses worth up to 13 billion baht... Major bus makers such as Hino, Isuzu, Volvo, Mercedes-Benz and Scania import chassis for body assembly at their Thai factories. Local independent factories also import chassis for body assembly here... Last year, 756 buses were assembled in Thailand, up by 30% from 2012... Bus output reportedly fell by 29% to 238 in the first five months of this year... Of the five-month production, passenger cars made up 312,748 vehicles, down by 37%, while pickup trucks constituted 471,238 units, down 22%. Domestic sales in May fell by 38% year-on-year to 69,681 vehicles...




* California - Proterra, aims to follow the Tesla model

Palo Alto, CAL,USA -Bloomberg News, by Ashlee Vance -June 18, 2014: -- Proterra, which makes an $850,000 electric bus, he’s got a tougher audience: municipal governments that are used to paying as little as $300,000 for a diesel-guzzler... But Ryan Popple, Tesla Motors (TSLA) senior finance analyst says, each bus requires $5,000 to $10,000 worth of juice per year, compared with annual costs of about $50,000 per diesel bus or $30,000 for one that uses natural gas. The downside is the bus runs only about 50 miles on a full charge. Proterra’s solution is a $600,000 station that fully recharges the vehicle in just 10 minutes. In March, Reno, Nev., began using four Proterra buses to cover a six-mile loop, partially charging them for two or three minutes at the end of each 20-minute circuit... Production of a cheaper, roomier, more efficient Proterra bus is slated to begin this year once the company has completed earlier orders. Popple, who has moved to South Carolina, says he’s focused on boosting sales city by city and on speeding production to fill those orders. Each bus takes about 1,000 hours to make, down from 4,000. According to TechNavio, Proterra is known within the industry for its strong RandD team, but BYD has the bigger presence abroad. China is the top buyer, so if Popple can sell enough U.S. cities on his buses, that may be the next stop...


TECHNO BUSES * Switzerland: TOSA electric bus

* Switzerland - Battery-topped electric buses flash charge in 15 seconds

  (Video from YouTube: A TOSA bus in service at a charging station. These electric buses can charge up at a stop in the amount of time it takes for passengers to get on and off) 
Geneva,Switzerland -CNET, by Amanda Kooser -June 16, 2014: -- Electric buses are coveted for quietly keeping emissions out of the air. Many of these big vehicles hook into an overhead power line to keep them running. Those lines are unsightly and can require a lot of infrastructure work to install. You could get rid of overhead power lies by running buses solely on batteries, but it's a challenge keeping those batteries charged for long days of operation... The TOSA (Trolleybus Optimisation Système Alimentation) pilot project is testing electric buses with an unusual method for keeping charged up. The articulated bus has a battery pack on top of the vehicle. When it pulls into certain stations, it connects through a robotic arm to what is essentially an electric bus dock. A 15-second rapid flash charge helps to keep the buses running all day... Getting to this test phase required the use of a complex mathematical model that takes into account variables ranging from the cost of batteries to the placement of recharging stations to electricity rates. The pilot project acts as a real-life proof for the concepts behind TOSA. Geneva is the first city expected to adopt a TOSA bus line as part of its regular service, with a start date sometime in 2017...

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STRIKE * India: Bengal Bus Syndicate´s

* West Bengal - Fare war's back: Brace for bus strike from June 25-27

(Photo from NDTV: Bus strike in West Bengal) Kolkata,W.Bengal,India -Times of India -June 17, 2014: -- Private bus and minibus operators have called a three-day strike from June 25 demanding an immediate fare hike... Many operators have pulled buses off the roads over the last couple of years citing unmanageable losses because the state has not matched fares with diesel price hikes. Commuters may face flash strike calls with no regard for their crippling effect on the city... Transport minister Madan Mitra said rolls out the entire state fleet, it will be of little help if private buses stay away. Transport department's records show that government buses collectively carry only 15.60 lakh passengers while private buses carry 62.5 lakh passengers daily. As things stand now, 35,000 buses and mini-buses, 30,000 taxis and 16,000 luxury taxis will be off the roads for three busy weekdays in hot and humid June... Although diesel price has gone up several times, the state did not increase bus fares in tune with the hikes, said Dipak Sarkar, vice-president of Bengal Bus Syndicate...



TECHNO-BUSES * Sweden: Volvo´s

* Volvo to test electric road that charges buses as they're in motion

(Photo: Volvo is planning to test an electric road concept that will charge buses on the fly) 
Stockholm,Sweden -Gizmag, by Stu Robarts -May 20, 2014: -- Volvo has announced plans to study the potential for electric roads that charge buses as they're being driven. The study will be carried out in partnership with the Swedish Transport Administration to further develop sustainable transport. A stretch of electric road may be built in Gothenburg for testing... Volvo has already been testing electric rails built into the road as a means of powering long-haul trucks. It also already produces environmentally-friendly electric buses that are used in Gothenburg... Now, it will look at the feasibility of combining those two concepts. The idea would allow vehicles to be charged wirelessly while they are on the move, without their having to be stationary at a charging point. The vehicles would be charged via electromagnetic induction, in the same way that some electric buses in Korea already are...


LUXURY VANS * Germany: Autobahn's

* Germany - Airstream turns the Mercedes Sprinter into an ultra-luxury van

(Photo: The Autobahn interior gives passengers a spacious, comfortable ride full of amenities) 
Gizmag, by C.C. Weiss -June 9, 2014: -- Airstream is best known for its line of iconic silver-bullet trailers, which includes the International Sterling. If its newly-introduced Autobahn is any indication, it may soon become better known for luxury vans... It reportedly draws upon the luxury and attention to detail of the private jet... Airstream has reworked the Sprinter interior with a focus on spaciousness and high-end furnishings and entertainment... The Airstream is built on the Mercedes Sprinter 3500 Series... The Autobahn is based on the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter 3500 Series with a 188-hp 3.0-liter V6 turbo diesel and five-speed automatic. The model includes a variety of Mercedes' driving assistance systems, such as collision prevention assist, lane-keeping assist and blind spot assist...