User-agent: Mediapartners-Google* Disallow: Buses World News: January 2015

Buses World News

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



* USA - Bus Etiquette  I

San Francisco,CAL,USA -A You Tube film by BostWiki - 3 Nov 2015

* Canada - Bus Etiquete II: TransLink Transit: The basics
Vancouver,BC,Can - Video from You Tube, by Sarah's Vlog - Mar 3, 2011:  First time using public transit in Metro Vancouver? Watch the video to learn about fares, riding the buses or SkyTrain and proper transit etiquette.
* B.C. / Canada - Bus Etiquette III: UBC Line Rapid Transit Study situation  analysis

Video from TransLink - Mar 3, 2011: -- Learn about the transportation opportunities and challenges, and why rapid transit is important for the Broadway corridor to UBC. Stay up-to-date on the UBC Line Rapid Transit Study by visiting


* Pennsylvania / USA - Bus-wreck passengers sue GPS-device makers

(Image: Bus crash. Boston Fire Department - In this photo released by the Boston Fire Department via Twitter, firemen work to remove injured passengers from a bus that hit an bridge as it traveled along Soldiers Field Road in the Allston neighborhood of Boston Saturday night, Feb. 2, 2013. Officials said the bus carrying 42 people was traveling from Harvard University home to Pennsylvania when it struck the overpass)
-- Eleven Philadelphia-area passengers injured in a 2013 bus crash in Boston have sued the makers of the GPS devices allegedly used by the bus driver... The bus, carrying 33 students and nine chaperones, was returning to Bucks County from a day at Harvard University when it struck an overpass. The group was from the Destined For a Dream Foundation in Bristol, a nonprofit organization for underprivileged youths... The suit, filed Friday in Boston, claims the Tomtom and Garmin GPS devices put the bus driver on an inappropriate route "in disregard of a foreseeable and foreseen risk"... The suit also named as defendants the Bucks County bus driver and owner, the bus manufacturers, and the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation, which maintained the road and its signs... Philadelphia,PENN,USA -Philly, by Paul Nussbaum -January 26, 2015


BUSMAKER NEWS * Belarusian Machine Building: Once A Nation's Pride, Now A Burden?

In Soviet times, became a recognised brand of the country and brought economic growth. Not anymore !

(Photo: Trucks assembly line of Minsk Automobile Plant)
 -- The decline in the industry has influenced the whole country. The state's economy suffers losses not only in the machine building sector itself, but also across other industries associated with it... According to the Ministry of Finance, the Belarusian Automobile Plant, the Minsk Automobile Plant and the Minsk Tractor Plant lost $76m over a nine month period in 2014... Belarus has no choice but to abandon its focus on a shrinking Russian market. The idea of privatising these enterprises by Western company may yet emerge among Belarusian decision makers. Keeping these enterprises in the state's hands costs too much and their privatisation by China or Iran, as previous projects show, may bring frugal results... The demand in the Russian market has declined not only because of the crisis, but also due to competition. Many companies like Volvo, John Deere Rus, CAT, Komatsu, Terex have assembly plants in Russia... Additionally, Belarusian enterprises have traditional problems associated with an authoritarian economic control model. Plants often supply their equipment to state-owned enterprises for free, public managers are afraid to be proactive and cannot pay enough money for innovation... Minsk,Belarus -The Belarus Digest, by Ryhor Astapenia -27 January 2015


WEATHER TROUBLES * USA - Snowstorm in the New York region

* New York - Northeast blizzard keeps schools closed, buses grounded 

(Photo from Shutterstock - A snowplow clears a street in Brooklyn Heights, New York, on Monday, Jan. 26, 2015. Winter Storm Juno closed schools across the Northeast, but New York City schools were scheduled to reopen Wednesday albeit with bus delays)
-- A snowplow clears a street in Brooklyn Heights, New York, on Monday, Jan. 26, 2015. Winter Storm Juno closed schools across the Northeast, but New York City schools were scheduled to reopen Wednesday albeit with bus delays... Many schools throughout the Northeast were closed Tuesday and were expected to remain that way Wednesday, with school buses grounded as a result, as the so-called "Blizzard of 2015" continued to dump snow and even flood coastal areas. An additional 2 to 4 inches of snow were expected overnight in Boston with a Blizzard Warning continuing until 8 p.m. local time. The area already accumulated more than two feet of snow from Winter Storm Juno, which poured on seven states ranging from Rhode Island in the south to Maine in the north. All school sites in Boston Public Schools were closed Tuesday and again were scheduled to be closed Wednesday, according to the district's website. Schools were also closed throughout New Jersey on Tuesday due to snow and ice, said Trenton Public Schools, adding that GovChris Christie also closed all state offices. Trenton said classes were set to resume Wednesday... Providence Public Schools in Connecticut were scheduled to remain closed on Wednesday "for ongoing cleanup," the district website said, but district buildings were scheduled to be open. In Maine, Portland Public Schools said school was also to remain closed Wednesday "due to the prolonged severe snowstorm and difficulties in safely clearing roads and sidewalks" ... Brooklyn Heights,NY,USA -School Transportation News, by Ryan Gray -January 27, 2015:

* Staten Insland - Buses and boats running for evening commute

(Photo Staten Island Advance, by Hilton Flores - Afternoon snowfall as traffic moving along Clove Road, near Foote Avenue. January 26, 2015)
-- It's 5 p.m. and the evening rush has arrived for borough commuters who were unable to leave work early... Delays have been reported on most main Staten Island streets for the last hour and a half due to the large volume of workers leaving in the early afternoon... The Whitehall Ferry Terminal was packed with commuters heading home this afternoon, and some express bus riders phoned the Advance to report full buses passing by the stops... Staten Island,NY,USA -SI Live, by Eddie DAnna -January 26, 2015

* New Jersey - Two commuter buses to start early service because of impending storm

(Photo by Larry Higgs - NJ Advance MediaAn NJ Transit bus rolls through falling snow in Jersey City this morning) 
-- Two private bus operators will offer early service from New York City due to the impending snow storm, and NJ Transit officials said they have extra buses and drivers ready to roll where they're needed...   Suburban Transit, which runs commuter service between New York and Central Jersey, will begin operating service from its Wall Street and Crosstown locations at 1:30 p.m. ...  Community Coach, run by Coach USA, will start early departures from the Port Authority at 1:15 p.m. Service will operate continuously until 6 p.m. After then, service will be limited or may be cancelled due to road conditions... NJ Transit has extra buses and drivers on stand-by at various locations to respond as needed, said Nancy Snyder, an NJ Transit spokeswoman. NJ Transit buses continue to run on a regular weekday schedule... NJ,USA -NJ Advance Media, by Larry Higgs -January 26, 2015



CHARTER BUSES - Skedaddle now lets you customize your route to the Mid-Atlantic

(Image via Creative Commons/ Paul Sullivan) 
-- Boston witnessed a surge in transportation startups in 2014. From parking apps to customized bus routes, it seems that almost every facet of the transportation sector is getting an infusion of new tech-enabled ideas. Now, Skeddadle, a bus-sharing service that launched earlier this month, is already expanding out of New England. Skeddadle's service differs from the likes of pop-up bus Bridj... Skedaddle allows users to reserve charter buses and invite as many fellow passengers along as the bus will allow. Think of it as a party bus, but on a larger scale... Now, co-founder and CEO Adam Nestler told BostInno that Skedaddle is moving serving into the Mid-Atlantic – specifically Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Maryland, Delaware, Washington D.C., Virginia and North Carolina... Boston,MASS,USA -Bostinno, by Nick DeLuca -23 Jan 15


* Venezuela - Receives over 250 new Chinese buses

(Photo: AVN - Venezuelan public transport: New China's buses)
-- Venezuela received 258 new buses from China this week, under a series of bilateral deals that have seen Beijing make a slew of major contributions to Venezuelan public transport in recent years... All the new buses were produced by Chinese conglomerate Yutong, and most are slated for use in urban public transport... The delivery is the latest in a series of Chinese contributions to Venezuelan public transport... The first shipment of 350 Yutong buses under the latest bilateral transport agreement arrived in Venezuela in December 2014. In total, Venezuela is expected to receive 1500 buses under the deal. Venezuela has already purchased thousands more buses from the same Chinese company, under what Maduro has labeled a drive to “modernize” his nation's public transport system... Caracas,Venezuela -Telesur TV -24 January 2015

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BUS WORKERS SPEAK * UK: "Why are you late?" ...

* England - ... All the controllers say that !!!

(Pic: - London buses stranded by last week’s strike) 
London,EN,UK -The Socialist Worker, by Raymie Kiernan -20 Jan 2015: -- Strikes by London bus drivers have brought the state of the capital’s transport service to the fore. Most people think driving a bus must be stressful, but have little idea of the unrelenting pressure put on drivers. Mostafa, a driver, spoke to about the pressures of work bus driver: “The controlers talk down to the drivers like we don’t exist. They don’t understand what is going on... We get harassed. All they see is that buses are running close together. Every driver’s cab has an ‘ibus’ screen that shows how close their bus is to the one in front of them” ...   The pressure comes from the top. Mostafa points out, Transport for London’s (TfL) tendering process for contracts is not about providing a proper service to the public ... It’s all about mileage. The companies want to show TfL that the service is running perfectly to avoid getting penalised. They force drivers to do more than what their duties require them to do ...    That makes an already stressful job worse. Mostafa said, “We’ve got a bus full of passengers, while we are dealing with the traffic on the roads"...


ELECTRIC BUSES * Switzerland: With troubles

Electric buses suffer teething problems

Geneve,Swiss -WRS Radio/BBC World, by Mark -21 Jan 2015: -- The two Italian built electric minibuses running around the Geneva old town are still suffering from teething problems... The Ville de Genève donated the buses to the TPG in December, and very quickly problems with the doors and the motors meant they had to be replaced with diesel driven buses... They are now back on the road – but one of them has now developed a strange noise, so is off the road again... The TPG says it’s normal to have teething problems – and points out they are still under warranty...



* England - SMMT to host commercial vehicle air quality debate

(Photo:Prakash Singh/Agence France-Presse/Getty Images -Jan. 31: Indian commuters waited for a bus on a polluted morning in New Delhi) 
London,EN,UK -Fleet News -16 Jan 2015: -- SMMT will host a debate in February on the bus, coach and commercial vehicle sectors’ contribution to improving air quality... Aimed at national and local government policy stakeholders, fleet operators and vehicle manufacturers, the event will showcase clean air technology embedded in the latest buses, trucks and vans, and investigate potential policy frameworks for clean air in the UK... SMMT Improving Air Quality: The Commercial Vehicle Contribution, an invite-only event in London on February 11, 2015, will address concerns about emissions hotspots, and demonstrate how the latest vehicle technology is already playing a vital role in delivering on strict targets for UK emissions reductions... Delegates will hear from commercial vehicle and bus manufacturers, including Ford, Iveco, Mercedes-Benz, Optare and Renault Trucks UK, who will demonstrate how new and emerging technology, including the latest Euro 6-compliant diesel vehicles, have the potential to all but eliminate diesel nitrogen oxides (NOx) tailpipe emissions...

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* North Caroline - Chapel Hill Transit plans to replace 45 buses 

Chapel Hill,NC,USA -The Daily Tar Heel, by TRENT HOLLANDSWORTH -22 Jan 2015: -- A few new sets of wheels will soon be hitting the streets of Chapel Hill. The Chapel Hill Town Council has authorized Town Manager Roger Stancil to sign a contract for the purchase of up to 45 new buses for Chapel Hill Transit... The buses are part of a joint purchase between the town of Chapel Hill, the city of Durham and Triangle Transit. Placing all three orders together makes the price of the buses cheaper... Under this contract, the town can purchase up to 45 buses. These would replace the 42 buses in Chapel Hill that are out of date, including 13 out of 19 EZ Rider buses... The out-of-date buses were built between 1996 and the early 2000s. They lack security cameras and comfortable seating...

* Washington - Why aren't buses routinely replaced?

Everett,Snohomish,WASH,USA -The Herald of Everett -January 20, 2015: -- Where is the money? $264,358.95, $257,462.76 and $217,683.86 for a total of $739,504.57. This is the amount given to the Arlington School District in the past three years by the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction Student Transportation department. According to the law, these yearly funds are only to be used for replacement of the aging buses... This year's amount is the $217,683 — the reimbursement dollars decrease as the buses age. But, the amount will increase as the buses are replaced. Basic math tells us that every four years the district has received over $1 million for replacing buses. In the past six years, Arlington School District has received the wanted $1.5 million for the supposed 2016 need. So why does the district have a 28-year old bus? Furthermore, why would the district need the voters to approve a new levy when they get funds for yearly replacement already?...



* California - Separate buses are not equal

(Image by Rachel Atherly | Daily Trojan) 
Los Angeles,CAL,USA -The Daily Trojan, by JENNIFER FRAZIN ·January 20, 2015: -- When I tell people that I take public transportation, I am often met with worried stares. After all, urban centers have a pretty bad reputation when it comes to sexual harassment. I’ve bought into the warnings I’ve received about riding at night and having pepper spray on hand. If Los Angeles had introduced a women-only train car, I would’ve spent way more time in the city and much less time on public transportation worried about the length of my skirt... Unfortunately, my fear is far from irrational. In metropolitan cities around the globe, harassment is a serious issue for female commuters. A 2014 Thomas Reuters Foundation poll revealed that 32 percent of women in London have experienced verbal harassment on public transportation. The situation is even worse in Latin American cities, where six out of 10 women have reported physical assault on public transit. Given all this abuse, it is no wonder that many countries — including Japan, Mexico and Brazil — have introduced women-only train cars in an effort to curb the abuse... With all these displays of male privilege making headlines, the fact that women are the main users of public transport in most urban centers comes as quite a surprise. The United Nations Women website explains this phenomenon, pointing out that women and girls are more likely to move through cities in “criss-crosses and zigzags” in order to accomplish their duties as primary caregivers and members of the labor force... Women should not need to adjust their transportation routine to accommodate assailants, and they should not face victim-blaming if they reject available segregated transportation. Society needs to view women-only transit for what it is — a temporary fix, one more “You should have …” when the next victim speaks out..

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* England - Snow causes traffic chaos in South Yorkshire 

Yorkshire,EN,UK -The Star -24 Jan 2015: -- Heavy snow overnight has led to traffic and travel chaos... Both the Snake Pass and Woodhead Pass trans pennine routes are closed... All other main roads across the region remain open, with The Parkway in Sheffield clear... A number of Stagecoach bus services in South Yorkshire and North Derbyshire have been affected by the snow and the latest travel information is listed below... 

* Scotland - Aberdeenshire school buses are limited today

Aberdeenshire,Scotland,UK -Aberdeenshire Journals, by Laura Redpath -23 January 2015: -- Aberdeenshire school transport links remain disrupted following nearly three days of cold, icy weather... Inverurie Market Place School, Meldrum School, Methlick School will be open to pupils today, however transport is limtied... This week saw several schools in the region close completely as persistent conditions caused misery for commuters...



* Illinois - Pace unveils plan for ambitious $2.3 billion Rapid Transit Network

(Photo by Chuck Berman, Chicago Tribune 2011: Bus on shoulder. A Pace bus uses a bus-on-the-shoulder inner lane on the Stevenson Expressway -I-55- in 2011. That program and other bus rapid transit options are being considered for the whole Chicago area) 
Chicago, ILL,USA -The Chicago Tribune, by Richard Wronski -21 Jan 2015: -- A wide-ranging network of suburban bus routes could transform the way people commute and shop, connecting people to job centers in Naperville, Elgin and Elk Grove Village, according to an ambitious $2.3 billion plan shared by Pace on Tuesday... By example: Express buses with high-tech amenities would take riders from the south suburbs to O'Hare International Airport... And buses would travel on the shoulder of the Jane Addams and Edens expressways, bypassing car traffic... These bus routes, and dozens of others like them, could provide new public transit options for thousands of riders in scores of communities in the six-county area... By way of comparison, the network would serve the entire six-county area, whereas the once-hoped-for STAR Line would have primarily served only the northwest and far west suburbs. That suburb-to-suburb rail link, with an estimated cost of at least $1 billion, has been essentially discarded due to lack of funding... Steve Schlickman, executive director of the University of Illinois at Chicago's Urban Transportation Center, lauded Pace's effort in going after the federal program, despite the scarcity of federal funding likely to result...

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* England - Bus firm loses all four executive directors

(Photo: Lothian Buses) 
London,EN,UK -BBC News -21 January 2015: -- Lothian Buses is the biggest bus company in the capital, with more than 2,000 staff... Lothian Buses has revealed all four of its executive directors are to leave the company over the next two years... It follows a bitter boardroom feud between the men, who each earned between £200,000 and £270,000 in 2013... The chairman of Lothian Buses, Ian Depledge, said recent months had been "bruising and damaging" for the council-owned company... He said the move was necessary to restore confidence and stability. It is the biggest bus operator in the city... However, recent months have seen a series of leaks, which revealed a bitter boardroom row between the chief executive, Ian Craig, and the company's finance, engineering and operations directors...



* NSW - Buses taking up the public transport slack

(Photo: Nationals Ballina MP Don Page says more bus services are being offered in the northern rivers than in 2013)
Byron,NSW,Australia -Echo Net/Byron Echo, by Hans Lovejoy & Chris Dobney -January 21, 2015: -- Additional bus services are now in place on the north coast, according to retiring NSW MP Don Page (Nationals)... The announcement came after The Echo asked Mr Page what his government was doing about the lack of public transport in the region... Quoting the Northern Rivers Regional Transport Plan 2013, Mr Page said the ‘better way of meeting the public transport needs of the region is increased bus services’ ... "Since that report, I can advise in the Byron area, for example, that 24 additional bus services have been put on. Through improved connections passengers also have access to 125 more trips than in 2013, between Byron Bay, Ballina, Brunswick Heads and Mullumbimby. I acknowledge there is a need for more public transport, but the study released in 2013 found buses were a better and more cost-effective option" ... But Echonetdaily can reveal that, owing to a bizarre anti-compete clause included in commercial bus contracts, the government’s own CountryLink buses are not allowed to pick up passengers travelling less than 40 kilometres...




* North Dakota - Pembina based MCI sends buses to New Jersey, contributes to good year for company

(Photo by Eric Hylden/Grand Forks Herald - Elfstrom applies decals to a bus being assembled for New Jersey Transit) 
Pembina,ND,USA -Grands Forks Herald, by K Bohn -Jan 19, 2015: -- Every 3.6 hours or so, 10 hours a day, 4 days a week, a shiny, new 45-foot bus — powered by compressed natural gas — rolls out of Motor Coach Industries' factory here.. These days, those CNG commuter coaches as they are known, are bound for the East Coast, where they being delivered to New Jersey Transit... Motor Coach already has delivered about one-third of its present contract to provide 150 of the coaches to the state's public transportation system, according to Rick Heller, MCI president/CEO... While the vehicle shells are fabricated at its Winnipeg plant, the rest of the assembly on these D-class coaches — from engines to electronics, from wheels to wheelchair lifts — is done in this community of 590 tucked up against the borders of Minnesota and Manitoba...



* Kentucky - Electric cars are cool. But electric buses are awesome

(Photo: Electric bus Louisville)
Earthtechling,Louisville,KEN,USA -Tree Hugger, by Sami Grover -January 20, 2015: -- I've been bullish about the spread of electric cars, and genuinely hope that they continue to wrestle more market share from their fossil-fueled counterparts... But electric cars can only take us so far. Electric buses, on the other hand, are a lot more exciting and becoming more commonplace... As reported over at Earthtechling, Louisville, Kentucky has just launched a fleet of 10 fully electric buses (this should complement the city's impressive urban tree-planting efforts). And Cleantechnica tells us that in Google's backyard of Mountain View, California, the tech giant is partnering with Motiv Power to trial four electric shuttle buses to service the downtown area... There are several reasons these initiatives (and other electric bus efforts) are so important. Here are just a few of them...



* Georgia - 9 buses stolen in SW Ga. and sold to scrap yard 

Abbeville,GA,USA -AP/Times Enterprise -January 16, 2015: -- Authorities in southwest Georgia say someone stole nine buses used to haul watermelons and sold them to a scrap yard... WALB-TV reports the Wilcox County Sheriff's Office found invoice tickets at a scrap yard showing nine old school buses, which had been converted to carry melons, had been sold and crushed... Steve Mauldin of the sheriff's office says the owner of the buses, who lives in Florida, says that none of them should have been sold... Mauldin says an arrest warrant has been issued for a man named on the invoice tickets as the seller. He says a man by the same name was convicted in Crisp County last fall for taking buses that were also sold for scrap. That person was sentenced to 10 years on probation...



* Indonesia - APTB Buses permitted to stay in busway

(Antara Photo/Rosa Panggabean - The plan to limit access to TransJakarta buses has been criticized by the six companies that currently operate APTB buses) 
Jakarta,Indonesia -The Jakarta Globe, by Lenny Tristia Tambun -Jan 17, 2015: -- The Jakarta administration has backed down from plans to limit the operations of buses currently allowed to use the dedicated network of TransJakarta lanes, following a public outcry. Under the Busway-Integrated Intercity Transport, or APTB, program, non-Trans-Jakarta operators serving outlying suburbs and satellite cities are allowed to use the bus-only lanes inside the city limits to avoid the chronic traffic congestion on the city streets. However, City Hall says they have since become direct competitors to the TransJakarta fleet, with many commuters preferring to use APTB buses to get around the city without having to make the multiple connections that they would otherwise be obliged to make if using only TransJakarta buses. The administration argued that APTB buses should only serve a handful of Trans-Jakarta stops on the outer edges of the network and stay out of the bus lanes inside the city. But the plan has been criticized by the six companies that currently operate APTB buses, as well as by commuters and officials in the satellite cities of Bogor and Bekasi...



* California - Los Angeles bans alcohol ads on city buildings, buses

(Photo: Historic Los Angeles City Council vote bans alcohol ads from city-owned & controlled property) 
Los Angeles,CAL,USA -The Los Angeles Daily News, by Rick Orlov -20 Jan 15: -- The Los Angeles City Council on Tuesday approved a measure banning the advertising of all alcohol products on city property, including buses and other vehicles... L.A. has been attempting to deal with advertising of alcohol products for years on city vehicles and city property... Councilman Bernard Parks said he wants to see the measure expanded to include smoking products, including the increasing use of e-cigarettes. The city already bans advertising for tobacco products... 

* Colorado - New RFTA data reveal efficiency of bus system

(Photo by Aubree Dallas) 
Aspen,COL,USA -The Aspen Times, by Karl Herchenroeder -January 18, 2015: -- Though it’s a small sample size, the Roaring Fork Transportation Authority released GPS-generated data this week that give a glimpse into how efficient the agency’s buses are running... Tracking arrival times between Dec. 14 to Dec. 20, RFTA officials found the Castle/Maroon bus lagging significantly behind other in-town routes. With “on time” defined as “three minutes late or less,” which is within industry standard, the Castle/Maroon bus ran at 35 percent efficiency between 9 a.m. and 7 p.m. and at 51 percent between 7 p.m. and 2 a.m... RFTA Information Technology Director Phil Schultz said that a major factor delaying that route is the roundabout, which the Castle/Maroon buses enter four times on a full loop between stops at Castle Ridge and Highlands...



* Dublin Bus reports growth in passenger numbers in 2014

Dublin,Ireland -Dublin Bus (PR) -January 20, 2015: -- Dublin Bus has reported a further increase in passenger numbers for 2014. The company carried 119 million passengers on its 945 buses last year which is an increase of 4 million on 2013... In 2015, Dublin Bus will acquire an additional 90 new buses which will be delivered in the second half of the year... This positive trend in passenger numbers has also resulted in Dublin Bus commencing its 3rd recruitment drive since 2013. Last year the company employed an additional 160 new drivers to cater for this additional demand and to ensure that a quality service continues to be delivered for customers. The application process for professional bus drivers is open for 2015 and the company hopes to employ in the region of an additional 50 drivers this year... In December 2014, Dublin Bus signed a new contract with the National Transport Authority to provide public bus services in the Greater Dublin Area for a period of five years to December 1st 2019...



* Quebec / Canada - Cold causing Montreal bus breakdowns

(Picture from Radio-Canada - On Jan. 8 when the temperature plunged to -38 degrees, the Société de Transport de Montréal had 126 service calls, while on an average day they handle about 60)
Montreal,QBC,CAN -CBC News -Jan 17, 2015: -- STM reports its buses undergo twice as many repairs on frigid days. The extreme cold over the last two weeks has been wreaking havoc on Montreal buses, and with so many vehicles in the shop, the Société de transport de Montréal (STM) admits service has sometimes suffered... On an average day, there are 60 service calls for buses that need maintenance or unscheduled repairs... Renée Amilcar, the STM's executive director says, it takes 1,385 buses in running order to provide full service at rush hour... On Jan. 15, for example, of the 19,150 bus trips planned, 226 had to be cancelled because of mechanical problems... This means bus runs on the same line have to be spread out, and commuters spend more time waiting in the cold... The STM says the average age of buses is only six years old, meaning the cold causes problems for both new and old vehicles...

* Scotland / UK - Snow shuts down Aberdeenshire school buses

(Picture by Kenny Elrick - Drivers had to battle ice and snow across the country last night) 
Aberdeenshire,Scotland,UK -Aberdeen Journal, by Laura Redpath -19 January 2015: -- Some schools in Aberdeenshire will not have pupil transport today due to severe weather conditions... Schools remain open, but parents and pupils are advised to check with their school as bad weather continues to hit the region... Aberdeenshire Council has confirmed that coaches to and from the following schools are affected: ...




* England - Two thirds of services don't run as drivers walk in pay dispute

(Photo by Anthony Devlin/AP: A picket on Tuesday)London,EN,UK -Press Association/The Huffington Post -13 Jan 2015: -- Two-thirds of buses in London were not running on Tuesday as thousands of drivers went on strike over pay, forcing people to walk or cycle... Transport for London (TfL) said journeys were "significantly disrupted" because of the walkout by members of the Unite union... About a third of buses ran during Tuesday, although TfL said almost 90% of regular adult fare paying passengers travelled on the network... Unite is campaigning for a single wage rate across all 18 bus companies in the capital, saying there was a difference of around £3 an hour in some firms...

* London - Commuters face chaos getting home... as Mayor says union's pay demands are 'wrong'
(Picture: Glenn Copus: Commuters wait at a central London bus stop)
London,EN,UK -The London Evening Standard, by JOE MURPHY, JOHN DUNNE, and JOSH PETTITT -13 January 2015: -- Boris Johnson today warned of the cost of giving into union demands as millions of Londoners faced chaotic journeys home tonight because of a bus strike... The Mayor apologised to passengers after about two-thirds of buses were stuck in garages - causing major overcrowding on the Tube and huge queues outside stations... Transport for London warned of “significant disruption” continuing into the evening rush hour and admitted services would not return to normal until tomorrow... Mr Johnson said that giving in to demands for a Londonwide pay rate for bus drivers would cost £100 million and force TfL to increase faces and cut services...


BUSES vs. AIRLINES * Thailand

* Low-cost buses to fight budget airlines

(Photo: Bus Station of Suvarnabhumi Airport Thailand)
Bangkok,Thailand -The Bangkok Post, by Amornrat Mahitthirook -15 Jan 2015: -- Bus operators plan to fight the inroads being made into their business by low-cost airlines as more and more passengers forsake bus terminals for airport lounges... Low-cost air-conditioned buses will have no snack and drink services for passengers, but they will pay lower fares to rival the airlines... "Bus operators have seen a 40% drop in passengers over the past few years due to the price wars of the airlines," Suchinda Cherdchai, president of the Association of Interprovincial Bus Operators said, "We have to make some adjustments to stay competitive" ... Low-budget airlines are offering ticket prices of as low as 1,000 baht for a flight from Bangkok to Chiang Mai. The price for the most luxurious bus on the same route by Nakhonchai Air is 876 baht. The flight time between the two destination is about one hour while travel time on a bus is eight hours more... Bus operators plan to fight the inroads being made...



* Kentucky - Louisville gets its first fully-electric, zero-emissions city buses

Louisville,KEN,USA -Clean Technica, by James Ayre -January 16th, 2015: -- Louisville the land of bourbon whiskey and bluegrass; the Gateway to the South; and now, one of the first cities in the US to be home to a fleet of fully electric, zero-emissions, city-transit buses. Louisville’s Transit Authority of the River City recently debuted the new bus system — dubbed ZeroBus — at a launch event showcasing just how nice and shiny the new buses look... Other cities around the country that now have electric bus service, to some degree or other, include: San Antonio (TX), Tallahassee (FL), Stockton and Pomona (California), and Worcester (Massachusetts). Seattle and Nashville are expected to implement electric buses sometime in the near future as well...



* New York - Linn Shuttle adds propane-powered buses to its fleet

(Photo by David Patton/Democrat-Herald: Driver John Walton lifts the hood to show the engine on one of two new propane powered Linn Shuttle buses) 
Sweet Home,Albany,NY,USA -The Albany Democrat-Herald, by ALEX PAUL -13 Jan 2015: -- Two new propane-powered 24-passenger buses have been added to the Linn Shuttle fleet in a partnership that also includes Linn-Benton Community College and AmericGas, according to program manager Ken Bronson... Representatives of each group met Monday morning at LBCC’s Advanced Transportation Technology Center in Lebanon and unveiled one of the two buses... Propane burns cleanly, Bronson said, noting the engines are V-10 Fords... Each of the buses built by Blue Bird in Fort Valley, Georgia, cost $132,000, Bronson said... Advantages of using propane fuel include: lower cost per gallon; the majority of propane consumed in the U.S. is produced domestically; lower maintenance costs; cleaner emissions; propane is nontoxic...




* England - London bus strike: Recap as city is hit by travel chaos due to 24hr walkout

(Photo: Buses are seen parking inside the Waterloo Bus Garage as bus sorkers stage a one day strike)
The Mirror, by Sam Adams -Jan 13, 2015: -- Only 44 of London's 673 bus routes are due to operate today after Unite union members at 18 bus companies walked out today... 24hr bus strike has caused travel disruption for millions of passengers in London... The walkout, organised by the Unite union, is being held in protest over pay and conditions... Bus tickets and passes are being accepted on the Tube, DLR and London Overground throughout the day... Passengers have tweeted a mixture of support for strikers and resentment over the disruption the strike has caused - including added congestion on the Underground...



* England - Campaign for Better Transport: facing 'crisis' 

(Photo: A man using a bus) 
London,EN,UK -BBC News -12 January 2015: -- Budget cuts by councils have left bus services facing a crisis, a report by the Campaign for Better Transport says... The group says half the councils in England and Wales have cut funding for buses in 2014/15, amounting to more than £9m when compared with 2013/14... The CBT said its figures came from Freedom of Information Act requests... A Department for Transport spokesman said decisions about buses were best made locally but the government provided "substantial funding"... The CBT said local authority funding for bus services had been slashed by 15% since 2010, or £44m, with more than 2,000 routes being reduced or withdrawn entirely... Its report also says that: 
* Rural areas have been worst hit by cuts, seeing average budget reductions of 19% this year 
* In 2014/15, nearly 500 bus services were cut, altered or withdrawn 
* 22 councils cut bus funding by more than 10% in 2014/15 
* The overall reduction in Wales in 2014/15 is more than £900,000, with 86 bus services having been cut, altered or withdrawn


PASSENGERS TRANSPORT INDUSTRY * USA: Want a problem-free trip ... ? ?

* New York - ... Try the bus !!

(Photo: Frank Espich, Indianapolis Star - Despite less federal oversight, bus lines generate far fewer consumer complaints than airlines) NY,USA -USA TODAY, by Christopher Elliott -January 11, 2015: -- It's difficult to understate the rarity of Shannon Lee's complaint. It's almost as unusual as the topic of this story: bus travel... Bus complaints are almost non-existent, at least compared with airlines. The real reason behind this absence of passenger discontent may hold the key to making other parts of the travel industry better and more complaint-free... How did the decidedly unglamorous bus industry get so attuned to its customers? Transporting about 80 million passengers a year while keeping them happy is no small achievement. It may explain the unprecedented expansion of city-to-city express carriers. They grew 2.1% in 2014, while the number of flights dropped 3% during the same period, according to new research... Part of the secret to the industry's success is the "laid back" culture of bus travel, says Joe Schwieterman, director of DePaul University's Chaddick Institute, which will release its study today. Bus travel is cheaper than other modes of transportation, which affects passenger expectations. You get exactly what you paid for: scheduled bus carriers have on-time ratings that exceed 90%, Schwieterman says... Another thing: If you run a bus company, you can't run away from your customers. "You know that you have to offer a good product at a fair price," says Dan Ronan, a spokesman for the American Bus Association, a trade association. If you're a passenger on a medium-size bus line, such as C&J, which offers service between New Hampshire, Boston and New York, it's not uncommon to see the company's president, Jim Jalbert, in the parking lot... Buses can offer better customer service than airlines in almost every way. Competition made them do it. Maybe we need more of that...