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

Buses World News

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



* Maine - Lewiston buses break down due to cold weather 

  -- Many Lewiston students had to stand in the bitter cold Tuesday morning for quite a while, completely unaware that their bus wasn't going to show up... Lewiston School District's superintendent Bill Webster took to social media, and sent out calls to parents the moment he learned that a third of his school buses weren't working. Webster said condensation got into the fuel lines of 14 of their contracted 42 buses. While some just wouldn't start, others started fine, but broke down along their route, or at school... Despite the delays, the school district reported a more than 90 percent attendance rate on Tuesday. Webster said that's thanks to the patience parents showed, some who waited for another bus to come along and others who ended up driving their kids to school themselves... Lewiton,Maine,USA -WCSH 6 Portland -February 24, 2015

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DISCRIMINATION A BOARD * Australia: Research shows white privilegei is real

* Queensland - When whites get a free pass

 -- A field experiment about who gets free bus rides in Brisbane, a city on the eastern coast of Australia, shows that even today, whites get special privileges, particularly when other people aren’t around to notice... As they describe in two working papers, Redzo Mujcic and Paul Frijters, economists at the University of Queensland, trained and assigned 29 young adult testers (from both genders and different ethnic groups) to board public buses in Brisbane and insert an empty fare card into the bus scanner. After the scanner made a loud sound informing the driver that the card did not have enough value, the testers said, “I do not have any money, but I need to get to” a station about 1.2 miles away. (The station varied according to where the testers boarded)... With more than 1,500 observations, the study uncovered substantial, statistically significant race discrimination. Bus drivers were twice as willing to let white testers ride free as black testers (72 percent versus 36 percent of the time). Bus drivers showed some relative favoritism toward testers who shared their own race, but even black drivers still favored white testers over black testers (allowing free rides 83 percent versus 68 percent of the time)... The study also found that racial disparities persisted when the testers wore business attire or dressed in army uniforms. For example, testers wearing army uniforms were allowed to ride free 97 percent of the time if they were white, but only 77 percent of the time if they were black... The bus study underscores this point. Drivers were more likely to let testers ride free when there were fewer people on the bus to observe the transaction. And the drivers themselves were probably not aware that they were treating minorities differently. When drivers, in a questionnaire conducted after the field test, were shown photographs of the testers and asked how they would respond, hypothetically, to a free-ride request, they indicated no statistically significant bias against minorities in the photos (86 percent said they would let the black individual ride free)... (Photo: ... "The truth is, I am baffled each and every day by the new rules that seem to be made up on the spot, depending on the driver at the time") - Brisbane, QLND, Australia -The New York times (NY,USA), by IAN AYRES -Feb 24, 2015


The big brother bus * Australia: All aboard

* NSW - Parents to receive live updates through new technology

  -- Helicopter parents looking for further opportunities to supervise children could benefit from new technology set to watch over public transport... A new system developed by India's Tata Motors allows parents to supervise children on school buses through SMS and mobile apps that keep track of students' departures and arrivals while displaying a live map of the vehicle's location... The "SKOOLMAN" service can also send parents an SMS shortly before arriving to collect children, helping them to board the bus just in time for departure... The technology allows schools to track students on the way to school, and can send email or SMS alerts to staff if it detects unsafe driving... (Photo: Tata Motors is set to allow parents to keep tabs on children on the school run) - Sydney,NSW,Australia - (Australia), by David McCowen -February 17, 2015



* Karnakata - Tata Marcopolo Magna luxury bus to rival Volvo and Scania from 2016

 -- Tata Motors brought around a change in the Commercial Vehicle segment with their all new Magna bus series... Keen to retain its market share and upgrade its existing portfolio, Tata Motors, along with their Brazilian partner, MarcoPolo plans to launch new luxury buses under a new nameplate called Magna. The first bus will roll out by mid 2016... These buses will be produced from the company plant in Dharwad, Karnataka which was set up by Tata Motors and Brazilian bus makers, Marcopolo. The Dharwad facility has an annual capacity of 15,000 units plant but utilization as on date is of 12,000-13,000 units per year. These buses will be in a price bracket which will be very competitive and will sport larger dimensions and plenty of on board comforts... Tata Marcopolo Magna luxury buses will possess 44 seater bus, push back seating with a 2×2 layout and wide aisle with its emergency door situated at the rear... (Image: Tata Marcopolo Magna luxury bus) - Dharwad, Karnataka, India - Rush Lane, by Pearl Daniels - February 17, 2015 

* India - Original equipment manufacturers' bus market share likely to double on safety norms, GST

 -- Introduction of more safety parameters in manufacturing of buses and implementation of GST are likely to double the market share of original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) such as Tata Motors, Ashok Leyland, Mahindra & Mahindra, Swaraj and Eicher Motors in the bus manufacturing segment in the next four-five years. These companies expect a two-fold jump in their bus volumes, which is expected to put their market share in the range of 40/45% in the next four-five years from 20% now... The total annual bus sales volumes in India are between 70,000 and 76,000 units... Among the various segments in the bus manufacturing industry, OEMs' market share is expected to show exponential growth in the high tonnage bus since the present market share is at 10%. This is likely to boost margins for OEMs once the proportion of fullybuilt buses increases in comparison with the chassis sold to the unorganised private fabricators for bus building... (Photo: Tata Marcopolo is among the top five bus manufacturers in the world. It can produce up to 18,000 buses per annum) - Mumbai, India - The Economic Times, by Ashutosh Shyam -18 Feb, 2015 

* Karnakata - Tata builds safest bus at Hubli plant 

  -- As of now, there are no regulations on bus manufacturers resulting in cramped journey, extreme heat, intolerable vibration, noise and poor safety standards... Tata Motors has started the manufacturing of new buses complying to the stringent norms on “uniform bus code” related to safety, design and comfort. The bus code, which aims to regulate the bus manfacturing, will come into force from April 1, 2015... Tata Motors is giving utmost priority to safety and comfort of bus passengers by strictly complying to ‘uniform bus code’ norms. The Centre and the state governments have recognised this and placed orders for 3,465 buses with us under JNNURM-2. Of the total 8,000 buses, the tenders for which were finalised across the country, nearly half of them were awarded to Tata Motors,” said Ravi Pisharody, ED, Tata Motors, during an interaction with media at its Dharwad plant in Karnataka on Wednesday.. .(Photo: World-class buses and trucks from Tata Motors on display at Dubai) - Dharwad, Karnataka, India -The Asian Age, by L. Venkat Ram Reddy -Feb 14, 2015


BUSES SALES * China / Jamaica: Golden Dragon's

* Jamaica - JUTC testing Chinese-made smaller bus for hill routes

 -- John Von Strolley (second right) of Von's Motor and Company, presents the key to a 39-seater bus manufactured in China to Transport Minister Dr Omar Davies... The bus, which is being put through an eight-week test run, began operating on February 11 on the Jamaica Urban Transit Company's (JUTC's) number 53 route, which terminates at Above Rocks in St Andrew... "What we wanted was a bus to fit the operating conditions of the hilly areas. These buses can traverse these areas in a much better way than our larger units. So far the bus is performing well with a full load and the feedback from passengers is good," the JUTC Managing Director Colin Campbell (shown at left) said... The JUTC said it plans to put the Golden Dragon bus on routes 53, 54, 97 and 61, once it passes the test... (Photo: JUTC testing Chinese-made smaller bus for hill routes) - Kingston, Jamaica -The Jamaica Observer -February 19, 2015


BUSES SALES * UK: Optare Solo's

* England - Euro 5 Optare Solo buses for Gateshead

 -- Bus manufacturer Optare has supplied five of its Euro 5 emission standard Optare Solo single decker buses to serve multiple routes around Gateshead on behalf of the Tyne and Wear passenger transport authority Nexus... The 9m long Solo SR buses, which can each seat up to 31 people, will be added to transport firm Gateshead Central Taxi’s first service bus fleet. The company has more than 200 vehicles, including a 24 hour taxi fleet... (Photo: Gateshead Central Taxi’s five new Optare Solo buses) - Gateshead,EN,UK -Air Quality News -19 Feb 2015



BUSES SALES * India: New buses to Cuba

* Modi catches Cuba bus a chance to deliver on

-- Prime Minister Narendra Modi, is promising to turn around the deliver in five months, on an assurance the preceding UPA administration made but failed to implement... The Modi government has resurrected a proposal to gift Cuba 25 buses for public transport in Havana, originally pitched by the Manmohan Singh government, with a rare emphasis on delivering the vehicles quickly, senior officials confirmed... The US-Cuba thaw - though the embargo stands - has handed the Modi government a moment when it is likelier than ever before to be able to deliver on the bus promise through negotiations already under way with Washington... New Delhi,India -The Telegraph, by Charu Sudan Kasturi -Feb. 12, 2015



* UK: 80 per cent of new buses did not meet emissions standards

* England - UK buses fail to meet EU emission standards

-- Bus companies are sidestepping European laws on air pollution by exploiting a legal loophole to buy vehicles that are dirtier but cheaper... More than 80 per cent of new buses and coaches in the UK did not meet current emissions standards, data show on registrations during 2014... The industry held back from ordering cleaner vehicles even as the European law on emissions was tightened at the start of last year. Of the 2,373 more polluting buses that went on to the roads last year, operators made a saving of £10,000 to £15,000 for each vehicle, adding up to a minimum of £24m... Diesel vehicles such as buses, lorries and taxis cause much of the pollution in cities, and health experts say poor air quality kills thousands of people each year and costs the NHS billions of pounds. A bus made to the newer standard, known as Euro 6, emits half as much NO2, the harmful gas linked to heart attacks, cancer and asthma... The finding will add to the UK’s poor record on air quality, with other European countries having already acted to close similar loopholes...The Confederation of Passenger Transport, which represents bus companies, said it was a commercial decision as to whether operators bought vehicles meeting the older or newer standards... (Image: Wright Gemini 2 hybrid double-decker bus in the distinctive red and green livery worn by most hybrid vehicles in London) - London,EN,UK -The Financial Times, by Jane Wild -February 11, 2015


CANCEL NIGHT TRIPS * Bangladesh: By arson attacks

* Transport owners agree to cancel long-haul night trips

-- Long-haul transport owners yesterday agreed to a government directive not to operate any bus on highways after 9pm during the ongoing blockade until further notice... The directive was issued at a meeting yesterday evening in view of the recent spate of arson attacks that damaged hundreds of vehicles in different parts of the country... But the directive would not be applicable to freight transports, including trucks and covered vans... The government earlier identified 993 risky points on highways and decided to deploy 12,000 Ansar members there. BGB has already been deployed to ensure security on roads... Arson attacks on buses and trucks across the country have killed over 60 people since January 5 when BNP chief Khaleda Zia imposed the indefinite blockade...Transport owners agreed to follow the government order, they told reporters that security measures were not adequate at vulnerable points. We were earlier told that security would be beefed up but that actually did not happen, they said... (Photo: Loaded trucks at Bangladesh) - Dhaka,Bangladesh -Dhaka Tribune, by Shohel Mamun -7 Feb 2015



BUSES POLLUTION * UK: Call to close bus industry loophole to ease pollution

* England - Auto industry body wants loophole closed that lets bus operators buy polluting older models instead of less harmful vehicles

-- Diesel is not a dirty word and vehicles powered by the fuel should not be condemned, according to the motor industry trade body. The Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders (SMMT) is campaigning to have modern diesel vehicles’ contribution to lowering pollution levels recognised – but wants a loophole closed that allows bus operators to buy vehicles for their fleets which do not meet pollution control standards. The society says vehicle manufacturers have invested billions in technology to meet the latest European emissions controls known as “Euro-6”. These systems include filters which capture 99pc of the “soot” diesels produce and also cut the harmful nitrogen oxides (NOx) they produce. From the start of last year by law new vehicles had to meet the Euro-6 standard – which means emitting just 5pc of the NOx the older vehicles do – but the SMMT says a clause in the legislation allows bus operators to avoid this. It claims there is a loophole which means operators can order buses with older specifications as long the vehicle manufacturers make no more than 250 of a certain model a year. As a result just one in five buses registered in the UK last year met the Euro-6 standard, according to the SMMT, which records the data. Mike Hawes, SMMT chief executive, said: “Vehicle manufacturers have invested billions into this new technology but the value of this is questioned when there is no legal pressure on operators to buy vehicles which meet the new standard. He added that vehicle manufacturers have the same concerns as the public about air quality but their technology cannot have any impact if operators do not buy buses equipped with it"... (Photo: ALAMY - New emission control standards on have slashed the amount of pollution deisel vehicles pump out) - London, EN, UK -The Telegraph, by Alan Tovey -11 Feb 2015


HYBRID BUSES * USA: SunLine receives $9.8M in federal funding for

* California - Funding will bring 5 more hydrogen electric hybrid fuel cell buses to Coachella Valley

-- Five additional hydrogen electric hybrid fuel cell buses will soon be joining the fleet at the SunLine Transit Agency, allowing the agency to expand its service in the Coachella Valley... Officials said the agency partnered with the Southern California Association of Governments and it was awarded $9.8 million in federal funding to purchase and deploy the zero-emission buses... Officials said Ballard Power Systems, BAE Systems and ElDorado National will team up to build the new buses, which will increase SunLine's total of zero-emission buses to ten... There's no word on when the new buses are expected to be up and running... (Photo from SunLine Transit Agency) - Thousand Palms,CAL,USA -CBS News/KESQ, by Patrick Edgell -Feb 10, 2015



* UK: Bus companies accused of 'ripping off' passengers after failing to pass on fuel savings

* England - Labour says transport firms could save nearly a billion pounds through falling diesel costs and demands action to help commuters and protect services

(Photo by Mark Waugh / Manchester Press - Manchester Piccadilly Bus Station - Fuelling a row: Bus companies have been attacked for not passing on savings from cheap fuel to commuters) 
-- Bus companies were accused of “profiteering” for failing to cut fares while making tens of millions of pounds from falling fuel prices last night... They Labour Party estimates Stagecoach, the largest bus company with 20% of the British bus market, could save as much as £150m this year if diesel prices drop to £1 a litre by April... This means bus companies could swell their profits by nearly a billion pounds while passengers suffer cuts to services and rising fares... Martin Abrams, of the Campaign for Better Transport, said: “Local authorities have slashed more than 2,000 bus routes since 2010. Government and the bus companies need to work together to make sure passengers get affordable and reliable buses they want and need” ... A spokesman for Stagecoach was not available for comment... Members of the Unite union went on strike yesterday with further strikes due later in the month, but Transport for London said almost half of the buses which normally operate were running... Unite is seeking a single pay and conditions agreement across all the capital’s 18 bus companies, saying wage rates vary by up to £3 an hour... London,EN,UK -The Mirror, by Mark Ellis -6 February 2015

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* UK: Commuters vent anger as London bus strike causes delays

* England - Queues and delays at London bus stops and stations 

(Getty Images: Only 44 out of 673 bus routes are running due to a 24-hour bus strike)
-- Bus passengers in London faced disruption on Thursday because of a strike by drivers and other transport workers... Members of the Unite union walked out from 4am in a row over pay, with further strikes due later in the month... Commuters faced delays at some Underground stations and bus stops this morning with queues to get into Stockwell and Brixton as they struggled to cope with the extra passengers... Transport for London said almost half of the buses which normally operate in the morning were running - more than during a previous strike in January... Unite is seeking a single pay and conditions agreement across all the capital's 18 bus companies, saying wage rates vary by up to £3 an hour... London,EN,UK -Telegraph Video, video source ITN5 -5 Feb 2015



BUS PASSENGERS TRANSPORT INDUSTRY * Germany - General Atlantic enters German long distance bus business

-- Buyout group General Atlantic is taking a stake in German bus companies FlixBus and MeinFernbus, which are merging to combine their routes, the companies said in a statement on Wednesday... The German bus market attracted a raft of new entrants when it was liberalised in 2013, but several players have already dropped out due to stiff competition... MeinFernbus operates 560 busses, more than twice the 240 owned by FlixBus... The combined business, currently majority-owned by the company's founders, has so far transported a combined 14 million passengers in both 2012 and 2013... Frankfurt,Germany -Reuters/India Times (India) -7 Jan, 2015


BUSMAKER NEWS * India - Ashok Leyland's

* Uttar Pradesh - AL To launch electric bus Versa in India by 2017

-- Hinduja flagship firm Ashok Leyland plans to launch a fully electric bus 'Versa' in the country by 2017... The 36-seater bus, which is being showcased at the 4th Bus and Special Vehicle Show here, can go 90 miles in one charge and is a zero emissions vehicle... The vehicle comes as a completely built unit (CBU) from the company's UK based arm Optare... Elaborating on the features of the bus, Ashok Leyland Vice President, Buses, T Venkataraman said the bus emits zero noise and consumes just one unit of electricity for covering a distance of one kilometer... Greater Noida, Uttar Pradesh, India -The Economic Times/PTI -16 Jan, 2015



* UK - Report: “Electric Buses 2015-2025”

* England - Bus melodrama creates $100B market by 2025 for hybrid and pure dlectric buses say IDTechEx

-- Buses are boring right? Not any more. Faced with 200,000 people dying of air pollution yearly and rocketing oil imports, China will make 10 million school buses and 1.6 million large buses electric. The resulting ultra-low cost base will let its bus makers flood the world. Nonetheless, the emerging global market for hybrid and pure electric buses at over $100 billion yearly in 2025 will have much variety and opportunities for everyone... The new report, “Electric Buses 2015-2025” from analysts IDTechEx makes it clear that, at over 20% of the total future hybrid and pure electric vehicle value market, the bus forecasts must be taken seriously by those seeking leadership in the market overall not just the rest of us that travel on the things... The report explains how the technology is completely changing so new suppliers will enter new value chains. For example, it looks at diesel versus regular hybrids, plug-in hybrids, fuel cell buses and the pure electric battery and supercapacitor buses... It notes that a recent order for 2000 pure electric large buses and others at the thousand level sit awkwardly with the popular understanding that massive price and pitiful range make them little more than a distant dream... Cambridge,EN,UK -The Herald on Line -January 29, 2015

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* India: Tax incentives for clean fuel manufacturers

* Prime Minister favours a policy to promote clean fuel

(PTIRepresentational image: Traffic on Hyderabad, India, street) 
-- To promote energy efficiency, Union Minister, Nitin Gadkari, has pitched for long-term tax incentives for clean fuel engine manufacturers as well as suppliers of bio-diesel, ethanol and other such fuels... It's preparing a policy to promote clean fuel, a Cabinet note on the issue is likely within a month... Promoting clean fuel like ethanol and bio-diesel has been high on his agenda as it will help in cutting India's huge Rs 9 lakh crore annual import bills on petrol, gas and crude, the Minister said. Huge import bills were also behind declining value of the rupee, he added... Even releasing carbon-dioxide in water bodies can promote algae cultivation through which bio-diesel can be obtained, he said adding that huge fruit and vegetable waste and municipal waste could easily be utilised to convert them into bio CNG... Promoting clean fuel will not only boost economic growth but can have positive impact on GDP growth, he said... New Delhi,India -First Post, by Arun Jaitley -Feb 2, 2015

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* India - 27 school and college buses seized in four districts

* Andhra Pradesh - Transport officials crack the whip

-- Following a series of fatal accidents in the last few days in the State, the Transport Department cracked the whip against errant buses being operated by educational institutions and seized 27 of them for different violations, including operation without valid permits and expiry of drivers’ licence... A special drive was launched in Krishna, Kurnool, East Godavari and Visakhapatnam districts on Tuesday and department officials booked several cases and seized buses. The officials seized 14 buses in Krishna, Kurnool (6), East Godavari (4) and Visakhapatnam (3)... A majority of buses were found to be operating without permits, without payment of taxes and in couple of cases, driving licences of drivers were found to be expired. Officials said though the fitness condition of the buses was satisfactory, maintenance of records, first aid boxes, and provision of emergency exits was lacking in many buses. The drive would continue for the next 15 days... The departments had identified more than 70 ‘black spots’, areas vulnerable for accidents, in each district and these were more than 100 in a couple of districts. The report was handed over to Roads and Buildings Department for initiating remedial measures to clear black spots, said a senior Transport Department official... Vijayawada,Andhra Pradesh,India -The Hindu, by S. SANDEEP KUMAR -February 4, 2015


* India: Frequent bus fires

* Andhra Pradesh - Solution to frequent bus fires a far cry?

-- The Hyderabad-bound private bus catching fire at Chagallu in Prakasam district is not an isolated incident... In a similar incident a fortnight ago, a private bus heading to Hyderabad from Mumbai caught fire at Chiragpally in Medak district. Not to mention, the Volvo tragedy at Palem in Mahabubnagar district in 2013, in which more than 45 passengers were charred to death... Following the Palem incident, the APSRTC on its part had installed fire extinguishers and provided hammers in its buses to enable passengers to break glasses in case of an emergency... The RTC authorities claim that the facilities are provided in 150 Indra, 40 Garuda plus and 90 Garuda buses. On the other hand, majority of private buses lack them... Following the Palem tragedy, there have been discussions galore with bus manufacturers about design and safety measures, but nothing concrete was done except for suggesting a second door provision in buses, a senior Transport Department official said... Most fire accidents occur owing to electrical short circuit in the AC system or some tinkering done for installing music system and television sets... Vijayawada,Andhra Pradesh,India -The Hindu, by S. SANDEEP KUMAR -January 29, 2015

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* Syria - Possibly the most terrifying public transit job in history

* Syria & Lebanon - Driving a bus in

(STR-AFP / Getty Images - A yellow public transportation bus is used as a barricade along the front line in the northern Syrian city of Aleppo, on May 13, 2013) 
 -- Every few days Mohammed, who spoke under a pseudonym, drives from Beirut in Lebanon to Aleppo in northern Syria, a journey across the devastated country... The windscreen of Mohammed’s coach was so cracked that it was held together with adhesive tape. Bullet holes had pierced the side. Fans and reading lights above the passenger seats had been ripped out to prevent smuggled weapons being hidden in the vent behind them... Mohammed – a slender man in his mid-forties with a nervous twitch – is a bus driver in Syria, which may now be the most dangerous job in the world... Even in the throes of civil war, the country’s public transport has not stopped. But the journeys involve crossing front lines, accelerating through armed clashes and running the gauntlet of kidnap by pro-regime gunmen and jihadists alike... “A lot of times my bus was shot at,” said Mohammed. “I have driven through live clashes between the armed groups and the regime” ... Another driver, Abed, sat behind the wheel of an equally battered vehicle. Much of his face was covered in a thick but patchy beard. On the journey it can make the difference between life and death. “If I don’t have a beard, then at best the jihadists won’t let me enter their area,” he said... Abed regularly drives from Beirut in Lebanon to Raqqa in northeast Syria, the “de facto capital” of terrain controlled by the Islamic State of Iraq and Al-Sham (ISIS)... “It’s a very hard situation,” he said. “Every time you leave your house you wonder if you will ever return” ... Recently militiamen forced all Abed’s passengers from the coach. “They demanded everyone’s mobile phones,” he said... “When one person put up resistance they shot directly around their feet to scare them. Other times they have just killed people on the spot.”.. For all the dangers, though, in Syria’s depressed economy neither Abed nor Mohammed can afford to give up work... Beirut,Lebanon -The Telegraph/National Post, by Ruth Sherlock -February 2, 2015:

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