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

Buses World News

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


BUSMAKER NEWS * China: Yutong buses to Venezuela

* Jiangsu - Chinese bus maker Yutong to open plant in Venezuela

-- Venezuelan president Nicolas Maduro has said that Chinese bus maker Yutong will open a plant in the South American country in October... Land transportation minister Haiman El Troudi said the factory will be built in the western state of Yaracuy and will have an assembly capacity of 3,500 buses a year... The Yutong plant is part of Venezuela's national transportation policy... At least 90 Venezuelan cities have adopted the BusCaucagua surface transportation system, which is operated with Yutong buses... So far there are 235 routes with 2,414 Yutong buses that benefit 2 million people every day, he said...
(Photo/CNS - Yutong buses await export to Venezuela at Lianyungang in Jiangsu province  ) --   Lianyungang, Jiangsu, China - Want China Times - 18 May 2015


BUSES STRIKE * India: Punjab & Odisha

* Punjab - Private bus owners go on strike in 

-- Private bus operators in Punjab on Saturday went on a strike to protest against the "haste" shown by police in registering cases against drivers and conductors without proper investigation... The move comes a day after a case was registered against a private bus conductor by police on a complaint filed by two minor sisters who alleged that they were harassed by the conductor in Muktsar district... Bus drivers and conductors of private buses held protests at various places including Muktsar, Bathinda, Faridkot, Amritsar, Patiala, Rajpura, Khanna, Jalandhar in the state and blocked roads leading to bus stands, causing traffic jam... Bus owners were also protesting against the damage to their vehicles by protesters on the roads, alleging that police had failed to prevent such incidents... With about 4,500 private buses remaining off the roads across the state, commuters had harrowing time because of the strike... However, state-owned Punjab Roadways and PRTC were plying their buses... 
(Photo: City buses move out of the Police Lines after these were released) Chandigarh, Punjab, India - Zee News - May 16, 2015 

* Odisha - Pvt buses to stay off roads from June 5

-- The Odisha Private Bus Owners' Association on Friday threatened to go on an indefinite strike from June 5 if their demands are not fulfilled... The decision followed the rise in petrol and diesel prices by Rs 3.13 and Rs 2.71 a litre, respectively... In October last year, the state government said it will take a decision after the technical committee submits its report on the quantum of downward revision of bus fares."The committee, which visited Kerala and Maharashtra, has submitted its report, but the government is yet to introduce it" ... More than 15,000 private buses ply across the state every day...
(Photo: Bhubaneswar gots 568.38 Crore Bus Rapid Transport System (BRTS) Projects Officially from JNNURM) Bhubaneswar, Odisha, India - The Times of India - May 16, 2015


DOUBLE DECKER BUSES * Malaysia: For Rapid KL

* Kuala Lumpur - Double-decker RapidKL buses in September

-- Around 120 RapidKL buses, including 40 double-deckers, are set to hit the streets in September... The buses will be capable of picking up an additional 10,000 passengers daily when they begin serving the more heavily-used roads in the Klang Valley. The 4.2 metre tall Alexander Dennis Enviro500 diesel double-decker will have 83 seats and standing room for 25 people, as well as a screen showing how many free seats there are on the upper deck. It is capable of carrying 50 more people than RapidKL’s current single-decker buses. Costing RM1.4 million each, the double-deckers are disabled-friendly and fitted with security cameras... 
(Photo: A RapidKL's double decker bus)   --  Kuala Lumpur, Selangor, Malaysia -, by Jonathan James Tan - 18 May 2015

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INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECTS * USA: Contrafow lane for buses on SF Gate

* California - Wrong-way bus lane: Right fix for Bay Bridge jams?

 -- Sometimes to get where you’re going, you have to head in the opposite direction... Such is the idea behind an unusual proposal to relieve crowding for transbay transit riders by turning an eastbound lane on the Bay Bridge into a bus lane heading west into San Francisco during the morning commute... With BART trains packed during the morning commute and the economy booming, transportation officials are pondering the creation of what’s known as a contraflow lane. The lane would allow transit agencies, including AC Transit, to run more buses into San Francisco... A morning contraflow lane is just one idea in a regional study looking at how to improve travel across the bay by increasing the capacity of transit. BART carries more than 430,000 riders a day, and trains through the Transbay Tube have become increasingly crowded. The new study aims to come up with quick, mid-range and long-term solutions. A long-range fix — a second Transbay Tube — has been the biggest attention-grabber so far... While far less sexy, converting a lane of traffic to a wrong-way bus lane across the bridge would provide relatively quick and inexpensive relief to transit commuters. The cost is projected at $51 million to $177 million... The concept for the contraflow lanes would place buses, and carpools if allowed, in the No. 1 — the northernmost — of the five eastbound lanes of the Bay Bridge. Existing lanes would be narrowed by 4 to 7 inches, depending on the lane, to make way for a 12-foot-wide bus and carpool lane with 2 feet for a movable barrier like the one on the Golden Gate Bridge. The lane would operate only during the morning commute... Buses would access the lane in the East Bay via an existing carpool-bus lane on Interstate 80, a new carpool lane on Interstate 580 or a new ramp from Interstate 880. They would travel across the bridge in the dedicated lane, then exit on a Transbay Transit Center bus ramp between the First Street and Fremont Street ramps... There is less need for such a solution during the evening commute, because it is not as concentrated as the morning commute, explained AC Transit spokesman Clarence Johnson... 

... AC Transit, which runs 30 transbay bus lines carrying about 14,000 passengers a day, is interested in the possibility of the bus lane. Its buses now use carpool lanes and special ramps to skirt the backup at the Bay Bridge toll plaza but must sit in the often-sluggish traffic across the span. That traffic is only going to get worse and would likely make bus trips not competitive within 20 years, the 2011 study found... Whether the contraflow bus lane rolls toward reality remains to be seen. The Metropolitan Transportation Commission expects to complete the current capacity study within two years, and it’s likely to make a recommendation on whether the lane should be considered. Transportation officials will also have to persuade Caltrans to approve the project and find the money...
(Photo: by Carlos Avila Gonzalez / The Chronicle - Aerial view of the Oakland/San Francisco Bay Bridge suspension tower visible from the Oakland, Calif., side on Wednesday, January 14, 2015)  --  San Francisco, CAL, USA - San Francisco Gate, by Michael Cabanatuan - May 17, 2015

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* Oregon - Metro tests ‘turn warning’ buses, explores ways to prevent pedestrian collisions

-- In an effort to improve pedestrian safety and reduce collisions, King County Metro Transit is testing and evaluating an audio and visual turn warning system on 10 buses for the next month in parts of Seattle and south King County... The audio system, called TurnWarning, announces “caution, bus turning” in English and Spanish and includes a left-side strobe light activated when a bus is turning at an intersection. The installed system is triggered when the bus driver turns the steering wheel at least 270 degrees left or 360 degrees right... This system was tested for three days this week on eight buses as they traveled through busy intersections in downtown Seattle, Capitol Hill and Madison Park. Staff recorded initial observations and pedestrian feedback that will be further analyzed as part of the evaluation. Another month of testing remains on a total of 10 buses traveling around the county... 
(Photo: A King County Metro bus. Metro operates a fleet of about 1,300 buses)   --  King County, ORE, USA - The Enumclauw Courier Herald - May 15, 2015



SAFETY OF GIRLS STUDENTS * India: Compromised on school buses

* Chandigarh - Molestation of five-year-old on school buses

-- Norm of female attendant on school buses given the go-by... A day after the molestation incident, buses associated with almost every school in the city were seen without female attendants today... Women teachers were seen travelling by a few school buses in the morning and after school hours. They were also seen helping students board the buses. But they were not on board till the last student was dropped at his/her place in the afternoon... A survey by The Tribune revealed that the buses were jam-packed with students. The vehicles were having conductors and a majority of them were youths. Not a single bus in the city was seen having woman attendants and conductors, except for those of Carmel Convent School... School bus conductors were seen lifting small kids carrying heavy school bags on their back to help them alight from the bus at their respective stops... Almost all of the school buses on the city roads were found to be ill-equipped and did not have CCTVs and GPS facility. The bus crew members were neither wearing the uniform nor their name plates... The UT Administration is working towards installing GPS-based vehicle-tracking system on school buses as well as those for the general public to ensure safety and security of school students... 
(Photo Tribune Photo by Manoj Mahajan - A conductor boards a school bus in Chandigarh on Thursday)  --  Mohali, Chandigarh, India - Tribune News Service, by Dr. SB Deepak Kumar, deputy commissioner - May 15 2015

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BUS PUBLIC SERVICE * USA: New warning system

* Washington - Seattle pedestrians will hear a new warning system on King County buses

-- That's not your imagination playing tricks on you. Some King County Metro Transit buses are "talking" now. It's an effort to increase pedestrian safety... Metro is testing the audio system called TurnWarning on 10 buses for the next month in parts of Seattle and south King County. From sidewalks and crosswalks, you'll hear the warning "Caution! Bus is turning" from a speaker... Metro estimates the 10 devices cost about $4,000 each. Desmond says outfitting the entire fleet could cost as much as $3 million... 
(Photo by Josh Green, KING 5 News - King County Metro Transit is testing out a new turn warning system on some of its buses) Seattle, WASH, USA - KING 5 News, by Josh Green - May 14, 2015


BIKE RACK on BUSES * Canada: TTC limits access on

* Ontario - About 200 buses will only allow one bike in the rack

-- The TTC is limiting to one the number of bikes allowed on some of its bus racks. When loaded with two bikes the racks create sight-line problems for drivers... All buses will still accept at least one bike on each rack and most will still allow two. But the 153 bendy buses and about 50 new 40-ft. Nova buses arriving later this year will only take one bike on the rack at the front of the vehicle... Those buses still comprise only a minority of the TTC's 1,800-vehicle fleet, said spokesman Brad Ross. They are the models where the driver sits a little lower relative to the bike rack and the bike at the front of the rack can impede the operator's sight line creating a safety issue... The Ministry of Labour last year ordered the TTC to review driver sight lines in relation to the bike racks... 
(Photo by RON BULL / TORONTO STAR - The TTC is limiting to one the number of bikes allowed on some of its bus racks. When loaded with two bikes the racks create sight-line problems for drivers) Toronto, ONT, CAN - The Toronto Star, by Tess Kalinowski - May 14 2015




* Missouri - City testing fully electric bus this week

.. The city of Columbia is testing the fully electric bus to see if it is a feasible alternative to diesel or natural gas-powered buses... Beginning Wednesday, the bus will shuttle riders around on the city’s core Gold and Black CoMo Connect routes. University of Missouri students were able to test the bus Monday and Tuesday, when the vehicle ran the Tiger Line daytime route between the MU Student Center and the Hearnes and Trowbridge parking lots, Public Works Director John Glascock said... Each 35-seat bus comes with its own charger that plugs into the back of the vehicle and can fully charge it in about three hours, said Drew Brooks, the city’s multimodal transportation manager. The bus, can drive about 200 miles in the city or 300 miles on the highway with a full charge... The bus ran for 12 hours Monday and used about one-fourth of a full charge, which equates to about 118 kilowatt hours, said. The cost to run the electric bus from 6 a.m. until 6 p.m. was $5.78; the cost to run one of the city’s diesel buses for the same period is $75 to $100, depending on the price of fuel... The city’s natural gas-powered buses each cost about $500,000, and its diesel buses cost about the same, Brooks said. A new 40-foot electric bus costs about $600,000 and has a warranty of 12 years, he said. A similarly modeled 30-foot bus costs about $425,000...  
(Photo by Nick Schnelle/Tribune - Electric bus tour - City Manager Mike Matthes exits an electric bus after touring the vehicle Tuesday. City leaders and officials toured the bus and learned how the city might use electric buses in the future)  --  Columbia, MISS, USA - The Columbia Daily Tribune, by CAITLIN CAMPBELL - May 13, 2015


BUS SERVICES * USA: New Line electric ones

* Minnesota - Metro Transit tries out new line of electric buses

-- Metro Transit is trying out another line of electric buses, looking for the next generation of vehicles that can be environmentally friendly and cost effective... Metro Transit general manager Brian Lamb said, they want to start to diversify their fleet, and one way to do that is to incorporate electric buses... The buses are expensive at about $800,000 each, which is about $300,000 more than a traditional bus. But Lamb said they expect big savings on fuel... In the last 20 years, Metro Transit have made great strides in reducing emissions, Lamb said... Another benefit of the electric bus is the relative silence of the vehicles... He said they are looking at three different companies and if they decide to go ahead with the buses, they will start taking bids by the end of this year... 
(Photo: Minneapolis' Metro Transit double chassis bus bending at 90 °)  --  Minneapolis, MINN, USA - CBS Minnesota/WCCO, by Susie Jones - May 13, 2015

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BUSMAKER NEWS * Sweden - Volvo tests new generation all-electric bus

Gothenburg - Volvo’s first electric bus now on the roads of 

-- Swedish bus maker Volvo has just concluded tests of its new electric bus on the streets of Gothenburg, Sweden’s second largest city. The bus was tested amid regular traffic to study it in real word conditions. Volvo says that it is fine tuning the bus before launching it on June 15, 2015 in Gothenburg itself... The bus is 10.7 metres long and can accommodate up to 86 passengers. The driver sits in the centre of the bus a la the Mclaren F1 hypercar. Volvo says that the bus is designed to offer a modern and welcoming atmosphere. The bus is fitted with sockets to charge mobile phones as well as has onboard WiFi... Three of its all-electric and seven of its hybrid buses will ply on this route. The buses are equipped with quick-charge battery packs that can be replenished using renewable electricity. The energy consumption of the bus is 80 per cent lower than that of diesel buses, says Volvo... The bus will be commercially produced 2017 onwards... 
(Photo: A VOLVO BUS SAR)  --  Gothenburg, Sweden - Overdrive - 13 May 2015

* India - Volvo says its buses are compliant to the new Bus Body Code in

-- The bus body code has come into effect in India from April 1, 2015. Issued by the office of Ministry of Road and Transport Highways , the Bus Body Code enlists guidelines to manufacturers of bus bodies. The new direction will ensure that buses will maintain a standard with respect to the design, passenger legroom, materials used for construction. The Bus Body code also mandates the incorporation of ABS... Volvo has announced that it welcomes the new rules that could help reduce the growing number of fatalities on our roads. The company adds that its buses already conform to the Bus Body Code and its buses come with ABS...
(Photo: Volvo Buses are fully compliant to the Bus Body Code) -- New Delhi, Delhi, India - First Post - 15 May 2015

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STUDY * USA: Cities need to invest in bus systems

* Indiana - Bus systems may yield return for workforce and employers

-- A quality public bus system may help manufacturers and retailers to retain employees, says a new study from Ball State University... “The impact of bus transit on employee turnover: Evidence from quasi-experimental samples,” an article by Ball State researchers found that counties with fixed-route bus transit systems have lower employee turnover rates... Researchers Dagney Faulk, Center for Business and Economic Research’s (CBER) research director, and Michael Hicks, CBER director and the George and Frances Ball Distinguished Professor of Economics, found an increase in bus systems’ per capita operating expenditures is associated with a decrease in employee turnover. In turn, businesses save money by not having to train new workers or rebuild institutional knowledge within the firm... These results suggest that access to fixed-route bus transit should be a component of the economic development strategy for communities not only for the access to jobs that it provides low-income workers but also for the benefit provided to businesses that hire these workers, the study said... The study analyzed employee turnover rates between 1998 and 2010 in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin counties. The research compared counties with between 50,000 to 125,000 people with and without bus transit systems... Researchers used publicly available federal data. They found that a fixed-route bus system in a community reduced annual manufacturing turnover by 1,100 to 1,200 jobs and annual turnover costs by $5.3 million to $6.1 million. In retailing, the turnover of employees was reduced by 900 to 1,000 jobs annually while yearly turnover costs were cut by $1.7 to $1.9 million... Previous research determined that turnover costs cut an estimated 16 to 20 percent of a company’s earnings... “The suburbanization of manufacturing and retail employment has had a dramatic impact on low-income individuals,” Faulk said. “For low-income workers, limited access to transportation may hinder the type and number of jobs available to them. This would ultimately influence income levels and the duration of employment” ... 
 (Image from INDYCONNECT Initiative)  --  Muncie, IND, USA - The Miller College of Business/Ballard University, by Marc Ransford, Media Relations Manager - May 13, 2015

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SAFER BUS TRAVEL * India: New rules to soon make it

* Tamil Nadu - Bus travel,  going to be safer

-- A ghastly rash of accidents involving buses in the country in the recent past has accounted for at least 10,000 deaths a year. Many of these fatalities were avoidable had the vehicles conformed to standard safety norms, most of them passengers trapped in burning vehicles and charred to death... The Union Ministry of Road Transport and Highways has introduced a 'Bus Body Code' that makes it mandatory for vehicle manufacturers to incorporate safety measures including providing hammers at all emergency windows, two fire extinguishers per vehicle, hydraulic doors that can be opened from inside, with or without power, easier accessibility to power, easier accessibility for those with limited mobility and public address systems. The norms will come into effect from August 1 and services including Metropolitan Transport Corporation will have to ensure that the buses they acquire conform to the norms... According to the April 30 order, bus manufacturers will have to receive certification from Central Institute of Road Transport (CIRT) and Automotive Research Association of India (ARAI), said CIRT, Pune, safety & homologation head R B Barpatte...  
Chennai, T.N., India - The Times of India, by Karthikeyan Hemalatha - May 14, 2015



BUSMAKER NEWS * Canada - Ballard & Solaris buses

* British Columbia - Ballard receives order for additional next-gen Fuel Cell Bus module from Solaris

-- Ballard has received a follow-on order from Solaris Bus & Coach (Solaris) for a fuel cell power module to be used in a zero-emission bus planned for deployment in Europe. The next-generation FCvelocity®-HD7 power module will be incorporated into a new 24 meter (80 foot) fuel cell bus design. Delivery of the power module to Solaris is planned for later this year... Solaris, based in Poland, is one of the leading players in the European bus industry. The Company manufactures intracity, intercity and special-purpose buses as well as low-floor trams. Since starting production in 1996, over 10,000 Solaris vehicles have been deployed in 28 countries, including Poland, Germany, Norway, France, Sweden, Switzerland and United Arab Emirates... Ballard’s next-generation FCvelocity®-HD7 fuel cell power module features reduced parts count – including fewer moving parts – an integrated air compressor and coolant pump along with reduced parasitic load... 
Burnaby, BC, Canada - Vancouver, BC, CAN - Ballard - May 12, 2015


INSPECTION of BUSES USA: * North Carolina: No requirement for charter school buses - & * Ohio: Big Buses inspected

* North Carolina - A loophole in state law allows school buses at dozens of schools to go un-inspected

(CDL Bus Pretrip Inspection - By Videosaysitall's Channel - Jul 17, 2012: This video will show you how to do a school bus pretrip. Actually, this video is helpful for any class B vehicle)

 -- School buses that failed inspection still on the road... Charter schools are schools that are operated by private organizations but receive public tax dollars. There are currently 146 charter schools in the Tar Heel State, according to the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction... State law only requires that charter schools ensure transportation isn't a barrier to a student attending their school. There is no requirement to offer transportation services... Because of that, charter school administrators said, the state does not provide any money for transportation... Public schools, on the other hand, are provided buses for student transportation to and from school. Those buses also come with state-supported maintenance. Along with that funding from the state come requirements that each public school bus be inspected every 30 days... Unlike public schools, charter schools are not required to conduct any inspections on their buses and there are no standardized maintenance requirements. Despite that, NCDPI offers free courtesy inspections to all charter schools once a year... There are 35 charter schools in the greater Charlotte region. Of those, 12 offer some form of bus transportation to students, whether it be door-to-door service our something that more closely resembles a shuttle from the school to just a few stops... Until the law changes, though, there will be no uniform standard for ensuring charter school buses are safe to transport children... 
Charlotte, NC, USA - WBTV, by Nick Ochsner - May 12, 2015 

* Ohio - Big Buses inspected for safety issues

-- Safety searches are keeping inspectors busy as they expose the problems many drivers will never see or check... All motor coaches and church buses must pass an annual inspection. It’s a registration requirement in Ohio that has been in place for 15 years now... Still, nearly half of all buses fail each year for mechanical or safety issues... Rolling down the road at nearly 50 thousand pounds, it’s critical big buses are running right. Inspectors check everything from the emergency exits and roof escapes, to the belts, tires and brakes... Any kind of charter bus must pay for an annual inspection and one violation means the bus has failed... All issues must be fixed before the bus get the seal of approval affixed to the side. It’s an effort to keep passengers safe and educate drivers on the often ignored or missed mechanics that could be life changing at any turn... State troopers say some bus companies have registered out of state to avoid going through Ohio’s inspection process. It’s a good idea to look for an updated sticker showing the bus passed a recent inspection before you board... 
(Photo: Some big buses were busted for safety violations that put everyone at risk on the road)  --  Columbus, OH, USA - ABC 6, by Elizabeth Faugl - May 12, 2015


BUSES PURCHASE * USA: Palm Beach: 131 new - Kaneland: 10 new - Elkhart 15 new ones

* Florida - Palm Beach County schools to get 131 new school buses

-- Palm Beach County’s public schools are getting 120 new school buses next year in an effort to reduce the number of breakdowns caused by the school system’s aging bus fleet... The School Board voted Tuesday to spend more than $14 million over the next five years for 120 buses, along with $1.4 million this year for 11 smaller buses to transport students with learning disabilities... Board members called the purchase a short-term fix to a long-term problem, one they blame on their dwindling budget for construction and maintenance... As The Post reported last year, the number of buses that had to be towed because of breakdowns each year is growing. Records show tow-aways more than doubled from 245 in 2009 to 572 in 2013... The school system maintains a fleet of roughly 800 school buses...
(Photo: The school system maintains a fleet of roughly 800 school buses) Palm Beach, FL, USA - The Palm Beach Post, by Andrew Marra - May 12, 2015 

* Illinois - Kaneland to buy 10 new school buses

-- Kaneland to spend $829,000 on 10 new school buses... The district owns 58 buses, two of which have 190,000 miles on them, and a significant number of others have 184,000 to 160,000 miles on the odometer. The oldest one on the road is a 2001 model, school district officials said... The district's citizen-appointed Finance Advisory Committee had recommended the School Board consider two separate two-year leases for 30 buses for next school year and 28 buses for the 2016-2017 school year... The majority of School Board members, however, thought more discussion was needed on the use of reserves in the district's fund balance to deal with the district's bus situation... The new buses are equipped with the latest technology such as improved heater systems and safety devices. The district transports 4,000 students on 155 routes every day... 
(Photo)  --  Maple Park, ILL, USA - Aurora Beacon-News, by Linda Girardi - 12 May 2015

* Indiana -  Elkhart Community Schools moves forward with purchase of 15 buses

 -- Elkhart Community Schools will move forward with the process to purchase about 15 buses for about $1.2 million... The buses will replace some older vehicles and also grow the fleet slightly, said Doug Hasler, executive director of support services... The new buses, which will vary in capacity, will be paid for with money from the Bus Replacement Fund and the operating referendum that was approved by taxpayers in May 2014... Hasler will return to the board with pricing before moving forward with any purchases...
(Photo: Riverview Elementary School in Elkhart)  --  Elkhart, IND, USA - The Elkhart Truth, by Michelle Sokol - May 13, 2015


* UK - BUS AD: HEY... minimum: ... leave the phone in the advertising !!!

* UK - The best responses to that ‘offensive’ ‘ride me all day for £3′ bus ad

(Picture: NAT/Facebook - This New Adventure Travel campaign was called ‘sexist’ and ‘offensive’ online)
 -- Following a huge backlash online, New Adventure Travel, a private bus company in the Cardiff Bay area is removing adverts from its buses that feature a topless woman holding a sign which reads ‘Ride me all day for £3’ ... After a barrage of criticism from locals, the company yesterday apologised ‘unreservedly’ for what they had intended to be a ‘tongue in cheek’ campaign to attract the younger generation... They said all ads, some of which also featured a topless man, would be removed from buses within 24 hours... However, that still allowed plenty of time for Twitter to have its say and, of course, Twitter had a lot to say... 
 (Two replies... The others ones see by yourself...)
By DJ Wozza: "Ride me all day for £3 #RideMeAllDay @Nigel_Farage" 

"It was a cross-party thing", by Trubs ‏@MrTrubshawe

Cardiff, EN, UK - Metro, by Alison Lynch - 12 May 2015



* Manila - DOTC creates new public utility vehicle classification: the airport bus

-- Passengers going to and from the Ninoy Aquino International Airport will soon have another means of transport with the creation of Airport Buses under a new public utility vehicle (PUV) classification created by the Department of Transportation and Communications. The agency is expanding transportation options for airline passengers other than taxis and personal vehicles to help ease traffic congestion around the airport... Under this new classification, Airport Buses will be required to comply with improved service levels, such as being equipped with on-board closed-circuit television cameras, global positioning system (GPS) devices, automated bus arrival electronic displays, cashless or automated fare collection systems, and free Wi-Fi. Airport buses should also be eco-friendly...
 (Photo: The Ninoy Aquino International Airport)  --  Manila, Philippines - GMA News, by STEVE DAILISAN - May 12, 2015


GREEN BUSES * Latin America: By 2020, 40,000 public transport units in the region will operate on clean energy

* Argentina - The move is the result of a regional agreement to cut pollution in public transport

-- Eight cities in Latin America will replace 40,000 passenger buses with non-polluting vehicles by 2020 ... The plan, which includes reducing greenhouse gas emissions before 2019, was unveiled in the first ever Latin American mayors’ forum under the Climate Leadership Group (C40) during the signing of a declaration of intent on “clean buses” in Buenos Aires last 27 March... The eight cities are Bogotá, Buenos Aires, Caracas, Curitiba, Mexico City, Quito, Rio de Janeiro and Salvador. Of their estimated total public transport fleet of 114,655 units by 2020, 40,000 or 35 per cent will stop using diesel fuel, which is expected to cut down 435,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions each year... These initiatives are crucial to combat pollution in the region. While carbon dioxide makes up 60 per cent of greenhouse gas emissions in Latin America, 30 per cent of these emissions come from transport... In April 2013, C40 reported the results of a test programme measuring the performance of 17 hybrid and electric buses in Bogotá, Rio de Janeiro, San Pablo and Santiago. “The technology, which combines diesel and electricity, recorded 26 per cent fewer carbon dioxide emissions than those vehicles using diesel,” says Mauricio Osses, an engineering consultant at the International Research Center on Sustainability... In Lima, Peru, the new public transport system, the Metropolitano, is the “most advanced system when it comes to deploying a clean fleet”, according to Nicolás Estupiñan, transport specialist at the Development Bank of Latin America (CAF). The system is fuelled with natural gas like in Caracas, Cartagena and Medellín... In Campinas, Brazil, the Chinese firm BYD is constructing a plant that will produce 1,000 electric buses every year... In Mexico, CAF is sponsoring a programme to convert 20,000 of the 30,000 buses currently using diesel to clean energy sources. However, the main challenge is finance. A public transport diesel bus (which has two or more sections and a capacity of up to 160 passengers) costs US$250,000. But the hybrid vehicles are 25 per cent more expensive while electric vehicles cost 50 per cent more... In Argentina, a project is underway for the production, purification and application of hydrogen as a fuel and energy vector. The project will link all the research centres on hydrogen in the country to develop technology that can be used for vehicles and fixed installations... However, such higher initial investment cost can be offset in the long-run with lower fuel inputs... 
(Photo by Alfredo Cali - Panos)   --  Buenos Aires, CF, ARG- SCI DEV - 11 May 2015


BUS DRIVERS STRIKE * India - & * Portugal

* Delhi / India - Bus strike in Delhi after driver is beaten to death

-- A day after a driver of the Delhi Transport Corporation (DTC) was beaten to death allegedly by a biker in a case of road rage, drivers of the state-run bus service stayed off roads in protest, causing problems for thousands of commuters and schoolchildren... Ashok Kumar, 42, died on Sunday morning after Vijay, a young man whose bike he had grazed, climbed onto his bus and allegedly bludgeoned him with his helmet. Investigations suggest Vijay and his mother fell when the bus hit their motorcycle in Mundka in west Delhi... Vijay was arrested late last night. His mother was arrested today for allegedly inciting him throughout... Ashok Kumar, a resident of Haryana, was a father of two. The Delhi government has announced a compensation of Rs. 5 lakh for his family. It has also promised a job for one family member... Most DTC buses remained off the roads as drivers demanded too better safety measures... 
(Photo: Thousands of commuters have been hit by a DTC bus strike after a driver was beaten to death on Sunday)  --  New Delhi, India - NDTV - May 11, 2016

* Portugal - No buses in Porto

 -- A strike by bus drivers in the northern city of Porto means not one of the 400 scheduled early morning services is running on Monday, not even the minimum services required by law... The bus drivers from STCP are on strike from 0.00 on Monday to 2:00 on Tuesday to protest against the privatisation of the company and to demand more drivers... A public tender to franchise out the STCP services was launched in August 2014, but the agreement has not yet been signed with Spanish consortium TMB – Transports Metropolitans de Barcelona/Moventis, the only bidder in the tender that should start operating the Metro do Porto in July...
Porto, Portugal - Peprobe - 11 May 2015

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* Georgia - School district investigates buses running red lights

-- A neighbor shot video of a DeKalb County school bus that appears to be running through a red light on North Superior Road and North Decatur Road in Decatur... After viewing the video, transportation director for the DeKalb County School District plan to send out a warning Tuesday morning to the district's hundreds of bus drivers about the importance of obeying traffic laws. The district is investigating which bus was involved in the video... Neighbors are creating a committee to examine the traffic concerns... 
(Photo: DeKalb County Schools is sending out a warning to all bus drivers after Channel 2 Action News showed them video of buses running a red light)  --  Dekalb County, GA, USA - WSB TV, by Rachel Stockman - 11 May 2015

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TRANSIT COPS * Canada: 'Big Brother' rutine at work

* Ontario - Keeping the peace in Ottawa's night,  with the  Transit Cops

(Photo by Julie Oliver / Ottawa Citizen - The mission control room where all buses are monitored from at the OC Transpo’s Industrial Ave. location)
-- A wall of monitors broadcasts live images from across the darkened city... Here inside OC Transpo’s sophisticated communications centre on Belfast Road, a pair of operators quietly work, keeping in constant touch with bus drivers out on the road... Off to one side, behind a wall of opaque glass panels, is the transit law-enforcement headquarters, the thrumming heart of OC Transpo’s security operation... There’s an undeniable element of Big Brother at work here... Three communications officers stay in regular contact with the special constables, the authority’s boots on the ground. The communications team also has its own large bank of monitors to watch what’s happening inside bus stations across the city... This is whom special constables out on the road call when they want names run through the Canadian Police Information Centre database if they have, for instance, detained a person for being drunk on a bus or causing a ruckus... Special constables — the formal name for transit cops — have many of the same powers as the police. They can arrest and detain people under the Criminal Code, enforce drug and alcohol laws, and bust panhandlers on all transit vehicles, stations and property. They don’t have guns or Tasers, but do carry batons, pepper spray and handcuffs... 
(Photo by Cole Burston / Ottawa Citizen - A typical night might see nine special constables, plus a sergeant, at work)
... The constables say some bus drivers have also been known to announce to passengers that special constables will be boarding the bus at an upcoming stop, only to see half the bus empty out the back door...
(Photo by Julie Oliver / Ottawa Citizen - The mission control room where all buses are monitored from at the OC Transpo’s Industrial Ave. location) -- Ottawa, ONT, CAN - The Ottawa Citizen, by Matthew Pearson - May 10, 2015


BUS MANAGEMENT SYSTEM * USA: Chicago T.A. hopes new system reduces bus-bunching

* Illinois - CTA hopes new technology boosts bus reliability

-- The Chicago Transit Authority on Monday showed off new technology that may help address a problem as old as traffic — buses bunched together and going nowhere fast, while riders endure long waits for service elsewhere on the same route... Transit officials didn't go so far as to predict that new communications equipment connecting bus drivers with the CTA's control center would lead to extraordinary service improvements that will generate rave reviews and reverse a worrisome slide in bus ridership... The low reliability of bus service contributed heavily to an 8 percent decline in CTA bus ridership in 2014 compared with 2013, transit officials said... The bus management system is produced and managed by Clever Devices Ltd., a New York-based transportation-technology company that also is the vendor for CTA Bus Tracker... The CTA is using federal funding to pay for the project, officials said... 
(Photo: Chicago traffic in mirror)  --  Chicago, ILL, USA - The Chicago Tribune, by Jon Hilkevitch - 11 May 2015



BUSMAKER NEWS * Israel: Defence firm Elbit shifts gears with electric buses

* Israel - Elbit see strong competition in developing battery-powered vehicles

-- For two decades, Israeli defence contractor Elbit Systems has its sights set on market - electric buses. The electronics company has landed on high-performance batteries suitable for electric buses... Elbit  plans to have a commercially viable version ready by the end of 2016... It is also working on a similar-style battery for a car starter motor, for which a pilot production line will be finished by the end of the year... Since buses run along fixed routes for fixed amounts of time, the key is to be able to charge their batteries rapidly in the down-time, even in the pauses along a route... The problem with supercapacitors, however, is their cost and their weight, which can be prohibitive... Yet for those that manage to crack the problem, there is money to be made: the hybrid and electric bus market is still in its early stages, but it is expected to boom over the next decade to over $100 billion a year in terms of revenue, according to IDTechEx, a group that reasearches emerging technologies... Around half of that revenue will come from batteries sales...  Elbit's solution to the battery weight problem is a hybrid supercapacitor - combined with a lithium ion battery - giving it both the high energy density of a conventional battery and power of a supercapacitor. The battery will weigh just one tonne, making it less expensive and freeing up room for more passengers... 
Netanya, Israel - Reuters, by Ari Rabinovitch / Pravin Char - May 7, 2015

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* Punjab - Buses owned by Badals get prime-time slots in

-- The transport authorities in Punjab are all out to favour the buses owned by the Badal family under the names of Orbit Aviation Private Limited, Dabwali Transport Company Limited and Taj Transport Company. The authorities have allotted additional halt time to buses of these companies at various bus stands across the state... A scrutiny of bus timetable on the Bathinda-Barnala, Patiala-Sangrur, Ludhiana-Barnala and Moga-Jalandhar routes revealed that there was a huge gap in the halt time allotted to buses owned by the Badals and the state-owned buses. Moreover, buses of these companies have been allotted prime time on profitable routes... The timetable revealed that the Orbit buses were allowed to halt at a bus stand for eight to 15 minutes against four to five minutes given to the Pepsu Road Transport Corporation (PRTC) buses...

... During the scrutiny, it was found that the bus timetable was changed due to “political influence”. A politically-connected transport company —A2Z — got the prime time within minutes as a notice to transfer permit to A2Z was issued to Patarsi Bus Highways Service Registered, Patiala, on June 8, 2013. Harmail Singh, regional transport authority, Patiala, said the A2Z Transport got the time which was allotted to Patarsi Bus Highways Service... BJP leader Jagdish Sahni of Batala has 27 buses in the name of New Mid Bhawra Transport and Sahni Transport Ltd. Manpreet Badal, president, People’s Party of Punjab, owns five buses under Raghu Raj Service. Former Speaker Nirmal Singh Kahlon has about 40 buses under Baba Budha Dal Bus Service... Hardeep Dimpa, SAD Gidderbaha in charge, has a fleet of 60 buses under New Deep Bus Service. Former Congress media adviser Bharat Inder Singh Chahal’s wife Jaswinder Kaur owns a bus under Universal Bus Service as per the STC records... In contrast, Haryana has 4,000 government buses and 865 private. Contrary to Punjab, no private transporter has permit for major routes on the national highways. Most private buses in Haryana run within a district while in Punjab the private transporters have monopoly on long routes...
Chandigarh, Punjab, India - The Hindustan Times, by Gurpreet Singh Chhina - May 06, 2015


BUS DRIVERS STRIKE * India: 4,000 employees began an indefinite strike

Andhra Pradesh - RTC strike hits bus services in Prakasam

-- Passengers in Road Transport Corporation buses were put to a lot of hardship as over 4,000 employees began an indefinite strike in the eight depots across Prakasam District demanding pay hike on Wednesday... Bus services on 3.30 lakh route kilometre were disrupted in view of the strike. The RTC authorities were able to take out seven buses out of the depot with ruling TDP-led Karmika Parishad members reporting for duty... Regional Manager V. Naga Sivudu said that as many as 771 buses were confined to the depots across the district following the agitation launched seeking a 43 per cent ''fitment'' benefit at par with State Government employees... Buses from Chennai, Hyderabad and Bangalore were allowed to reach the bus station here in the wee hours by union leaders on humanitarian grounds... Temporary arrangements: Meanwhile, unemployed youth with heavy vehicle driving license thronged the bus depot as also those with a pass in SSC examination for jobs as drivers and conductors respectively... (Photo by Kommuri Srinivas - APSRTC workers obstruct running of buses in Ongole in Prakasam District) Ongole, Andhra Pradesh, India - The Hindu, by S. Murali - 6 May 2015