International bus and coach update
More Volvos for Bangalore
WITH the city’s initial fleet of 70 air-conditioned Volvo buses encouraging modal shift, the Bangalore Metropolitan Transport Corporation has ordered a further 240. They will be Euro 3 B7RLEs, with bodywork derived from the European 8700 model.
“Passengers are very satisfied with the comfort provided by the Volvo buses,” says Upendra Tripathy, BMTC managing director. BMTC says that half of the passengers travelling on its existing Volvos previously used cars or two-wheeled transport.
Volvo claims leadership in the Indian luxury coach market, and is gaining ground in city buses with vehicles now in service in Bangalore, Pune, Chennai and Maysore.
Hyundai plans expansion
CAPARO India has signed an agreement with Hyundai Motors to produce buses at a new factory to be built in southern India. Caparo says it will target bus operators who are watching their costs. “We are offering a product on a par with global quality standards. We believe our buses will transport people in comfort and style. The buses will have world class technology, looks and luxury” says Dev Mukherjee, who heads new projects for Caparo India.
US$603million New Flyer orders
NEW Flyer has announced orders for up to 1,253 buses worth over US$603million (£304million). This includes 874 new orders and 379 orders which were previously options but are now confirmed.
If all of the orders – including some new options – are completed, New Flyer will supply 370 buses to San Diego, 300 to Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority, 150 to Chicago and 77 to Las Vegas, along with smaller orders for other fleets. Most of the buses will run on diesel or CNG, but the 150 buses for Chicago will be hybrids and there are small numbers of hybrids for San Diego, Ohio, Translink in Vancouver and Oahu Transit in Honolulu.
The orders include both rigid and articulated buses.
Two decks in Toronto
GO Transit in Toronto is introducing 12 Alexander Dennis Enviro500 double-deckers to its fleet this month, with 10 more due in 2009. They were launched by Ontario premier Dalton McGuinty, who says: “A lot of people are choosing to leave their cars at home these days. And these new double-decker buses are one way we can help them.”
A FLEET of 24 electric midibuses is to be introduced to a new city centre service in Copenhagen next year, in a joint initiative by the city council and transport operator Movia. The buses will run on a circular route from City Hall Square, with fixed stops at the busiest points and hail-and-ride operation elsewhere. The project will cost DKK17.5million (£1.8million) a year to operate and is intended to reduce traffic in the city centre.
Decker expansion planned
COMMUNITY Transit, which operates between Snohomish and Seattle plans to buy 23 double-decker buses, following the trial operation of one Alexander Dennis Enviro500 which it markets as The Double Tall. Ridership on Community Transit services rose last year by 10 percent, to a total of 11 million trips.
The operator says that the buses would cost around $18million (£9million), and would be delivered by 2010.
SURFSIDE Buslines, which serves Queensland’s Gold Coast, is to acquire Sunbus. Surfside runs 300 vehicles, Sunbus has around 200. Sunbus is the trading name of Transit Australia, set up in the 1990s by British busman and minibus advocate Harry Blundred.
THE first double-deck bus to operate in Cyprus is about to enter service. It is an open-top Leyland Olympian which will be operating sightseeing tours in Ayia Napa and Protaras. The business, Lafilia Red Bus, has been set up by a British expatriate, Dave Tutton.
Volvo launches BRT
VOLVO has launched a double-articulated 7800 in China, hoping to stimulate interest in Bus Rapid Transit. The 18m-long vehicle has a front-mounted 9-litre engine, and is based on a B9SLA chassis, similar to those in operation in Santiago, Chile. The chassis is supplied in kit form from Sweden, while the body is produced by Volvo’s Chinese joint venture, Sunwin.
Volvo has also secured an order for 395 conventional city buses for operation in Qingdao.