Hyundai, Kia No. 2 in Chinese small car market

Hyundai car

Hyundai Motor and its affiliate Kia Motors ranked No. 2 in sales of small vehicles in China during the first nine months of 2011, automotive data showed.

It said the two carmakers saw their ranking climb by four notches on a year-on-year basis by grabbing 10.9 percent of the Chinese market. They were placed at sixth over the same period last year.

The data showed that Hyundai-Kia sold a combined 162,472 units in the compact car segment between January and September.

The companies saw their sales jump 52.2 percent on a yearly basis and overtake Volkswagen, which ranked third with sales of 154,582 units. General Motors topped the list by selling 191,626 units.

GM recorded 12.9 percent in market share and Volkswagen 10.4 percent.

Hyundai Motor’s Verna (dubbed Accent in China) and Kia Motors’ K2 (Pride Hatchback in China) contributed heavily to their rapid sales growth, according to the data.

Sales of the Verna subcompact came to 96,883 units, making it the third bestselling car in China. The K2, made available to consumers in June, reached 22,376 units as of September.

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Connecting Europe: The new EU core transport network

Connecting Europe

The Commission has today adopted a proposal to transform the existing patchwork of European roads, railways, airports and canals into a unified transport network (TEN-T). The new core network will remove bottlenecks, upgrade infrastructure and streamline cross border transport operations for passengers and businesses throughout the EU. It will improve connections between different modes of transport and contribute to the EU’s climate change objectives.

European Commission Vice-President Siim Kallas, responsible for transport, said: “Transport is fundamental to an efficient EU economy, but vital connections are currently missing. Europe’s railways have to use 7 different gauge sizes and only 20 of our major airports and 35 of our major ports are directly connected to the rail network. Without good connections Europe will not grow or prosper.”

The new policy follows a two-year consultation process and establishes a core transport network to be established by 2030 to act as the backbone for transportation within the Single Market. The financing proposals published today (for the period 2014–2020) also tightly focus EU transport funding on this core transport network, filling in cross-border missing links, removing bottlenecks and making the network smarter.

The new core TEN-T network will be supported by a comprehensive network of routes, feeding into the core network at regional and national level. This will largely be financed by Member States, with some EU transport and regional funding possibilities, including with new innovative financing instruments. The aim is to ensure that progressively, and by 2050, the great majority of Europe’s citizens and businesses will be no more than 30 minutes’ travel time from this comprehensive network.

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Funds will fuel rapid-bus service

Rapid Bus

A day after the City Council approved San Antonio's first modern streetcar line, VIA received $6 million in federal grants, half of which will pay for an extension of its bus rapid transit system into Leon Valley.

VIA officials announced the grants Friday afternoon at a ceremony that included rail supporter Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff, U.S. Rep Charlie Gonzalez and Leon Valley Mayor Chris Riley.

VIA received two $3 million grants, the first from the Federal Transportation Administration's State of Good Rapid Program, which will fund improvements at its bus yard, maintenance facility and headquarters, and a second from FTA's Bus Livability Program to fund bus rapid transit in Leon Valley.

Calling the grants competitive, Gonzalez praised the work of VIA staffers.

“They have earned it,” Gonzalez said. “This is something you have earned because of how you have performed.”

VIA is set to launch its bus rapid transit line, called VIA Primo, in late 2012.

The route will include fewer stops and more frequent service, and the buses — longer than a normal VIA bus — will feature a more modern, rail-like feel.

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Colonel Gaddafi’s plea to raging mob: What did I ever do to you?

Colonel Gaddafi

BLOODIED Colonel Gaddafi was executed with a single shot to the head — after begging one of his captors: "What did I ever do to you?"

Libya's hated tyrant — found skulking in a drainage pipe in a suburb of his home city — was shown no mercy as he was thrown wounded on to a truck.

It set off for the centre of Sirte two miles away but was surrounded by a baying mob.

The monster was then hauled out — and filmed on mobile phones as he was unceremoniously dragged in agony through the dusty streets.

Blood pouring from his face, the brute behind the slaughter of thousands of his countrymen desperately begged for his life.

But his pleas fell on deaf ears. The Mad Dog — who had been stripped of his shirt — was killed by a bullet to the left temple.

Gaddafi's humiliation did not end there. Angry crowds took off their shoes to batter his dead face with the soles — a dire Arab insult.

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Officials Surprise Charter Buses With Safety Inspections

charter bus

The New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission (MVC) conducted a surprise safety inspection today of charter buses traveling in the area of Liberty State Park as part its program to try to reduce the number of crashes and fatalities on the Garden State’s busy highways.

This safety inspection comes as states across the country are conducting thousands of surprise inspections of motor coaches and tour buses during the national Passenger Carrier Strike Force, Sept. 23 – Oct. 7.

“We greatly value the important safety efforts led by the New Jersey Motor Vehicle Commission to ensure bus passengers are safe,” said FMCSA Administrator Anne S. Ferro. “The nationwide strike force is an important enforcement tool to hold bus companies accountable so that safety is the number one priority every trip, every time.”

Last week, the US Department of Transportation hosted a day-long Motorcoach Safety Summit in Washington to raise the bar for the motorcoach industry.

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Christmas travel spending to increase, survey says

christmas Travel
Despite continued high unemployment rates and a volatile stock market, American who plan to travel for the holidays expect to spend up to 43% more this year, according to a new survey.

The online survey released Monday by the American Express credit card company found that the percentage of Americans planning to travel for the holidays will stay about the same as last year.

But the survey also found that those Americans who plan to travel expect to spend about $659 on holiday travel this year, an increase of $200, or 43%, over last year.

Most of the additional spending, according to the survey, will go toward dining out and entertainment.

Although most Americans plan to drive to their holiday destinations, the percentage of travelers who will fly is expected to increase 10% to 36%.

"No matter where consumers choose to go, there is a clear interest in getting more out of travel," said Claire Bennett, senior vice president and general manager of American Express Travel.

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Luxury Travel Ltd’s Special Multi-Country Private Tours in Southeast Asia

Travel vietnam

Luxury Travel Vietnam designs multi-country touring options, invites elite travelers to experience the luxury, food, culture, lifestyle, travel and charm at its finest of five destinations in Southeast Asia with their great selection of multi-country tours, specially designed to show you the unique way of life and the wonderful sights of each country in one journey.

Southeast Asia is a captivating region brimming with intriguing cultures, age-old customs and diverse landscapes. While the cultures and histories of Southeast Asia are intricately woven together, each country retains its own distinct and vibrant traditions.

To truly experience the essence of the region, the best way is to embark on one of the enchanting multi-country tours, this is especially for travelers that come from a longhaul destination. Most of Luxury Travel Company's luxury tours start either from Hanoi/Saigon Vietnam or Bangkok, Thailand.

“Luxury Travel’s multi county tours combine two countries, Vietnam with Cambodia tours, Thailand with Laos Tours, Vietnam with Myanmar or Indochina tours or 5 countries Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Myanmar and Thailand in one trip. With our superb multi-country tour collection, the hardest thing is probably deciding which one to do,” said Pham Ha Founder and CEO of Luxury Travel Vietnam Group Ltd.

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Acropolis closed as Greek strikes spread


Unions and protesters shut down the Acropolis, halted public transport and occupied government buildings on Thursday, intensifying their confrontation with the Greek government as it scrambles to push more painful cuts through parliament.

Greece's largest labor union, the GSEE, sided with protesting public servants and announced plans to strike on Oct. 19 and 20, in opposition to the Socialist government's "ineffective and catastrophic policies," it said.

Stores and even farmers' markets in Athens are also due to close on the first day of the strike.

Public servants are the main targets of new austerity measures, slated for parliamentary approval Oct. 20, that include across-the-board salary cuts, and the suspension of 30,000 workers on the state payroll with reduced salaries.

Pensioners will also see more cuts, and salary earners will pay higher taxes, while parliament has already approved an emergency property tax due to be levies starting this month through electricity bills.

"The recession is deepening, unemployment has rocketed to appalling heights, the economy is collapsing, the living standards of our people has been pushed back decades back," the civil servants' union ADEDY said. "Employees and society are being driven to despair as the (government) pursues its policies that are creating the economic deadlock."

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Bus riders air concerns

Bus riders

Metro Bus riders tonight complained about decreasing services and vented their frustration over talk of a possible fare increase to cover rising costs and cuts in government subsidies to the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority.

NFTA Commissioner James J. Eagan assured about 45 residents who attended a question-and-answer forum in the Delavan-Grider Community Center that there are no formal plans to increase fares, but stressed the authority faces enormous fiscal challenges.

"We're facing a $15 million deficit. The NFTA is not a for-profit organization. The [Erie] County Legislature [was] kind enough ... to subsidize us with part of the mortgage tax and part of the sales tax. That helps us tremendously," Eagan said.

All 12 members of the NFTA board were invited to the meeting, organized by County Legislator Betty Jean Grant, D-Buffalo. Eagan was the only one who attended.

" We don't know if there is going to be a fare hike. We don't know if it's going to be a quarter or 50 cents. It's certainly not going to be $1," Eagan said.

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Transport for London boss calls for "a century of cycling"

Transport for London

The president of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT), who is also commissioner of Transport for London (TfL), has issued an appeal for “a step change in cycling” in the UK over the next 25 years, which he hopes will deliver a “century of cycling.”

Speaking last week at TfL’s headquarters at 55 Broadway in the inaugural CILT Cycling Lecture, Peter Hendy said that although there was little that could be done about issues such as Britain’s weather, the introduction of “a systematic programme of relatively small and cost-effective measures that will deliver a step-change in cycling in this country over the next 25 years.”

Mr Hendy, himself a keen cyclist, opened his speech by explaining that the fact cycling now had its own CILT Lecture, similar to rail, shipping and aviation, reflected the way in which “cycling is coming to the fore as a transport mode in its own right.”

He went on: “Cycling is a subject that is close to my heart in my dual roles not only as
President of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport, which enhances the careers of thousands of professionals in the transport sector, but also as this city‟s Transport Commissioner with Transport for London and with a boss who is famously a cycling enthusiast.

“Wearing these two hats – two complementary roles – gives me, I believe, a fascinating and privileged perspective on the growing role of cycling as a 21st century solution within a broad range of public and private transport choices.”

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Transport Bosses Face Quiz On Olympics Traffic

Olympic Traffic
Transport bosses are preparing to be quizzed on how they plan to prevent London from grinding to a halt during next year's Olympic and Paralympic Games.

London's transport infrastructure is one of the biggest concerns for the International Olympic Committee, who last week said it was an issue they would "have to follow very cautiously until the end."

The Transport for London commissioner, Peter Hendy, will face questions from the London Assembly about how to ensure the millions of extra visitors expected in the capital can move freely during the Games.

The Olympic Delivery Authority is already predicting delays of over an hour on some of the busiest Tube lines, and has identified 22 travel hotspot areas which will struggle to cope with the increased demand.

Caroline Pidgeon, chair of the London Assembly Transport Committee, told Sky News they would be asking: "Can each area cope with the number of spectators that are going to be visiting?

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Holiday travel popular as ever

Tour and Travel

A CHRISTMAS venture overseas is still a reality for travellers despite many Australian tourists already finalising their holiday preperations.

A boom period for the travel industry, the Christmas holidays are not out of reach for the last-minute traveller, with bargain hunters still able to secure a value for money deal.

Flight Centre Limited global marketing manager Colin Bowman said there were still plenty of great packages available for people to enjoy outside the peak Boxing Day to New Years Day period.

"With just two months to go to until the peak season, interest has been keen in the traditional international and domestic holiday hotspots," Mr Bowman said.

"While you can still book an airfare or room across the Boxing Day to New Year period, there are much cheaper options available in mid December or early in January.

"The best advice we have for travellers is to lock in a deal now, given that this is traditionally the busiest time of the year.

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Bargain train travel to London and more!

Train Travel

THE Northumberland Gazette has teamed up with East Coast trains to offer readers discounted travel to destinations across the country.

Tokens are appearing in the Gazette and by collecting them you can snap-up East Coast tickets from only £5.50 to York, £12 to London and £4.50 to Edinburgh (all one-way fares travelling from Alnwick or Morpeth).

Two tokens will be available in the Gazette on October 6 and October 13 and one set of four tokens allows up to four people to travel together.

Bookings are made online via a unique booking site detailed below and journeys can be made between October 31 and December 16, for travel on off-peak services with limited availability on Friday and Sunday afternoons.

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Unsustainable bus fares face review

Bus Travel
BUS travel in the Northern Rivers is more expensive than in inner city Sydney, according to the Northern Rivers Social Development Council.

The not-for-profit organis- ation has made a submission to the 2011 review of Rural and Regional Bus Fares which will determine standard bus fares from January 2012.

Social Development Council development and innovation manager Molly Galea said the Independent Pricing and Regu- latory Tribunal review must address the "substantial discrepancies" between bus fares in metropolitan and regional areas.

"The fact that people live in a more sparsely populated area doesn't mean they can afford to pay more, because they can't," Ms Galea said.

"For example, a bus from Parramatta to Sydney is $4.30 but a similar bus trip from Ballina to Lismore is $11.80.

"For people on lower incomes making this journey a couple of times a day, it quickly becomes unsustainable if you are spending $20 a day or $100 a week."

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Gilbert small-business bus tour points out sign woes

Bus Tour

An overly restrictive sign code is keeping some Gilbert businesses from getting noticed and attracting new customers, owners told town officials during a small-business bus tour Thursday morning.

Town Council members and high-ranking administrators joined the Gilbert Small Business Alliance in visiting several companies to hear their challenges and success stories.

Sign regulations quickly emerged as the dominant issue for the businesses, which included a gas station, property management group, an optometrist and a chiropractor.

Over the past several months, Gilbert officials have worked with businesses in a "stakeholders group" to rewrite much of the town's sign code. The proposed changes go before the council for possible approval next week.

The group included representatives of the Alliance, Gilbert Chamber of Commerce, International Sign Association and others. They met eight times and produced a set of amendments intended to make the code "less onerous" for businesses, according to a town staff report.

But the proposed changes won't resolve some of the concerns officials heard during the Alliance bus tour.

Many of the businesses are tucked away in shopping centers and suffer from visibility problems, owners said. They called on town officials to loosen certain sign regulations to give them greater flexibility in marketing themselves.

Houston-based real-estate company Whitestone REIT in July bought Gilbert Tuscany Village, a shopping center on the northeastern corner of Higley and Guadalupe roads. The retail center is home to Rancho de Tia Rosa restaurant and Salon Di Bella but remains mostly vacant.

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Dial-a-bus scheme pilot

dial a bus
A new pilot dial-a-bus scheme is beginning this week in the South Aberdeenshire Regeneration Priority Area (RPA) which runs from Catterline to St Cyrus.

The 65 Special dial-a-trip is providing a local service for Gourdon and Inverbervie. The bus has been redeployed by Aberdeenshire Councils Public Transport unit, who operate the 65 Special services, and will provide a service into and within Inverbervie every Wednesday.

The bus will offer a demand responsive service picking up passengers at their homes and taking them anywhere in the local community which might include the health centre, Library, shops, or just visiting friends nearby.

Primarily designed for those who are less mobile the service will be provided for anyone in the community with a genuine transport need where suitable public transport is not available. The Wednesday service will also include a morning pick up on demand in Catterline and Kinneff around 9.45am returning around 2.45pm allowing anyone resident in those isolated communities access to Inverbervie for shopping, health visits and social calls.

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