Free bus travel for visitors to Devon costs county £1m

bus travel

Devon has been hit by £1 million of costs after it emerged one-in-five people using free bus passes in the tourism season come from outside the county A Devon County Council survey found it was under-writing the free off-peak travel scheme, enjoyed by Britons over 60, for hundreds of visitors.

The survey revealed that during September 21 per cent of people using a concessionary bus pass were not from the Devon local authority area The figure included 2 per cent from Torbay and 1 per cent from Plymouth, but 18 per cent were residents from beyond the two neighbouring authorities Devon County Council is calling for more funding from Government to pay for the £1 million it cost to pay for outsiders to travel free. Currently, the authority is handed £7 million a year by Government to run the scheme, which also applies to disabled people. But it faces a £5 million shortfall because it costs £12 million in total.

Councillor Stuart Hughes, Devon County Council cabinet member for transport, said: "The concessionary bus pass funding certainly doesn't take into account visitor numbers from other areas.


Free Christmas bus travel for children welcomed by Swansea traders

bus travel

TRADERS in Swansea have welcomed plans to allow children free bus travel during the Christmas period Swansea Council has agreed to provide free bus travel for children aged five to 16 in an effort to reduce the costs to families during the festive period while schools are closed And council chiefs hope it will also encourage families to visit the city centre to do their shopping.

The authority believes it could be among the first in the UK to introduce such a scheme, which will cost an estimated £35,000 The free travel offer is between December 22 and January 8 to take in the January sales, and it’s hoped it will provide a significant boost for city centre businesses throughout the Christmas period John Hague, cabinet member for the environment on Swansea Council, said: “We have excellent public transport services in Swansea, boosted by the new city centre bus station.

“The latest offer should help tempt more families to use public transport.”Council leader Chris Holley said: “Christmas can be an expensive time of year for families. We want to try and ease some of the costs by offering free travel for children under 16 “Hopefully this will encourage more families to use public transport and come into the city centre. We expect lots of families to come and visit the Waterfront Winterland attraction “The free travel will certainly help that.”

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Traveling by bus? Choose a safe ride

bus travel

With Thanksgiving almost here, many people will be jumping on buses to head home or to grandma’s house.They won’t be alone. Each year about 750 million passenger trips are taken by bus, a mode of travel that has experienced very large growth in the last six to seven years, according to the American Bus Association Foundation.

There is no official data for nationwide bus travel for Thanksgiving week, but Coach USA/ expects about 60 percent to 70 percent more travelers than during a typical week. “Thanksgiving is one of the biggest travel weeks,” said Dale Moser, the company’s president and chief operating officer.For the week of Nov. 21-27, the company will carry between 160,000 and 210,000 passengers, a 28 percent to 35 percent increase from last year, Moser said.

“With convenient departure options and comfortable motorcoaches with power outlets and Wi-Fi, it's no wonder people are choosing buses over rising gas prices and crowded airports,” U.S. Department of Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood wrote in his blog last week. “America's commercial buses are a safe, affordable choice for your holiday travel.”But recent news reports detail companies being put out of business and high-profile crashes.

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Here Comes the Ambulance Bus

ambulance bus
Frisco is the first North Texas City to receive a giant, new tool to respond to large-scale emergencies and major events. And the city plans to share it with the rest of North Texas. It's called an ambulance bus and it's as big as it sounds a fire department can send several ambulances in an emergency, but now Frisco can deploy a 41-foot-long ambulance that has the body of a bus.

"When we're going to help do evacuations or maybe move a nursing home during a power outage or something like that, it allows us to do that with a similar number of people but certainly a lot less space taken up with the vehicles," said Cameron Kraemer, Frisco Fire Department's training division chief. "It certainly offers one more vehicle, one more tool in our toolbox to be able to take care of the citizens of Frisco."

The ambulance bus is like a hospital on wheels. The city said it does the job of 10 regular ambulances the bus can carry six paramedics and up to 20 patients on portable stretchers and gurneys with wheels. Seats fold out for patients that need to sit up rather than lie down. Wheelchairs can be secured to the floor."It's completely reconfigurable to meet the needs of the mission," said firefighter-paramedic Scott Vetterick. "It's nice to know that it's there and it's available. We hope we don't have to use it."a cardiac monitor/defibrillator and five wireless vital sign monitors allow paramedics to send critical information to their commander.

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New Lymmo lines will link Creative Village to SunRail, downtown

bus travel

The first concrete step in the future of the Creative Village is coming, in the form of two projects worth $22 million that will more than triple the length of the free bus route through downtown Orlando the work includes dedicated bus lanes, bus stops and other infrastructure that will encircle the Creative Village site, linking its future high-tech workers and students to the upcoming SunRail train system and the rest of downtown.

It will also give Creative Village developers something beyond architectural renderings to point to as they begin to market their 68-acre neighborhood to potential commercial and institutional tenants.

"This is the first stage of going in and getting ready for development," said developer Craig Ustler of Creative Village Development LLC. "This moves us significantly farther down the road. I think it gives us a solid start."

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Fight for a school bus continues

school bus

Parents are determined to ensure that their children’s free school transport will be reinstated in October Bedford Borough Council decided to end the free school transport from Roxton to Alban Academy in Great Barford. Parents fought the proposal because they believe the route is dangerous but the council deemed it to be safe to walk with an adult the move will not save any money as the bus will continue to run and children can use it on a first come first saved basis if they pay.

Following the decision the Save Roxton School Bus parents group decided to write to the Queen and their concerns were passed to the Department for Education but the department’s reply said: “Funding for transport provision is delegated to local authorities and in these difficult economic times the Government expects them to take account of all local circumstances and issues and ensure that value for money can be achieved.

“Local authorities are best placed to determine how their resources are to be utilised and, whilst the Government expects them to take account of their responsibilities, it is not an area in which the Government can intervene.” parent Angie Foster said: “It’s really urgent that we can get our bus reinstated. We are worried that they will look at the bus not stopping in the village at all next year.”

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Charter bus to discontinue service

charter bus

Lenzner Coach Lines is discontinuing transit service between Franklin Park and Downtown at the end of the month because of low ridership, the company's president said Tuesday the Ohio Township-based company started running North Hills commuter routes after Port Authority of Allegheny County cut service by 15 percent in late March. Lenzner offered five daily round trips between Marshall and Downtown, and four daily round trips between Franklin Park and Downtown.

The Franklin Park route struggled from the start. Company President Charles Lenzner said the 57-seat Franklin Park buses, on average, carry 10 to 20 passengers lenzner attributed the low ridership to the private service's higher costs and riders migrating instead to Port Authority stops at Rave Cinemas in McCandless and the Perrysville Avenue lot in Ross. Lenzner's fares on the route are $5 each way, compared with $3.25 per trip on the nearby Port Authority routes.

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Safer school buses in Abu Dhabi

school bus

The GPS project, which will be fully operational next year, is part of the Abu Dhabi Education Council’s (ADEC) comprehensive plan to upgrade the transportation requirements in order to ensure the safety and security of children on their way to school and back home “This project has started already and it will be fully active next year. This year, we will complete the installation and testing of the system,” Khaled Al Ansari, Infrastructure and Facilities Division Manager at the ADEC, told Khaleej Times.

The upgrade also included a plan to install surveillance cameras in school buses. But for the pilot phase, eight government schools are being selected to fit three or four of their buses with cameras Al Ansari said the camera installations will be carried out during the first semester break starting on December 18, during which, the project will be closely monitored.

“The ADEC will observe how parents and students are reacting to the new initiative, and will point out the limitations encountered during that period, if any. If the project proves successful, surveillance cameras will be diversified to all public school buses across the emirate,” he stated the ADEC has started the overhaul of the transport system after several cases of neglect and incidents of young girls being subjected to abuse and molestation by unscrupulous school bus drivers and attendants were recorded across the country in separate accidents in 2008 and 2009, two girls, aged three and four, died in the Capital after they were locked inside the school bus for several hours under extreme heat.

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Historic train makes way to Arizona for Centennial tour

Historic Train

Arizonans can take a trip back in time starting next Thursday when historic Union Pacific Steam Locomotive Engine No. 844 relives the Southern Arizona "Sunset Limited" route in recognition of Arizona's 100 years of statehood.

The engine is scheduled to approach Willcox November 10 and head westward to Tucson for close-up viewing, according to a news release from the Arizona Centennial Commission.

After its stop in Willcox, No. 844 will travel through Benson and Vail for "whistle stops" and arrives in Tucson for its first "display day" on Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The route takes the engine through Coolidge, Gilbert and Tempe before arriving for another "display day" in Phoenix on Sunday, November 13 from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. as well as Monday, November 14.

From Phoenix, the engine makes its way back to its original route near Casa Grande, and continues west through Gila Bend, Wellton, and finally arrives in Yuma late in the afternoon on Tuesday, November 15, officials say.

“The adventures of steam locomotives captivate us even today. They literally blazed the trail westward. And, it’s exciting – for train enthusiasts and all of us -- to catch a glimpse of the West as it was more than 100 years ago,” said Karen Churchard, executive director, Arizona Centennial Commission & 2012 Foundation.

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Carriers Enhance Motor Coach Service

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As Greyhound prepares to move from its longtime Downtown bus station to the airport area this month, another change under way in the Memphis motor coach market reflects broader changes in the business nationally.

Carriers are moving toward low-cost, regional, express bus service with amenities like Wi-Fi – and the competition in the Memphis market is heating up.

Greyhound Lines Inc. and are each launching express bus service to and from Atlanta hubs this month.

The new Greyhound Express routes from the Atlanta hub to Memphis and Birmingham, Ala., start Nov. 15.

The next day, begins daily service from Atlanta to Memphis, Birmingham and nine other southeastern cities including Nashville, Chattanooga and Knoxville.

Each company uses a different approach to its transportation network. While Dallas-based Greyhound has hubs in its cities, operates a system without terminals, using curbside stops that border bus terminals instead.

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Red zone bus tour bookings overload phones

bus tour

Massive public demand for Christchurch red zone bus tours overloaded phone lines this morning as seats were booked out at a rate of one every 25 seconds.

The Canterbury Earthquake Recovery Authority's (CERA) phone lines were overloaded just half an hour after it started taking bookings for the weekend tours, the first of which starts this Saturday.

CERA general manager of demolitions Warwick Isaacs said its call centre completed 361 bookings in the first two and a half hours, which averaged one booking every 25 seconds.

The calls were taking an average of seven minutes to complete as callers were given safety briefings over the phone.

Mr Isaacs said demand remained very high but overloading had eased back from initial levels.

CERA chief executive Roger Sutton earlier apologised for the frustration.

He reminded callers there would be six buses running every hour for the next six weekends, so there would be opportunities for everyone to experience the trips.

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Making school bus travel even safer


What's the safest mode of transportation in California?

Here's a hint: They're big, bright yellow and black, and seen most often in early morning and late afternoon hours.

The obvious answer, of course, is the school bus. Oct. 17-21 is state School Bus Safety Week, and the California Highway Patrol and local school districts are observing that milestone with ongoing efforts to educate the public on ways to make things even safer.

CHP Officer Jeffrey S. Butticci is the school bus coordinator and training officer for the Merced area patrol office. He watches over more than 400 drivers who work for 14 northern Merced County school districts.

"School buses are by far the safest mode of transportation," Butticci said. "They (school bus drivers) are top-notch, second to none, when it comes to safety. They are the most highly trained drivers in California."

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