MAY 2011

COVER STORY
 
Miami-Dade Bus Fleet Enhancements Help Curb Costs, Emissions
By Janna Starcic, Executive Editor

Five new Gillig 40-foot low-floor diesel-electric hybrid buses, which entered service in mid-April, are expected to deliver 30 percent fuel savings. The vehicles feature beltless alternators, where the electrical system pulls power from the hybrid batteries, and independent alternators feed power to the air-conditioning systems.



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Features

Maintenance Departments Feeling Pinch of Shrinking Budgets

In METRO's inaugural Bus Maintenance Survey, transit agencies find they are often asking their maintenance departments to do more with less, including cutting overtime, watching costs, reshuffling mechanic and fueler schedules, and extending vehicle life cycles.



Feds Look to Increase Motorcoach Safety

New programs and proposed rulemaking, such as the FMCSA's CSA program and NHTSA's seat belt rule, are putting the pressure on carriers to take a long, hard look at improving an already safe industry over the next several years.



FMCSA, NHTSA release NPRMs for EOBRS, seatbelts to increase safety

The proposed rule EOBR rule also would eliminate the need for motor carriers to retain certain HOS supporting documents, such as delivery and toll receipts, which are currently used to verify the total number of hours drivers spend operating the vehicle.

Streamlining the Bus Spec'ing Process

APTA's updated standards provide more information and enable both operators and OEMs to simplify the process and speak the same language. OEMs and agencies alike say that investing time is key.



CATS Light Rail Success Moves Transit Plan Ahead

The 9.6-mile LYNX Blue Line light rail has been a runaway success for the City of Charlotte, N.C., and will be enhanced by a 9.4-mile extension expected to open around 2016.

DEPARTMENTS

Argentina benefits from San Diego's trolleys, experience

San Diego MTS is selling 11 of its light rail vehicles to the Provincial Government of Mendoza in Argentina for $3.3 million.



APTA Legislative Conference focuses on crucial role of public transportation

The 2011 conference, held March 12 to 15 in Washington, D.C., also included the inaugural Capitol Hill Summit, where APTA members were urged to visit their elected officials to state their case for both increased and more reliable funding for public transportation.

Operating budget squeeze shows need for tax revenues

Transit has only a few options to deal with the crisis. They can raise fares or cut services further, potentially driving away riders and local political support.



Valley Metro music video campaign educates, entertains riders

Valley Metro's online music video campaign, "Valley Metro Notes," consists of 11 songs from six local bands, showing in an entertaining way how to use the transit system. The campaign is geared toward high school, college students and older, with the caveat of not alienating any other demographic.

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Mass transit mobile Wi-Fi & the public sector case study How Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority successfully implemented Wi-Fi on its light rail and bus lines

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