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admin 08.07.2015

Sleek new bus gets a test drive in Manhattan A sleek new Mercedes-Benz tooling around Manhattan will attract a lot of attention this week. The Citaro, a low-floor, high capacity articulated (accordion) bus was unveiled today for a monthlong test in Manhattan and the Bronx. It's low floor makes it easier to get on and off, and it comes with a ramp that flips out to accommodate riders in wheelchairs.
Striking school bus drivers are accelerating their campaign to show New Yorkers that their salaries aren't the reason why school bus expenses are so high. After being blamed by Mayor Bloomberg for skyrocketing bus costs, Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1181 charged Thursday that its members are the victims of an inefficient system that's gotten worse in the last 30 years. Specifically, the union pins rising prices on a rapidly growing special education population and an increasing need to transport city kids to special schools outside the city. The union also points out that more than half of 100,000 general education students who qualify for yellow bus service attend private, parochial and charter schools.
The city responded by saying the union was trying to blame special needs kids for the strike.
Parents who rely on busing have had to miss work and take their kids on lengthy cab and subway rides to get them to school and back.
According to the latest city figures, just 2,860 bus routes out of about 7,700 total were running this week but city officials have provided cab vouchers and Metrocards to parents and students. Schools Chancellor Dennis Walcott noted Thursday that more special needs kids are getting to school now than they were when the strike began. The city countered that the strike must be settled by the union and the bus companies, since the striking workers are not technically city employees. Meanwhile, most of the City Council Thursday urged him to reconsider in a letter signed by 44 members of the 51-member Council including Speaker Christine Quinn. THE MTA LOSES about $50 million in revenue each year to bus farebeaters a€” more than triple what it previously estimated, the Daily News has learned.
The staggering figure is partly the result of a new way the authority calculates fare-dodging, but also indicates that the longstanding problem has worsened because of lax enforcement, sources said. The authority previously had estimated that bus farebeaters were stealing $14 million worth of free rides annually. The MTA, meanwhile, said it will draft a comprehensive and citywide plan to deter fare evasion on buses. One possibility would be to persuade the NYPD to increase enforcement, transit sources said. Another option would be to expand the Metropolitan Transportation Authoritya€™s own a€?Eagle Team,a€? sources said. A third option, deploying MTA Police Department officers to some bus routes, also has come up in some internal MTA discussions. The MTA in the past has pegged the B46 in Brooklyn as the worst for fare evasion, followed by the Bx36, the Bx41, the Bx15, B44 and the Bx19. Governor Andrew Cuomo claims that a bus rapid transit system would cost $5 billion to build. At the beginning of the week, Governor Andrew Cuomo launched a media offensive to defend his decision to halt all work on building new transit infrastructure across the Tappan Zee Bridge. But according to recently released state documents reviewed by Streetsblog, Cuomo’s claim is false. The newly available documents, which date from late 2010 and early 2011, were first obtained by the Tri-State Transportation Campaign under the state’s Freedom of Information Law. A state document emphasizes that climbing lanes like this are for trucks and cars, not transit. But a document from May 2011, before the Cuomo administration canceled the transit components of the Tappan Zee project, makes clear that those totals include enormous sums dedicated to highway improvements along I-287, not transit [PDF].
The Cuomo administration has justified including billions of dollars in highway spending in its BRT cost estimates by arguing that they are necessary to build the bus system. Exactly what those billions of dollars of highway improvements include is difficult to ascertain.
But some of the costs for each component can be disentangled, and it is clear that not all the highway spending is necessary for high-quality bus service. Between just those two projects, the state has tacked on half a billion dollars in non-transit costs to the price tag of BRT. The Cuomo administration has further inflated costs by focusing on an option to run buses on a new elevated viaduct (top), but a simpler option would run buses on existing surface roads (bottom).
Last year, the state estimated that the entire Westchester side of the BRT system could be built for a little more than $1 billion, including soft costs like engineering and potential cost overruns [PDF].
So half of the entire BRT corridor could be built for just above $1 billion, if the Cuomo administration decided to pursue the surface option. Because the state had planned to build new high-occupancy vehicle lanes in Rockland County, it did not study an on-street BRT option west of the Tappan Zee Bridge. In either case, there clearly are lower-cost transit options that the state could pursue. The actual price of building bus rapid transit, even a full-featured system running along the whole corridor, is possibly billions of dollars less than Cuomo claims.
When it comes to transit, the governor would do well to heed his own words — can he actually get a forward-thinking transportation project done? Andrew Cuomo needs to start providing an honest and transparent accounting of what it would really take to build a Tappan Zee Bridge bus rapid transit system, and his administration needs to get back to work and finish a plan to build cost-effective transit. You can’t walk to anything from I-287 east of White Plains.  So who would want to take a bus there? I seriously want to better understand Cuomo’s motivation for turning traitor on mass transit over the Tappan Zee.
Word On The Street “The entire area around the Botanical Garden is a pedestrian nightmare, and unfortunately, the institution has shown no interest in improving safety.

February 7, 2008 A government report has shown that the new Orion buses in New York City cost 40% less to maintain and 24% less to operate than earlier-generation hybrids.
Powered by BAE Systems’ HybriDrive diesel-electric propulsion system, the Orion VII Next Generation transit buses from Daimler Buses North America offer lithium-ion energy storage.
Bus tours tend to have a reputation for being less hospitable and less detail-oriented than walking tours. Many of the bus tours mentioned below are included in one form or another with the New York tourist passes. Traditional hop-on, hop-off bus companies provide transport to major sites all over the city, which is appealing if the New York subway system seems daunting. NY Pass holders are entitled to free tickets for Big Bus – read our post on NYC tourist discount passes. Double-decker, open top bus tours that offer a huge range of loop tours that can be combined with other attractions.
1, 2, 3, and 5 day tickets are available and give access to unlimited rides for tourists to explore the city at their own pace.
Locating the bus on a mobile device is just as easy as hopping on and off with their exclusive mobile technology “Where’s my bus”. Best prices – but their reviews are the least impressive of all the hop-on, hop-off buses. Similar to Gray Line Bus and Big Bus Tours, City Sights NY provides loop tours of the city with a guide who remains on the bus for the duration of the trip. Free with the purchase of an Explorer Pass – read our post on NYC tourist discount passes. As a company that primarily offers walking tours, we prefer these types of bus tours as they include all the benefits of a bus tour without any of the cons! OnBoard offers both day and night time tours, including an 8 hour Premium See-It-All Tour, which covers the length of Manhattan and comprises a visit to the Statue of Liberty.
TMZ Tours is the tour to take if you traveled to New York with the hopes of spotting a movie star. Whether you are looking to bust a move or bust a rhyme, Hush Hip Hop Tours have something for you.
If all of the above sounds out of your price range, then you could always take advantage of the public bus system and tour around the city on your own! If you interested taking both a boat and bus tour while visiting New York, it’s often cheapest to purchase those two tickets as part of a combo deal. 2 day bus (including night bus tour), Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island and One World Trade Center Observatory combo passes starting at $111 per adult. Statue of Liberty, Ellis Island and Empire State Building combined for $49 per adult (no bus).
72 hour access to bus tour of NYC paired with either the Empire State Building or the Top of the Rock for $104 per adult. 96 hour access to bus tour of NYC paired with Top of the Rock and stop at Woodbury Premium Outlet Mall for $124 per adult. Big Bus offers nightly bus tours that depart between 7-9 pm every 30 minutes from Times Square.
This is a good option for guests looking for a tour in a foreign language as Gray Line has prerecorded commentary in 11 different languages.
Red-hot competition among Boston - New York bus companies means you'll find a lot of bargains .
You'll find some big differences between destination and drop-off points, amenities, service, and cost - so it pays to look at each option and decide which fits YOUR needs the best. The Limo Liner provides complimentary internet access as well as a movie, CNN on TV, a full meal, snacks, beverages, and in the evening, wine. Seats are spacious and comfortable, work space is great if you're using a laptop, and food and beverages are available to buy - although both Penn Station and South Station offer much better food choices than you'll find on board. Citaros are already popular in Europe, and New York City Transit wants to run it through the wringer here, to make sure it can handle all that the Big Apple can throw at it. About 20% of charter school students ride the buses, compared with 9% of regular public school kids. 16 to protest Bloomberga€™s decision to re-bid contracts with private bus companies without protecting the jobs of veteran drivers.
Drivers are supposed to keep tallies by pushing a button every time someone boards without paying. Police in Staten Island in recent weeks have placed undercover officers on buses in a pilot program launched in conjunction with the Staten Island district attorneya€™s office, Cappelli and Rose said.
The team of inspectors is largely comprised of retired NYPD officers and former members of the military.
But newly released state documents show that number includes billions of dollars in highway improvements, with transit costs actually much lower. Even a gold-plated bus rapid transit system from Suffern to Port Chester would not cost the $5 billion that Cuomo says it would.
Only after Tri-State received the documents did the Cuomo administration post them on its Tappan Zee Bridge website. Including the cost of climbing lanes has increased the price tag of bus rapid transit by nearly half a billion dollars. In earlier versions of the Tappan Zee project, the state simultaneously pursued a bus rapid transit system, I-287 expansions, and a new commuter rail service into Rockland County. The Highway Improvement Report suggests constructing climbing lanes in Rockland County to allow passenger vehicles to pass slow-moving trucks on uphill stretches.

Again, the Highway Improvement Report does not justify the construction of the lanes in terms of transit operation. Such a solution might exist, or buses could run in the existing shoulders of I-287, a common practice around the country. New York cannot give up on transit because of the governor’s opposition and a false $5 billion price tag.
If you charge $20 tolls then everyone will want to take the bus (cutting revenue), unless you also take that option away.
Department of Energy’s National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) evaluated the performance of New York’s second-generation Orion VII buses from February 2006 to January 2007.
Lithium-ion technology is more efficient, lasts longer, and weighs less than the lead-acid batteries in use today.
Especially in a city as vast and intimidating as New York, bus tours offer guests a way to get a taste of the Big Apple without having to deal with the stress of navigating these busy streets on your own.
These tours shuttle guests between designated stops, providing on-board commentary in between. However, there is no information provided off the bus, and commentary on board occasionally consists of a recording.
Guests listen to either a guide or an audio recording while on the bus, and then are free to wander around on their own at each stop. The guide accompanies you off the bus at each stop so you get detailed information about all the major sites, rather than just wandering around on your own. We periodically offer 2 public bus tours: Uptown Tour, which include Midtown Manhattan, Central Park, and Harlem, and a Downtown Manhattan Tour, which covers Wall Street, SoHo, Chinatown and Greenwich Village. On Location Tours specialize in showing guests where all their favorite movies and TV shows were filmed. The New York Times published a great article a few years back about the best bus lines and routes to see all the major sites in the city. Many companies offer a variety of combinations, including helicopter tours and museums tickets. The New York skyline is breathtaking when illuminated after dark, and a bus tour is a great way to see many different areas of the city in a short amount of time. Sites include Radio City Music Hall, 5th Avenue, the Empire State Building, the Manhattan Bridge, and the Manhattan skyline from the Brooklyn waterfront. Sites include Times Square, Rockefeller Center, Empire State Building, Lower East Side, Chinatown, Little Italy, and Brooklyn Bridge.
Bus provides free WiFi, power plugs, and even leather seats on some coaches.  With service from Boston's Chinatown to New York's Chinatown, Yo! It does spot-check enforcement and issues tickets on just three Select Bus Service routes where riders pay at curbside machines. Depending on the scenario, the administration is counting between $1 billion and $3 billion in highway costs (the left column) toward the cost of building bus rapid transit.
The $5 billion figure includes between $1 billion and $3 billion worth of highway improvements, many of which are entirely unrelated to building transit. Bus service, which would run in its own dedicated lanes, would not be affected by the climbing lanes.
119 or Westchester Avenue, with slight road widenings in some locations to add dedicated bus lanes. He added that local officials had feared additional congestion from the cheaper, on-street option in years past, but did not provide documentation that the more affordable option would actually have negative effects on traffic. More than 1,000 Daimler buses with BAE Systems drive systems are in service in cities such as New York, San Francisco, and Toronto. However, there are some companies that offer the transportation benefits of a bus tour combined with the high quality information guaranteed on a walking tour — Free Tours by Foot being one of them! You are also with the same bus, driver, and guide for the entire duration of the tour, so you never have to worry about getting a seat and are able to enjoy the tour in a more intimate setting. Guides also share insider stories and gossip on the lives of celebrities living in the city.
At just $7.50, the public bus system offers visitors a great way to explore the city on their own for a minimal cost. One could push the terminal a little west, thereby allowing the development of two skyscrapers on Eighth Avenue, with the proceeds from development-rights sales going to help fund the terminal. Poking holes in obvious shine stories is all well and good, but if this is going to be fixed his real motivations must be visited and exposed for all to see. The buses in the study incorporated several improvements to the hybrid electric propulsion system, in use in New York since 1998.
However, during busy season guests may have to wait for multiple buses to pass through one stop as seat availability is not guaranteed. Guides also pepper the tours with history about the different neighborhoods you drive through. Factors contributing to the performance improvements included a simplified cooling-system design, improved battery diagnostics, and better training of mechanics.
Also, keep in mind that though bus tours guarantee easy transportation around the city, they are not always the quickest as all bus tours are subject to NYC traffic!
It struggles with delays, reliability issues and buses spilling onto neighborhood streets creating traffic congestion and air pollution.

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