Experimental Singapore Bus Stop Aims to “Make Waiting Fun”

Experimental Singapore Bus Stop Aims to “Make Waiting Fun”

Generally speaking, bus stops aren’t known for being places that people look forward to visiting. Instead, these small, spartan shelters serve as waypoints on the path to bigger and better destinations. In many cities, however, commuters spend a significant portion of their work weeks waiting for rides at bus stations. That’s why transit officials in the Jurong Lake District of Singapore decided to create a bus stop loaded with amenities to provide commuters with an extra measure of comfort and convenience while they wait. After coming up with the idea for a bus stop that could “make waiting fun,” Singapore officials recruited local design firm DP Architects to bring their vision to life.

At first glance, the prototype bus stop doesn’t look too different from the extended platforms you might see on a bus rapid transit route or an elevated subway station. Take a closer look, however, and you’ll find that this bus stop is anything but average.

On top of the bus station sits a vibrant rooftop garden and an array of solar panels for power. Beneath the canopy, commuters can access free Wi-Fi service and charging stations for phones and other mobile devices. There’s even a bookshelf with free reading material that bus riders can take with them on their trip, and a digital panel where they can download ebooks by scanning QR codes. There’s also an interactive journey-planning and bus-tracking board where commuters can find new routes around the city. There’s even a swing for the bus system’s younger patrons to enjoy while they wait.

The designers at DP Architects hope that their creation will help community members to see how a bus stop can be “an extension of their social environments,” and “inspire the community to take greater ownership in shaping their own environments.”

The bus stop has been operational for six months now, and Singapore officials plan to revisit the design in the fall to see if its amenities could be adapted to other waiting areas in the city as well. To see the innovative bus stop for yourself, you can check out the photos here from CityLab.

Baltimore to Install Bus-Friendly Traffic Light Sensors

Baltimore to Install Bus-Friendly Traffic Light Sensors

Rush hour traffic is certainly frustrating for commuters in cars, but it can be especially disruptive to public bus services. When buses are caught in gridlock and forced to sit through multiple light cycles, it can cause a phenomenon known as “bus bunching,” wherein the next bus in line catches up to the bus ahead of it. This can wreak havoc on bus schedules, sometimes leaving commuters left in the lurch while they wait for buses that might be hours behind schedule. This issue has been particularly problematic in Baltimore, where the Metro Transit Authority (MTA) has been struggling to correct its inefficient and unreliable bus service.

That’s why the city is investing $11 million in an effort to install traffic light sensors that prioritize bus traffic over other types of vehicles. Once the sensor system is in place, traffic lights will stay green for six to 10 seconds longer when a bus is approaching, and the duration of red lights will be shortened by the same amount of time when buses are waiting to move. Each of the city’s 200 buses will also be equipped with sensors that allow them to communicate with the sensors on upcoming traffic lights. City officials don’t expect the new system to disrupt car and truck traffic, but if it does the light timers can be easily adjusted to account for slowdowns and backups.

The MTA is also moving 19 bus stops to the far side of their intersections so that buses don’t have to stop and wait for a light twice when dropping off and picking up passengers. In conjunction with the new sensor system, this change could make bus traffic far more efficient on some of the city’s busiest roadways. For the residents of Baltimore who depend on public buses to get to and from work, these updates could make daily commutes a whole lot less stressful.

Transit Buses in Las Vegas Get Free Wi-Fi Service

Transit Buses in Las Vegas Get Free Wi-Fi Service

The Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada (RTC) has made some big changes to its bus service in recent months. Late last year, the RTC released a mobile app which allows riders to find bus stops, track buses in real time, and purchase transit passes right from their smartphones. The app was designed to make RTC buses as convenient and accessible as possible.

Now, the RTC has made another upgrade that promises to add yet another level of convenience to its bus fleet: free Wi-Fi service. In early February, RTC General Manager Tina Quigley announced that the transit commission had invested $504,487 in an effort to outfit all 400 of its buses with free wireless Internet. Now, commuters can check emails, watch videos and more on their daily bus rides without having to rely on their own data plans. The Wi-Fi networks will also allow the RTC to provide more accurate information on its new mobile abb.

“This helps us to both provide a value-added service for our customers in today’s connected world and more accurately tracks the vehicle locations so we can provide real-time information,” said Quigley in a statement to the RTC board of directors.

Whether or not the new Wi-Fi networks will increase ridership rates on RTC buses remains to be seen. In any case, the RTC appears intent on providing added incentives for people to use its bus service in the future. Hopefully that will lead to an overall improvement in the quality of service that makes the transit service in Las Vegas better and more reliable than ever.

London Ditches Diesel Buses

London Ditches Diesel Buses

In December of 1952, a cold weather system descended on London and caused a buildup of factory smog so severe that visibility was reduced to just a few feet. Now known as the Great Smog of 1952, the event forced London officials to finally take steps to alleviate the city’s ongoing air-pollution problems. Since then, London has made sweeping reforms that have significantly improved the city’s air quality.

London’s air quality might be a whole lot better than it was in the 1950’s, but there’s still room for improvement. City officials estimate that roughly 9,400 premature deaths happen every year as a result of illnesses caused by long-term exposure to air pollution. That’s why mayor Sadiq Khan is planning to phase out diesel buses and replace them with hybrid-engine and zero-emission models over the next four years.  Starting in 2018 the city will stop adding diesel models to its iconic fleet of red double-decker buses. Furthermore, all new single-deck buses in the city will be zero-emission models.

“I want London to become a world leader in hydrogen and electric bus technology,” said Khan in his announcement speech. “Transforming London’s bus fleet by accelerating the introduction of zero-emission buses is important and I plan to work with bus manufacturers, other cities, the European Commission and the C40 Climate Change Leadership Group of Cities to move this agenda forward.”

Khan made the announcement in conjunction with the unveiling of a new hydrogen-powered bus that will begin trials on London roads next year. Currently, London has a total of 79 zero-emission buses in service, 51 of which are battery powered. The city also maintains three fully-electric bus routes.

After earning a reputation for being one of the most polluted cities in the world during the 20th century, London has found itself at the forefront of the movement to improve urban air quality worldwide.

Designer Creates Comprehensive Transit Map for NYC

Designer Creates Comprehensive Transit Map for NYC

New York City’s famous public transport system is known for being a lot of things, but simple isn’t one of them. Even for longtime residents of the city, finding the quickest route from one destination to another can be challenging. The complexity of the NYC transit system has been compounded by the fact that the city’s Metro Transit Authority (MTA) has never created a map that includes both subway lines and bus routes. Instead, riders must consult different maps to see all the different components that comprise the city’s massive public transit system.

Soon, however, thanks to New York City native and professional designer Anthony Denary, transit riders may finally be able to see all their available bus routes and subway lines in one simple map. Denary calls it the “Bullet Map,” and he’s recently launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund both an app and a printed version of the map. So far, he’s generated more than half of his $8,000 fundraising goal.

Denary was inspired to design the map based on his experiences growing up in Queens. Although he had spent years transferring from the Q5 bus line to the E train in Jamaica, he had never seen a complete picture of the city’s bus map. After drafting his own map, he realized that there were more efficient transit routes around the city that he’d never been aware of. Now, he’s hoping that his map will help to alleviate transit “tunnel vision” so that other people can find new, faster routes around the city as well. Ultimately, he hopes the map might even be adopted by the MTA.

Next time you’re visiting The City That Never Sleeps, be sure to keep an eye out for the Bullet Map app to make your travels a little easier.

French Startup Raises $34M for Its Autonomous Electric Bus

French Startup Raises $34M for Its Autonomous Electric Bus

Although we deal in buses powered by conventional fuels, we always like to stay informed when we hear of a cool company making new waves in the electric bus industry. Today, we’re here to tell you about a French startup that recently raised a whopping $34 million to fund the development of its autonomous electric bus.

Navya, a research company based in France, has been developing its self-driving bus, the Arma, for a full decade. The bus finally debuted in October of this year in its first trials in Lyon, France. In its first test run, passengers were treated to an autonomous bus ride that sped up to 28 miles per hour, covered five stops and lasted about 13 minutes from the first stop to the last.

Navya’s self-driving technology relies on a series of sensors that are embedded into the bus’s infrastructure. These sensors are what allow the bus to interact with and respond to its environment. While the current test path does not include obstacles like crosswalks, regular traffic, or lots of pedestrians, the success of the test will be a good indication as to whether or not this service will fit Lyons’s commuter needs.

In their latest round of funding, Navya has raised over 30 million dollars to expand their project internationally and continue additional research and development. They’re now collaborating with a number of other companies to see how they can adapt this bus technology for use in other major cities. We’ll have to keep an eye on Navya’s progress to see how their next phases of testing go.

In the meantime, if you’re in the market for a bus that still requires a human driver, head on over to our inventory page to see what’s available.

Las Vegas Gets a New Mobile Transit App

Las Vegas Gets a New Mobile Transit App

There’s some exciting news for public transit riders here in Las Vegas! The Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada (RTC) has released a new smartphone app that makes it easier than ever to purchase tickets and find bus routes around the city.


The app, rideRTC, was developed in a partnership with Masabi, a London-based technology company whose JustRide mobile ticketing platform is used by more than 25 other transportation agencies around the globe. Using rideRTC, commuters and visitors to Las Vegas can locate bus stops, track buses in real time, and purchase transit passes in advance.

“RTC Transit takes you where Vegas takes you, yet potential riders, especially visitors, may not know where to find bus stops, how transit can get them to their destinations, or how to buy tickets,” said RTC general manager Tina Quigley in a statement. “The new rideRTC app removes all of these challenges visitors face in a new city and puts the information conveniently in the palm of their hand.”

In addition to the app’s bus-based functionality, rideRTC can be used to help people find a number other forms of transportation as well. Users can plan rides with Uber, for example, or find RTC Bike Share locations around the city. By the end of the year, RTC transit vehicles will all have electronic readers to validate mobile passes from the app.

In an effort to encourage people to try the new app, the RTC has also announced that it will be partnering with AT&T to give users the chance to win a $150 Visa gift card. Each person who downloads the app will be entered into a drawing that runs until the April 30, 2017. Take it for a spin, and let us know what you think!

Proterra Reveals New Electric Bus With 350-Mile Range

Proterra Reveals New Electric Bus With 350-Mile Range

Little cars aren’t the only ones getting in on the electric vehicle action. This fall, Proterra, an electric bus maker that’s become one of the most recognizable names in zero-emission bus design, will release its latest model, the E2 Max.

According to Electrek, the E2 Max was designed to handle the “daily mileage needs of nearly every U.S. mass transit route on a single charge,” which means these buses can be implemented even in the busiest cities where buses trek many miles back and forth on a single route. The newly designed battery pack in this model can store between 440 and 660 kilowatts of power, which translates into a range of about 200 to 350 miles, depending on terrain. Proterra has reported, though, that they’ve managed to drive one of these buses more than 600 miles on a single charge!

Proterra’s previous battery pack was only about 330 kilowatts, so the extra power in the new model will definitely give it an edge in the market. The larger battery in conjunction with a lightweight design and a “regenerative braking system” is what gives the bus the ability to travel such great distances on a charge.

While new electric cars and buses may someday revolutionize environmentally-friendly transportation, they won’t come cheap. This list price of an E2 Max is about $799,000, which is about twice what you’d pay for a brand new fuel-powered bus of the same size.

Proterra hopes to see many of these buses on the road in the coming years, and they’re already on the right track in Los Angeles. LA’s Foothill Transit has announced that it will be 100 percent electric by 2030 to help reduce the amount of pollutants in the air, and the Proterra E2 Max is one of the buses LA public transit riders may see on the road early next year.

For more information on Las Vegas bus sales, call us today at (877) 456-9804, or check out our current inventory online.

Old School Buses get a New Lease on Life in Central America

Old School Buses get a New Lease on Life in Central America

Have you ever driven past a parking lot full of old school buses and wondered what becomes of them in their old age? Well, they don’t just sit around in a junkyard forever. You might be interested to learn about what Guatemalans call “chicken buses.”

Once an American school bus has been shuttling kids around from home to school to soccer games for about ten years, or when they reach about 150,000 miles on their odometers, they’re resold to places like Guatemala where they’re prepared for their “second lives.”

After some engine rebuilds, seating reconfigurations, and some seriously cool paint jobs, these yellow student-carriers are turned into off-roading buses that carry Guatemalans and their belongings from rural areas into city centers, where they trade goods to make money, go to work, go to school and live their lives.

The name “chicken bus” may come from one of two places—some say that the buses are called “chicken buses” by the locals because they are so packed with people they look like livestock trucks. Others say that these buses earned their name because they are often actually used to transport live animals, like chickens.

Either way, these very special buses, are given colorful new lives in South America thanks to the efforts of their devoted drivers. Although if you take a look at the video below, I think you’ll agree our kids’ school bus drivers tend to play it a little safer when it comes to obeying the rules of the road!


Stay Safe When Sharing the Road With School Buses

Stay Safe When Sharing the Road With School Buses

With summer vacation over and buses hitting the roads again to shuttle kids back to school, here at Las Vegas Bus Sales we thought it might be a good idea to go over some safety tips for sharing the road with school buses.


Safety Starts With Preparedness

When you’re sharing the road with a school bus, you should always be prepared to make sudden stops and turns. Make sure to give the bus plenty of space; increase your normal following distance significantly, and pay attention to the bus’s turn signals.

When you see a bus unload kids, take your time re-accelerating. Wait to make sure you know exactly where those kids are going before you drive away. You don’t want one of them to make a sudden turn into the street with your foot already on the gas pedal. Give the kids plenty of time to walk to where they need to be, and wait for the bus driver’s signal. The bus driver usually knows where the kids are supposed to be, so they’ll give them enough time to get there with the bus’s stoplights flashing before driving away.

School buses are required to come to a full stop at railroad tracks, so keep that in mind. You should also remember that school buses tend to travel at slower speeds in the mornings and afternoons, since they’re usually packed with kids.

Keep in mind that the large size of a school bus gives you limited visibility around it. Follow the bus’s lead: when the stop sign is out and the lights are flashing, stop, whether you are in front of the bus, or driving in opposing traffic. If you’re at an intersection, it’s best to wait and let the bus make its move first before you drive on.

Stay tuned for more updates from your premier source for competitively-priced used school buses – Las Vegas Bus Sales.