first_imgFirst Essex unveiled a fleet of 12 high-specification Alexander Dennis Enviro200 MMCs on Monday (21 November).The 36-seat Enviro200s are dedicated to services X10 and X30 between the south of the county and Stansted Airport and they represent a £1.9m investment, of which the airport has contributed a significant portion.12 Alexander Dennis Enviro200 MMCs represent an investment of £1.9mThey replace coaches and have a specification that includes extra-padded seats finished in Muirhead real leather, large luggage racks, USB charging points, wi-fi, and a distinctive livery designed by Wigan-based JR Buzz.“This is a good example of how, by working with our partners at Essex County Council and Stansted, we have been able to improve services to the airport,” says First Essex MD Alex Jones.First is confident that the investment will drive passenger numbers. Established service X30 from Southend has grown from midicoaches when it was introduced in 2004, while route X10 – which runs from Basildon and was introduced in July – is already seeing strong patronage figures.Mr Jones says that 7,000 weekly journeys on the two services are predicted, and that their customer base includes air travellers, commuters and airport staff.The contribution from Stansted forms part of its plan to further improve its position as the UK major airport that sees the highest proportion of travellers use public transport. Currently the figure stands at 51%, with coaches and buses accounting for half of that, or 5m passenger journeys per year.The Enviro200s will provide an hourly link to each of Basildon and Southend, with timetables coordinated to give a 30-minute frequency as far as Chelmsford.Buses were selected to replace the previous Volvo coaches on the grounds of capacity requirements and to speed journey times, says Mr Jones, who adds that a dedicated driver rota is in place for the two services.“The Enviro200s have a slightly lower seating capacity but they are able to carry a large number of standees, unlike the coaches. We considered double-deckers, but when the necessary luggage racks were installed, that would result in an unsatisfactory number of seats on the lower deck.“We also have to consider the other flows that the X10 and particularly the X30 serve, which can generate high passenger numbers.”He adds that First Essex plans later to install flight information screens in the Enviro200s that will give travellers information on gates and departure times. Real-time data is provided across the operator’s area and next bus times are also available via an app.The Enviro200 MMCs have four-cylinder, Euro 6 Cummins ISB engines coupled to Voith gearboxes, and will cover up to 400 miles per day on the airport services, says Mr Jones.last_img read more

first_imgArriva Yorkshire has launched 37 new buses, at a family fun day in Castleford.L-R: Jon Croxford; Councillor Eric Firth of WYCA; Neale Wallace of WYCA; Karen Wilson; Richard Johnson of Arriva; Liam Needham of WYCA; Peter Taylor of Arriva; Andy Crowther of ArrivaOver 600 people attended the fun day on 25 June and saw the new ADL Enviro400 MMCs being launched, representing a £8m investment.The buses are now in service on the 163/166 Castleford-Leeds and 189 Wakefield-Leeds routes.Jon Croxford, Area MD for Arriva Yorkshire, says: “We are extremely proud to have hosted such a successful community event, which has seen some fantastic feedback from our customers.“Thank you to everyone who joined us and helped celebrate our £8m fleet investment into West Yorkshire.“With the help of the local community, and prizes kindly donated from Crossgates Shopping Centre, we have also raised around £1,000 for charity; including donations to the SSAFA (Soldier’s Sailors and Air force charity) as well as Cancer Research UK.”The family fun day included an unveiling by Top UK Female Bus Driver winner Karen Wilson, a free hog roast/BBQ for customers, a performance by a local Blues Brothers tribute act, a face painter, a balloon maker, a magician, an illusionist, a bouncy castle, eight fun fair stalls, four local business stands, two charity raffles and two VIP bus tours around Castleford. Customer comments on Facebook and Twitter have described the Family Fun Day as a ‘fantastic day’ with a ‘great community turn out’.  Terry Fisher, Inspector at Arriva’s Castleford depot, was particularly impressed that Dewsbury Bus Museum bought a Leyland Panther 1967 bus and a Leyland PD2 bus to the event, which he passed his driving test in over 45 years ago.Mr Croxford adds: “This is an incredibly proud moment for everyone at Arriva as we put another multi-million pound investment into the network and increase the journey experience for our customers.With the new buses going live onto these two routes and the 255/254 it enables us to upgrade our buses in Wakefield on the 444/446 and 425/427 routes too. These will go into service towards the end of July/early August, so watch this space!”last_img read more

first_imgJohn Fair has previously worked at Cosmos CruisesRiver cruise operator CroisiEurope has appointed John Fair as UK Sales Director, a newly-created role. Part of his role is liaising with UK tour operators.Gabrielle Alam will continue in her role as UK Head of Sales and Marketing. She will focus on increasing trade marketing and PR as well as maintaining and developing group business opportunities for the river cruise line.CroisiEurope’s International Sales Director Michel Grimm says: “We’re excited to welcome John to lead and develop our UK team. He brings with him a wealth of experience in both the river cruise industry and the wider UK outbound travel industry.“He is also familiar with our brand, having worked very closely with us while in his previous role as Cosmos Cruises Director. His long-standing trade relationships will help us to raise CroisiEurope Cruises’ profile within the UK travel agent and tour operator community and help us achieve our aim of increasing sales via all UK trade channels.“He will ensure agents have the support and training they need to successfully market and sell CroisiEurope Cruises to their clients.”last_img read more

first_imgeCitaro differs in appearance, but for the driver is similar to the diesel busThe battery-electric Mercedes-Benz eCitaro is an extension of the successful Citaro range, although its frontal appearance is different.In the cab, there is a high degree of commonality. The manufacturer has deliberately made the eCitaro almost identical to its sisters from a driver’s perspective to simplify fleet integration.Energy is stored in up to 10 modular battery packs. Four are where the engine would otherwise be, with the remainder on the roof. With the maximum number fitted, batteries account for 2,500kg of a GVW of 13,700kg.The location of those above the saloon can be ‘trimmed’ to optimise weight distribution, and Daimler says that its balanced charging strategy maximises their lifetime. Opportunity replenishment will be offered later if required.Climate control is managed smartly. A heat pump incorporated into the air-conditioning unit ensures the greatest efficiency, and waste heat from a braking resistor is used in the saloon.The eCitaro shares Sideguard Assist with the Tourismo. It works on the same basis, with radar detection and a seat-shaker warning; as with the coach, it seems likely that automatic braking will follow later.Where the eCitaro can slow automatically is via Preventive Brake Assist. Daimler calls it a world first for buses. It warns of frontal collisions, including with pedestrians, and it can engage partial braking. Daimler stresses the ‘partial’ aspect, which takes account of passenger safety.On the road, the eCitaro drives in a similar way to a diesel Citaro. In place of a tachometer, it has a power gauge. The needle’s default position is 12 o’clock; it moves to the right when charge is taken from the batteries, and to the left when it is returned.A retarder-style lever forms the right-hand stalk. It activates regeneration, which also engages during the brake pedal’s initial travel.Most noticeably different from other electric buses is the eCitaro’s behaviour when the accelerator is released. It coasts, with no regeneration until either the stalk or the brake pedal are touched. The distance that it can freewheel is enormous; Daimler says that with a competent driver at the helm, that greatly increases energy efficiency.last_img read more

first_imgPassenger transport software specialist Omnibus says it has been working “non-stop” to bring several initiatives to market. They have helped customers to adopt a new way of working and allowed them to react quickly and effectively during the coronavirus COVID-19 crisis.The work has been designed to address and simplify the “unique requirements” necessary to operate under the current conditions, such as managing staff safely while maintaining social distancing.The next generation of CrewPLAN.NET is Omnibus’ award-winning automatic crew scheduling software. Its enhanced functionality gives increased constraint flexibility. An improved algorithm also gives operators greater control and can deliver even greater efficiencies.CrewPLAN.NET also now accounts for variations in opening and closing times of canteens to ensure that they are available for other staff at certain times of the day.Meanwhile, to assist with the management of social distancing, OmniBASE has a new meal break graph to show how many duties are on break at any given time.Users of OmniDAS module myDAS Touch now have a remote sign-on facility. It is used by scanning a QR code at a virtual sign-on point. That enables staff to comply with social distancing. Furthermore, additional codes have been set up to assist operators when they are furloughing staff. It ensures that once those employees are required again, they can be made available quickly.Omnibus says it has received much positive feedback from customers using the new features. They have confirmed that the software has allowed them to react quickly and effectively to the challenges posed by coronavirus COVID-19.Says Omnibus Managing Director Peter Crichton: “It’s great to be part of such a positive industry, which has show unwavering determination to carry on and overcome all of the obstacles that the current situation has brought.“We’re always working hard to deliver more. That has never been more important. As we start the phased exit from lockdown, our aim is to give our customers the tools they need to make life easier. We are happy to provide support, advice, assistance and consultancy as the industry works hard to re-establish its services.”last_img read more

first_img By Jon Zimney – July 18, 2019 0 340 Google+ Twitter Facebook Previous articleExcessive Heat Warning in effect through SaturdayNext articleHeat exhaustion vs. Heat stroke: Which is which? Jon ZimneyJon Zimney is the News and Programming Director for News/Talk 95.3 Michiana’s News Channel and host of the Fries With That podcast. Follow him on Twitter @jzimney. IndianaLocalMichiganNews Pinterest Two men arrested on heroin-related charges at Niles Walmart (“Cuffs4” by banspy, Attribution 2.0 Generic) Two men face heroin-related charges after a month-long investigation that ended on Tuesday at the Warmart on 11th Street in Niles.On Tuesday, July 16, authorities closed in on George Harris, 27, who they suspect of distributing heroin in Niles Township, as well as the City of South Bend.During the operation, investigators say Harris attempted to flee and struck a detective’s car. Harris was taken into custody after the crash.A passenger in the car, Robert Williams, 25, was also arrested.During a search of the car, detectives say they found 54 grams of heroin, several digital scales, a Glock pistol with a 50 round drum magazine, and other narcotics-related items.George Harris was lodged in Berrien County Jail on the following charges:1. Delivery of Heroin 2nd2. Possession with intent to deliver heroin 2nd over 50 grams3. Felon in possession of a firearm4. Possession of a firearm in commission of a felony5. Destruction of police property6. Maintaining a drug vehicleRobert Williams was lodged in Berrien County Jail on the following charges:1. Possession with intent to deliver heroin over 50 grams2. Felon in possession of a firearm3. Possession of a firearm in commission of a felony4. Out of state warrant for armed robbery and parole absconder WhatsApp Twitter WhatsApp Google+ Facebook Pinterestlast_img read more

first_img Silver Lake man arrested, charged in church robbery Pinterest Facebook Facebook Twitter Pinterest (“Saturday Sunset” by Greg Weber, Attribution-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic) A Silver Lake man was arrested and charged in the robbery of the Beaver Dam United Methodist Church.Authorities say Joshua S. Jennings, 38, was taken into custody on Wednesday, Sep. 18.He is charged with Level 5 felony burglary and misdemeanor theft.Detectives say they used security video to create still photos that they posted on social media, and that led them to Jennings.He allegedly entered the church on July 9th and took batteries, flashlights, radios and CD recorders. His initial hearing was Thursday. Twitter IndianaLocalNews Previous articleConstruction underway at South Bend International AirportNext articleStatewide Silver Alert issued for a missing Starke County man 95.3 MNCNews/Talk 95.3 Michiana’s News Channel is your breaking news and weather station for northern Indiana and southwestern Michigan. Google+ WhatsApp Google+ WhatsApp By 95.3 MNC – September 22, 2019 0 280 last_img read more

first_imgIn the uppermost echelon of the US federal government there is no corruption as the rest of the world understands it. There are however influential forces, both inside and outside the government, that exert a disproportional amount of pressure in formulating administration and Congressional direction.It could be easily ascertained that the US, as a matter of policy, militarily controls the EU through NATO and would like to control all the EU political activities as well. If this objective was arrived at in the back rooms of the State Department or if it is a result of some very influential lobby which fears an EU dominated by German-Franco axis, is irrelevant. The fact remains that the US is very successful in meeting this objective and currently is setting up the structure so as to prevent the EU ever becoming a world power; economically or militarily. The US wants Turkey in the EU; for one, to share the economic burden thus passing the buck to the EU, and for the other they know that inclusion of apopulous Turkey would render the EU useless as a functioning body.And yet the Turkish and US efforts are successful. Turkey has been accepted as a potential candidate and is now demanding a date for starting the accession negotiations. How is it possible for this blunder to occur? All European politicians know the Turkish situation; no one has the character to speak out, except Giscard d’Estaing.Blair acts as the American delegate; the leaders of the larger countries such as Germany and France are possessed with an inferiority complex that does not allow them to displease their US masters. ‘Me-too’ country leaders of the smaller states in the EU are racing to support the American wishes seeking a ‘smile’ from the White House to enhance their relative position in the EU totem-pole. Even Greece, which has the most to lose because Turkey has baseless claims on Greek territory and illegally invaded Cyprus, supports the American position. The leaders of the EU have a historic opportunity to forge the basis for an independent, strong and prosperous Europe. The EU could be the globe’s second superpower. Buckling under the American thump in every serious issue, including acceptance of Turkey, is high treason, short-changing the future generations of Europeans. Valerey Vandegriff The US is exerting excruciating pressure so that the EU accepts Turkey as a member. This is now a real long-range problem. The US knows that full inclusion of Turkey in the midst of the EU will mean destruction of the EU as an emerging power. Valéry Giscard d’Estaing pinpointed this.The Turks came from Asia, one thousand years after Christ. By origin, by culture, by language, by values, by religion – and judging by any other criterion that one cares to judge – they do not belong to Europe. The Turkish constitution is not in line with the Western democratic model. The Turkish record on human rights is dismal and everyone knows it. Turkey is not a democracy. Turkey is a bankrupt country kept alive by the US pouring money into a bottomless pit and influencing the international financial bodies to extend loans. Turkey is the bridge for illegal substances to Europe. Turkey is the bridge for illegal immigration. It is a rogue country at odds with its neighbours.Two things finally became apparent after the recent elections in Turkey. First, a democratic process cannot be implemented. The party that won the elections was taken to court fighting for its existence. The party leader cannot become the prime minister before he kisses the hands of the military. The second and most frightening fact is that when all is said and done, the Islamic Party won the elections and could form an autonomous government. center_img Congress Watch CommitteeWashington DClast_img read more

first_imgThese rules, covering most deals above the €200,000 threshold, intend to ensure public bodies give tax payers value for money by scouring the market for suppliers.This is designed to protect fair competition by putting in place strict rules preventing authorities from buying all their goods and services from ‘friendly’ suppliers or ‘national champions’. Tenders should also be widely publicized and published in the European Communities’ Official Journal.The Commission states in its consultation paper that the system for contracts in some member states is far removed from the EU law.The lack of effective review procedures to put right these flaws, together with huge differences in systems from one state to another, “may discourage some economic operators from tendering for public contracts”, it adds. The Dutchman, in charge of the Union’s complex public procurement rulebook, is concerned about day-to-day application of two directives designed to ensure that these rules are adhered to – and that companies can trigger a review of contract decisions and get effective remedies if they have been treated unfairly. As a first step, Bolkestein has launched a consultation on the current shortcomings with national authorities, with a mid-June deadline for replies. “There are shortcomings with these directives,” said his spokesman Jonathan Todd, adding that the Commission has recently stepped-up legal action against the UK and Ireland over their regimes.Shortcomings are amplified by the failure of authorities to apply the EU’s overall public procurement laws.last_img read more

first_imgAlthough, as a result of the case, retailers and computer manufacturers can market Windows without its Media Player (Windows XP N), many say that they are not interested in the stripped-down version.“We are not planning to stock Windows XP N because it is the same price as the full version,” a spokeswoman for specialist computer retailer PCWorld UK said: “We want to offer the best value for our customers.”Four major computer manufacturers have also said that they will not install Windows XP N in their PCs. A spokeswoman for Lenovo, which recently took over IBM’s PC unit, said that Lenovo’s PCs would all carry the full Windows version. “At the moment we’re shipping a consistent product line worldwide,” she said. The company would monitor customer interest but Lenovo would only ship PCs with an unbundled player if there were a market for it, she said, adding: “Our customers in Europe aren’t generally demanding a Media Player-free version of Windows on our PCs.”A spokeswoman for Dell echoed this view. “As most of the users of Microsoft Windows also want the Media Player it’s the best offer and one that we will continue to make to consumers,” she said, adding that “if consumer demand changes we will act accordingly”.A Fujitsu Siemens spokeswoman said that as the software was already free to download there was “no reason for not including Media Player”. Hewlett-Packard has made similar comments in recent weeks. Under the March 2004 decision by the Commission, Microsoft was forced to roll out a version of its Windows software minus the Media Player, after competitors such as RealNetworks and QuickPlayer complained about the computer giant’s monopoly on media player software. Windows XP N has been available to computer makers since 15 June and retailers will be able to stock it from 1 July. RealNetworks declined to comment on the issue.The Commission is hoping for a better result on European competition with its demands on interoperability following complaints from server provider Novell and free software operators.Microsoft recently agreed to disclose information that would allow non-Microsoft work group servers to be fully interoperable with Windows. It also agreed to allow the development and sale of interoperable products worldwide and to disclose some of it free of charge.The Commission is currently ‘market-testing’ Microsoft’s proposals and will release its judgement shortly.But any real benefits for Microsoft’s competitors may not be seen for a while, as the computer giant will not accept other software manufacturers sharing source codes they have developed using Microsoft protocols with others via a licence. As the Commission cannot oppose this for fear of triggering another court appeal, it will have to wait until the Court of First Instance rules on Microsoft’s appeal against the March 2004 decision. [email protected] One of the main problems with the decision is that the Commission did not address the cost of Microsoft’s software, stating only that the full version could not be offered more cheaply than the stripped-down version. Microsoft put them at the same price.Thomas Vinje, a lawyer for the European Committee for Interoperable Systems, a group of five technology firms supporting the Commission’s case, argues that consumer demand is irrelevant. “If there were a price differential then I believe we would see PC manufacturers choosing between competitors,” he said. “These manufacturers would prefer to see competition as it promotes innovation in the sector, but they have to act in light of the current pricing situation given the competition at PC manufacturer level.” Vinje said that it was possible for the Commission to force Microsoft to make Windows XP N cheaper than the full version. But to do so, the EU executive would have to make a new inquiry and decision, which might be pointless anyway if Microsoft’s competitors had already been frozen out of the market.A Commission spokesman said that “there is no provision in the March 2004 decision to impose a price differential”.A spokesman for Microsoft said that the company had complied with the Commission’s demands. “Whether computer manufacturers and retailers offer this product in Europe is their decision,” he said. last_img read more