Mary Webb, Editor of Jane's Urban Transport Systems, rounds up the news from the recent American Public Transport Association (APTA) 2002 Annual Meeting and International Public Transportation Expo, held in Las Vegas last month.
The new Las Vegas Monorail, owned and operated by the Las Vegas Monorail Company, is currently under construction. An extension to the existing downtown monorail system will result in a system with a total length of four miles along the Resort Corridor and will have seven stations providing services to eight major resort properties east of Las Vegas Boulevard. The system is due for completion in 2004 and is expected to carry some 19 million passengers in its first year of operation. The Las Vegas Monorail Team comprises Bombardier Transportation Systems, which is responsible for the project management, systems engineering and integration, all electric and mechanical components including the fully automated monorail vehicles and workshop equipment, and Granite Construction Company.
Canadian company Carmanah Technologies Corporation unveiled its I-STOP™ - the first solar-powered Light Emitting Diode (LED) illuminated bus stop. More than seven US cities' transit agencies and customers in the UK and Canada have already placed orders for the product and many prototypes are planned for trial testing in the USA and Europe.
ISE Research-ThunderVolt (ISE) announced the conclusion of a 5-year strategic agreement with Siemens Transportation Systems Inc. The agreement will team the two companies to supply hybrid-electric drive systems to the US transit industry. ISE will be a US distributor and the 'Preferred Systems Integrator' of Siemens' ELFA™ hybrid-electric drive products in the USA.
NEOPLAN USA has a new line of Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) vehicles. Its Dual Mode Articulated bus is one example, which uses overhead power and an onboard power generation source. Many options will eventually be available, including fuel cell and hybrid drives.
Caterpillar Inc introduced its C9 engine, which provides low emission levels and is available on two horsepower ratings, one for buses up to 40 foot in length and the other for buses up to 60 feet in length. New Jersey Transit has recently placed an order for 85 NEOPLAN AN460 articulated buses with the C9 engine specified.