Every two years the 124-year-old International Union of Public Transport (UITP) holds a major Conference and Exhibition, and staged its 58th event in June in Vienna, Austria.
The capital of Austria is a fascinating city with a long and colorful history, and is the only city in Europe with a million-plus population in which more people travel by public transport than by car, with a highly efficient network of metro, tram and bus services.
The Basque region bordering the Atlantic in northern Spain is the industrial heartland of that country. In 1889, Jose Francisco Irizar, a blacksmith in the village of Ormaiztegi started building horse-drawn wooden carts, soon followed by stagecoaches.
I am probably stretching the point to send this Letter from Europe from the Busworld Asia exhibition in Shanghai, China held in April. Nonetheless we all need to be aware of developments by Chinese bus and coach manufacturers.
In the United Kingdom, the authorities most unusually decided seat belts should be fitted not only to new vehicles but also retrofitted to all existing coaches in circulation. This, of course, created an outcry that neither the seats nor the floors of many older coaches were suitable for retrofitting, and that a serious accident could be made worse by old seats breaking free with passengers belted on to them.
Transport for London controls the route network for our capital city. Seven years ago the agency determined high capacity articulated buses would best serve the busiest routes.
Euro Bus Expo 2008 held in Birmingham, England in November was somewhat misleading as nearly all the exhibits targeted the British market. The argument for hybrid buses in Europe grew strong last summer when the price of oil peaked at $147 per barrel.
Every two years the city of Hanover in northern Germany hosts the largest commercial vehicle exhibition in Europe. The exhibition area is vast with covered halls and large open-air displays with room for the more than 2,000 exhibitors and every kind of commercial vehicle. This year the show welcomed nearly 300,000 visitors from 110 countries.