Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Transport for London One ticket for London as Oysterisation of rail and river confirmed

Oyster pay as you go will be accepted on National Rail services from 2 January 2010.Mayor announces Oyster pay as you go will be accepted on Thames Clipper commuter services from today.

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, Transport Secretary, Andrew Adonis, and the Train Operating Companies serving the Capital, today confirmed that the hundreds of thousands of passengers who travel on National Rail services within Greater London will be able to use Oyster pay as you go from 2 January 2010.

The extension of the ticketing system will cover all commuter rail routes within Greater London, and will particularly benefit commuters living across south and northeast London, where Oyster pay as you go is not currently accepted on the vast majority of rail services.

The Mayor has also confirmed that Oyster pay as you go will be accepted on all Thames Clippers river services from today, making river travel more convenient for thousands more Londoners and helping to boost usage of London's underused thoroughfare.

Saturday, November 14, 2009

Awards for Shanghai student's sterilization invention

Guo Haijun in the lab at Luwan Senior High School.A local high school student's invention of an ultraviolet sterilizer to kill germs in vehicles has won him local and international awards and may be put to use in public transport in the future.

Guo Haijun, 18, has just returned home after winning two prizes at the 2009 Intel International Science and Engineering Fair, the world's largest pre-college science competition, held in the United States last month.Guo, a senior student at a Luwan District high school, has applied for a patent for his invention and some taxi companies have already shown interest in the innovative device.

"I came up with the idea about two years ago," Guo said. "Many taxi drivers and passengers are prone to coughs and flu."

Guo suspected that microbe contamination in the public vehicles could be the cause. He carried out studies on public transport with his schoolmates from March last year to February this year. They collected air samples from three taxis companies, eight bus routes and four Metro lines over the past year.

"We collected more than 7,000 samples from 1,280 taxis, buses and Metros," he said.

Using a local university laboratory, they found bacteria responsible for causing sneezing and the common cold in quantities exceeding the national standard in many vehicles. Germs in taxis were 5.12 times more concentrated than national standards, while those in buses were 3.04 times worse. Microbes in subways were found to be within the national limit.

"My device can kill 83 percent of bacteria in vehicles within 30 minutes," Guo said. "It costs about 80 yuan (US$12)."

Using three ultraviolet lamps and a timer taken from a fan, Guo created a device small enough to fit unobtrusively into a taxi.Drivers can operate the device when outside the vehicle using a remote control to avoid exposure to ultraviolet rays.Guo applied for the patent for the device last year, but he has no intention of selling it yet.

Wearing a pair of glasses, a school uniform and a pair of white running shoes, Guo looks no different from his peers - who view him as a future scientist.The invention has brought him domestic science prizes, but Guo paid a hard price for it - in order to devote time to the invention, he gave up playing the violin.

"Most of the time, research and experimenting are boring," Guo said. "But it becomes more exciting when you start to make a little progress."

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Japan Joins Green Asia and Pacific Aviation Partnership

Japan became the latest partner in the Asia and Pacific Initiative to Reduce Emissions (ASPIRE), which is designed to make aircraft operations in the region more efficient in order to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases.

“This is an important milestone in our collective effort to lessen aviation’s environmental footprint,” said FAA Administrator Randy Babbitt, who signed the agreement along with Ryuhei Maeda, the Director General of the Japanese Civil Aviation Bureau (JCAB), today in Osaka. “We have all pledged to adopt and promote best practices that will benefit the environment.”

Japan joins the FAA, Airservices Australia and Airways New Zealand as partners to ASPIRE, which began in February 2008. Goals of the partnership include identifying and sharing procedures that produce environmental benefits, quantifying green enhancements in the region over the last decade, and establishing fuel and emissions baselines for current operations, along with future performance benchmarks.

A Japan Airlines flight from Honolulu to Osaka preceding the signing ceremony is the latest ASPIRE flight demonstration to reduce emissions and to save time and fuel by utilizing the most efficient, advanced technologies and procedures. These include procedures such as just-in-time fueling, using preferred routes over the ocean, optimizing speed and altitude and using a tailored-arrival approach to the destination airport.

There have been three previous ASPIRE demonstration flights. An Air New Zealand 777 flying from Auckland to San Francisco last September saved 7,700 pounds of fuel and 27,700 pounds of carbon dioxide. A Qantas A380 flying from Los Angeles to Melbourne last October saved 19,600 pounds of fuel and 61,700 pounds of carbon dioxide. And a United 747 flying from Sydney to San Francisco last November saved 10,500 pounds of fuel and 33,100 pounds of carbon dioxide.