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August 11th, 2009
The Hybrid Bus Is Finally Here
By Dale Roethlisberger

A handful of bus manufacturers are now selling or taking orders to deliver hybrid buses during this and next years model cycle. There have been some ‘experimental’ or ‘demonstration’ hybrid buses available for a few years now, but the 2009 and 2010 model years appear to be the time when full production models become part of the mix. For a variety of reasons, the ability of the manufacturers to ramp up hybrid bus production has been hampered by competing fuel technologies, such as natural gas fuel, or limitations in the fuel/electric/battery technology to achieve better mileage characteristics. When you add in the new technology increase in base cost to bring such a vehicle to market, the hybrid bus has previously been just beyond the normal budget for municipalities and bus fleet operators. New pricing and lifetime operating expenses are now much more economically viable. When future supply of petroleum resources indicate an ever upward spiral in fuel costs, it is highly likely that the hybrid bus will gain a significant share of future bus sales.

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March 19th, 2008
Is There A Mini Bus In Your Future
By Jeffrey Goodman

With gas prices expected to near four dollars a gallon by the early summer, many Americans will be turning to mass transportation to get around town without emptying their wallets. In major cities with high population densities, commuters have a whole range of options, but in the suburbs – a built environment designed around private automobile usage – the pickings may be slimmer, even non-existent.  Perhaps the combi, a little-known transportation system from the developing world, could change the way suburbanites travel through their space.

While the combi itself is nothing to write home about – just a large ten passenger van with a driver and a cobrador, or conductor – the way combis are organized make them perfect for navigating the sprawling world of the suburbs. Though they follow set routes like traditional buses, combis lack specific stops, picking up and dropping off passengers at any point along their route. Because of their smaller size, a combi could go where larger buses would not be welcome, such as in housing developments and big-box parking lots. This increased flexibility could allow a combi line to be more responsive to where riders actually travel than the bureaucracy-minded municipal systems.

In a country where car ownership has long been equated with economic success, many people will have to overcome their transportation bias and get on board the bus to the future.

January 12th, 2008
Bus Fleet Acquisition Begins for Terra Yachting
By Dale Roethlisberger

Terra Yachting has begun it’s search for a previously owned “entertainer” or “crew/band” bus to be the first in a series of land yachts employed in eco-friendly travel packages. Our first luxury conversion bus will be christened the “Enterprise” and it’s tentative tours for 2008 will be for musicians to ‘jam’ at a series of weekend music festivals. Musician tour participants will be expected to play acoustical instruments and sing in improvisational music sets and conduct workshops demonstrating jamming techniques in exchange for lodging (this will be ‘bunk’ style sleeping arrangements), camping fees, and festival admissions fees. These ‘jams’ will be video recorded for a documentary series to be sold on the Callahans Junction web site.

There will be four “Pole and Canvas” mobile shops (i.e. essentially like ‘craft’ shops you find at most festivals) at each corner of the “Enterprise” when the land yacht arrives at its appointed destination. In addition to the Callahans Junction “JammoRama” club where all the music takes place, there will also be a pole and canvas shop for Bus Works providing Internet access stations for daily fees and conducting eco-awareness public tours of the green energy enhancements and savings features of the “Enterprise” bus. The third mobile shop will be an outlet for EnviroPhotonics providing eco-friendly portable and installed fixture lamps like compact fluorescents lamps and LED lamps and novelty items. Finally, a mobile video production studio, Vodd Ville, where customers can act or perform in their own mini productions for a reasonable fee.

July 16th, 2007
The New Secret of Machu Picchu
By Dale Roethlisberger

Recently, we the opportunity to travel to South America, and one of the highlights was a two day stay in Machu Picchu, Peru. The town of Agua Caliente, at the bottom of the mountain and the end of the rail line, understands the worldwise interest and desire to visit this spectacular site. To see Machu Picchu closeup, you either have to make an arduous climb on foot, or you can take the bus. We recommend the bus trip at the 7000 foot plus altitude, unless you are an afficionado of mountaineering and are in decent physical shape and have the time to burn.

July 16th, 2007
EnviroPhotonics Turns On the “Green” Lights
By Dale Roethlisberger

R & D Enterprises is proud to announce our newest endeavor, EnviroPhotonics, a web-site dedicated to understanding and utilizing emerging technologies in the lighting industry. Worldwide, we consume 10-15 percent of our total energy production for lighting our enclosed environments and taking back the night during the daily darkness. Our world would not exist in its present form without the benefits of artificial lighting. Yet, we continue to employ, for example, incandescent lamps in great quantities for lighting. We could save a few percentage points in overall energy usage by requiring newer lighting technologies. Yes, in many instances, the cost of switching to these newer technologies is more expensive. In almost all cases the lifetime costs are lower for both lamp replacement and total energy usage.

We find it significant, for example, that buses, cars, and other road vehicles are begining to be equipped with light emitting diodes (LED’s) as the technology of choice for headlamps, and other indicator lighting. This is an example where the overall increased cost of the newer lighting technology package is easily added to the market cost of the vehicle without major impact to the consumer. The lifespans of these products in this application will almost never require replacement over the life of the vehicle. To find out more, visit EnviroPhotonics.