GIFU, Japan – Gifu Bus Co., Ltd., began introducing eight large Aero Star MP route buses equipped with Allison fully automatic transmissions in July 2012. The Aero Star MP buses feature bold images promoting the ancient city’s rich history and attracting tourism. These buses service the Loop Line, which runs throughout Gifu City, thereby covering the main venues of the Gifu Seiryu Kokutai national sports festival, which began September 29.
The Loop Line generally transports about 3,000 people within Gifu City daily. However, with the start of the “Gifu Seiryu Kokutai” festival, the buses also provided visiting athletes and spectators with a safe, comfortable means of navigating the city, ensuring the festival ran smoothly.
When inside a crowded bus, both driver and passengers can easily become distracted and fatigued, but the Aero Star MP, fitted with the Allison T310 automatic transmission, allows the driver to concentrate on driving without having to worry about operating a shift lever or clutch.
Accidents that involve passengers falling inside a bus account for approximately 30 percent of all bus related accidents. However, an automatic transmission contributes to a more comfortable and smoother ride. By eliminating the interrupted shifts associated with a manual transmission, an Allison automatic may also help some passengers to avoid falling. The result is a comfortable, stress-free environment for both drivers and passengers.
Gifu’s Satoru Io drives one of the new buses, and he agreed, saying, “Physically, the buses are much easier to drive, because there are no strenuous clutches or shifting operations.”
Heavy vehicle and pedestrian traffic within the city means the Loop Line is at risk for potential accidents both inside and outside the bus, especially during peak times that require consistently sudden braking. According to Io, automatic transmissions make drivers feel less anxious about accidents inside the bus, which allows them to keep an even sharper watch for possible dangers outside the bus. Since the Allison automatic transmission-equipped buses have been introduced, there have been almost no accidents that involve passengers falling inside buses. Io commented on how automatic transmissions have contributed to safety by stating that, “With the automatic transmission, we don’t have to worry about cumbersome shift and clutch operations, so as drivers, we can pay more attention to anticipating potential hazards. The smooth acceleration and deceleration of the automatic transmission also contributes to the safety of both the passengers and pedestrians.”
About Gifu Bus Co., Ltd.
The headquarters of Gifu Bus is located in Gifu City, headed by the Representative Director and President, Yoshiteru Kishino. Running 322 buses with 346 drivers, Gifu Bus has six offices in Gifu Prefecture in neighboring cities outside of Gifu City. The entire group of five companies own 475 buses including route buses and charter buses, and a subsidiary company that performs fleet maintenance.
About the Gifu Seiryu Kokutai National Sports Festival
The Gifu Seiryu Kokutai is the 67th National Sports Festival was held this year from September 29 through October 9 in Gifu Prefecture. Forty sporting events, including official sporting events such as track and field and swimming, as well as demonstration and exhibition events will be held at each of the sports arenas in Gifu Prefecture and over 50,000 athletes will participate.
About Allison Transmission
Allison Transmission is the world’s largest manufacturer of fully-automatic transmissions for medium and heavy-duty commercial vehicles, medium and heavy-tactical U.S. military vehicles and hybridpropulsion systems for transit buses. Allison transmissions are used in a variety of applications including on-highway trucks (distribution, refuse, construction, fire and emergency), buses (primarily school and transit), motor homes, off-highway vehicles and equipment (primarily energy and mining) and military vehicles (wheeled and tracked). Founded in 1915, the Allison business is headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana, U.S.A. and employs approximately 2,800 people. Regional headquarters with dedicated support staff are located in China, The Netherlands, Brazil, India and Japan. With a global presence in 80 countries, Allison has over 1,500 independent distributor and dealer locations. More information about Allison is available at www.allisontransmission.com.
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Kenji Higashiyama / Kaz Ito Yukio Arai
Weber Shandwick Japan Allison Transmission Japan Co., Ltd.
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