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Airtabs™ put to the test p12

The Best of BUSRide Awards p18

The Safe Driver Hall of Fame p26

december.2013

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The most trusted resource in the bus and motorcoach industry

ABC Companies

unveils the

Van Hool

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inside

Altoona Tested Electric Bus

RAISE YOUR BOTTOM LINE With the first cost effective, all-electric, zero-emissions transit bus from Proterra. With the lowest operating cost per mile at just 19 cents, these electric buses are a smart and economical choice. To learn more, email us at sales@proterra.com. *Fuel Pricing from Energy Information Administration (EIA). Fuel Economy from NREL Technical Reports. Proterra Fuel Economy from Altoona Testing.

Š2013 Proterra

DECEMBER 2013

CONTENTS

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Cover Story BUSRide Road Test: The Van Hool TX unveiled 14 The improvements to the T2100 are enough to warrant a name change By David Hubbard

Features Operators put Airtabs™ to the test

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Vortex generators reduce wind resistance and aerodynamic drag to improve fuel economy By David Hubbard

The Best of BUSRide Awards

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BUSRide devotes an issue to the bus industry’s best and brightest

The Safe Driver Hall of Fame

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The Safe Driver Hall of Fame recognizes the safest among the industry’s transit bus and motorcoach drivers

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Active safety engages the Four Is 33 Further commercial vehicle safety improvement lies in integrating safety technologies By Fred Andersky

DEPARTMENTS 8 UPDATE 10 PEOPLE IN THE NEWS 11 Deliveries

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28 Transit Authority

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33 Marketplace COLUMNS 6

FROM THE EDITOR

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30 THE INTERNATIONAL REPORT 4

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By Doug Jack BUSRIDE | DECEMBER . 2013

busride.com

The exceptional efficiency of an integrated powertrain The Volvo 9700 consistently delivers a profitable combination of performance, efficiency and passengerpleasing comfort. With its dependable Volvo D13 SCR engine, you get a proven platform that saves fuel and minimizes maintenance. The integrated I-Shift transmission takes fuel economy to the next level by keeping engine speed in the sweet spot. Advanced safety features add bumper-to-bumper protection. And wherever you go, you’re backed by our extensive network of Prevost professional service providers. The Volvo 9700 is known around the globe for its high productivity and low operating cost. Here in North America, it’s the best way to accelerate your bottom line. Learn more at www.prevostcar.com.

35 Gagnon Blvd., Ste-Claire QC, G0R 2V0, Canada | USA 1-877-773-8678 | Canada 418-883-3391

FROM THE EDITOR

FMCSA proposal eases the path for military drivers The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) is suggesting regulatory changes to ease the path for transitioning military personnel and veterans in need of work, which could benefit bus and coach operators in search of drivers. The Program to Assist Veterans to Acquire Commercial Driver’s Licenses Report to Congress makes the case for military truck and bus drivers to more easily obtain civilian commercial driver‘s licenses. FMCSA plans to implement the changes as soon as possible. “Our military men and women make tremendous sacrifices and helping veterans transition to the civilian workforce when they come home is just one way to show our gratitude,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “This report outlines opportunities to help even more qualify for jobs based on the skills and training they receive in the armed forces.” The proposed changes include: • Extending the time from 90 days to one year in which active duty and recently separated veterans with two years of safe driving experience with similar vehicles can take advantage of a military skills test waiver. • Updating federal regulations to allow over 60,000 service members trained and employed in the operation of heavy vehicles to qualify immediately for a CDL while still on active duty. • Allowing service members stationed in one state but licensed in another to obtain a CDL before leaving the military. Directed by MAP-21, the study analyzed training, testing and licensing similarities and differences between military and civilian commercial driver’s license (CDL) requirements. In August, FMCSA announced almost $1 million in grants to six colleges to help increase enrollment in commercial motor vehicle training programs, making it easier for veterans and their spouses to obtain CDLs and find transportation jobs. FMCSA Administrator Anne S. Ferro sees the demand for commercial vehicle drivers growing over 17 percent by the year 2020. “The men and women who serve in uniform commit their lives to protecting our country — in many cases by operating heavy-duty vehicles,” she says. “There are no better credentials for continuing as a safe truck or bus driver.”

David Hubbard Editor BUSRide Magazine

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BUSRIDE | DECEMBER . 2013

Publisher / Editor in Chief Steve Kane steve@busride.com Associate Publisher Sali T. Williams swilliams@busride.com Editor David Hubbard david@busride.com Managing Editor Richard Tackett rtackett@busride.com Art Director Stephen Gamble sgamble@theproducersinc.com Production Coordinator Kevin Dixon kdixon@busride.com Accountant Fred Valdez fvaldez@powertrademedia.com Contributing Writers Doug Jack, Matthew A. Daecher, Christopher Ferrone

BUS industry SAFETY council

A publication of:

POSTMASTER: Please send address changes to: BUSRide Magazine 4742 North 24th Street, Suite 340 Phoenix, Arizona 85016 Phone: (602) 265-7600 Fax: (602) 277-7588 busride.com Vol. 49 • No. 12 Subscription Rates: United States: $39 for 1 year, $64 for 2 years, $89 for 3 years. United States via periodicals mail: $42 for 1 year, $69 for 2 years, $98 for 3 years. Canada. Canadian tax (GST) is included. Rest of the world, via air mail: $75 for 1 year, $125 for 2 years, $175 for 3 years. Single copies: $5 for the United States, $6 for Canada and the rest of the world. All prices are in United States Dollars (U.S.D.). Reprints: All articles in BUSRide are copyrighted and may not be reproduced in whole or in part without the express written permission of the publisher. For reprints of 100 or more, contact Sali T. Williams at (602) 265-7600, ext. 209.

busride.com

UPDATE

Years

Proudly Serving Public & Private Transit M-Bcelebrate.com • Knowledge leaders ABC Companies Muncie Transit • Major brands • Extensive partscelebrates selection Supply 60 years for all makes & models

President Barack Obama signed H.R. 3095, regarding sleep apnea, into law. The law ensures that FMCSA uses a formal rulemaking for any changes to sleep apnea testing and treatment for commercial drivers. Southern Nevada RTC has modified the hours of operation for the Strip & Downtown Express (SDX) to run from 9 a.m. to midnight. The Deuce on the Strip now offers 24-hour transit service along Las Vegas Boulevard, while 24-hour service along the Strip continues for tourists and residents.

In a partnership with the city of Dallas and • RFQ/bid specialists purchased Muncie-Baker brands in ABC Companies US 800.428.8610 Canada 800.256.0520 • LIVE support Downtown Dallas, Inc., Dallas Area Regional Transit 2007 and expanded its parts sales territory to encompass (DART) launched D-LINK circulating buses to run free-ofmotorcoach and transit markets in the U.S. and Canada. charge service through downtown and neighboring areas. Muncie’s Indiana-based facility is rehabbed to add a modern CUTA_M&B.indd 1 9/20/13 12:20 PM bus inspection depot on property. The routes connect major tourist attractions and employment The venerable Muncie Transit Supply, Muncie, IN, opened 60 centers in the city center. years ago as Muncie Reclamation and Supply Co. specializing in restoring old worn bus parts back to OEM specs. Today, Kansas City Area Transportation Authority (KCATA) after multiple expansions, consolidations and a critical merger recently signed a 10-year fueling agreement with under its belt, the aftermarket transit parts manufacturer and Clean Energy to open a new station as the agency transitions distributor is a recognized leader serving both transit and coach its entire fleet of buses and paratransit vehicles to natural gas. industries throughout the U.S. The agreement begins with 25 CNG buses with an estimated Muncie acquired Baker Transit Parts, Sombra, ON, Canada, acquisition of 15 additional CNG buses each year until 256 CNG in 1989 and entered the Canadian transit parts marketplace. buses have been deployed. Within 15 years, KCATA estimates it In 1995, after the sale of the reclamation business, the named can displace nearly 2.5 million diesel gallons each year. changed to Muncie Transit Supply.

SAFET Y THAT REVOLVES AROUND YOU PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION Protective Insurance Company's loss prevention team members are specialists in the transportation industry and use a collaborative approach to partner with our insureds to address their specific safety and risk management needs. Our loss prevention team understands that no two companies are the same and solutions must be tailored to fit each one's unique needs. Visit www.protectiveinsurance.com/publictransportation to learn about our specialized online training offerings for public transportation.

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EXCELLENCE IN: MEDIUM FLEET TRUCKING

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BUSRIDE | DECEMBER . 2013

FOR COVERAGE THAT REVOLVES AROUND YOU, CONTACT STACY RENZ: (800) 644-5501 ext. 2570

| LARGE FLEET TRUCKING | PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION | WORKERS’ COMPENSATION | INDEPENDENT CONTRACTORS

busride.com

UPDATE

Cincinatti Metro and local artist do a shelter makeover Artist Jan Brown Checco of Cincinnati, OH, decided she was just the person to beautify her nearby Metro bus shelter. She shared her idea and sketches with Metro and together they began an art initiative. Metro repaired and painted the shelter and replaced the glass panels. Brown Checco created the design work, purchased materials for painting the glass panels and created the informational panels. Metro printed and installed the panels while Brown Checco used a special technique to paint on the glass panels by hand. The themes for the painted panels include fossils from the Cincinnatian Period, native plants of the Ohio River Valley, and symbolic imagery of the Adena and Hopewell Peoples.

Private Romanian STP awarded for excellent transit service

Jan Brown Checco

During BusWorld in Kortrijk, Belgium, the Romanian company Societatea de Transport Public (STP), SA Alba Iulia, received the IRU Bus Excellence 2013 Award for “extremely high quality standards in customer care, environmental responsibility, new technologies and innovative solutions.� Privately owned and operated, STP considers itself as a public service for the city to permanently increase transport service quality for passengers. None of the 90 buses in the STP is older than six years. The drivers wear suits and ties. The company has built its own fuel station and has one of the most modern car washes for clean and comfortable vehicles.

busride.com | BUSRIDE

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UPDATE

Prevost expands its service network in Canada Prevost, Sainte-Claire, QB, Canada, continues to improve on its extensive network of 11 North American service centers with the opening of a new facility in Toronto, ON, and the relocation of its British Columbia service center from Delta to Richmond. Located at 8301 Keele Street in Vaughan, ON, via Express Route 407 exit 69, the new 9,600-square-foot Toronto service center features four service bays and a parts warehouse. Branch Manager Guillaume Charron and Service Manager Stephen Farrugia head up the new center, which now adds to the existing support in the Toronto area. Prevost also maintains a Prevost Mobile Support Unit, which has served the Toronto area for the last 11 months and will continue with this service in the region. Meanwhile, the Prevost Service Center in British Columbia has moved to a new location in Richmond approximately 8 kilometers west of the former site in Delta. “Our services were not interrupted during the move from Delta to Richmond,” says Guy French, service vice president, Prevost.

“We’re able to offer expanded services compared to the Delta location.” Easily accessed from Exit 32 off Highway 99, the new 21,625-square-foot facility, located at 11911 No. 5 Road, Richmond, BC, is equipped with six full

service bays, a large parts warehouse area, training room, customer lounge and increased parking area. The phone and fax numbers will remain the same.

Trojan Battery has appointed Ed Dunlap as senior vice president and chief financial officer (CFO).

Dave Johnson has joined MCI Financial Services as a sales representative.

Dunlap will be responsible for all aspects of Trojan Battery’s finance programs as well as lead the company’s finance, information technology and commodities strategies teams. He also will serve as a member of Trojan’s Executive Steering Committee. Dunlap’s responsibilities will include management of all aspects of Trojan Battery’s accounting, finance, treasury, tax planning, information systems, risk management, legal, Foreign Corrupt Practices Act Compliance and all lead/ scrap activities.

He will be responsible for assisting new- and pre-owned coach customers in both the West and East Coast regions with financial sourcing options. He reports to Mike Denny, vice president and general manager of MCI Financial Services. Johnson was formerly with Key Bank, the 22nd largest bank in the U.S., where he was focused on loans and leasing to operators of large equipment. Johnson also comes to MCI with a 19-year career with GE Capital, where he established his reputation as an industry expert.

Stertil-Koni, a leader in heavyduty vehicle lifts, notably bus lifts and truck lifts, announced that Keith Bunn has been named sales manager, Western Region.

PEOPLE IN THE NEWS

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Bunn previously served for more than six years as Service Manager at StertilKoni’s U.S. headquarters in Stevensville, Maryland. During that tenure, Bunn had been responsible for developing and implementing a successful service training program in North America, consulting on a broad range of installation projects, as well as providing technical support on the company’s entire product line to the Stertil-Koni distributor network. Bunn has 18 years’ experience in industrial equipment and control. busride.com

DELIVERIES

ABC Companies/Van Hool

Arrow Stage Lines took delivery of two 2014 T2145s. They’re equipped with Allison Transmissions, Saucon GPS and Wi-Fi technology, Rudd Autochains, DriveCam and woodgrain flooring. In addition, the 57-passenger coaches feature Grand Luxe Leather seats with three-point seat belts, Kidde Fire Suppression systems, Lane Departure Warning Devices, Tire Monitoring Systems, and High Definition Elite Entertainment Systems. The 85-year-old company, led by the fourth generation Busskohl family, is based in Norfolk, NE, with 11 locations throughout the Midwest and western states.

added

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Arrow Stage Lines Norfolk, NE Motor Coach Industries (MCI) added

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Temsa - CH Bus Sales added

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Cline Tours Ridgeland, MS

Foxy Travel Linwood, MA

Discovery Coach Inc. Sheboygan, WI

Cline Tours added 16 J4500 coaches to its MCI fleet, bringing the fleet’s count to 71. The purchase establishes Cline as the operator with the most 2014 J4500s in North America. Owner John McCommon acquired the company in 1996 with one MCI coach. He believes investing in new models gives his company a competitive edge. The J4500 coaches, equipped with threepoint seatbelts, Electronic Stability Control, tire pressure monitoring and a fire suppression system, are bound for locations in Southland, MS; Birmingham, AL; and newly-acquired Callahan Bus Lines in Oxford, MS. McCommon says a complete J4500 fleet works very well for Cline Tours.

Foxy Travel added “Mike and Diane” to its fleet, keeping with the company’s tradition of naming its coaches after friends and family. Foxy Travel President Keith Menard says this 2014 MCI J4500 represents what the business is about: family in the broadest sense of the word. The late competitors Mike and Diane Ritchie of Ritchie Bus were not blood relatives but acted like they were. Menard says the couple counts greatly for his early success. “Mike and Diane” is equipped with a Cummins engine, and the standard safety systems. It brings the fleet count to eight.

Discovery Coach Inc., a 60-year-old family-owned operation, took delivery of two Temsa TS-35 midsize coaches equipped for 30 passengers. The fully-integrated stainless steel coaches feature leather seats with three-point seat belts, wood-grain rubber flooring, 110-V plug outlets, side and driver shades, and a R.E.I. Audio/Video system. The TS-35 has independent front suspension. A Cummins ISL 345 engine couples to an Allison B500 transmission. Dennis Prigge, president of Discovery Coach, says the new Temsa coaches have been getting rave reviews from customers and drivers for the smooth ride and very comfortable seats. busride.com | BUSRIDE

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Operators put Airtabs to the test

Vortex generators reduce wind resistance and aerodynamic drag to improve fuel economy

By David Hubbard

Specially designed for large heavy-duty commercial vehicles, Airtabs™ are unique vortex generators that control airflow over a moving coach. They reduce wind resistance and aerodynamic drag to improve fuel economy. The air rushing to fill the vacuum left by a moving vehicle creates drag and turbulence. This causes the engine to burn more fuel to produce the necessary power to overcome the resistance. Wishbone-shaped AirtabsTM attach easily at the rear of the coach to create two tight vortices. These vortices combine to reduce suction and drag at the rear of vehicles traveling at speeds above 35 mph. Airtabs™ improve vehicle stability and safety by altering the airflow patterns at the vehicle’s rear. The large random swirls at the rear of the bus are replaced by dozens of small, vigorous, “stream-wise” counterrotating vortexes that trail several feet behind the vehicle. AirtabsTM put to the test Already proven to be effective in the trucking industry, Airtab, LLC, asked BUSRide to test the product on motorcoaches. BUSRide selected five motorcoach companies that represented a variety of climates and geographic conditions. Airtab, LLC, supplied each motorcoach company with Airtab® vortex generators to install, test and evaluate during the summer. BUSRide asked the participating operators to keep a careful record of mileage and fuel efficiency both before and after the product trial, and to report any noticeable changes or improvements. The drivers participated in evaluating vehicle stability and handling of the coach in actual service on the open road. Maintenance techs weighed in on the overall cleanliness of the rear of the coach, particularly from splash and spray during trips in adverse weather. The results are in All Aboard America! Mesa, AZ All Aboard America! installed and tested three coaches with AirtabsTM, for product trials on the same line-haul run from its Midland, TX, location. The coaches ran from May through June for evaluation prior to installation. Two coaches ran July through August with AirtabsTM, while one continued without the product. 12

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BEFORE AIRTABSTM fuel mileage: Coach 478: 6.30 miles per gallon Coach 454: 6.35 miles per gallon Coach 474: 7.11 miles per gallon WITH AIRTABSTM fuel mileage: Coach 478: 6.54 (a 2.8-percent improvement in fuel mileage.) Coach 454: 6.53 (a 3.7-percent improvement in fuel mileage.) Coach 474: 6.87 (Continuing without AirtabsTM, Coach 474 showed a 3.5-percent decrease in fuel mileage over the first period.) One driver reported noticing improved stability and better handling with the AirtabsTM through gusty West Texas cross winds. Cyr Northstar Tours Lines Old Town, ME Cyr Northwest reported a “neutral experience” after a 10-day before and 10-day after trial period, comparing fuel data with and without the AirtabsTM. For the most controlled conditions, Cyr installed AirtabsTM on one coach that runs the same line-run route daily from Bangor, ME, north to Caribou, ME, with the same three drivers doing the testing at highway speeds. BEFORE AIRTABSTM: 6.9 mpg WITH AIRTABSTM: 6.5 mpg (a 6.2-percent decrease in fuel mileage.) Cyr notes that none of the three drivers reported noticeable change in the handling of the coach, and none was aware of the coach feeling any differently. The wash bay personnel did not notice anything different in the way of a cleaner appearance to the rear of the coach. They did say, however, that the washer brushes did not damage the AirtabsTM. Pacific Coachways Charter Services, Inc. Garden Grove, CA With AirtabsTM installed on one MCI J4500 coach, Pacific Coachways sent it out with the same driver on several extended trips as far away as Yellowstone, WY. Comparing fuel records from previous trips without AirtabsTM, the company reported the same fuel consumption for both before and after installing the product. busride.com

BEFORE AIRTABSTM: 5.82 mpg WITH AIRTABSTM: 5.82 mpg (0.0-percent gain in fuel mileage.) Winn Transportation Richmond, VA Winn Transportation installed the AirtabsTM on a Prevost H3-45. As Winn does not run regular scheduled service, the company tested its AirtabsTM on coach charters with one senior driver to various destinations. BEFORE AIRTABSTM: 4.56 miles per gallon WITH AIRTABSTM: 4.86 miles per gallon (a 6.2-percent improvement in fuel mileage.) Winn notes the short test period, along with conditions like differences in idle time, traffic, accident delays, and speed limits. In his time with the coach, the driver did not notice any difference in handling or less sway in the coach. The company says it will continue to monitor fuel mileage with the AirtabsTM over a longer period and offer its findings. Arrow Stage Lines Omaha, NE Arrow Stage Lines installed AirtabsTM on four coaches at its Denver, CO, facility. The company provided 6-1/2 months of data before having AirtabsTM along with data from 3-1/2 months of testing. MILEAGE and FUEL CONSUMPTION RESULTS BEFORE AIRTABSTM: Coach 508: 7.34 miles per gallon Coach 509: 7.26 miles per gallon Coach 510: 6.99 miles per gallon Coach 511: 7.35 mpg

WITH AIRTABSTM: Coach 508: 7.46 miles per gallon (a 1.6-percent improvement in fuel mileage.) Coach 509: 7.55 miles per gallon (a 3.8-percent improvement in fuel mileage.) Coach 510: 7.06 miles per gallon (a 1.0-percent improvement in fuel mileage.) Coach 511: 7.85 mpg (a 6.4-percent improvement in fuel mileage.) Arrow Stage says its driver reported nothing different as to the handling of the coaches. Tour West America Phoenix, AZ Tour West America installed AirtabsTM on a 2013 MCI J4500. Prior to the product trial, the company reported fuel mileage for one-month. The company tested the AirtabsTM on coach for approximately two months. BEFORE AIRTABSTM: 5.79 miles per gallon WITH AIRTABSTM: 6.13 miles per gallon (a 5.5 percent improvement in fuel mileage.) Of the three drivers who drove the bus before and after, one reported the rear of the bus staying cleaner throughout his trips. Another stated that the rear end of the bus felt a little more stabilized. The company intends to install AirtabsTM on a 2003 Prevost H3-45 and test the product for an extended period. With the Airtabs™, the seven coaches showing improved fuel economy averaged a 3.51 percent increase in mileage. Based on a $3.85 per gallon diesel fuel price as of November, this represents a savings of 13.5 cents per gallon. Airtab®, LLC, represents the Airtab® product in Canada and the USA. AirtabsTM are a product of Aeroserve Technologies LTD located in Carp, ON, Canada. Airtab® is a registered trademark of Aeroserve Technologies Ltd. US and Canadian Patents.

busride.com | BUSRIDE

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The Van Hool TX unveiled The improvements to the T2100 are enough to warrant a name change

By David Hubbard

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Photos by: Greg Cohen

ince ABC Companies, Faribault, MN, and the Belgian family-owned coachbuilder and manufacturer Van Hool formed their partnership in 1987, the two companies have worked in tandem to continually enhance and refine the Van Hool coach products for the North American market. The two companies have strived to ensure the Van Hool T2100 and C2000 model coaches reflect the most current advancements in technology and passenger comfort since their inception 25 years ago. “Nothing ever remains constant,” says ABC Companies CEO and Chairman Dane Cornell. “We have created a platform of trust and understanding over the years that allows both our companies the flexibility to stay abreast of sudden shifts in the market.” Carrying the slogan ‘Evolution of Excellence,’ the most recent and perhaps most complex makeover has been significant enough to warrant a name change. Rebranded as the Van Hool TX and CX, the newest enhancements and componentry provide greater safety, improved efficiencies and head-turning curb appeal, according to ABC Companies.

busride.com

BUSRide road tests the TX When the first TX45 arrived at the company’s Winter Garden, FL, facility in November, BUSRide invited Sander Kaplan, owner and president of A. Candies Coachworks, Gainesville, FL, to meet with ABC Companies and take the new coach out for a test drive prior to its North American debut. Kaplan’s experience with passenger transport began 25 years ago with limousines. A. Candies Coachworks’ fleet now includes 15 late model Prevost H3-45s. ABC Companies Senior Vice President Roman Cornell took Kaplan on a walk-around to point out the numerous changes and improvements inside and out, front to back. “The TX45 brings a striking new look to the Van Hool line now available to North America operators,” Cornell says. “The most noticeable differences are its additional height and the restyling to the front and rear caps.” The roofline on the TX45 is 4 inches higher than the former T2145. Aside from the curb appeal, Cornell points out that the interior floor-to-ceiling cabin space remained the same, with the 4 inches accounting for the increased height of the baggage compartment — a feature that caught Kaplan’s attention. “This is fantastic, a very helpful improvement,” he says. “One of the deciding factors for school bands is the amount of storage space available for the instruments. This major issue is corrected on this coach.” The redesigned front cap features new lighting panels with added LED daytime running lights. The energy-absorbing front bumper features directional turning lights that react to the steering and speed of the coach and automatically adjust to illuminate the road ahead. Three curbside perimeter lights on the right-hand side are standard, with optional roadside lights. Cornell says the rear-light panels are now removable for repair or replacement. The review mirrors relocated at the corners just beneath the windshield improve the view for the driver, particularly of pedestrians that may be walking near the coach.

The electronically-controlled driver-side window now slides vertically, and a manual override is located inside to the lower left of the driver. Cornell says the new reconfigurations to the TX45 consider everyone who will be involved with riding, operating and maintaining the coach. Mechanics will also appreciate the additional 4 inches in the engine compartment,” Cornell says. “It allows easier access to the components and more room to work.” Also in the baggage compartment: After observing the damage to the unit from the floodwaters of Hurricane Sandy, the team shifted the electrical box from the bulkhead wall to the roof of the leftside baggage compartment. The baggage-door seal now mounts to the luggage door, as opposed to the body structure. A sliding tray located in a compartment ahead of the right-hand drive axle now holds the batteries. Along with the higher roofline, Van Hool lengthened the wheelbase approximately 12 inches between the front axle and drive axle. “This will produce a more stable ride, particularly in heavy cross winds,” Cornell says. “The longer wheelbase reduces the ‘porpoising’ effect, as well as tire wear on the tag axle.” Many of the components and systems that were formerly optional now come standard on the TX, such as a second roof-hatch in front. The OEM-fitted standard safety features include the Kidde fire suppression system, as well as a Smart Tire temperature and pressure-monitoring system. A backup camera is now standard, with the view of the rear roadway displayed on the Double DIN REI touchscreen player. The TX also comes pre-wired for side cameras. The driver accesses all systems using a separate control button on the control stick with a multi-functional menu. “The joystick on the left side of the driver is a very helpful,” Kaplan says. “I had no trouble adapting to these controls for the first time. It is a clean and easy way to access information on multiple systems.” The new interior climate controls with automatic mode selection feature an integrated fully-automatic VH multiplex controller with two-zone temperature control for floor heating. “The view from the driver’s seat is unobstructed and I think more expansive, especially on the right side,” Kaplan says. “The vertical toll window is a tremendous convenience and improves vision for the driver.” In the passenger cabin, new overhead mulitsets include adjustable reading lights. The cabin features Van Hool Body Line reclining seats with three-point seatbelts in accordance with 20 G legislation. Provisioning for Braun wheelchair lift is included on the TX45.

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Test Drive For the test drive, ABC Companies mapped out a route through the nearby Clermont hills on the turnpikes and streets that the company uses for its pre-delivery shakedown inspections. To make it a little more interesting for Kaplan, and to show off the handling capabilities of the TX45, the route included a few detours. The standard engine is an EPA 2013 Detroit Diesel DD13, with the EPA 2013 Cummins ISX12 available as an option. Either engine couples to a Generation 5 Allison WT B500 automatic transmission. “This transmission could not operate any smoother,” Kaplan says. “Throughout my test drive, the shifting was barely noticeable as it went through the gears.” Maneuvering the coach in an abandoned parking lot, we asked Kaplan to intentionally put the TX45 through a series of very tight S-turns and drastic sudden stops. “I was a little reticent to try this at first,” he says. “I had no idea a coach could handle such quick, tight turns in this manner. I wouldn’t have dared to drive like this on my own, but with each pass I was amazed by how the coach handled so effortlessly and responded so quickly.” Kaplan pushed the coach to 40 mph to check out the stopping distance by applying brakes suddenly at a given point. “This is not a natural maneuver, but helps to know the feel of these actions,” he says. “The coach stopped quickly in a very short distance and responded perfectly. I expected it to be more uncomfortable or jolting.” Kaplan credited the Electronic Stability Control (ESC) and antilock brake system (ABS) for their instant detection and effortless recovery. “Also, taking the TX around a tight roundabout at the entrance of a community college, I certainly was aware of the ease in the turning radius, particularly with the longer wheel base,” Kaplan says. Asked if he noticed anything about the TX45 in the way of appearance, convenience or performance that would warrant a change, Kaplan offered these thoughts. “I am fortunate to be one of the first to drive this new coach,” Kaplan says. “Everything about the TX is an absolute pleasure. I think many of the new features and improvements make this a safer coach. The smooth and easy handling along with the added comfort and conveniences in the driver compartment will go a long way to keep the driver from becoming distracted and fatigued.”

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With the Best of BUSRide Awards, BUSRide devotes an issue to the bus industry’s best and brightest. In this annual presentation, BUSRide bestows badges on the safest, greenest, most efficient and innovative transit agencies, coach operators, and bus and equipment manufacturers in transportation. A coveted Best of BUSRide Award recognizes both public transit authorities and private bus and coach companies for giving attention above and beyond the norm. An unlimited number of awards go to the companies that have demonstrated concern, commitment, leadership and innovation to make a difference in critical areas.

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The down-up culture at First Transit, Cincinnati, OH, means employees care about getting safety right. Thomas Harris, First Transit and First Services’ vice president, safety and human resources, says a First Transit location in Louisville, KY, has added a unique twist to safety training by engaging drivers’ families. The location has hung signs designed by the drivers’ children, reminding staff of crucial safety tips. This practice encourages drivers to internalize safety principles by teaching them at home. “It’s a good idea because it really gets the drivers involved and engaged in the process,” Harris says. “The drivers have taken great pride in the artwork that their children make.”

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Accident prevention is integral to the corporate culture of the Pacific Western Group of Companies, Calgary, AB, Canada. The Pacific Western safety culture empowers every employee to recognize potential safety issues — from the merest parking lot ding to the catastrophic event. The message is simple: never is any job so important or so urgent that a person cannot forego the time to do it safely. Pacific Western says collisions and lapses do not just happen. Training reinforces the goal to continually seek out the causes, devise protective measures and promote a safety-minded attitude at every level within the company.

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Peter Pan Bus Lines, Springfield, MA, remains a family-owned business and is one of the largest privately owned intercity bus companies in the United States. Peter Pan is one of the few bus companies in North America to employ six or more veteran coach drivers who have driven three million miles or more without an accident. The company equates their total miles to nearly 100 trips to the moon, all while maintaining the highest safety ratings from the U.S. Department of Transportation and the Department of Defense (DOD).

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Q’Straint, Ft. Lauderdale, FL, earns recognition for its wheelchair passenger safety solutions for public and private transportation. Its network of representatives serves carriers throughout North and South America, Europe, Oceania, Asia, the Middle East and Africa. Q’Straint began in the 1970s by solving a simply stated problem of how best to secure wheelchair passengers. A team of Queens University students and specialists successfully demonstrated the safety needs of wheelchair passengers are unique, which led them to develop the world’s first fully integrated 4-point wheelchair passenger securement system and serialized belts and kits. The Product Development team consistently employs the latest technologies and techniques to ensure securements.

To achieve a “safety first, service always” mindset, Veolia Transportation, Lombard, IL, have developed tools and programs designed to provide the information and technology employees need to meet their goals.

The safety philosophy at VIA Metropolitan Transit, San Antonio, TX, centers around four key areas: communication and recognition, training and education, equipment and infrastructure, and analysis and investigation.

Veolia’s proprietary Operator Development Training Program (ODP) is considered an industry leader in both classroom and behind-the-wheel training for bus and paratransit. Veolia’s National Safety Audit Program helps to further assure continuous improvement in safety performance by measuring compliance with federal, state and local requirements. DRIVE is an innovative engagement and incentive program for employees. DRIVE is led by employees and supported by local managers. DRIVE teams tap the collective expertise of employees to identify potential safety issues and propose solutions to the management team.

The agency constantly reminds drivers to be cognizant of simple practices, like minding the parking brake or to always watch out for pedestrians. VIA designs infrastructure with pedestrian and rider safety in mind. The agency designs new transit centers to minimize the points at which bus and pedestrian traffic cross. New paint schemes for buses increase visibility.

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Fall Protection Systems (FPS), Florissant, MO, provide rigid rail systems for bus and coach maintenance applications that attach to the ceiling of an existing facility. FPS, a 20-year-old company, has installed fall protection solutions for maintenance bays servicing a variety of transportation vehicles. The system basically features a path of rigid track running the length of the maintenance area. Multiple tracks may be installed to support more workers. Each worker, wearing a harness and retractable lanyard to a rolling trolley, moves back and forth. This allows them to move freely across the roof of the bus, as opposed to workers harnessed to a cable stretched between two points.

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Rigid Lifelines, Morgantown, PA, a division of SPANCO, takes compliance a step further than most. Rigid Lifelines says, assuming the building has been approved, and most large transit maintenance facilities have, facilities will support the installation of its fall protection systems without any welding. If a worker falls and isn’t deflected toward the ground before the system activates, the retractable lanyard engages immediately. With a rope or cable system that is typically a little looser, a person would actually fall a longer distance before fall rescue.

SAVE FUEL. INCREASE STABILITY. REDUCE SPRAY. BUY AIRTABS. Apply Airtabs™ to the back of your motorcoach. You’ll notice instant results: • Up to 2-3% annual fuel savings per coach • Increased stability and less swaying at highway speeds • Less spray and snow collection on the back of the coach For technical information, please visit airtab.com. To purchase please call 970-663-9075 or visit buyairtab.com. 20

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Don’t let anything hold you back busride.com

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The Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada (RTC), Las Vegas, NV, offers Club Ride Commuter Services, a free program that promotes cleaner, greener modes for getting to work. The program currently boasts more than 260 employer partners and more than 23,000 employee participants, encouraging transit, carpooling, walking and cycling rather than driving alone. The result has been 4.7 million fewer miles driven on Southern Nevada roadways during 2009. The RTC operates one of the newest fleets of buses in the nation including compressed natural gas-fueled vehicles and hybrid electric vehicles.

The University of Vermont Certification for Sustainable Transportation (CST) focuses on the environmental concerns among motorcoach operators and charter tour operators. The Certification for Sustainable Transportation’s eRating vehicle certification and driver training programs can help manufacturers promote their most fuel efficient, lowest emission vehicles. The criteria for four levels of certification focuses on EPA emissions compliant engines; meeting or exceeding industry miles per gallon fuel averages; an endorsed carbon-trading program to offset carbon emissions; use of alternative fuels; a strict, documented and verifiable energy conservation and recycling program; and emerging environmental technologies. Addressing motorcoach OEMs, CST eRating program uses a comprehensive set of criteria to award certification to an entire product line before the vehicles leave the factory. 22

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Committed to helping the United States achieve energy independence, Proterra, Greenville, S.C., says it sources more than 80 percent of the content and components for its EcoRide™ buses in the United States from 33 states. The all-electric 35-foot Proterra EcoRide™ BE35 transit bus expanded its public service this year. The model is the first of its kind to pass through the arduous shakedown by the Altoona Bus Research and Testing Center in Pennsylvania, the decisive test for transit buses. Proterra says the proprietary charging stations also differentiate the company from other bus manufacturers.

Motor Coach Industries (MCI), Des Plaines, IL, has made “Going Green” a dynamic part of its message and day-to-day policies. From shifts in employee behavior to increased eco-friendly technology, the company has bought in to the green mentality. MCI’s service centers have a contract with Safety-Kleen to recycle the oil and metal from oil filters. The centers recycle all antifreeze and are currently switching from solvent-based cleaners to aqueous ones. This means less release of VOCs (volatile organic compounds) into the air. “Go Green, Go Coach, Go MCI” is the company’s conservation slogan, and they’ve done all in their power to embrace it fully.

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Bremskerl, South Elgin, IL, has introduced a full line of eco-friendly air disc brake pads for the North American market. Bremskerl’s 8010 formulation is supplied at both the OE and aftermarket level. Bremskerl 8010 is currently in use by multiple transit and private fleet operators in North America and abroad. Bremskerl’s air disc brake pads have ECE R90 homologation and meet both the Washington Better Brakes Law and California SB346 legislation thru 2021. Like all formulations Bremskerl manufacturers, its 8010 formulation is RoHS and REACH compliant.

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Crosspoint Kinetics, LLC, Indianapolis, IN, a newly formed subsidiary of Cummins Crosspoint, LLC, has completed the installation of 43 second-generation electric hybrid systems into Madison County Transit’s (MCT) Granite City, IL, bus fleet. The Crosspoint Kinetics Hybrid System improves acceleration performance, lowers fuel consumption, and reduces emissions for Madison County Transit’s operators and riders by capturing regenerative braking energy from frequent stops and reusing that energy for fuel-intensive accelerations. Crosspoint Kinetics worked closely with Turtle Top, Southern Bus and Mobility, and Madison County Transit officials to optimize the hybrid system for use in fixed-route and para-transit applications.

SmartDrive Systems, San Diego, CA, gives fleets and drivers unprecedented driving performance insight and analysis, helping save fuel, expenses and lives. Its video analysis, predictive analytics and personalized performance program help fleets improve driving skills, lower operating costs and deliver significant ROI. With an easy-to-use managed service, fleets and drivers can access and selfmanage driving performance anytime, anywhere.

More clean energy buses are being added to the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority’s (VTA) San Jose, CA, bus fleet, helping the organization achieve better fuel economy and meet emission reduction targets. At the October Board of Directors meeting, a contract was approved for the total purchase of 35 forty-foot buses powered by hybrid diesel-electric technology from Gillig LLC out of Hayward, California.

This innovative safety and fuel efficiency solution is deployed across more than 10 percent of the public transit market in the United States, and is used by such well known corporations as Brinks, CR England, Republic Services, AAA, Loomis USA, Veolia, Ryder, Salvation Army, LA Metro, SuperShuttle, LA Metro, the U.S. Marine Corps and other leading organizations.

VTA’s current 425 bus-fleet includes vehicles that have reached their useful life span with over 600,000 miles on them and have been in operation for over 16 years. With this new addition of buses, VTA will have converted one-third of its fleet to clean-energy vehicles, enhancing VTA’s bus operations that already achieves 90 percent on-time reliability and 99.7 percent service delivery.

busride.com | BUSRIDE

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Specially designed for large heavy-duty commercial vehicles, Airtabs™ are unique vortex generators that control airflow over a moving coach. They reduce wind resistance and aerodynamic drag to improve fuel economy. The air rushing to fill the vacuum left by a moving vehicle creates drag and turbulence. This causes the engine to burn more fuel to produce the necessary power to overcome the resistance. Wishbone-shaped Airtabs™ attach easily at the rear of the coach to create two tight vortices. These vortices combine to reduce suction and drag at the rear of vehicles traveling at speeds above 35 mph. By altering the airflow at the rear of the vehicle, Airtabs™ also improve vehicle stability by disrupting the array of small vortices.

Scheig Associates, Gig Harbor, WA, was founded in 1980 by Dr. Richard F. Scheig. Scheig has developed over 80 job-specific hiring systems for companies in North America, the United Kingdom and Australia, serving the transportation, education, distribution, construction, healthcare, insurance, childcare, call center, banking and sales industries. Scheig’s Motor Coach Works Hiring & Performance System is a three-phase system consisting of an online pre-employment assessment, behaviorally based interview questions and a performance evaluation. Scheig’s next project in the transportation industry involves creating a test for superior transit drivers.

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Radio Engineering Industries (REI), Omaha, NE, provides a variety of safety solutions: mobile video surveillance, GPS/AVL tracking solutions, camera observation systems and audio/video equipment. REI recently introduced A.R.M.O.R.-Insight, a fleet management software solution that provides a 360° view of a customer’s entire fleet or individual vehicle. REI’s web-based, fleet management solution provides comprehensive, user-friendly reporting tools that help increase efficiencies. With A.R.M.O.R-Insight, the fleet manager can choose from three software tools – Executive Dashboard 360° Fleet Overview, Individual Vehicle View or Executive Dashboard Individual Vehicle View. Each tool helps manage information specifically for the fleet or for a specific vehicle.

SPX Genfare, Elk Grove Village, IL, says its proven experience sets it apart and makes it uniquely qualified to continue partnering with transit agencies for many years to come. Genfare launched the Vendstar-e ticket vending machine (TVM) at the APTA Annual Conference in Seattle. Vendstar-e is an innovative TVM designed to accept and process credit and debit cards and conveniently issue smart cards and/or magnetic cards for quick and easy passenger travel. Responding to the changing market and increased client demands for debit and credit vending equipment, Genfare designed the Vendstar-e to be quick, convenient and reliable to effectively assist riders in purchasing or managing tickets and passes.

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FRAM Filtration, Perrysburg, OH, and its Luber-finer brand of heavy duty filters continued its support of local communities by awarding a $1,000 National FFA Collegiate Scholarship Program award to Amber Scarbrough, a resident of Fairfield, IL, and a 2012 graduate of Fairfield High School.

As part of the Atlanta Jazz Festival’s 31 Days of Jazz, the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA), in partnership with the City of Atlanta, offered customers the opportunity to enjoy great jazz performances and spin the MARTA prize wheel for a chance to win a Breeze card.

Luber-finer has been a sponsor of the National FFA and its Scholarship Program for more than 17 years. The National FFA was founded in 1928 as the “Future Farmers of America.” Today, membership exceeds 500,000 and the organization is part of agricultural-education programs at the middle and high-school levels throughout the United States.

MARTA hosted these live performances to celebrate the outstanding musical talent in their city and give their customers a preview of the then-upcoming Atlanta Jazz Festival in Piedmont Park. MARTA Jazz Mondays is one in a series of ongoing initiatives the Authority has underway to cost-effectively enhance the transit experience for customers as well as celebrate the Atlanta community.

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2013

The BUSRide Safe Driver Hall of Fame is a noteworthy program that recognizes the safest among the industry’s transit bus and motorcoach drivers. Safe and accident-free driving that spans decades requires the highest standards in every facet of the job, from performance behind the wheel to passenger awareness to vehicle safety and maintenance. These chosen bus and coach drivers raise the bar for other drivers by demonstrating that their exemplary feat of maintaining an enduring safety record is possible. The BUSRide Safe Driver Hall of Fame honorees who have logged over 3 million accident-free miles represent the best in their industry. Their professionalism has made a difference.

Introducing the 2013 Inductee

2013 Ron Wickstrand Pacific Western Transportation Calgary, AB, Canada 5 million miles

Ron Wickstrand has logged over 5 million miles in his career as a coach driver that began in 1965 with Brewster, a tour and travel operation based in Banff, AB, Canada. He joined Diversified Transportation, Edmonton, AB, in 1974, transferring workers to the Sundance oil fields. He later transferred to the parent company, Pacific Western Transportation, to drive charters and tour into the U.S. He began with Pacific Western as a part time operator doing charters and overloads. Wickstrand went full time in 1988 as a driver on the Red Arrow, the company’s fixed-route carrier serving the major cities in Alberta. For the past 15 years, Wickstrand has driven the 6 a.m. round trip from Edmonton to Calgary.

2012 Charles Frasier Veolia Transportation Lombard, IL 3.25 million miles

Charles Frasier began driving transit buses in 1974 and eventually transitioned to Veolia Transportation. His driving record is proof that safety is his top priority. Frasier has received certificates of excellence, a letter of commendation for exemplary service and custom services awards throughout his long career behind the wheel. 26

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Sue Sutain Veolia Transportation Lombard, IL 3.5 million miles

Sue Sutain serves with Veolia Transportation as transit bus driver for Phoenix Transit, Phoenix, AZ, logging 3.5 million miles in a career that spans 42 years, beginning with Merill & Wunderlich Bus Company in Minnesota.

Robert Tobin Veolia Transportation Lombard, IL 3 million miles

In his 38-year career, Robert Tobin served Veolia Transportation for 19 years as a driver for Las Vegas Transit, Las Vegas, NV, and has worked as a line and revenue instructor for over 15 years.

busride.com

2011 Graham Hyde Red Arrow Bus Lines Calgary, AB, Canada 3.5 million miles

Graham Hyde continues his career with Red Arrow Bus Lines, a division of Pacific Western Transportation (PWT), with more than 3.5 million miles of safe accident-free driving to his credit. Hyde was behind the wheel for the inaugural run when Red Arrow launched in 1979.

Joseph Anderson Peter Pan Bus Lines Springfield, MA 3 million miles

Joseph Anderson is one of four veteran drivers for Peter Pan Bus Lines, Springfield, MA, to have reached 3 million miles. He received a proclamation from the Commonwealth of Massachusetts commending him for this distinction.

2010 Emory Hysell, Greyhound Bus Lines Dallas, TX 4.5 million miles

Driving for more than 50 years for Greyhound Bus Lines, Emory Hysell can only estimate he has logged at least 4.5 million miles. Naturally, the company puts him at the top of its list of Exceptionally Safe Drivers who have not had any traffic violations, accidents or reported incidents of unsafe driving while on duty. Hysell currently drives the Jacksonville-to-Miami route and trains new drivers for Greyhound.

Russ Lippincott Village Charters & Tours Wichita, KS; Oklahoma City, OK 2.5 million miles

Russ Lippincott has logged 2.5 million miles in his 33-year career that began with his driving coaches for Continental Trailways and continuing on with Greyhound. As a driver trainer for Trailways, Lippincott received the Safe Driver Award every year he served with the company. He moved to independent charter and joined Village Charters & Tours in 1988.

2009 Everett L. Anderson Peter Pan Bus Lines Springfield, MA 3 million miles

Everett L. Anderson completed his 3 million mile quest in May 2008. He credits caution, training, experience and luck for his hitting the mark. He continues to drive everywhere the job takes him and says he enjoys the view from behind the wheel every day. Anderson has driven charters and line runs primarily in the heavily congested Northeast corridor where his celebrity passengers included the late Senator Ted Kennedy.

Lee Roy Weems, Village Charters & Tours Wichita, KS; Oklahoma City, OK 2.7 million miles

Lee Roy Weems began driving for Continental Trailways in 1974, leaving in 1985 to help found Prestige Charters, Wichita, KS. He then formed his own travel agency and later sold his share of Prestige to join Village Charters & Tours where he continues to drive part-time. Over the span of 36 years, Weems has logged 2.7 million miles without a recordable accident. Weems received the Trailways Safe Driver Award every year he drove for that company.

2008 Edward C. Hope Peter Pan Bus Lines Springfield, MA 3 million miles

Edward C. Hope is the first motorcoach operator in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts to drive 3 million accident-free miles. He is a recipient of the coveted Peter C. Picknelly Sr. Founder’s Award for outstanding performance, along with awards from the National Safety Council. Hope began his career as an intercity coach driver for Continental Trailways primarily along the New York-Boston corridor and joined Peter Pan in 1986 when the company acquired the New England division.

Aubrey Hutchings K-T Contract Services, Elko, NV 3 million miles

In 27 years behind the wheel, Aubrey Hutchings logged 3 million miles without a reportable accident. He now serves as operations manager for K-T Contract Services and continues to drive over four hours per day. He spends the rest of his time on the job co-training with the company safety manager. As the Nevada DMV third-party examiner, Hutchings trains and certifies drivers for employment and equipment endorsements.

busride.com | BUSRIDE

27

THE TRANSIT Authority

MassDOT BusPlus+ equips private operators for regional service Seven New England companies receive 31 MCI Commuter Coaches

The coaches carry the sign for intercity and commuter transportation options across the Commonwealth and all of New England.

By David Hubbard

T

he Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT), Boston, MA, announced in September its mission to increase the options for intercity and commuter transportation options across the Commonwealth and all of New England. The solution is BusPlus+, an innovative public-private partnership with seven leading motorcoach companies throughout Massachusetts, Connecticut and New Hampshire. “BusPlus+ helps MassDOT deliver on the promise of improved customer service and expanded regional transportation,” says MassDOT Secretary and CEO Richard A. Davey. “It does so while smartly enhancing our partnerships with intercity and commuter transit providers.” With funding through an $18.1 million federally-funded competitive grant, MassDOT is providing 31 2014 MCI Commuter Coaches to facilitate an increase in regional bus service. “It only made sense to look at the BusPlus+ program on a multistate, regional level,” says Kyle J. Emge, manager, Capital Programs & Operations, MassDOT Rail and Transit Division. “Working with the private operators made sense, as they already operate a well-run regional network, and provide an efficient method for delivering new intercity and commuter services.” These operators will provide new fixed-route service and be responsible for all coach maintenance and operating costs. “I am proud of the public policy makers and staff that have the vision to recognize and support the value of the services we provide even though we are not under their direct control,” says Chris Anzuoni, vice president, Plymouth & Brockton Street Railway. “Government transportation officials do a disservice to the public by leaving our mode of transportation out of planning solutions.” MassDOT Transit Division Administrator and MBTA General Manager Dr. Beverly Scott says this service increase in Massachusetts and across New England through this partnership provides a win for regional transit riders and creates new incentive for private carriers to increase their service.

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Motor Coach Industries (MCI), Des Plaines, IL, will deliver 12 coaches to Peter Pan, Springfield, MA; seven to DATTCO, New Britain, CT; five to Plymouth & Brockton, Plymouth, MA; two to Bloom Bus Lines, Taunton, MA; two to Coach Company, Plaistow, NH, and Greyhound Lines, Boston, Mass.; and one coach to Yankee Line, Boston, MA. MCI expects to deliver the new commuter coaches later this year or early 2014. “We applaud MassDOT’s vision for its new BusPlus+ program,” said Patrick Scully, MCI executive vice president, Sales and Marketing. “The Department stands as an example of what can be accomplished when public and private concerns come together with common objectives — advancing public transportation, attracting new riders, defeating traffic congestion and improving air quality.” MassDOT says the BusPlus+ partnership involves coordination among all New England state transportation departments and New York. The regional service improvements provided through the new service will include the creation of new routes, addition of stops to existing routes, extension of existing routes, and increased route frequency. MassDOT prepared a Request for Response (RFR) for new overthe-road coaches and conducted an open, competitive and fair procurement process to acquire the newest and safest motorcoaches on the market. Paul Kaufmann, a technical consultant with STV, Inc., Boston, MA, assisted MassDOT with certain aspects of the procurement process. “We selected MCI as the winning bid,” Emge says. “MassDOT and our private sector partners are very happy to be working with MCI.” The MCI coaches will offer additional comfort with ergonomically designed Kiel seats and three-point passenger seatbelts for 51 passengers, as well as optional Wi-Fi and power outlets to charge digital devices. The BusPlus+ coaches will carry the private operator’s logo on the vehicle’s exterior with the interior standardized to MassDOT specifications. busride.com

THE TRANSIT Authority

MassDOT chose Motor Coach Industries to deliver the commuter coaches for BusPlus+.

The participating carriers offered their reasons for MassDOT selecting them to receive the MCI coaches and implement the service. Peter Pan Bus Lines and Coach Company cited their fixed-routes services that offer the only available public transportation. DATTCO believes it “runs a tight ship” and is in the program for its willingness to work with the state toward a common goal in accordance with all state and federal guidelines.

In its nearly 100 years of service, Greyhound has proven its dedication to leading the way in intercity bus transportation. By both continuing and extending our service in New England, Greyhound is able to bring service to smaller population communities. Each of the companies has its own game plan for the BusPlus+ service; typically rotating a mix of older and newer model coaches through the BusPlus+ routes. According to spokesperson Alexandra Pedrini, Greyhound Lines will continue serving Springfield, MA, and White River Junction, VT, and surrounding communities, while adding two weekend schedules to connect passengers with other cities in New England and the North American Greyhound network. Peter Pan will utilize the new coaches primarily on routes throughout Massachusetts and the region from Cape Cod and Southeastern Massachusetts to Boston, Cape Cod to Providence, RI, and throughout Western Massachusetts. Plymouth & Brockton will see that all riders on all routes experience a mix of both the older and newer coaches by rotating the new MCI commuter coaches throughout its fixed route systems. Coach Company is replacing two older coaches with its new MCIs, making eight daily trips between Boston and the north shore. Five of the DATTCO coaches will replace coaches currently running. The two additional units will run the Blackstone Valley Corridor and help cover additional runs, including service to UMass Dartmouth. “The Bus Plus program is a great start to bolster the public private transportation infrastructure,” says Coach Company President Benton Smith. “Without this program, the private carriers would not be able to serve the public’s needs with quality equipment and increased service options.”

busride.com | BUSRIDE

29

THE INTERNATIONAL REPORT

Busworld Kortrijk goes electric By Doug Jack

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At right top: The new Temsa LD13IC, a low deck 13-meter intercity bus. At right bottom: French flair in the interior design of the Iveco Ellisup. 30

uc Glorieux founded the first exhibition exclusively for buses and coaches in the small west-Belgium city of Kortrijk in 1971. Coaches predominated, but there were some tourism booths. Held every two years in October, Busworld Kortrijk has grown enormously with the demand for exhibition space from bus and coachbuilders, vendors and suppliers eventually driving out the tourist booths. This year, Busworld completely filled the Kortrijk Xpo exhibition center with 380 exhibitors from 30 countries. Euro 6 engine emission limits come into force in January, so there were many new coaches with the latest generation engines in Busworld. The new coaches are all considerably quieter and there is strong evidence of significant savings in fuel consumption. The launch of the new Setra TopClass 500 caught everyone’s eye. Still unmistakably a Setra, a number of styling features continue from the previous generation, including the distinctive La Linea styling bar over the first window on each side. However, there have been many subtle improvements to make the TopClass even more luxurious and functional at the highest level. Setra promotes its new ComfortClass 500 series to a slightly lower and higher volume segment of the market. Introduced last year, it won the coveted “International Coach of the Year 2014” award following tests by an international jury of 19 trade journalists (each from a different European country). Setra confirmed that versions of both the TopClass 500 and ComfortClass 500 will be available for the North American market. Two years ago, Van Hool launched its new TX range of coaches at Busworld Kortrijk. Company CEO Filip Van Hool said that more than 800 had been delivered and that the new TX range was fully ready for Euro 6, with engines supplied by Paccar DAF. He noted that the TX has been engineered for the North American market and that the

BUSRIDE | DECEMBER . 2013

factory in Macedonia had completed and delivered the first lower cost CX Commuter coach to Belgium, only 12 months after the ground-breaking ceremony. He was delighted to report that customers in North America had already placed orders for 125 TX45 and 600 CX45 coaches by the time of Busworld. Busworld is often a venue for the latest trends in the industry. Manufacturers seem to be coming from a number of different directions, but all with the objective of reaching zero emission transport in urban centers. This year, there were at least 15 all-electric buses scattered around the exhibition. There seems to be a consensus that the

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THE INTERNATIONAL REPORT

The world premiere of the Setra TopClass 500 family.

Chinese have taken a lead in types of batteries and battery control systems. Companies like BYD are promoting vehicles that have a range of 150 miles on a full charge in typical urban conditions. Many argue that nearly two tons of batteries restrict the passenger carrying capacity. The battery power is not just to move a bus along its route; it also provides power for heating, air conditioning, lighting, doors and systems like power steering. The second option is to have a bus with fewer batteries that can depart from a depot fully charged and take fast charging regularly at the end of each route or at busy stops. The recharging systems are either an overhead gantry above the vehicle, or a system on or under the surface of a street. Smaller batteries save weight and cost, and they give increased passenger capacity. There was a lot of interest in fast recharging at Busworld with Alex Naef, the chief executive of Hess (the Swiss bus builder) saying that VDV — the German equivalent of APTA — is working on an industry standard. Volvo is coming from a slightly different direction by now offering the option of plug-in technology to give a fast boost to the batteries at each end of the route. In Volvo’s view, the principal objective is to achieve all-electric operation in city centers. The latest Euro 6 engines are so clean that hybrid operation in the suburbs is quite acceptable. The new Ellisup concept vehicle, developed by Iveco Bus and a number of French partners, was the most stunning and innovative electric bus in the exhibition. Four Michelin electric hub motors drive four of the eight small Michelin wheels and tires. A combination of super capacitors and batteries capture electrical energy with capabilities for fast charging. The external styling with deep windows is dramatic with plenty of French flair. With low backless seats and bright colors, the interior resembles a trendy café. The small wheels and flat floor front to rear create much more space inside. I question whether it is practical to have city buses where so many passengers need to stand, especially at peak periods. The objective must be to persuade new customers to leave their cars at home and take the bus to work. When did anyone 32

BUSRIDE | DECEMBER . 2013

last see someone standing in a car? Van Hool presented an all-electric version of its A308 midibus, which can use either inductive or conductive charging systems. The first three will enter service next spring in the Belgian city of Bruges. BYD of China showed a 40-foot all-electric bus built to a Northern European winter specification, with double-glazing and additional heating. BYD has taken orders for nearly 100 all-electric buses from various European countries. BYD said that when it reaches 100, it will make a decision on establishing a European assembly plant. It is rare to see a completely new manufacturer at an exhibition, but Vectia was one such company at Kortrijk. This is a new partnership between two Spanish companies, namely Castrosua, the bus bodybuilder, and CAF Power and Automisation, a train and tram builder. Vectia has taken over responsibility for building the Castrosua hybrid range and can offer either a CNG or diesel engine for thermal power. There were various claims and counter claims about all-electric vehicles. Depending on the number of batteries fitted, the price could be up to twice that of a standard diesel bus. On the other hand, the price of electricity is far lower in Europe compared with the price of diesel. Manufacturers were typically quoting a payback period of five to eight years. Of course, the emission argument only holds water if the electricity is by hydro, nuclear or other fossil-free means.

The all-electric Van Hool A308-E midibus.

There is also considerable demand in Europe for minibuses and coaches, seating 10 to 20 passengers. Most are conversions of popular high-volume panel vans, mainly Mercedes-Benz and Iveco, but there are some with coach-built bodywork mounted on chassis. Several Turkish companies specialize in very highly customized vehicles with large luxurious reclining seats, usually laid out in club-form around tables. Well represented in Busworld, the Turkish manufacturers are the subject of my next International Report.

Doug Jack is with Transport Resources in the United Kingdom. busride.com

Further commercial vehicle safety improvement lies in integrating safety technologies By Fred Andersky

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Active safety technologies, available to help motorcoach drivers mitigate disaster, typically provide visual and audio alerts to the driver of potential danger. In addition, the systems deliver data instantly through telematics to fleet managers. This data offers insight into potential driving issues that need attention. These systems provide tangible benefits relevant to the Compliance, Safety, Accountability (CSA) mandate.

TPMS

The Four Is of active safety For operators to maintain the safest fleet possible, an understanding of the Four Is of active safety technologies is an essential. Information — Sensors and other inputs deliver information on the immediate state of the vehicle systems and components, as well as alerts to surrounding outside dangers.

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Intelligence — Information travels to the system’s electronic control unit (ECU), which analyzes the information and determines the necessary intervention. Intervention — Intervention in the form of alerts makes drivers aware of situations and actions to mitigate loss of control of the vehicle. Insight — In a commercial vehicle environment driven by CSA scores. Fleet managers can focus driver and maintenance training by applying insight into the performance and diagnostic data. ESC is the foundation Electronic Stability Control (ESC), introduced in 2005, helps drivers significantly mitigate loss-of-control situations that lead to accidents. ESC technology involves brake interventions to make automatic corrections to the steering and drive axles. A lateral acceleration sensor alerts potential rollover conditions, while other sensors pick up on driver intent and vehicle direction. In May 2012, National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) published a notice of proposed rulemaking, requiring full-stability technology on all motorcoaches and truck tractors. ESC technology could come standard as early as 2016. Collision mitigation braking Collision mitigation braking systems, built on full-stability technology, use a radar sensor mounted to the front of the vehicle that tracks metallic objects ahead on the road. These systems deliver warnings and active interventions to help prevent rear-end collisions, or at least reduce their severity. Two types of intervention Adaptive cruise control with braking helps the driver maintain a set following distance. When the gap between the coach and the vehicle ahead closes, the system provides alerts and, if necessary, automatically reduces the throttle, engages the engine retarder or applies the brakes. Collision mitigation technology, such as Bendix® Wingman® Advanced™, provides braking when a collision is imminent. The technology alerts the driver before applying the brakes, giving him the opportunity to brake sooner or steer to avoid a potential collision. This technology also notes dangerous stationary objects in the lane of travel, such as a stalled car, and warns the driver up to three seconds in advance of a potential collision. This gives the driver time to slow down or change lanes. System integration advances safety Information detection and delivery represents the fastest advancement in active safety technologies. Sensor fusion involves the camera, used in lane departure warning systems, and radar working together. Fusing the information from these sensors leads to more correct decisions and actions. Input from additional sensors such as vehicle-to-vehicle (V2V), vehicle-to-infrastructure and infrastructure-to-vehicle (V2X) all combine to provide helpful data to mitigate dangerous situations. Insight derived from interventions and alerts can help managers understand a specific event or track trends regarding a driver or motorcoach. Video storage Event capture technology triggers video of the seconds before and after an incident, which helps put the event into context. It offers insight into what happened, showing road conditions, visibility, weather, and other mitigating circumstances. Technology can assist, but never replace, drivers practicing safe driving backed by comprehensive training. Improvement could be the subsequent fifth I. Fred Andersky serves as director of Government and Industry Affairs for Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems, LLC, Elyria, OH.

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BUSRIDE | DECEMBER . 2013

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Even for the safest operators, accidents are part of the motorcoach business. But recovering from a collision shouldn’t require extensive downtime. Simply count on Prevost Service for bumper-to-bumper repairs for your Prevost, Volvo and Nova coaches. All work is performed by skilled technicians and welders who are committed to the high standards used in factory production. Following ISO-certified protocols, our experts access the latest technical and engineering data for your specific coach. Immediate access to OEM parts means accident work proceeds without delay, and replacement coaches help you meet your passenger obligations. Prevost collision repair. The only way to get your coach back to assembly-line perfection. And the fastest way to get back on the road.

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Check out the new look and performance of the advanced Van Hool TX and CX models – designed to evolve fleet operations. Contact your ABC Account Manager for details, demos, inspections and information.

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BUSRide December 2013