BUSRide February 2013
The most trusted resource in the bus and motorcoach industry, In our February 2013 cover story, Prevost readies for PRIME time.
ALI third party lift inspector Page 14 Valley Metro CEO consolidates systems Page 18 New buses shown in Spain and U.K. Page 28 Rubber roll-up doors save time, money Page 31 ™ FEB 2013 www.busride.com • $5.00 PREVOST readies for PRIME time Page 16 â„˘ Febuary 2013 cover story Coaches ready for PRIME time Prevost unveils intelligent energy management system By David Hubbard page 16 Special Section Fare Collection Systems: Part IV 14 The ALI sets an industry standard A new certification program is standardizing vehicle lift inspections 18 The best view is through the windshield Valley Metro CEO Steve Banta on board to create a single regional agency By David Hubbard 22 Tokens remain viable Steeped in history, Osborne Coinage furnishes tokens for transit use By Richard Tackett 26 Diamond fareboxes are forever The family business has been customizing boxes for coins and cash since 1947 By Richard Tackett 31 Garage doors figure in the equation Rubber roll-up doors save time and money By David Hubbard Special Section Fare Collection Systems: Part IV 20 Cash is here to stay Crane Payment Solutions offers bill and coin validators for transportation operations worldwide By Bassam Estaitieh 21 Greyhound riders: Thank heaven for 7-Eleven 4 Customers use PayNearMe to book tickets online and pay with cash at 7-Eleven February 2013 8 Update 11 Deliveries 12 People in the News 34 Marketplace 6 David Hubbard 28 The International Report By Doug Jack BUSRide david hubbard BUSRide ™ Fare payment technology benefits ridership Beginning with the October issue, BUSRide launched a four-part special section focused on every aspect of transit fare management and fare payment systems. Just to review, we addressed the cuttingedge open-loop technology that allows commuters to ride transit and pay using their personal contactless credit, debit or prepaid bank cards. A bus ride is as simple as buying any other service or merchandise. Tap the card on a reader at the turnstile and go. Open fare also saves transit agencies the expenses of printing passes and handling the money. We took up proprietary prepaid cards transit agencies issue to customers to pay only for transportation services and occasionally small purchases from the merchant partners. Proprietary cards first appeared as magnetic stripe cards, but now contactless smartcards are a more convenient and durable way to pay. A passenger loads the card with a predetermined dollar value, the number of trips, or the date and time in which to ride transit, and simply reloads when the selections run out. Limited-use tickets range from plain paper passes and magnetic stripe tickets to disposable, non-reloadable smartcards. Generally, they cost less to produce than reloadable cards and better serve transit customers who do not use a particular transit service long-term. Tourists are a good example. In some cases, limited-use tickets 6 February 2013 work with card readers, in which riders can supplement open fare or proprietary card systems. In this issue, we move on to cash and tokens. While technocrats may deem such methods of payment as the lowest form of fare management, dollar bills and coins nonetheless remain viable. This is particularly true for America’s unbanked citizens who only pay with cash. Our coverage zeroes in on the unsung enterprises that design and manufacture the components of cash-based fareboxes, bill validators and dispensers for coins, custom-crafted tokens, medals and medallions. Cash and tokens are convenient for smaller agencies that cannot accommodate a more complex fare system. After all of this, we’ve found there’s still more to say on the subject of fare management. In anticipation of the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) Fare Collection Workshop this March in Phoenix, AZ, our March issue will featurecoverage of industry leaders who hold a lofty view of fare management systems and their benefits to public transit. The APTA Fare Collection Workshop takes place simultaneously with the TransITech Conference, which explores advancements and innovations in the technology that is driving intelligent transportation. Publisher / Editor in Chief Steve Kane firstname.lastname@example.org Associate Publisher Sali Williams email@example.com Editor David Hubbard firstname.lastname@example.org Managing Editor Richard Tackett email@example.com Account Executive Maria Galioto firstname.lastname@example.org Production Director Valerie Valtierra email@example.com Art Director Dominic Salerno firstname.lastname@example.org Contributing Writers Doug Jack, Matthew A. Daecher, Christopher Ferrone BUS industry SAFETY council Vice President Operations Valerie Valtierra Accountant Fred Valdez POSTMASTER: Please send address changes to: BUSRide • 4742 North 24th Street • Suite 340 Phoenix, Arizona 85016 Phone: (602) 265-7600 • F: (602) 277-7588 Web site: www.busride.com Vol. 49 No. 2 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 Valerie Valtierra at (602) 265-7600, ext. 203. BUSRide update BRief Anchor Trailways & Tours is now simply Anchor Tours in a recent change back to its founding name. The action brings no other changes to the company ownership or service. President John Stancil says it’s just to return to the roots so many long-time customers know so well and signify a separation of the company from the Trailways brand. Zelle called to serve as MN DOT Commissioner BRief Beginning this spring, Gray Line New York Bus Tours will offer its services in 10 languages to accommodate the 10 million tourists visiting New York City each year. This advancement in technology will make these the first multi-lingual tours available on double-decker buses in New York City. The Uptown, Downtown, Brooklyn and Night Tours will be pre-recorded in English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Russian, Japanese, Mandarin and Korean. Federal Motor BRief CarrierTheSafety Administration (FMCSA) implemented 11 new changes to its Safety Measurement System (SMS) in December. The agency says these changes will enhance its ability to identify and take action against commercial carriers with safety and compliance concerns. Carriers are encouraged to check their safety data at ai.fmcsa.dot.gov/sms to see how the SMS changes may have affected their SMS results. BRief Team Trailways celebrates the continued success of its motorcoach operators at the 77th annual Trailways Stockholders Meeting and Conference March 3 – 5 in San Diego, CA. Industry leaders will assemble with Trailways members at the Paradise Point Resort & Spa in the Mission Bay area to help identify and make positive changes within the companies to further sustain success and increase company profits. Charlie Zelle, president and CEO of Jefferson Lines, Minneapolis, MN, and longtime ABA board member, answered the call from Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton to lead Minnesota’s Department of Transportation as its new commissioner — only the state’s 19th commissioner since the agency was established in 1919, the same year Zelle’s grandfather founded Jefferson Lines. Dayton says he selected Zelle for his extensive business experience. “Charlie Zelle has proven himself to be one of the real leaders and innovators in the transportation and motorcoach industry,” says ABA President and CEO Peter Pantuso. “His extraordinary leadership at Jefferson Lines and within ABA shows how clearly he understands the challenges we face in the transportation field. Governor Dayton has made a great selection. We will miss his wise counsel on the Board of Directors.” Industry to miss Lyle J. Lamers Lamers Bus Lines founder Lyle J. Lamers, 97, passed away December 30, 2012 at his home in De Pere, WI. Lamers established his motorcoach company in 1944 as a family owned and operated transportation company headquartered near Green Bay. Beginning as a school bus operation, the company achieved charter authority in 1980. Lamers continued to drive coaches for the company until age 72 and was a member of the Wisconsin School Bus Association for many years. His sons Allen and Kevin, along with their children, eventually took over the day-to-day operations of the company. Lamers is the largest locallyowned transportation company in Wisconsin and the 23rd largest in the country. Lamers is survived by his wife Helen and their children and families. In lieu of other expressions of sympathy, donations would be appreciated to the Lamers Family Memorial Fund which supports local charities and educational institutions. BRief Prevost, Sainte-Claire, QC, Canada, has unveiled its new corporate video, a nine minute presentation on the Prevost brand beginning with its founding by Eugene Prevost to its present position in the industry as a leading North American motorcoach manufacturer. Access the video on the Prevost YouTube Channel: http://youtu.be/4Ewft-4Do_4. 8 February 2013 Lyle J. Lamers with the first 1950 Suburban school bus used for the Ashwaubenon School District. BUSRide update Capital Metro finances are an open book For the third consecutive year, Capital Metro, Austin, TX, has earned the Texas Comptroller’s Gold Leadership Circle designation for its commitment to financial transparency online. The program recognizes local governments that strive to meet a high standard of financial transparency by opening their books to the public and providing information in a clear, consistent and user-friendly format. Capital Metro was the first Texas transit agency to earn the Gold transparency rating from the Texas Comptroller. “Capital Metro has worked hard over the past few years to get its financial house in order and gain the public’s trust,” said Capital Metro President/CEO Linda S. Watson. “I am pleased to have led Capital Metro on this path to greater accountability, fiscal responsibility and transparency.” The transit agency is implementing a five-year capital improvement plan to help build a strong infrastructure throughout the entire five-county region. It includes MetroRapid, a new high-capacity transit mode coming to Austin’s busiest streets in 2014, the addition of more efficient and comfortable buses and implementation of Positive Train Control on its commuter rail line. Taxpayers may easily review Capital Metro’s financial plans and transaction at capmetro.org/transparency. The following information is readily available for viewing: • Accounts payable check register (first Texas transit system to provide online). • Purchase card transaction register (first Texas transit system to provide online). BUSRide (Left to right, Sandy Guzman, Legislative Director for Texas Senator Kirk Watson, presents Gold Leadership Circle designation to Capital Metro President/CEO Linda Watson, Austin City Council Member and Capital Metro Board Chairman Mike Martinez. Photo by BRIO Photography. • • • • • • • Annual budget for the current and previous four years. Monthly payroll expenditures (new for 2012). Monthly financial status reports that include income statements, budget variances by department, capital expenditures and projected cash flows. Contract catalog record showing the status of all contracts including dates, vendors, expenditures and percentages of completion. Comprehensive Annual Financial Reports (CAFR) from the past five years. Federal Triennial Reviews since 2003. State Quadrennial Reviews since 2004. February 2013 9 update Thor Industries acquires Federal Coach assets Champion Bus Inc., a subsidiary of Thor Industries, Inc., Jackson Center, OH, made a cash purchase in December of $6.8 million for Federal Coach, Fort Smith, AR, a luxury bus manufacturer of 12- to 44-passenger shuttle, executive and limousine buses. Champion is moving the bus division assets to its production facility in Imlay City, MI, and beginning production of Federal Coach buses in early 2013. This action complements Thor Industries’ prior $3.9 million cash purchase in October of Krystal Enterprises. Eldorado National Kansas, another Thor Industries subsidiary, will move those assets to Salina, KS, to manufacture the Krystal brand. “We are pleased to add the Federal Coach line of luxury buses to our family of brands,” says Thor Bus Group President Andrew Imans. “The addition of the Federal Coach line offers Thor’s Bus Group both potential operating synergies and access to important markets within the industry.” He says the purchase of Federal Coach complements the existing Champion product lines that include the Defender, Crusader and Challenger. FMCSA shuts down Mi Joo Tour & Travel after fatal crash In the aftermath of the motor crash in Oregon in December that claimed nine lives and 39 passenger injuries, the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) recently ordered the Canadian bus company Mi Joo Tour & Travel of Coquitlam, BC, to cease U.S. operations and revoked the firm’s authority to provide passenger service within the United States. As part of the investigation, FMCSA investigators conducted an investigation regarding the company’s compliance with all U.S.-mandated safety regulations, including record keeping of its drivers’ hours of driving time, rest breaks and off-duty periods. On December 30, the day of the accident, Mi Joo Tour & Travel allowed its driver, Haeng Kyu Hwang, to drive after having been on duty for well beyond the 70 hour maximum hours of service permitted under federal regulations. That same date, Hwang’s vehicle was involved in a crash that resulted in nine passenger fatalities. 10 February 2013 BUSRide people in the news ABC Companies, Faribault, MN, named industry veteran David Beagle as vice president of Service Operations. He will set the overall direction for ABC Companies’ nationwide network of service facilities. Beagle began his transportation career David Beagle in 1978 with Holland America Line, Seattle, WA, serving as director of operations and general manager of Gray Line of Seattle, and as vice president of the transportation division, responsible for Holland America’s diversified service of motorcoaches, rail cars, US Coast Guard certified vessels, and ground service operations from Florida to Alaska. Beagle later founded Beagle Consulting to serve the motorcoach and rail tour industries. ABC Companies also appointed Jeff Ferreri as parts territory manager for the area surrounding the Hudson Service facility in Jersey City, NJ. Ferreri comes to ABC Companies Jeff Ferreri with over 20 years of experience in the coach industry, which began with Laidlaw Transit in Chicago as operations manager. Most recently he served with Coach USA as director of charter sales and operations, Northeast Region. Timothy “TJ” Thorn Shawn Donaghy Cincinnati Metro named Timothy “TJ” Thorn to director, along with Shawn Donaghy as assistant director of Transit Operations as part of a restructuring of management staff. Thorn has more than 25 years of experience in environmental health and safety within the manufacturing and transporta- BUSRide tion industries and joined Metro as system safety director in February 2012. Donaghy is responsible for daily operations of fixed route divisions at the Queensgate and Bond Hill facilities as well as departmental finance and safety. Valley Metro, Phoenix, AZ, hired Rick Brown as chief engineer/director of Design and Construction as the final member of a new leadership team CEO Steve Banta assemRick Brown bled to serve the growing transit system. The reorganization is the result of combining the regional bus and rail agencies under one chief executive. Banta was selected as the single CEO by unanimous Board decision in February 2012. Brown comes on board with more than 37 years of experience in the design and construction of transit projects and most recently served with METRO in Houston, TX as senior director/chief engineer over Engineering and Major Capital Projects. Team Coach Imaging added Sandie Marquis to the sales and business development team. She brings extensive experience in fleet graphics and many years in the bus industry. Sandie Marquis Texas Bus Sales, Houston, TX, announced Robert Logan has joined its sales team and charged with livery operations and churches in the Robert Logan South Texas Area which includes the major metropolitan areas of Austin, San Antonio and Houston. Robert has almost fifteen years of experience within the limousine industry at several companies. Robert was also a writer for Limousine Digest and guest lecturer for The Limo Digest Show. In his most recent position, Robert was a territory sales manager for Southwest Professional Vehicles in Dallas, Texas. February 2013 11 deliveries MOTOR COACH INDUSTRIES add 1 Ebmeyer Charter Apple Valley, CA Ebmeyer Charter opted for a luxury treatment of its J4500 featuring leather seats, three-point seatbelts, wood floors, Wi-Fi and and enhanced sound system. Company President Bruce Ebmeyer waited for the 2013 model in part to comply with California’s CARB standards, but says it is symbolic of the company’s move to the cutting edge. Ebmeyer points to click advertising and search optimization as key to growth over the last few years. The company fleet stands at seven coaches for runs between Las Vegas and Los Angeles and other charter work. add 1 Gray Line Tucson/Citizen Auto Tucson, AZ Gray Line Tours Tucson/Citizen Auto added a host of extras to its J4500 in line with why the company earned Most Creative Tour award at the 2012 Gray Line annual meeting. Fourth-generation leader TJ Morgan, Jr. says the options and updated graphics are thrilling customers. The interior features wood-like flooring, wood-grain enclosed parcel racks, spacious seating,15-inch, flat-screen monitors, Wi-Fi and 110-volt outlets at each seat. Morgan opted for a Detroit Diesel engine and three-point passenger seatbelts. The exterior sports optional chrome mirrors and wheels. 46 Martz Group Wilkes-Barre, PA The Martz Group, one of the largest privately held operators in the country, has placed an order for 46 2013 MCI coach models with wheelchair lifts and three-point seatbelts — 24 MCI J4500s and 22 MCI D4505 coaches equipped with the newest-generation ACTIA multiplex system. Advanced standard safety features on both models include electronic stability control, Smartwave tire pressure monitoring and a fire suppression system. As an additional safety measure, Martz has added optional drive-cam and GPS systems. Deliveries will begin in May. 12 February 2013 1 Trans-Bridge Lines Bethlehem, PA Trans-Bridge Lines took delivery of a 2013 MCI J4500 coach equipped with wheelchair lift, tiered theater seating featuring environmentally friendly upholstered seats, enclosed parcel racks and individual air-flow and lighting controls. The company will use six of its seven 2013 J4500 coaches for its regular-route commuter service to New York City. The other is outfitted with additional upscale amenities including a galley. Leatherette-trimmed seating for 50 passengers is available for upscale charters. Trans Bridge operates a fleet of 68 MCI models, and is in the initial phase of a new park & ride facility on its property. ARBOC PREVOSTARBOC MOTOR COACH INDUSTRIES add add add 2 Cardinal Bus Lines Middlebury, IN Matt and Dan Shoup, third-generation owners of Cardinal Bus Lines, added two Prevost coaches to the 44-vehicle fleet. The 2012 H3-45 feature all the standard Prevost benefits and safety features, as well as DVD capability, 110v power, and Wi-Fi. Branston Shoup purchased Middlebury Bus Lines in 1923. John Shoup took over and acquired Cardinal Buses in the 1950s. His son Matt now heads up operations for the 125 employee company, providing northern Indiana and southwest Michigan travelers with charter coach service across the U.S. and Canada. BUSRide The ALI sets an industry standard A new certification program is standardizing vehicle lift inspections The Automotive Lift Institute (ALI), Cortland, NY, the trade association of North American vehicle lift manufacturers, kicked off the world’s first third-party certification program for vehicle lift inspectors last year. The program is in response to growing demand from businesses that use vehicle lifts as well as the governmenR.W. “Bob” O’Gorman, ALI president, kicked off the ALI Lift Inspector Certification Program at tal health and safety organizations that the 2012 SEMA Show in Las Vegas. monitor them. The new program provides third-party assurance an ALI-certified lift increase in shops looking for qualified autoALI has invested more than $700,000 inspector has tested competent to inspect motive lift inspectors. Before this, without to develop the program, which includes any vehicle lift. ALI says anyone with a min- a national certification program in place, extensive reference and testing materials. imum 12 months experience as a vehicle vehicle lift inspection companies haven’t Outgoing ALI Chairman Douglas Grunnet lift inspector may apply to participate in the been able to offer independent validation says a select pilot group of approximately certification program. 50 lift safety experts helped to refine the that their inspectors are qualified.” “As OSHA and other health and safety Inspectors enforce the ANSI National program over the last two years. officers have stepped up enforcement of lift Standard on vehicle lift operation, inspecKeith Bunn, one of the pilot program’s safety and inspection standards in recent tion and maintenance (ANSI/ALI ALOIM: factory-designated trainers, stresses that years, the demand for qualified lift inspec- 2008), which requires an inspection by this program will not educate candidates tors has grown,” says ALI President R.W. qualified automotive lift inspectors on all on the structural and mechanical principles “Bob” O’Gorman. “This has resulted in an vehicle lifts at least once a year. in automotive lift equipment design. Rather, 14 February 2013 BUSRide it will determine who is educated enough to evaluate whether the condition of that equipment maintains its safe and reliable use within those principles. ALI Senior Project Engineer Dale Soos reviewed the certification process and the materials provided to candidates in the program. The program includes extensive printed training materials, a six-hour Participants Orientation workshop, a written pre-course exam, a final course exam, and documented practical experience. An online directory that launches in May will list all lift inspection companies with ALI Certified Lift Inspectors on staff. “This is a really easy way for someone to take the final steps on the path to becoming an ALI Certified Lift Inspector,” says O’Gorman. “The ALI Lift Inspector Certification Program is brand new and we want to make things as convenient as possible to encourage people to participate.” While testing sites are located in most major U.S. cities, O’Gorman notes that Canadian-based candidates can contact ALI directly for options available to them. BR BUSRide Upcoming examination dates and participant orientation workshops February 9 NADA Show, Orlando, FL • Participant’s Orientation March 7 Work Truck Show, Indianapolis, IN • Participant’s Orientation • Pre-Course and Course Examination Declare eligibility intent no later than Feb 1, 2013 May 23 Greensboro, NC • Participant’s Orientation • Pre-Course and Course Examination Declare eligibility intent no later than Apr 19, 2013 JUNE 20 Toronto, ON, Canada • Participant’s Orientation • Pre-Course and Course Examination Declare eligibility intent no later than May 17, 2013 JULY 8 Los Angeles, CA • Participant’s Orientation • Pre-Course Examination ONLY Declare eligibility intent no later than Jun 7, 2013 JULY 10 British Columbia, Canada • Participant’s Orientation • Pre-Course and Course Examination Declare eligibility intent no later than Jun 7, 2013 JULY 12 Edmonton, AB, Canada • Participant’s Orientation • Pre-Course and Course Examination Declare eligibility intent no later than Jun 7, 2013 Automotive Lift Institute PO Box 85 Cortland, NY 13045 (607) 756-7775 Fax (607) 756-0888 email@example.com, www.autolift.org February 2013 15 Coaches ready for PRIME time Prevost unveils intelligent energy management system By David Hubbard Power recovery through intelligent energy management is the focus of the new system Prevost calls PRIME. Unveiled during the UMA EXPO 2013 in Orlando, FL, the company says PRIME marks a milestone in the electrification of its coaches. The system uses braking, deceleration and negative torque situations to create a low-power regenerative system. Using engine downtime to charge the batteries and compress air reduces fuel consumption. PRIME introduces new logic for controlling and energizing the alternators and air dryer when the engine is under minimal load. Prevost has also added a new equalizer to monitor the state of charge (SOC) of the batteries. The company says this intelligent management of energy maximizes battery life based on its inherent characteristics. Prevost will offer PRIME as an option on the upcoming 2014 model H-Series and X-Series seated coaches and make it a standard feature on 2014 model H3-45 VIP and X3-45 VIP conversion coaches. “We choose an easily obtainable AGM battery with a 800CCA, 100Ah specification with 190 minutes reserve capacity,” says Prevost Director of Marketing Michael Power. “We use AGM batteries that can take repetitive deep discharges and have proven to be very durable over 400 cycles. These batteries require no maintenance. They are sealed and spill-proof.” He says AGM batteries are becoming more affordable and are readily available, and last up to four times longer than lead-acid batteries. A coach without PRIME Typically, the alternators constantly charge the batteries, which mean a constant parasitic load on the engine up to 14hp. Electrical loads on the coach are directly linked to the engine, as conventional lead-acid batteries need to be kept at optimal 16 February 2013 charge. An alternator has a mean efficiency around 65 percent affecting fuel consumption up to 2.4 liters per hour. A vehicle on the road usually uses its engine on compression mode between 10 and 30 percent of the time. These standard batteries generally cannot endure deep discharges. A coach with PRIME The PRIME system detects negative torque on the engine and triggers the alternators and the air dryer to charge the batteries and fill the air tanks to provide engine braking. The system monitors battery temperature to prevent overcharging and overheating and provides information to the driver on the battery state of charge (SOC). Voltage display does not change and notes SOC in percentage. Based on the SOC, the software will determine if batteries need immediate charging or can wait until the next zero load on the engine to trigger a charge using free energy. “This is a significant part of our continued effort to lower operating costs for our customers,” Power says. “With PRIME, improved fuel economy Prime state of charge gauge can be realized and good driving habits can even increase that cost savings.” There is also a new feature in the cluster. With the engine running and the vehicle not moving, the percentage of trip made with regenerated electricity shows in the cluster. This value resets when the engine restarts. Prevost sees this as an incentive to the driver to adopt fuel-efficient drivPrime Cluster Display ing habits. BUSRide PRIME will come standard on the 2014 Prevost H3-45 VIP and X3-45 model VIP conversion coaches. The instantaneous fuel consumption bar graph displays when the vehicle is in movement. Benefits of PRIME New X3-45 Aluminum Baggage Bay Doors — New Prevost aluminum luggage bay doors on the X3-45, which Prevost has tested in a very tough winter environment over several years, are 38 percent or 265 lbs. lighter than the previous product. The reduced weight helps to reduce fuel consumption, especially for stop-and-go applications. The company says the high quality structure has a solid feel compared to welded tube structure along with an improved dent resistance — 2.6 mm aluminum thickness compared to 1.3 mm stainless. The Class A finish lends a brighter luggage compartment compared to the dark grey of the previous doors. The redesigned door handle has the lock integrated into the plastic casing. “These aluminum components reduce the vehicle’s weight,” Power says. “They are less expensive to replace, are easier to repair and improve overall fuel economy and lifecycle costs.” The aluminum doors also feature a new innovative door seal — a one-piece with rounded corners and a multi-lip seal. This new water management redirects water away from the inside of the baggage bay, greatly improving water tightness. The seal installs easily without using glue. An added deflector means there is no direct access to the seal for water spraying from outside the coach. If water gets inside the door handle, it drains outside the coach. Bitzer compressor — The 4-cylinder Bitzer air compressor replaces the Carrier 05G and mounts directly on the engine and is nearly 100 pounds lighter. The relative positions of each pulley do not vary and the belt span is shorter. This arrangement transmits vibration through the engine mounts instead of the structure. With more capacity at lower RPMs and engine idle speed, fuel economy improves two percent at 100km/hrs with less load on the engine — 4HP less at 100Km/h (60 miles per hour). BR Increased fuel economy — The amount of fuel savings depends on the duty cycle. According to Prevost, PRIME has an estimated fuel savings of New aluminum luggage bay doors on the X3-45 are 38 percent or 265 lbs. lighter than the previ2 percent. Prevost validated the ous product. results in real driving conditions and with various duty cycles. Some test vehicles showed up to 5 percent fuel savings. The maximum fuel economy will come when the terrain of the road allows the batteries to charge only when the vehicle is in free wheel. Batteries charge with free energy without dedicating further fuel consumption. Decreased lifecycle costs — While the price of absorbed glass mat (AGM) batteries is about twice that of conventional lead-acid batteries, their lifecycle is about four times longer than traditional batteries. The cost of replacing lead-acid batteries is often viewed as a hidden benefit of AGM batteries. In AGM batteries the electrolyte is absorbed in a fiberglass mat separator. This sealed battery requires no maintenance during its lifetime. There is no danger Prevost sees certain PRIME features as an incentive for the driver to adopt fuel-efficient driving habits. The instantaneous fuel consumption bar graph displays when the vehicle is of acid spilling and no need to add water. in movement. BUSRide February 2013 17 The best view is through the windshield Valley Metro CEO Steve Banta on board to create a single regional agency By David Hubbard Valley Metro has served the cities, towns and communities throughout greater-metropolitan Phoenix, AZ, as the regional transit system since 1993. Under the Valley Metro brand, local governments joined to fund the system that passengers see on the streets today. In September 2007, the Valley Metro board adopted its mission within a long-term strategic plan to develop and deliver an integrated regional transit system in collaboration with the member agencies and through public and private partnerships. The board adopted the strategic plan resolution in November of the same year with the intent to create a single regional agency for all modes of transit. Today, Valley Metro partners with 15 cities and Maricopa County to operate 100 local and express bus routes, Dial-a-Ride paratransit and a 20-mile light rail system. The partnership man- ages regional marketing, customer service and rideshare programs. A recent consolidation of operations contracts gave the region two separate operators of transit services. Valley Metro Chief Executive Officer Stephen R. Banta arrived in Phoenix in January 2010 charged with the execution of the light rail design, construction and operation. In 2012 the board unanimously agreed to consolidate to achieve efficiencies and enhance the customer experience with Banta as the single CEO for Valley Metro. Banta currently oversees the bus light rail and light rail systems that transport more than 270,000 passengers daily while managing an annual budget of $350 million. He also has the responsibility for the planning, design and construction of 37 additional miles of future high capacity transit extensions. Valley Metro CEO Stephen R. Banta currently oversees the bus and light rail systems in the plan for one regional transit agency for the greater-Phoenix area. 18 February 2013 BUSRide Banta spoke to BUSRide on the benefits of merging the Valley Metro bus and rail agencies for passengers throughout the region, and his vision of a complete transit system. Where were you before Valley Metro? I began my transit career in San Diego, CA, as an electrician repairing rail cars. Since then I have always carried a vision of transit through the eyes of the passenger and front line staff as I have moved through the ranks. Before arriving in the Valley, I served at six different transit properties across the country concentrated in operations. My previous post was as executive director of operations for TriMet in Portland, OR. What has driven your success in the transit industry? I want to see what the drivers see and how people observe our service. I call this my “view through the windshield.” The single most important aspect of leading a transit agency is to understand and appreciate how the public responds to what the organization is doing. What is in your plan for Valley Metro? The consolidation of Valley Metro bus and light rail is the first major step in the transition to a singular regional system. We see this as a tremendous opportunity to make the important decisions that affect both systems. We improve the quality of life and the environment and we promote economic development. What are the challenges and solutions in mixing bus and rail? Our goal is to successfully integrate all the modes of service into a total transit network. Left to our own devices and without coordinating this effort, bus and light rail operating in the same transit corridors would typically compete for customers. Merging bus and light rail operations creates more opportunities for intermodal interactions involving connections and transfers. We are relying on the flexibility of buses to coordinate our feeder services to the fixed light rail system through the central part of Phoenix and eastward into Tempe and Mesa. The local routes also feed our express bus service from the BUSRide park-and-rides into central Phoenix. Is this working? Some would argue that rather than rely on a single mode, passengers are finding public transportation more comfortable with a two-seat ride, such as a bus to a train car. This may have to do with the fact that we are making a two-seat ride easier with improved connecting schedules and transfers. We now have passengers who may not have tried the bus in the past, but do so now to connect with light rail. Raising the level of exposure has increased overall ridership significantly. In fact, with light rail, we have nearly met our projected ridership for the year 2020 at almost 50,000 daily riders. The cities that comprise the greater-Phoenix metropolitan area are no longer as isolated and self-contained as they once were. How do their separate histories and development play into this transition? While our customers already see Valley Metro as one large transit agency traveling seamlessly across the Valley, we would like to transition our delivery of service into a full regional approach. We are careful to recognize the finances and resources the 16 member communities have already dedicated to the system we currently operate. It’s a difficult prospect to potentially lose service their residents have come to rely on, but the customer will ultimately benefit. What effect has Valley Metro experienced from the insane real estate boom and bust? I am hoping we’ve learned from the early 2000s when development was taking place at such a rapid rate everywhere across the Valley. In the economic downturn that ensued, our customers in these far-reaching areas have clearly communicated their concerns about a lack of travel options. People are now transitioning to purchasing homes and accepting jobs in areas based on the availability of public transportation. Express bus service, which does serve the areas surrounding central Phoenix, is undergoing renovations. Historically, this service hinged on bus runs through neighborhoods with drivers making numerous stops, instead of heading to the HOV lanes. This takes up a lot of time and adds to the commute. We recognize it would be unfair to customers to come in and immediately change their routine. With proper communication, outreach programs and education, however, we are going to be able to make a more efficient express service system in the not too distant future. We are looking at a couple of service cycle changes to transition to a park-andride-based model to the core employment center in downtown Phoenix. Does Bus Rapid Transit figure into the mix? BRT is a mode all to its own. While we are exploring opportunities for BRT as a part of both bus and light rail operations, we are first working to improve upon our express bus service. How about the paratransit component? A total Valley Metro transit network most definitely includes robust paratransit service overlaying the entire transit system. With Dial-a-Ride service in the East Valley unified, we are looking to continue the effort throughout the Valley, such as our expansion with a unified Northwest Valley Dial-a-Ride. This step further removes the borders of paratransit service, allowing passengers to ride from one community to the next on the same trip. From your view through the windshield, what does the future hold? We are evolving into a lifestyle that makes public transit integral with urban living. The incorporation of transit-oriented neighborhoods along popular routes makes transit an easy choice in people’s daily lives. From an economic standpoint, we are working to establish transit infrastructure that invites commerce. The 20 miles of light rail at a cost of $1.4 billion to build has yielded nearly $7 billion in economic activity. With the light rail system extending eastward an additional three miles, four major colleges are relocating campuses to the downtown area in anticipation of light rail. The opportunity to connect with public transit sealed the deal. We look for similar positive economic impacts as we add 3.2 miles of service with the Northwest light rail extension now under construction. BR February 2013 19 SPECIAL SECTION: FA R E Cash is here to stay BUSRide presents the fourth in a four-part series on “Fare Collection Systems.” Each segment highlights the benefits and addresses the downside of various modes of fare collection -- from openloop fares to proprietary cards, non-reloadable tickets, cash and tokens. PART FOUR: CASH AND TOKENS Cash and tokens remain a viable form of fare payment despite advances in open-loop and smartcard technology. For America’s unbanked population, it’s the only way to pay for public transit. This month spotlights Crane Payment Solutions, Diamond Manufacturing and Osborne Coinage. Crane Payment Solutions manufactures the interior components of a cash-based farebox, including bill validators and coin dispensers. Diamond Manufacturing designs cashpayment fareboxes for a variety of operations. Though their orders are small, the ability to customize for specific needs is valuable. Osborne Coinage crafts custom coins, medals and medallions. They currently have 45 agencies buying tokens for transit use. 20 February 2013 Crane Payment Solutions offers bill and coin validators and recyclers for transportation operations worldwide By Bassam Estaitieh Crane Payment Solutions (CPS), Concord, ON, Canada, a vendor of cash payment systems for the global transportation market with offices worldwide, designs and manufactures bill validators and recyclers, coin validators and recyclers as well as coin dispensers with both transit operator benefit and rider experience in mind. Unlike other fare box manufacturers, CPS does not design the physical fare box. Rather, it provides the cash payment devices inside the fare box to companies such as Genfare for integration into the system to accept bank notes as well coins and tokens. As customers board the bus, they insert their tokens, coins or bank notes into a fare collection box. The box has the capability to alert the driver if the amount of the inserted fare is correct or incorrect. CPS also manufactures higher-end recyclers for ticket vending machines (TVMs) that are typically installed at bus stations. The billto-bill 300XE bill recycler is showing great success in public transportation worldwide, with both train and bus segments adopting the technology. The CPS bill recycler is soon to be installed in ticket vending machines at bus stations in Abu Dhabi, UAE. European advantages CPS enjoys strong ties with the European transit market, one of the most advanced in the world. Company leaders who operate globally find the U.S. a bit behind some European countries in terms of transportation technology. In regard to cash payment systems, the clear trend in European TVMs is the adoption of bill recycling to help reduce the The BV is a free-fall bill validator from Crane Payment Solutions, used for integration into a bus fare collection system. The BV’s form factor and unmatched performance makes it ideal for fare boxes, where space is severely constrained. BUSRide COLLECTION SYSTEMS cost of cash management. CPS is a major player in that segment in Europe, and has the advantage of a well-featured device. The company says it is starting to see the adoption of this technology in the U.S., but it a slower pace than in Europe. The Crane bill recycler is the device of choice in the recent TVM tender award by Southeastern Pennsylvania Public Transit Authority (SEPTA), Philadelphia, PA. CPS is reporting an uptake of bill recycling in the metro segment, and hoping it will spill over into the bus segment at bus station TVMs. CPS believes Europe is ahead of the U.S. for a variety of reasons, but mainly its advanced infrastructure and the fact that historically, public transportation has been more popular in Europe, where they have better connected networks of metro, subways and buses. With such a deployed network, the commitment to spending on infrastructure and technology is much greater. The European public is mostly supportive of public transportation being a necessity and something that warrants investment. Higher fuel costs in Europe also drive more people to public transportation. Tokens could wane Since the 1990s if not earlier, there have been predictions of cash disappearing. The fact is, it probably won’t happen for a very long time, if it does at all. A 2011 report by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) categorizes the number of unbanked and underbanked Americans. The unbanked do not have bank accounts and deal only in cash. While the underbanked have bank accounts, their services are limited and they make fewer visits to bank branches. The report puts the combined unbanked and underbanked population at 28.3 percent of U.S. households. The number of unbanked households has actually increased since the recent recession. The struggling economy drove more people to cash as they ridded themselves of their credit cards and found their credit limits lowered. Transit riders are more likely to use cash, especially given the relatively low the fare structure. There is a higher composition of cash-only transit riders than in the general economy overall. Tokens, on the other hand, may be a novelty that soon wanes in use and popularity. Transit tokens must be minted separately for each individual agency and are difficult to implement and maintain. There is really no reason to use tokens in agency with a good cash acceptance system. Tokens also provide easy opportunities for cheating. The Federal Reserve goes to extreme measures to ensure that currency includes security features that make it difficult to counterfeit. Tokens usually don’t come with such security features and are easily counterfeited. In addition, transit operators have to go through the pain of managing their own token system, sourcing it and then distributing the tokens. The question becomes: Why incur these additional overhead expenses? BR Bassam Estaitieh serves with Crane Payment Solutions as product manager for transportation. Greyhound riders: Thank heaven for 7-Eleven Customers use PayNearMe to book tickets online and pay with cash at 7-Eleven Greyhound Bus Lines is now partners with its Dallas cohorts, convenience retailer 7-Eleven, Inc. and ACE Cash Express, in a nationwide program that essentially turns these neighborhood stores into Greyhound ticketing offices. According to a July 2012 Mintel Marketing study, 26 percent of Americans do not have a credit card. Greyhound says these consumers now have more options than a trip to a Greyhound terminal or the purchase of a prepaid debit card. Using PayNearMe™ technology, cash passengers can go to www.greyhound.com to select a schedule, print a payment barcode, take it to their nearest 7-Eleven store and purchase the ticket at the register. The selected travel itinerary is on a courtesy hold for 48 hours. Greyhound ticketing is available at more than 6,400 participating 7-Eleven stores and approximately 1,800 ACE Cash Express stores. “About 50 percent of Greyhound’s customers use cash to pay for their bus tickets,” says Dave Leach, president and CEO of Greyhound. “Until now there’s been no way to deliver exclusive online discounts to this constituency or even to allow these cus- BUSRide tomers to pay for tickets in advance by phone or online. This is our way of making life easier for our loyal cash customers.” According to PayNearMe CEO Danny Shader, his company operates under the premise that all consumers deserve the right to the same goods and services, regardless of their preferred method of payment or financial situation. “Our partnership with Greyhound and 7-Eleven provides unbanked and underbanked consumers with more fare options,” he says. “They also have discounts only available on Greyhound. com.” Leach says this partnership with PayNearMe and ACE Cash Express allows Greyhound to invite more customers to experience the safe, affordable and convenient experience. BR February 2013 21 SPECIAL SECTION: FA R E C O L L E C T I O N S Y S T E M S Tokens remain viable Steeped in history, America’s oldest private mint furnishes tokens for transit use By Richard Tackett Osborne Coinage Co., founded in 1835 as the Z. Bisbee Co., is America’s oldest private mint. Aside from tokens for use in transit and other transportation systems, Osborne mints custom made coins, casino tokens, amusements tokens and custom promotional key tags. David Blumenfeld, Osborne’s director of business and product development, says that around 45 transit agencies are buying tokens from the company despite the recent economic downturn. “Our sales are up over 20 percent over the previous 12 months,” Blumenfeld says. “We’re seeing this in a lot of different markets and we attribute it mostly to the economy. Everyone’s expenses tightened up in 2010 and transit agencies were just making do. Tokens provide an advantage in that respect. It just means you have to open the fareboxes more often to count the tokens.” Blumenfeld says that Osborne’s orders from transit agencies vary greatly. An agency with a small trolley system, for example, might only order 5,000 tokens. Other times, that same kind of agency will order 25,000 tokens with five different designs in hopes that riders will take them home as commemorative souvenirs. This is called “walkaway money” and it provides good publicity and a small profit center for the agency. “Year ago I worked with the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority when they were using tokens,” Blumenfeld says. “We Osborne crafted tokens for the Toronto Transit Commission with an X-mark, an optical code that protects against counterfeiting. did around 250,000 for the Peachtree Games and around 500,000 tokens for the 1996 Summer Olympic Games there. Even this year, Osborne’s had 250,000 and 500,000 token orders.” Osborne fights the counterfeiters Blumenfeld says that a number of anti-counterfeit measures are built into the token-making. “As the value of fares and tokens has gone up, more people have tried counterfeiting them,” he says. “One thing we’ve begun making is called a bull’s eye token, which has a plug of a different kind of metal inside the token itself. The sophisticated manufacturing process makes it harder to counterfeit.” After Osborne receives the required physical dimensions of a token from a transit agency, Blumenfeld says that most fareboxes can be reprogrammed easily to recognize the ordered token’s electromagnetic signature (EMS), another anticounterfeit feature. Because each of the metals that Osborne uses is an alloy, there are different mixes of copper, nickel and other additives in each coin. Every alloy and diameter thickness has a slightly different EMS. Osborne developed another method of counterfeit protection for the Toronto Transit Commission in 2006 called the X-mark. The agency had a counterfeiting problem with aluminum tokens at the time. 22 February 2013 BUSRide SPECIAL SECTION: FA R E C O L L E C T I O N S Y S T E M S Tokens continued “The X-mark is an optical code that we emboss into the token, and there’s a company that sells retrofit coin mechanisms that are designed to look for these codes,” Blumenfeld says. “Toronto Transit may have ordered 40 million of these tokens from us.” Token use shifts in the smartcard age Blumenfeld says that there are many reasons why tokens became viable in the first place, and some still make sense today while others don’t. “A big reason for tokens was so that agencies could easily adjust fares,” he says. “Back in the day, when a fare raised from 25 cents to 30 cents, it made sense to start selling tokens for a different value.” Another advantage of using tokens, he says, becomes clear when handling cash fares. Tokens are a lot less attractive to steal than a bag of coins or other currency. Osborne provides tokens for many transit agencies, he says, for controlling cash flow and eliminating employee theft. The process of switching to token payments, Blumenfeld says, is easier than switching to some of the newer fare collection systems. “Changing from coins to tokens is not a big deal,” he says. “Transit agencies usually have all of the necessary equipment 24 February 2013 Because each of the metals that Osborne uses is an alloy, there are different mixes of copper, nickel and other additives in each coin. that more agencies are using tokens for exclusively commemorative uses. “I think there will always be a demand for commemorative souvenirs,” he says. “But let’s face it: So many of our markets have new electronic systems coming in and they’ve got the budgets to use them.” Looking to the future, Osborne Coinage has developed a new kind of business on the side: token destruction. “We have a self-contained unit mounted on a semi-trailer that we send to various transit agencies,” Blumenfeld says. “We chop up all of their tokens and then we buy the scrap from them. It all gets recycled.” BR BUSRide SPECIAL SECTION: FA R E C O L L E C T I O N S Y S T E M S Diamond fareboxes are forever The family business has been customizing boxes for coins and cash since 1947 By Richard Tackett Diamond Manufacturing, North Kansas City, MO, is a family-owned business that includes the manufacture of transit fareboxes and donation boxes. The company has been producing its round farebox for coin fares since 1947. The product, made entirely of brass and aluminum, requires little to no maintenance. Sandy Cull purchased the company 25 years after its founding in 1972 and expanded the farebox line. She managed the day-to-day business until her passing in December, leaving her son Todd Cull to run the family business and serve as general manager. Today Diamond has customers in every U.S. state, as well as Canada, Mexico, Venezuela, Bermuda and Guam. Cull says the next step is working with companies to 26 February 2013 incorporate smart technology into Diamond fareboxes. “We still service and sell the round-style units, made for coins only, that date back to our purchasing the company” Cull says. “Their average lifespan is around 30 years. We get units back that date back to the 70’s that we actually refurbish. We repair and replace locks and send them back out for further use. The longevity of the product is very good.” Cull says Diamond originally developed its rectangular fareboxes to accommodate paper currency. Additionally, he says that Diamond produces a very small unit that its customers and distributors designed. “We deal with every bus manufacturer,” he says. “They tell us what they need to fit their application. We’re more purpose-driven and customer-driven. We find out what they need, we figure out the specifications and we go build it.” Diamond’s fareboxes operate very simply. A rider drops the cash or coin fare through the top and the driver depresses a lever to deposit the money into the unit’s money vault designed with level 4 security locks custom-made for Diamond. To remove the fares, an agent representative inserts a key, removes the vault and replaces it. The empty box is ready for more riders. According to Cull, Diamond’s real strength lies in its ability to customize fareboxes for any operation. For example, the company’s donation boxes come in three standard models, but are easily customizable and often made to more exacting customer specifications. “As a small company we have the ability to make those changes cost-effectively and keep the unit’s cost down,” he says. “Quite simply, I hand one of our guys the instructions. They create the print and make the part. This is not a very difficult process for us.” He says such capabilities keep Diamond awash with customers. An agency that cannot afford a complicated fare infrastructure knows it can turn to Diamond for customized boxes specifically for their needs. “We’re just a small family business and we’re pretty quiet,” Cull says. “We’ve been around a long time with old fashioned values of service and quality. If we put our name on it, we stand behind it.” BR BUSRide the international report A tale of two countries By Doug Jack The exhibition season was in full swing in Europe toward the end of 2012 with the FIAA in Madrid, Spain and Euro Bus Expo in Birmingham, UK. The show in Spain was strong despite the countryâ€™s severe financial problems. Many of the provincial governments borrowed heavily and are now cutting back severely on investment in new city buses. The market has traditionally relied on a combination of chassis, mainly imported, with locally built bodywork. That is coming under a strong challenge. The Daimler Buses stand was full of complete German and Turkish-built buses and coaches. Times have become so hard that some of the domestic builders did not attend. There was a feel- 28 February 2013 The new integral tri-axle Irizar i6. A similar product will be seen in the US next year. BUSRide ing that a number of manufacturers will fall by the wayside. Fortunately Spain is still a very popular tourist destination, so demand for coaches remains reasonable, although not at previous levels. Irizar launches i3 One Spanish company, the Irizar Group, is very strong and healthy.CEO JosĂŠ Manuel Orcasitas said the Irizar Group had a record turnover of more than $650 million in 2011 and would be capable of maintaining that in 2012. The company had a large stand and chose the occasion to launch its new i3. This is Irizarâ€™s first vehicle for use either as a transit bus or more comfortably appointed for suburban and short interurban routes. Irizar has now delivered its integral coach range to seven European markets, outside Spain. The i6 is a particularly stylish and comfortable coach. The company said it was at an advanced stage in a project to introduce its integral models to the United The top-of-the-range Irizar PB body on a Scania chassis. Note the States. There will be two launch prototypes. One bus measures new Irizar branding. in at 40 feet long by 11 feet, 6 inches on two axles and the other at 45 feet by 12 feet, 2 inches on three axles. The first pre-series structure specifically for open-top layouts. Alexandre Lecompte, sales director, said that one of their stage will take place at the main factory in Spain, with volume projects was to build this model on a modified Freightliner chasproduction following from Irizarâ€™s Mexican subsidiary. UNVI is another Spanish bodybuilder keeping its production sis for the US market. UNVI also makes a wide range of converat normal levels, thanks to strong export activities. The company sions on the Mercedes-Benz Sprinter, sold in your country with has carved out a number of niches, including open-top double a Dodge badge. Alexander said that conversion kits were being deck buses for city sightseeing. Until now these have been built supplied from Spain to factories in the US and Canada for local with steel framing, but UNVI has developed its own aluminium completion. BUSRide February 2013 29 the international report continued Business in the UK In contrast, the United Kingdom market was much more buoyant in 2012, boosted to some extent by extra demand ahead of the Olympic Games. Alexander Dennis (ADL), the largest manufacturer, introduced a new version of its popular Enviro500 tri-axle double-deck bus, mainly for export markets including the US and Canada. Models for the Hong Kong market are normally built to a height of 14 feet, 6 inches, but a new Lo Height version at 13 feet, 7 inches is also available for North American customers who want buses that can circulate without special dispensation. The chassis and body teams worked very closely on the new Enviro500 to integrate the structures, avoiding duplication of metalwork, while also achieving improved accessibility and reliability. Moving the Cummins engine a few inches from the center line at the rear has achieved greater headroom at the back of the lower deck. One example of the clever 30 February 2013 packaging is the location of the fuel tank, laid diagonally in otherwise wasted space underneath the staircase. When Colin Robertson joined Alexander Dennis as CEO in March 2007, the annual turnover was around $270 million. He reckoned that would rise to $760 million in 2012, a rate of growth almost unknown in bus manufacturing in the Western world. Stagecoach started Megabus.com in the United Kingdom. On the busiest routes, the 49 foot long tri-axle singledeck coaches have proved highly successful. Taking it one stage further, Volvo and Plaxton are combining to build a coach almost 13 feet high with a lower deck compartment for a driver, four passengers and a wheelchair user who can gain access to the vehicle without the need for an expensive lift. Another 71 passengers can ride on an upper deck running the entire length of the vehicle. It was finished to a very high standard, with luxury seats, free Wi-Fi and a washroom mounted below the main deck, reached by a second staircase. An initial fleet of 11 vehicles entered service before the end of 2012, to be followed by a further 11 in 2013. The government has stimulated the introduction of hybrid, gas-fueled and allelectric buses with funding that pays most of the difference in price compared with a standard diesel bus. MAN handed over the first of a fleet of CNG buses to Arriva and there were also two all-electric midibuses on display. Over the years, by their very nature, all exhibitions change. We have seen tremendous growth in smart ticketing systems and also diagnostics. Smartcards make services more attractive to passengers because they reduce the time spent at bus stops. Diagnostics improve reliability and economy, important factors with the price of fuel on this side of the Atlantic. BR Doug Jack is with Transport Resources in the United Kingdom. BUSRide Garage doors figure in the equation Rubber roll-up doors save time and money By Kurt Angerrmeier Bus maintenance management rightfully pays great attention to the quality of the technicians and the equipment operating within the walls of their building. This level of scrutiny is important in ensuring that their fleet operates reliably to meet route schedules and optimize on-time performance. However, if the maintenance staff fails to pay proper attention to the doors to the maintenance facility itself, they may inadvertently be putting these schedules at risk. Typically, the doors to older garages are made of steel. Though these doors provide rugged doorway coverage, roll-up doors with flexible yet tough rubber panels are an almost trouble-free alternative. The UTAH Transit Authority (UTA) recently replaced two of their steel doors at their Orem bus storage facility with rubber panel roll-up doors to help handle the 100 buses that enter and exit this temperaturecontrolled facility daily. The new doors offer the UTA benefits over their steel door predecessors. Continual doorway coverage — According to UTA maintenance, buses coming through the doorway have clipped the old steel doors, causing damage to both the door and the vehicle. As steel doors open and close slowly, drivers tend to misjudge doorway access at times. Disabled doors also leave the doorway uncovered, leaving the technicians and sensitive maintenance equipment inside exposed to the weather. During colder months, crippling a door means the Orem facility heating system has to work harder to keep the technicians comfortable and productive, costing the operation more in HVAC costs. A disabled door also forces management to deal with the hassle of diverting buses to alternative doors. A high-speed roll-up door generally keeps its panel out of the way of approaching buses. Should the door get hit, its ¼-inch engineered styrene butadiene rubber panel is as tough as the tires on the bus. In addition, these doors offer no resistance to the impact, preventing damage to the bus. When hit, the panel releases from its side guides and can be easily reset when the door rolls up and then rethreads back into its guide. Efficient operation — A slow operating steel door burns the clock for buses Slow operating steel doors hamper buses leaving for their routes. Faster rubber roll-up doors save time and better protect personnel and equipment inside. BUSRide waiting to leave the garage and get to the route. Faster operating rubber roll-up doors not only cut the waiting time, they also better protect the technicians and equipment inside from inclement weather. Sealed doorway — Because all doors get hit from time to time, banged-in steel doors often become misaligned to the doorframe, creating gaps that enable costly air infiltration. On roll-up doors, the flexible rubber panels ride along guides that also provide a shield against energy loss. A gasket seal at the bottom of the door conforms to the contours of the floor. Confining maintenance to the buses — Parts on a steel door wear out frequently from the strain of handling heavy panel weight and operating torque. Door parts such as door springs, counterbalance parts and drive motors need constant replacing. The height and hazards of replacing the torsion springs often used on these doors can be a safety issue. Roll-up door design eliminates many of these parts. The designers of these doors use electronics to replace the functions handled mechanically on earlier models and on steel doors to provide more responsive operation. On-board programmable input and outputs interface with motion sensors and other actuation sensors when a bus approaches, in addition to providing smoother motion to lengthen mechanical door part life. Pedestrian safety — These same responsive electronic systems on roll-up doors contribute to greater doorway safety, being better able to detect the presence of people in the doorway. Just the weight of the 12 foot by 14 foot doors the UTA had at the Orem facility would pose a safety hazard for their employees in the path of the closing panels. These advancements in design on rollup doors mean that bus maintenance doorways can be covered and protected, and the door panel can get out of the way so that buses run on schedule. BR Kurt Angerrmeier serves as marketing vice president, Rytec High Performance Doors, Jackson, WI. February 2013 31 H0213BR • MARKETPLACE • MARKETPLACE • MARKETPLACE • PARTS CONSULTANTS BUSES FOR SALE BUSRide February 2013 33 • MARKETPLACE • MARKETPLACE • MARKETPLACE • 34 34 EQUIPMENT the international report BUSES FOR SALE SHELTERS PARTS February February2013 2013 BUSRide BUSRide