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CONTENTS

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MARCH/APRIL 2021 Published by Rankin Publishing, Inc. www.buslinemag.com

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Landline Offers Ground To Air Transportation With Ease....................................8

Sensitivity And Understanding Keys To Passenger Comfort And Safety

Texas Transit Agency Has Battled Weather And COVID While Maintaining Service ........................................22 — Busline Buyers Guide to INSURANCE & FINANCE — National Interstate Insurance

32

RLI Transportation

34

Service Insurance Agency

5Star Specialty Programs

Transportation Insurance Brokers

36

38

39

2021 UMA Motorcoach Expo April 21-25 In Orlando .........40 Busline Vehicle Showcase:

Busline Buyers Guide To:

Paratransit/Shuttle Buses & Vans....42

HVAC Systems ...................................50

RAPID RESPONSE .........................Page 6 INDUSTRY NEWS........................Page 52

ON THE COVER: Landline is an independently-owned motorcoach and black car provider of nonstop ground transportation to and from various cities and airport hubs. Its fleet includes Prevost motorcoaches. See page 8.

CALENDAR OF EVENTS

APRIL 2021 April 21-25 United Motorcoach Association (UMA) Motorcoach Expo Orlando, FL Info: 800-424-8262

JUNE 2021 June 2-4 Busworld North America Digital Summit Info: busworldnorthamerica.org

JULY 2021 July 25-28 National School Transportation Association Annual Meeting & Convention Milwaukee, WI Info: 703-684-3200

AUGUST 2021 August 3-6 International Motorcoach Group (IMG) Strategic Alliance Meeting Greenville, SC Info: 888-447-3466

AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2021 August 31 - September 3 APTA TRANSform Conference & Expo Anaheim, CA Info: 202-496-4800

NOVEMBER 2021 November 5-9 National Association For Pupil Transportation (NAPT) Annual Conference/Trade Show Grand Rapids, MI Info: 518-452-3611

November 7-11 Community Transportation Association of America (CTAA) Expo Richmond, VA Info: 800-891-0590 JANUARY 2022 January 8-11 American Bus Association (ABA) Marketplace 2022 Grapevine, TX Info: 800-283-2877

MAY 2022 May 1-4 APTA Mobility Conference Columbus, OH Info: 202-496-4800

Busline Magazine is published 6 times a year by Rankin Publishing, Inc., 204 E. Main, P.O. Box 130, Arcola, IL 61910-0130. Publisher assumes no liability whatsoever for content of any advertisement or editorial material contained herein. Copyright 2021 Rankin Publishing, Inc. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form without written consent of Rankin Publishing, Inc. Subscription Rates in United States: 6 issues $25. Single Copy rate: $10 including postage/handling; Buyer’s Guide $15 including postage/handling. International rates: 6 issue annual Air Mail Subscription $60 U.S. dollars net

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March/April 2021

EDITORIAL & CORPORATE OFFICES

Rankin Publishing Co., Inc.

Linda Rankin, Publisher 204 E. Main Street • P.O. Box 130 Arcola, IL 61910-0130, USA Email: rankinmag@consolidated.net Website: www.rankinpublishing.com (800) 598-8083 (U.S.) • (217) 268-4959 Fax: (217) 268-4815 Editorial: Harrell Kerkhoff, Editor Rick Mullen, Associate Editor Design: David Opdyke, Kris Bott Reception: Mary Jo Dunn

Advertising Contact Kevin Kennedy @ 813-502-6672 Email: kevloraz@gmail.com Or Linda Rankin @ 800-598-8083 Fax: 217-268-4815 Email: rankinmag@consolidated.net


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Company

Website

Page #

5Star Specialty Programs

5StarSP.com

ABC Companies

abc-companies.com

American Battery Solutions

americanbatterysolutions.com

Bitzer

bitzerus.com

Amaya-Astron Seating BASE USA BRC Group

amaya-astronseating.com

baseusa.com

brcgroup.ca

BYD

byd.com

Camira

camirafabrics.com/staysafe

Clean Seal®, Inc.

Complete Coach Works

Daimler Coaches North America Diamond Manufacturing Dixie Electric Ltd.

cleanseal.com

completecoach.com

daimler.com

diamondmfg.com

delstar-hd.com

Driverge Vehicle Innovations

driverge.com

Freedman Seating Company

freedmanppe.com

Factory Direct Bus Sales Hometown Trolley

factorydirectbussales.com

hometowntrolley.com

Company

Website

Page #

38

Kelderman Air Suspension Systems kelderman.com

25

20

Marathon Brake Systems

15

56 2

9

12

14 5

53

18

30

55

53

31

27

7

3

11

LiquidSpring LLC

liquidspring.com

Micro Bird Commercial

mbcbus.com

Midwest Bus Corporation

16

MarathonBrake.com

28

midwestbus.com

23

National Interstate Insurance

natl.com

33

RLI Transportation

rlitransportation.com

35

MobilityTRANS

Reyco Granning

mobilitytrans.com

17

reycogranning.com

10

Safety Vision

safetyvision.com

21

Service Insurance

ServiceIns.com

37

SanUVAire

SanUVAire.com

13

Sutrak

sutrakusa.com

26

Trans/Air Manufacturing

transairmfg.com

51

TIB

UMA Motorcoach EXPO 2021 Valeo

Vanner Power

tibinsurance.com

39

motorcoachexpo.com

valeo-thermalbus.com/us vanner.com

41

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March/April 2021

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50

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T

Landline Offers Ground To Air Transportation With Ease By Harrell Kerkhoff, Busline Magazine Editor

he first words greeting visitors to the website for Landline (landline.com) — an independently-owned motorcoach and black car provider of nonstop ground transportation to and from various cities and airport hubs — is “Welcome To The Future Of Air Travel.”

Currently operating in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Colorado, Landline was co-founded in 2018 by transportation entrepreneurs and business partners David Sunde and Ben Munson to provide a one booking, one price and seamless experience that brings the airport to customers’ front door.

“We see our job as closing the gap between ground and air. When we accomplish that, everybody wins, and hopefully a share of the travel pie will grow for all parties.”

As a ground transportation provider, the company focuses on helping customers: n Book with a preferred airline, door-to-door; n Experience clean, safe and comfortable travel to, and from, the airport; and, n Receive an enhanced airport screening process and guaranteed connection. “Our company uses an operating platform designed to make it very easy for airlines to add ground transportation options to their travel network,” Landline CEO Sunde said. “We were founded with the simple mission of focusing on places where air service is no longer economical, or has become less popular, over the past 10 years.

We are bridging that gap by seamlessly transporting passengers between those smaller markets with little or no airline service, and larger airport hubs. “In the process, we are working to eliminate all barriers that exist between ground and air transportation, with the idea of making it as easy as possible for customers to book our motorcoach or black car service and an airplane ticket in one step. Landline also strives to make overall travel more affordable and convenient, for as many people as possible.” The company currently has partnerships with Sun Country Airlines and United Airlines. Regarding Sun Country, Landline connects seven cities acrosss Minnesota and Wisconsin to and from the airline’s hub at the Minneapolis-Saint Paul (MN) International Airport. Concerning its new partnership with United Airlines, announced on February 26, Landline connects the Colorado cities of Fort Collins, Loveland and Breckenridge with United Airlines’ hub at the Denver (CO) International Airport. “We don’t look at our service as simply connecting one city market to an airport hub, but rather providing connection opportunities to every other city that our airline partners are connected to, throughout the country,” Sunde said. “With our current Minnesota/Wisconsin offering, we deploy both our Landline (motorcoach) and Landline Select (black car) services. In Colorado, we currently have our Landline motorcoach service available.”


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Landline’s motorcoach side of the business is operated inhouse, while company officials continue to look for highend ground transportation partners to fulfill various segments for the Landline Select black car service. “We think it’s really unique that Landline is able to work with airlines the way it does, and therefore we can ultimately drive a lot of business to new ground transportation partners in the black car segment,” Sunde said. “There is both a digital and operational component to our transportation system. Digitally, we have what is similar to a codeshare agreement with our airline partners. That allows our published grand transportation schedules to appear within the booking systems of those airlines.” He added the Landline looks to create the most connecting flight opportunities possible for customers, who often don’t take bus or black car service into consideration when booking a flight. “We hope to change that by making ground transportation to and from various locations and major airport hubs more appealing and seamless, while keeping costs down. We are all about helping customers plan their entire transportation itinerary through greater scheduling optimization,” Sunde said. “Meanwhile, on the operations side, Landline looks like any other ground transportation provider, with its own fleet of vehicles.” Landline currently operates Prevost H3-45 motorcoaches from it Minnesota/Wisconin and Colorado operations. Sunde said those vehicles feature the latest amenities befitting customers who are

Landline co-founders are Ben Munson (left) and David Sunde.

used to airline travel. That includes power and USB outlets, WiFi and on-board streaming services and large tray tables that can support laptops. The coaches also provide seating areas with plenty of legroom for passengers to comfortably work, watch a movie or simply relax to and from the airport. “We have structured, what I think, is a mutually beneficial relationship with Prevost. They have become our sole provider of

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See us at UMA Expo Booth #417

March/April 2021


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motorcoaches, featuring vehicles with very unique interiors for the benefit of our passengers,” Sunde said. “Prevost has been an incredible partner, helping us find the right motorcoaches as our needs change. It’s hard to predict the future, but when an airline contacts us to start a new service, we must quickly answer the call, and have additional vehicles at the ready. “Our relationship with Prevost allows us the flexibility to purchase and receive motorcoaches in a timely manner while Landline customers can seamlessly use various modes of transportation to reach their destinations. those new vehicles are still consistent with the specifications that have already been put into place.” “We don’t see our business as being competitive with operSunde added that Landline’s airline partners have high stan- ators providing charters and/or tours, and I don’t believe they dards pertaining to onboard products, seamlessness and risk and do either,” Sunde said. safety management — particularly when operating vehicles Officials at Landline provide vehicle maintenance planwithin an airport tarmac and nearby aircraft. ning. There is also an in-house marketing team that works “It helps that at Landline, we have a lot of people with airline with Landline’s airline partners, to cooperatively market experience,” he said. “They understand the specific regulatory services. environment and high operating standards that are associated “From the perspective of our customers, they are not booking with the airline industry.” with Landline per se, but rather with Sun Country Airlines or Landline is also unique in that it has developed partnerships United Airlines. Our brand is next to, or slightly below, each in Minnesota and Colorado with local ground transportation airline’s brand,” Sunde said. “Behind the scenes, in such comproviders, such as existing motorcoach operators, to lease of- munities as Duluth and St. Cloud (MN), we work with the air fice space and for vehicle maintenance. carrier to produce co-branded advertising. That allows more

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See us at UMA Expo Booth #524

March/April 2021


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people to know Landline is the ground transportation provider for the airline. “It’s a pretty unique system. We spend a lot of time in marketing simply educating people about the capabilities of our company.”

B

AIRPLANE GEEKS FIND SOLUTIONS FROM GROUND TRANSPORTATION

oth Sunde and Munson caught the transportation bug at an early age, and are self-described “airplane geeks.” As kids, they thought there was nothing unusual about taking home timetables from local airline ticket offices and looking them over during their spare time. “That’s normal, right?” Sunde said, with a laugh. “I had

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known that type of work (involving transportation) was what I was going to do since I was 5 years old. I love it so much. It’s never boring.” Munson and Sunde originally worked together at Alaska Airlines, before going their separate ways within the regional airline segment. While working in those jobs, they continued to compare notes, including how difficult it was becoming to operate regional airline service, and how that trend was affecting a growing number of people in smaller cities and rural areas. “There are still many communities across the country where air travel is no longer an easy option. That is where our idea for Landline came from, to help people reach airline service from their specific locations,” Sunde said. “Ben and I have developed a really deep understanding of how airlines plan and work together. We also understand the architecture of building seamlessness into the airline experience. With Landline, that includes motorcoach and black car services. We have humbly entered the ground transportation space from the airline world.” Entering the company’s third year of operation, Sunde said a key to Landline’s success continues to be its focus on quality. “It was decided from the start that Landline would provide its own ground transportation service, allowing us to have total control over our company’s quality and consistency, while working with airline partners,” Sunde said. “We have found that many people are focused on finding the best price while getting from point A to point B. At Landline, we are confident that a seamless transfer between a motorcoach and a plane or a black car and a plane can be part of the lower-cost equation. At the same time, we have to remain a good partner with our airlines. It’s important each airline is comfortable knowing that when their customers board a Landline vehicle, the experiences of those customers are positive.” At Landline, therefore, it’s important company representatives remain very detailoriented, with a strong focus on passenger comfort.


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“We have found the cumulative effect of that focus has driven a lot of our success. Landline uses a unique transportation business model, but the best thing the company does is make its ground transportation service feel very similar to the service on an airplane. That includes pre-boarding announcements and on-time performance reporting to customers. It takes a lot of discipline at Landline to mimic the different points of contact between an airline and a passenger during the passenger’s travel day. We feel Landline has such a structure in place. Even though our customers are buying an airplane ticket and connecting between two modes of travel, we want them to feel such a process is ‘no big deal,’ and easy to do. We believe that is the future.” With its black car Landline Select service in Minnesota, the company can pick up customers from their homes. The service also helps with the airport check-in process. “For that type of service to be successful, we rely on our highly trained customer service team, helping coordinate a customer’s travel day,” Sunde said. “With our motorcoach operation, we heavily focus on the element of seamlessness. If we are doing our job well, passengers will feel that connecting between a motorcoach and an airplane is no different from connecting between two airplanes.”

I

COVID-19 ADJUSTMENTS CONTINUE

t’s been a rough 12-plus months for professionals and companies involved in the transportation industry due to the global COVID-19 pandemic. That includes any type of bus/motorcoach and black car business. Landline, of course, has

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not been immune, especially since overall airline travel has also been greatly affected by the virus. “I would estimate that, depending on location, COVID has fundamentally reduced demand for travel by 50 to 80 percent. Landline has experienced that as well. It has created an enormous challenge for our team. We have all had to make sacrifices. It’s been difficult, from a business perspective,” Sunde said. “I do think (the pandemic experience) will open some opportunities for us, down the road, by changing certain markets related to air travel. For example, I feel Landline is a really good option for those airlines looking to cost-effectively add new destinations after the pandemic ends and/or continue, and possibly increase, the frequency of flights that have traditionally been in high demand. Our company can help airlines achieve those goals. I feel that is what Landline does really well.” As the pandemic progressed through 2020, Landline made the necessary changes to its on-board procedures. Company representatives worked closely with Prevost to find, and use, the proper sanitizing/disinfecting, air filtration and passenger barrier products during motorcoach travel. “Cleanliness, as it pertains to vehicles, has always been a real sticking point for us, so Landline didn’t have to change too much once the pandemic started,” Sunde said. “However, from a disinfecting prospective, we had to do our research in order to find the best solutions. We started by using disinfecting wipes to clean all surfaces between trips. Now, we use the same type of fogging gun that Delta Airlines uses when its disinfects the inside of airplanes. “As far as the proper spacing of passengers, our 45-foot Prevost coaches currently have 35 seats. That reduced seating also


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Sunde feels deep cleaning and sanitizing procedures will remain in place for the forseeable future within ground transportation, and that Landline will continue to take guidance on such issues from the company’s motorcoach manufacturer and airline partners. “I also think people’s expectations regarding cleanliness have changed due the pandemic. That includes changes in branding. It now seems every airline has its own branded cleanliness program, which is probably here to stay,” he said. “As for our passengers, I honestly feel that the practice of wearing masks, during travel, will become more of the norm after the pandemic. Masks were already common in many Asian countries prior to COVID.” When recently interviewed, Sunde said he remains cautiously optimistic that travel demand, in general, will increase by the summer. Service with a smile has helped Landline succeed in its quest to provide seamless transportation. “At Landline, we have seen a recent bump in bookings within our Minnesota improves the customer experience by providing extra legroom. market. It corresponds with the traditional Minnesota spring It gives our riders a lot more personal space and a really com- break. However, there is nothing definitive enough to make us fortable experience. We did do away with a self-service galley think everything is back to normal,” he said. “I just read that reon our coaches due to COVID restrictions, but hope to have that cent recovery and opening plans have been announced in the service back into place once the pandemic ends.” United Kingdom. In response, airline bookings in the UK have

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skyrocketed. Since Landline’s business is directly tied to air travel, we’re hoping that the same thing happens in the United States, as more people are vaccinated. The level of travel is not as low as it was last year during this time, but our industry is certainly not out of the woods yet.” Sunde added that the pandemic experience has helped Landline officials to recognize the necessity for a broader transportation platform. “We have come to the realization that there is a need for us to offer many different sizes of vehicles — from four-seat suburbans to 45-foot motorcoaches,” he said. “We have thus retooled our business to better deliver the right type of ground transportation for the benefit of our airline partners. Ultimately, that has allowed us to better reach our customers’ true point of origin, which is the mission of our business.”

“We look for drivers with on-the-road experience, while still spending a lot of time with them as it pertains to safety and the proper way to connect with customers,” Sunde said. “Even if a driver arrives with the right attitude and skill set, our training can further help him/her become a better representative of Landline.” He added that finding quality drivers is not easy, even with higher unemployment numbers due to the pandemic.

C

QUALITY DRIVERS ARE ALWAYS IN DEMAND

urrently, there are approximately 50 employees filling a variety of roles at Landline. Like the company’s two founders, many of those employees have come from the airline industry. Of course, being a motorcoach and black car provider, a significant numLandline relies on its highly trained customer service personnel ber of Landline’s employees are drivers — to help coordinate a customer’s travel day. a position that comes with its own set of challenges and opportunities. “We continue to hire drivers across each of our segments. I feel Landline provides unique opportunities for “I would agree with the rest of the market’s assessment that it its drivers. No. 1, they are home each night as we provide very remains a challenging environment (for finding drivers). There is consistent routes. They don’t have to worry about long line hauls,” a lot of competition, including that from the trucking industry. Sunde said. “Also, just like working for an airline, our people, in- That is especially true for drivers who like the longer hauls,” cluding drivers, enjoy certain flight benefits.” Sunde said. “For Landline, the challenge is not finding applicants, The main challenges for Landline drivers, as well as all bus/mo- it’s finding the right applicants. Every (bus/motorcoach) operation torcoach operators, involve the safe operation of large vehicles, has its own unique parameters. We place a very strong focus on and meeting high customer service standards. customer service. Finding that right balance between driving ca“Obviously, the No. 1 criteria for operating any vehicle is pability and customer service orientation is difficult. Drivers who safety. It helps to have experience driving a large motorcoach meet those qualifications are always in high demand.” in different and challenging conditions,” Sunde said. “At Landline, our drivers also have to be comfortable driving THE FUTURE safely on an airport tarmac and around aircraft. OF SEAMLESS TRAVEL “Weather is also a factor. During the winter, it can be quite challenging to operate a vehicle in Minnesota, Wisconsin and Colespite the difficulties that COVID-19 has brought to the orado. In particular, the ski resort town of Breckenridge can be transportation industry, there is hope that once the pandifficult from a weather and terrain perspective. demic subsides, a growing number of people will feel “Our drivers also have to adhere to what are very high customer more comfortable traveling. Pent-up demand could follow. service standards, required by our airline partners. It’s important Sunde shares that optimism, and is especially confident about that our drivers are a positive part of our customers’ experience. Landline’s business model. He sees the company’s ground For example, they must be capable of helping passengers with air- transportation service as a direct link to the future of air travel line transfer questions. We also want drivers who are comfortable for many areas of the country. getting in front of passengers to give pre-trip announcements.” “I wouldn’t call what Landline is offering to the transportaBoth technical and customer service training is provided by tion marketplace a ‘niche.’ That may have been the case when Landline officials. we started, but I think our service is now much broader than

D

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simply being viewed as a niche,” Sunde said. “As a company, we are focusing on the idea that ground transportation infrastructure and air transportation infrastructure in the United States should not be totally separate entities. Instead, they should work together so that passengers can benefit from a seamless network. “At Landline, we see our job as closing the gap between ground and air. When we accomplish that, everybody wins, and hopefully a share of the travel pie will grow for all parties. That is a really big mission, and certainly one that is worth pursuing. It’s easy to get distracted by the big vision, but at the end of the day, it comes down to operating well, every single day.” He added the pandemic has changed many people’s perception of “space,” which may influence how close they want to get with fellow passengers during the travel experience. In airports, security lines, in particular, may become more concerning, as a greater number of people start to travel but still want to keep their distance. Therefore, Landline is working on the possibility that its ground transportation passengers could eventually avoid such lines at the airport, while still clearing security. “Today, our passengers can check their bags with us (Landline). We seamlessly see to it that the bags are transfered to, and from, the airplane,” Sunde said. “At the same time, Landline has been working with TSA (Transportation Security Administration) in an effort to eventually be able to transfer passengers (with TSA clearance), so those passengers can avoid the security lines. “That would be huge, and a real game changer. It’s why I say that, as much as Landline uses a ground transportation platform,

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what we are really doing is working to change the airport and flying experience. We are using motorcoaches and black cars to help that process become reality.” Sunde noted that the transportation industry continues to change in many ways, including the use of advanced technology. “That keeps everyone involved with transportation on their toes, and pushes us to think differently, each day,” he said. “Transportation is such a great industry to be involved with, with pleny of room for economists, financial advisers, engineers, logistic planners, technologists and much more. There are few industries that touch such a wide variety of disciplines as transportation, and in such a coordinated way. Also, it’s an industry that never ceases to amaze me as to just how much fun it is for those people involved.” Community involvement is also important at Landline, as the company provides ground transportation services across three states, involving rural areas, towns and smaller cities. “One of our company’s core values is caring for the communities where we have a presence. It’s important that we spend time learning about the places we are serving. That includes getting involved locally, as well as connecting with our employees, many of whom live in those communities. We want to know what is meaningful to them,” Sunde said. “The more we know about, and understand, our communities, employees and customers, the better our end product will be in the future.” Visit landline.com for more information.


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Marathon Introduces DiscStar Air Disc Brake Rotors

“Marathon Brake Systems, a heavy-duty friction leader for more than 30 years, has applied its braking expertise to develop a complete line of DiscStar air disc brake rotors for a variety of heavy-duty applications. Marathon introduced its first DiscStar air disc pad for transit applications in 2003. Marathon’s new air disc rotors are manufactured to OE thickness specifications to resist warping and cracking issues caused by high temperature applications. DiscStar air disc brake rotors are designed to address a wide range of aftermarket air disc brake applications, including on-highway trucks and trailers, motor coaches, transit buses, school buses, fire trucks, waste haulers and many others,” said the company. DiscStar rotors feature an optimized venting design and maximized heat sink to further enhance its thermal resistance properties. DiscStar rotors are engineered to ECE R90 European standards, and feature a pillar venting design for faster cooling, less “heat checking” and cracking. Marathon's rotors are manufactured in an ISO 9000/TS16949 certified plant, and are geometrically tested for design, metallurgical composition, hardness and balance. In addition, the rotors undergo a thermal integrity test at high loads. “Utilizing Marathon’s DiscStar rotors, in combination with proven DiscStar pads, will provide smooth stopping and a longer service life to lower a fleet's maintenance costs,” according to a company press release. “Marathon air disc pads have been proven performers for more than 15 years in a wide range of applications. DiscStar Pad and rotor com-

patibility has been engineered into both the friction material as well as the rotor, and verified with RP628C and SAE J2115 wear testing standards. Marathon has developed specific pad formulations and rotor designs for a wide range of on-highway, motor coach, school bus, severe duty and transit bus applications.” Marathon Brake Systems has been serving the North American industry for more than 25 years. Marathon offers a complete family of friction materials, with brake linings for general over-the-road and transit applications, as well as a variety of severe-duty vehicles, including liquid tanker, grain, cement, logging, sand and gravel, oil delivery and refuse trucks. For more information, visit www.MarathonBrake.com.

ABC Delivers Diesel-To-Electric Repowered Motorcoach

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“I think other transportation agencies would benefit greatly by what I call ‘mingling’ with community leaders who know everybody, especially in small cities and towns, such as the ones we service. We go to the main source, who are people who know people.”

Sensitivity And Understanding Keys To Passenger Comfort And Safety

Texas Transit Agency Has Battled Weather And COVID While Maintaining Service

O

By Rick Mullen, Busline Magazine Associate Editor

Bobby Williams, TRAX operations coordinator

perating under the umbrella of the Ark-Tex Council of Governments, with its headquarters in Texarkana, TX, TRAX Rural Public Transportation services a nine-county area in northeastern Texas.

The Ark-Tex Council of Governments is a voluntary association of local governments established under state law to promote intergovernmental cooperation and strengthen units of local government. Its primary goal is to improve the quality of life for all citizens of the region by providing resources, programs, and services (including public transportation) and coordinating funding. “TRAX’s service region encompasses about 6,400 square miles,” said Bobby Williams, TRAX operations coordinator, during a recent interview with Busline Magazine. To put the agency’s service region in perspective, 6,400 square miles is larger than, or nearly as large, as six states — Massachusetts, 7,838 square miles; New Jersey, 7,419 square miles; Hawaii, 6,423 square miles; Connecticut, 4,845 square miles; Delaware, 1,955 square miles; and Rhode Island, 1,034 square miles. TRAX provides low-cost transportation for Bowie, Cass, Delta, Franklin, Hopkins, Lamar, Morris, Red River, and Titus counties from passengers’ homes or other designated pickup points. Texarkana is located in the far northeastern corner of Texas. The city straddles the Texas/Arkansas state line. TRAX’s service region lies to the west, southwest, and northwest of Texarkana and

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includes several smaller communities. “Many of the counties in the region don’t have hospitals or other service providers,” Williams said. “TRAX is the only public transportation agency in the region that provides demand/response service.” TRAX vehicles travel a yearly average of about 104,000 miles. The average annual ridership is 114,000 trips, Williams said. While not limited to, TRAX’s primary ridership demographic is people 60 years old and older. Rural transportation’s primary mission is to transport people to grocery shopping, pay bills, doctor appointments, dialysis centers, to the bank, to the beauty shop, to and from work, wherever riders need to go, Williams said. “The majority of our riders are seniors,” Williams said. “However, in Titus County, there is a large chicken processing plant. So, in that area, we take a lot of people to and from work. We go as far as taking people to the movies.” A separate agency, the T-Line Bus System, also operating under the Ark-Tex Council of Governments, provides fixed-route service in Texarkana. In 2016, TRAX introduced the Paris Metro Service, located in Paris, TX, about 94 miles west of Texarkana, which operates four fixed-routes and paratransit service. For its fixed-routes, Paris Metro daily operates four Freedom bus models from ARBOC Specialty Vehicles, with one Freedom bus in reserve, Williams said.


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I

TRAX operates five ARBOC Freedom buses at Paris Metro, in Paris, TX, with four more on the way.

“In October 2019, Mark Compton and I were invited to visit ARBOC’s manufacturing facility in Middlebury, IN,” Williams said. “ARBOC representatives introduced us to the Freedom model. We liked the vehicles, and, not only that, we were impressed by the professionalism displayed by ARBOC’s sales reps and managers.” In addition to the ARBOC buses currently in use in Paris, TRAX has four more buses on order, making nine Freedom buses in TRAX’s fleet. The new buses are expected to arrive by the end of May or early June. “We recently finished a route study for Paris. Also, we are in the process of purchasing a new transit facility in that location. Hopefully, we will have that transaction finished by April or May, and, after that, we are going to look at expanding service,” Williams said.

THE STORM AND COVID

n mid-February, an unprecedented winter storm hit Texas and many other states. The storm caused the deaths of at least 26 people in Texas, according to cnn.com. Millions of people lost their power, forcing families to huddle over a fireplace, scavenge for firewood or spend nights in their car trying to stay warm. Others spent hours searching for food as shelves emptied and weather conditions led to food supply chain problems. The frigid temperatures caused pipes to burst, leading to water disruptions for roughly half the state’s population. COVID-19 relief efforts, including food banks, were shuttered. Vaccine shipments were delayed, and many canceled appointments, the CNN report said.

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Indeed, as of March 5, there have been at Ultimately, the catastrophic weather least 2,683,840 cases and 44,920 deaths in event caused TRAX and the T-Line Bus Texas, since the beginning of the pandemic, System in Texarkana to pull their vehicles according to a New York Times database. off the road. Similar to the storm, as the COVID-19 cri“We heard on the news it was going to be sis began to ramp up, TRAX officials did not pretty bad, but we didn’t think it was going think the pandemic would become as serious to be as bad as it was,” Williams said. “Foras it did. tunately, our supervisors sprang into action “We listened to reports saying COVID right away. We contacted operators to inwas not as bad in the U.S., as it was in other form them of what we might be facing and countries,” Williams said. “When it hit us let them know we would pull them off the hard, a lot of things changed dramatically all road if conditions worsened. over the country. “It got worse, and we pulled them off the “In response to COVID-19, we had to step road for a week. Our employees are very up cleaning and disinfecting procedures sigvaluable. We didn’t want to endanger our nificantly. We had to spend money to install operators’ lives by having them on the road. sanitizers in our stations. We followed CDC “On Monday, Feb. 22, at about 4:30 guidelines for social distancing and enforca.m., our supervisors checked service areas ing limited seating. to make sure the bridges and overpasses “We had to make some moves immediwere safe. Based on their reports, we gave ately because we still had passengers, espethe OK to put our vehicles back in service cially those on dialysis, who needed to get by 6:30 a.m. Lymon Samis has been to doctor’s appointments. People also des“All office workers are continuing to work a TRAX operator for 20 years. perately needed to go to the grocery store. from home. Before the storm, the majority “We provided protective equipment supplies to all of our operof us were already working from home because of COVID. We ators. We ordered supplies before some other agencies even conducted all meetings via Zoom.” thought about it. The winter storm crisis was a double whammy, as it occurred on top of the state’s ongoing battle with the COVID-19 pandemic. “Our transit director has a military background, and he insisted we

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had to act immediately, while, in the back of my mind, I was thinking, ‘It hasn’t even hit us that hard yet.’ “I am thankful for him, as it wasn’t long before other agencies were running out of protective items. It wasn’t good. People couldn’t buy gloves and masks anywhere. However, we had enough supplies that we could give other agencies a few cases of gloves and masks. We were prepared and well stocked because (Compton) took action immediately.” In the ensuing weeks and months, as the pandemic continued to ravage the country, TRAX officials decided to ramp up their efforts in combating the virus. “We really wanted to make sure our operation was safe. We purchased fiberglass barriers to protect operators. For our ARBOC city buses in Paris, we purchased ProAir HEPA-3 air filter systems, which filter the air for COVID, or any other type of virus,” Williams said. “It is a wonderful product, and I’m hoping other agencies purchase them with the available funding. “Also, we recently were approved to purchase AeroClave decontamination foggers to be placed in all of our vehicles. At the end of the day, when the operator gets ready to go home, he/she will turn on the fogger for five minutes, and it will decontaminate the entire vehicle. It is a really good system. It is expensive, but our operators and passengers are worth it.” In addition, every other seat in our Metro buses was blocked to

accomplish social distancing. To make up for the buses’ limited capacity, supervisors in other vehicles do what the agency calls “following.” That is, the supervisor will follow behind the city bus and pick up any overflow passengers at a bus stop. Williams lauded the dedication and courage of TRAX operators as they service the riding public. “There are undoubtably passengers who are contagious, putting our operators’ lives in danger every day,” Williams said. “We decided to

Debrah Waller is a dispatcher/scheduler for Paris Metro.

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give drivers an additional $3 an hour essential pay that we receive from CARE funding, just to show how much we appreciate them.” As more and more people become eligible for COVID19 vaccine shots, TRAX is working on ramping up to run a “vaccine” route. “There will be many more people who will want to be vaccinated. We are trying to hire enough part-time operators to start a vaccine route, so we can pick up people and take them to where they can be vaccinated,” Williams said. “Right now, it is kind of slow, but once they finish vaccinating seniors, I think it is going to explode, and people are going to need transportation more than ever. “Ridership has decreased a lot because of COVID. There are many people who are afraid. I’m afraid. I was hospitalized with COVID for five days. I think once the pandemic starts dying down, people are going to want to start getting out, and I want us to be prepared. I hope we can regain the passengers we have lost during the pandemic.”

T

CUSTOMER-CENTERED SERVICE — A SAFE, COMFORTABLE RIDE

RAX’s customer service philosophy is anchored in supplying the service riders want, while providing information and assistance to make reaching their destinations less complex, Williams said.

TRAX mechanic Garrett Lyons (left) and Maintenance Supervisor Scott Brock work in the transit agency’s maintenance facility.

“We have very professional drivers. We work hard to satisfy our passengers,” Williams said. “In fact, during training, we have the following posted on the wall — ‘We acknowledge that passengers are our business and that each person who contacts our organization is necessary. We treat them as guests, listen to their questions

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and provide them with excellent customer service. We understand that our mission is to provide safe, reliable and on-time service. We acknowledge that while the passenger may not always be right, (he/she) still deserves dignity and respect.’ “When we conduct training, we have our operators learn that message. Furthermore, at times, we drill them on that message. Our operators are highly trained to make sure passengers are safe and comfortable.” While many public transit agencies find public meetings are a good marketing tool to help grow ridership, Williams has found just conducting public meetings has not been particularly effective for TRAX. Indeed, in the agency’s large service area, it can be difficult for people, especially senior citizens, to travel to meetings. “We visit senior centers and talk with people about public transportation,” TRAX Operations Coordinator Bobby Williams is pictured with an ARBOC Freedom bus. Williams said. “The majority of riders at church, the ministers can help explain to their members what we using our demand and response service are elderly.” do and what we offer, which has been a very successful undertakAnother successful strategy has been to develop close relationing. One result of building relationships with community leaders ships with community leaders. Once a year, in Texarkana, area minis, in Cass County, ridership has grown from 80 to 115 trips a month isters gather for a large meeting. to 500 to 600 trips monthly. “I like to attend those meetings and talk about public transportation, TRAX routing and other related topics,” Williams said. “Then, Continued On Page 30

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TRAX Rural Public Transportation: Continued From Page 27

and cultivate people who are able to exhibit sensitivity and understanding, especially with its elderly riders. “Sensitivity and understanding are the main aspects of our driver “I think other transportation agencies would benefit greatly by training because operators must be sensitive to, and understand, their what I call ‘mingling’ with community leaders who know everybody, passengers’ needs and disabilities,” Williams said. “If an operator especially in small cities and towns, such as the ones we service. We doesn’t understand what being disabled is, whether people have go to the main source, who are people who know people.” mental disabilities, or mobility issues, or whatever, how can he/she be a good driver?” SENSITIVITY AND UNDERSTANDING New drivers at TRAX begin their training in “as-needed” positions. The idea is to give drivers the “feel” of public transportation s TRAX services many elderly riders, some of whom also before they are put out on their own, Williams explained. After being have medical and physical challenges, the foundation of an on as-needed status for awhile, the driver trainee will move into a operator’s training is based on “sensitivity” and “understandfull-time position as one becomes available. ing,” Williams said. “I personally conduct a lot of the training. I’ve been in the business almost 23 years as a trainer,” Williams said. “One result of building relationships with community A trainer must know and have experience in many asleaders is, in Cass County, ridership has grown from pects of the public transportation industry. 80 to 115 trips a month to 500 to 600 trips monthly.” Williams explained, “I worked as an operator for seven years. After that, I worked in the maintenance department — Bobby Williams, TRAX operations coordinator for three years. I left the maintenance department and became a dispatcher, and now I am the operations coordinator.” “Other agencies might focus their operator training on other topics, Once a driver finishes initial training, he/she goes out into the but the most important part of our training revolves around sensitivfield, where a supervisor rides along for four or five days, after ity and understanding,” Williams said. “We service an area that is which, the driver will be on his/her own, Williams said. After three very family oriented, so we try to make sure people are happy. We months, Williams will ride along with new drivers to make sure they could give riders quality service and still have operators with bad atare properly servicing passengers who are using wheelchairs. titudes, but that is not what we want.” “I will make sure the wheelchair passenger is secured the right TRAX goes to great lengths in its operator training efforts to find way, and that the driver displays sensitivity and understanding while doing so,” Williams said. Once a year, TRAX has a special day-long driver-appreciation event, which includes recertification sessions in the morning. After a luncheon, award ceremonies are conducted. “We have a really good time,” Williams said. “Our employees look forward to the appreciation meeting each year.” In addition to operators, TRAX employs dispatchers, office personnel, supervisors and managers. “We have offices in Paris and Texarkana,” Williams said. “In Paris, we have three dispatchers, and there are dispatchers at our Texarkana facility, as well. “In addition, we operate a maintenance facility in Mount Pleasant, located in the central part of our region.”

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WHAT MIGHT THE FUTURE BRING?

ny discussion about the future of public transportation will likely include the subject of how autonomous vehicles can be best utilized. “I know, sooner or later, autonomous vehicles will be looked at by TRAX,” Williams said. “I feel strongly that autonomous buses must have a transit employee on board. Computers respond to algorithms and binary codes. People act on impulses triggered by a particular situation. I rode in a vehicle that had sensors to keep it in the proper lane.


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Sensors are good, but sensors can’t make the quick situational responses that humans can. “We train drivers to be sensitive and understanding, but if you don’t have a person onboard, what good is that? I was transporting a lady who laid down in a seat. At first, I thought she was resting, but then I realized she was in a diabetic coma. How would a computer be able to react in an emergency situation like that?”

“Other agencies might focus their operator training on other topics, but the most important part of our training revolves around sensitivity and understanding.”

In discussing the future of public transit, in general, Williams said it is still viewed by too many as a mode for economically disadvantaged people who can’t afford a car. In contrast, it is Williams’ hope that people will more and more realize the advantages of taking the bus, no matter their economic status. “It saves money on gas, and a person doesn’t have to sit in traffic jams all day,” Williams said. “In addition, there are economic and environmental benefits to having a viable transportation alternative to cars.” Williams suggests that aggressive television and other media advertising campaigns, showing people what public transportation can offer, would help motivate people to give the bus a try. He spoke of a past “Meeting on the Bus” event. “We parked one of our buses in a designated area and rolled out a red carpet. We offered some bulletins and tracts about public transportation,” Williams said. “People showed up and asked, ‘What is this about?’ I told them, ‘This bus goes to your community three times a day and takes people to Texarkana, to the doctor, or the Greyhound station — wherever they want to go.’ Some people said, ‘Wow. I thought you guys just picked up old people.’ “Public transportation is a rewarding career. We make a difference. There are so many people who have nowhere to go — so many who have lost loved ones. Some people have absolutely no one. When I was a driver, I had passengers tell me I was the only face they would see that day. The reward is helping people. To be able to get them where they need to go, while understanding and being sensitive to their wants and needs.” Contact: TRAX Rural Public Transportation, 4808 Elizabeth St., Texarkana, TX 75503. Phone: 866-575-9014. Website: atcog.org.

Trans Air Announces The Arrival Of Premium 4-Layer Anti-Microbial Filters

“Trans/Air has recently joined forces with Freudenberg Filtration Technologies to provide world class proprietary filtration technology to the bus and transit markets. It proves to be 99.9 percent effective at inactivating viruses such as swine flu and Coronaviruses when in contact with the special active layer,” said the company.

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As part of our consultative approach to risk management, we are committed to doing whatever it takes to help our insureds run the safest operation possible. As business ramps up for a post COVID era National Interstate knows how crucial it is that our insureds take a moment to review safety protocol and ensure everyone is prepared to return to a safe and healthy environment. To assist, National Interstate has developed some recommendations for returning to work which can be utilized to help our insureds with reducing the likelihood of employee injuries and accidents. Below you will find guidance and resources from governmental agencies in addition to National Interstate’s Risk Management Website to assist you with solutions for these items. This is not intended to be a comprehensive or all-encompassing checklist. We recommend that you also review your individual state guidelines and always comply with state policies and restrictions.

GENERAL SAFETY • Defensive Driver Refresher Training • Distracted Driver Training Review • Injury Prevention Refresher Training (Slips/Trips/Falls, Sprains/Strains & Situational Awareness) • Ensure Proper Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is Provided & Practices are Followed in Accordance with CDC • Sanitizing Vehicles and Workspaces • Review Company Policies & Procedures • Refresher Training on Industry Related Topics That Are Vital to Operating Safely COMPLIANCE • Driver’s Licenses are Valid • Employees Physicals Are Valid • Drug and Alcohol Program is Compliant • Vehicles are Current on Their Preventative & Periodic Maintenance Schedules • Pre-Trips are Conducted on All Vehicles Prior to Operation • Hours-of-Service Compliance • Annual Inquiry and Review of Driving Record if Applicable

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RLI Transportation:

Demonstrates Its Solid Commitment To The Public Auto Industry Suspension And Reinstatement Program

LI Transportation continues to tangibly demonstrate the commitment to our customers through a unique suspension and reactivation program. When COVID-19 caused a significant reduction in ridership for our Public Auto customers, RLI Transportation supported our customers by offering the ability to temporarily suspend specific coverages for specific vehicles, without charge, and reinstate that coverage by endorsement with pro-rated premium.

The coverage suspension can be applied to all or a portion of the fleet, and if needed, physical damage only coverage can be maintained on specified vehicles. There is no premium charged for suspended coverage during the time of suspension, just as though these vehicles and/or coverages were deleted from the policy.

We recognized a need to remove the administrative burden of this program for our customers and agency partners. We have allowed our customers to keep their plates active during the time the vehicles are not being used, eliminating the need to turn in their plates or deactivate their vehicle registrations to be a part of this suspension program. The vast majority of our Public Auto customers have taken advantage of this program, and it has been very popular. We have no plans to end it until the crisis impacting the passenger transportation industry is over. RLI Transportation appreciates the ongoing support of our agency partners. We collectively recognized that we needed to work together to help our customers survive. It was the right thing to do for the industry we serve, and is our way of giving back. Additional benefits of partnering with RLI Transportation include: n Excellent financial strength (A+ AM Best Rated); n Underwriters with significant experience and expertise in, and sole focus on, the Public Auto Industry; n Loss Control services designed to help you improve safety and reduce costs; n Camera Telematics Program with up to 5 percent premium credit; and, n Responsive and experienced Claims Department. If you are interested in learning more about RLI Transportation or this program contact: RLI Transportation Mike Haswell – AVP. Phone: 404-443-1037. Address: 2970 Clairmont Rd., Suite 1000, Atlanta, GA 30329. Email: Mike.haswell@rlicorp.com. Websites: www.rlicorp.com/public-transportation; www.rlicorp.com.

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RLI’S CHARTER BUS INSURANCE HELPS KEEP YOU ON THE ROAD RLI Transportation offers comprehensive insurance solutions to protect charter bus operations from the unique business risks they face. Our experienced public auto team values building long-term relationships with our customers. When you partner with RLI, you can expect innovative solutions and outstanding service from a financially strong and stable carrier that understands your business. From our specialized insurance products to our focus on your success, we’re different. And at RLI,

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Service Insurance Agency:

During Difficult Times, The Relationship With Your Insurance Agent Is Even More Important

ords of wisdom are sometimes hard to come by, especially during difficult times. Currently, we are in one of the toughest times in recent history. The COVID19 pandemic has devastated the Motorcoach Industry in the United States. The last 12 months have presented a variety of challenges for our customers, and the next 12 months will require even more patience and perseverance. During these difficult times, your relationship with your insurance agent is even more important. Communication is critical, so that we can provide timely options to the ever-changing marketplace. With almost 70 years of experience providing transportation insurance, Service Insurance Agency representatives have the knowledge, and dedication, to help motorcoach operators survive, and thrive, in today’s business climate. With a dedicated team of customer service representatives (CSR’s) and producers, Service Insurance Agency provides the value-added benefits that are critical today. The agency, with its headquarters in Richmond, VA, and a satellite office just outside of Atlanta, GA, can provide a variety of insurance products for the transportation industry. That includes: Auto Liability, Physical Damage, General Liability, Worker’s Compensation, Garage and Garage Keeper’s Legal Liability. The agency also provides additional help in such areas as driver selection, drug and alcohol testing, DOT compliance, and safety seminars. “We are one of the largest insurance agencies in the Southeast, providing transportation insurance solutions to our 650 motorcoach clients,” Service Insurance Agency President Tim O’Bryan said. “We have a staff of insurance professionals that is

dedicated to the motorcoach industry. With our team’s collective transportation insurance experience, we are able to provide our clients, as well as our potential clients, with valuable insight.” The producers include Service Insurance Agency President Tim O’Bryan, located in Richmond, VA, along with Ann Phillips, in Richmond, VA, and Ed Richards, in Dacula, GA. “From an agency’s standpoint, we help our insureds with various situations in the operation of their businesses, whether it’s insurance related or not. Our clients will ask us questions that the non-transportation agent may not be aware of,” Mr. O’Bryan said. He added that a non-transportation agent, or agency, may not be aware of the unique challenges that face the motorcoach operator everyday. “We are constantly discussing the various COVID-19 relief options with our clients, so that they can make the most informed decisions for their companies,” Mr. O’Bryan said. He explained that as operators strive to return to some sense of normalcy, they need to ask themselves the following questions: n What can I do to make my company the safest company possible?; n Am I doing the necessary things to ensure that I have the highest quality drivers?; n Am I providing the highest level of training possible?; and, n Are my vehicles maintained and serviced to a higher standard than those mandated by the local DOT? “All of those questions are critical to ensure that each motorcoach operator is doing his/her part to be as safe as possible. And in doing so, will help to reduce insurance costs in the coming years,” Mr. O’Bryan said.

“As an agency that specializes in the motorcoach industry, we welcome the opportunity to work with our clients in all of these areas. Service Insurance Agency lives and breathes this industry. We serve on various state association boards to provide insight and to help all members — whether or not they are a client — become the most informed motorcoach operators possible,” Mr. O’Bryan added. “We are committed to strengthening our relationship with our clients, and the various state motorcoach associations, to guarantee the stability and future of the industry that support us. “These are trying times. It’s important that we all work together. Service Insurance Agency has been in this business since 1952, and we have guided our clients through a variety of business climates. Please contact any of our experienced insurance professional to discuss your needs.”

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Tim O’Bryan, President 6850 Catawba Lane Richmond, VA 23226 1-800-444-0205 ext 303 Cell 804-914-6993 tobryan@serviceins.com

BUSLINE

Contact: Service Insurance Agency Ann Phillips 6850 Catawba Lane Richmond, VA 23226 1-800-444-0204 ext 308 ann@serviceins.com

March/April 2021

Ed Richards 1-404-384-9413 ed@serviceins.com


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5Star Specialty Programs:

Safety Strategies To Improve Risk Management

RISK MANAGEMENT An active and effective program is essential for any fleet looking to protect drivers, reputation and the bottom line. Safety strategies to improve risk management should include plans and programs that focus on people and developed processes. The key to this strategy is accountability and respon-

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See us at UMA Expo Booth #416 March/April 2021

sibility for management of risk. Moving from being purely a corporate function to being owned and managed by the divisional operations staff and employees is important. Efforts must include top-down support, communication from senior executives, engagement by operations managers, and feedback and participation by line employees. OPERATIONAL & ACCOUNTABILITY CLAIMS REPORTING Operating managers must become engaged in the post-loss management of losses/claims. Training of proper documentation and reporting should be provided to the division manager level. CLAIM & LOSS REPORTING Each operating manager should receive monthly claim and loss reports to provide him/her with information regarding claim frequency and the dollar impact of the losses. The information should allow managers to identify key loss drivers and trends, and help them to begin prevention programs and efforts. FINANCIAL REPORTING & ACCOUNTABILITY Financial accountability will provide significant new focus and interest on cost control through both prevention and improved claims management. SAFETY STRATEGY It’s important to assess operations, obtain information and feedback from managers and employees, and conduct a needs and gap analysis. This will allow for a greater focus on managers and employees in order to drive improvements in results. SAFETY VISION Developing a statement for the company as it relates to safety as a core value is critical. This statement should be communicated through multiple channels (company newsletters, posters, communication from managers/supervisors). Routine communication should also be used to present the message. SAFETY METRICS A process of identifying measuring performance against internal and external benchmarks to measure safety performance by division is necessary. External Continued On Page 53


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TIB Transportation Insurance Brokers:

Committed To The Transportation Industry, And Only This Industry

TIB Transportation Insurance Brokers is the largest agency in the country dedicated solely to the transportation industry. Headquartered in Glendale, CA, with offices in Minneapolis/St. Paul, Orlando, Baltimore, Chicago, Lometa, and New York, TIB serves more than 5,000 bus and limousine clients nationally. It’s committed to the transportation industry, and only that industry. All of its clients have commercial auto exposures with the vast majority being certificated carriers. At TIB, tough transportation insurance problems are handled every day. The company is staffed to provide clients with the finest service of any broker in the industry. TIB’s goal is to work together as a team to take care of clients. It offers high quality services, trouble-free relationships and rapid response to a customer’s needs through the strength of TIB’s national network. TIB’s specialization and commitment to the transportation industry ensures that by focusing only on this marketplace, it can devote the energy and resources necessary to be at the leading edge of the transportation insurance field. All clients have their own personal account executive. In addition, they are provided with an assistant account executive to handle their standard requests such as certificates, endorsements, filings, etc., and an accounting representative who knows their exact premium status. Clients always have total access to TIB’s corporate management team, who can provide assistance for a client’s risk management needs.

The transportation industry has traditionally experienced problems securing programs which provide adequate coverage and competitive pricing. As brokers, TIB works for the clients, explaining the various plans and programs and helping them determine the insurance policies which best suit their needs. TIB is not captive to a single insurance company; therefore, it can offer options and alternatives, rather than providing a client with one — and only one — insurance program. TIB is keenly aware of changes in the marketplace because the company is there, immersed in it everyday. Obviously, change is a part of the environment, and indeed, a dynamic force affecting all of us. TIB’s goal is to always be on the cutting edge — to discern the good from the potentially damaging; to keep the concerns and goals of its clients foremost in its actions and reactions to the times. All of TIB’s accounts are important to the company, no matter what their size, starting with the largest customers right down to individual owner/operators. The success of each and every one of these customers is an integral part of TIB’s success — this fact is always on the minds of TIB professionals as they serve the company’s client base.

“KEEPING YOU IN MOTION IS OUR COMMITMENT — HAVING YOU AS ONE OF OUR CLIENTS IS OUR PLEASURE”

Keeping You in Motion

Transportation Insurance Brokers

800-248-2877

818-246-2800

www.tibinsurance.com LOS ANGELES t NEW YORK tBALTIMORE t MINNEAPOLIS/ST. PAUL ORLANDO tCHICAGO tLOMETA CA LIC. #0705008

See us at UMA Expo Booth #526

March/April 2021

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2021 UMA MOTORCOACH EXPO Scheduled For April 21-25 In Orlando

The United Motorcoach Association’s (UMA) rescheduled 2021 UMA Motorcoach Expo is set for April 21-25, at the Orange County Convention Center, in Orlando, FL. This year’s Expo theme is, “A Generational Gathering,” as UMA is marking 50 years of serving a North American motorcoach industry filled with hundreds of small, family-owned and multi-generational businesses. UMA was orignally known as the United Bus Owners Association (UBOA), until a name change in 1996. The 2021 UMA Motorcoach Expo was rescheduled from an original March date due to the COVID-19 pandemic. According to UMA, it has planned an event that puts into place best practices for hygiene and preventative measures against the COVID virus. Masks will be required for all participants, and added measures will be implemented for proper social distancing. Also, most Expo-related meals will be served in a “grab-and-go” format to minimize contact. According to UMA, “The Orange County Convention Center is expansive. The exhibit hall floor as well as meeting rooms, ballrooms and concourses will provide more than enough space to safely distance. The convention center is also equipped with ample hand sanitizer stations and health and safety signage reminders. Cleaning protocols for the facility are first rate, and Orlando, as a whole, is rated No. 1 for ‘Healthy Meetings’ thanks to the Global Biorisk Advisory Council® (GBAC) STAR™ accreditation of the city’s convention center and airport.” UMA Expo Committee Chair Scott Riccio, of Northeast Charter & Tour Company, stated during a recent UMA town hall virtual meeting that a lot of work has taken place, behind the scenes, so that Expo attendees and vendors can enjoy a great experience. Listed below is the 2021 UMA Motorcoach Expo daily schedule: WEDNESDAY, APRIL 21 Registration is open from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. The State Association Regional Meetings will take place from 1 to 3 p.m., followed by the State Association Summit, scheduled for 3 to 5 p.m. The UMA Welcome Reception is scheduled from 5:30 to 7 p.m. The event is open to all association attendees.

THURSDAY, APRIL 22 The day begins with UMA registration from 7 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. There will be a continental breakfast from 8 to 9 a.m. The UMA Expo Opening Session is scheduled from 9 to 11 a.m. Guest speaker will be Wayne Smith, the founding executive director of UBOA. The first group of UMA Concurrent Solution Sessions is scheduled from 11:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m. on Thursday. Topics are: One Day At A Time; and, The Rules Of Engagement. The UMA Luncheon will take place from 12:30 to 1:45 p.m. The keynote speaker will be Harris Rosen, founder of Rosen Hotels & Resorts.

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The second group of UMA Concurrent Solution Sessions is scheduled from 2 to 3 p.m. on Thursday. Topics are: Flip Or Fly; and, Efficiency Is King. From 3:15 to 4:15 p.m., a UMA Afternoon Session will take place, with sales trainer and consultant Jim Pancero discussing, “Pulling It All Together.” A key event on Thursday will be the UMA Expo Exhibit Hall Sneak Preview, from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. Exhibitors will provide demonstrations and showcase various industry products and services during the sneak preview. A Sneak Preview After-Party is to take place from 7 to 10 p.m. with a casual outdoor dinner.

FRIDAY, APRIL 23 Friday’s UMA Expo registration is scheduled from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Meanwhile, a continental breakfast will be offered from 8 to 8:45 a.m. The UMA General Session will take place from 8:45 to 9:45 a.m., featuring business author and consultant Stephen Shapiro as speaker. He will discuss, “Solving Difficult Problems During Difficult Times.” Also on Friday, from 9 a.m. to noon., will be a virtual and on-site driver training program, covering many driver-related topics. The UMA Expo exhibit hall will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Friday, allowing attendees a full day to visit with vendors. Lunch will be served from noon to 2 p.m. Friday’s final event will be an outdoor barbecue dinner, scheduled from 6:30 to 9 p.m.

SATURDAY, APRIL 24 The inaugural Breakfast With The Buses is set for 8 to 10 a.m. on Saturday, April 24. The outdoor event, located at the front entrance of the convention center, will provide attendees with the opportunity to view preowned and new vehicles. Saturday is also the final day that the exhibit hall will be open during the 2021 UMA Motorcoach Expo. Show floor hours are 10 a.m. until noon, with registration beginning at 9 a.m. SUNDAY, APRIL 25 The UMA annual golf outing is scheduled for 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday.

Visit www.motorcoachexpo.com for more information.

All dates, times and events are subject to change.

Visit Busline During UMA At

Booth #111


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ARBOC Specialty Vehicles

ARBOC Specialty Vehicles

Freedom

Mobility

The Freedom, built on the General Motors 4500 or Ford E450 cutaway chassis, utilizes the standard OEM spring suspension to create a low-floor, ADA-compliant bus capable of a 1:5 ramp angle; all with an exceptionally low price point. Utilizing the GM or Ford suspension provides reduced maintenance costs over the life cycle, making it comparable to any standard floor cutaway. The spacious 39-inch entranceway and single plane floor inside the vehicle offer passengers the opportunity to experience fully-accessible, easy-to-navigate mobility. All passengers can truly experience what Equal Access for Everyone™ means.

The ARBOC Mobility is built on the General Motors 4500 or Ford E450 cutaway chassis, utilizing a four-corner air-ride suspension with a beneficial kneeling feature. This allows for an entrance of less than 5-inches from the curb and a minimum 1:6 ramp angle. The Mobility provides a single, non-discriminatory and accessible entranceway. Riders of all abilities no longer need to contend with steps and can easily navigate throughout the bus.

ARBOC Specialty Vehicles 51165 Greenfield Pkwy., Middlebury, IN 46540 574-825-1720 Website: www.ARBOCsv.com

Model......................................................................................................Freedom Seating Capacity...................................................................................Up to 21 Length................................................................................................24’, 27’, 29’ Width ...........................................................................96” (GM) or 100” (Ford) Height ..............................................................................................................115” Engine ...........................................................6.6L Gas (GM) / 7.3L Gas (Ford) Type of Fuel ....................................................................................................Gas Chassis...............................................................................GM4500, Ford E450 Wheelchair Lift Option.................................................................Braun ramp Suspension ...............................................................OEM spring suspension or optional Liquid Spring or MOR/Ryde Page 42

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ARBOC Specialty Vehicles 51165 Greenfield Pkwy., Middlebury, IN 46540 574-825-1720 Website: www.ARBOCsv.com

Model .......................................................................................................Mobility Seating Capacity...................................................................................Up to 21 Length................................................................................................23’, 26’, 28’ Width ...........................................................................96” (GM) or 100” (Ford) Height ..............................................................................................................115” Engine ...........................................................6.6L Gas (GM) / 7.3L Gas (Ford) Type of Fuel ....................................................................................................Gas Chassis...............................................................................GM4500, Ford E450 Wheelchair Lift Option.................................................................Braun ramp Suspension..............................................................4-corner air suspension


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ARBOC Specialty Vehicles

ARBOC Specialty Vehicles

Independence Equess ARBOC’s Equess, a low-floor transit bus built on an ARBOC Specialty Vehicles chassis with monocoque design, can accommodate up to 33 seated passengers or 6 wheelchair passengers. This bus features a completely flat floor with no steps throughout the interior. ARBOC’s advanced technology exceeds ADA guidelines with a 1:8 ramp slope and 39-inch door opening for passengers in need of superior accessibility. This 10-year bus utilizes heavyduty ZF axles, which allow plenty of GVWR for extra standees. The Equess CHARGE, the zero-emission battery-electric version of the Equess, is now available beginning March 1. The CHARGE utilizes the proven battery-electric technology from New Flyer, and offers a range of approximately 230 miles on a single charge.

ARBOC Specialty Vehicles 51165 Greenfield Pkwy., Middlebury, IN 46540 574-825-1720 Website: www.ARBOCsv.com

Model .........................................................................................................Equess Seating Capacity.........................Up to 33 ambulatory or 6 wheelchairs Length................................................................................................27’, 30’, 35’ Width...............................................................................................................100” Height...........................................................................102” (D/CNG)/120” (EV) Engine ....................................................Cummins ISB 6.7L Diesel/6.7G CNG Type of Fuel................................................................................Diesel/CNG/EV Chassis...................................................................ARBOC Specialty Vehicles Wheelchair Lift Option.................................................................Braun ramp Suspension ................................4-corner air suspension with 6 air bags

Built on the fuel-efficient Ford transit chassis, the Independence offers a low cost of ownership while maintaining the safety and dependability that is expected from ARBOC. The 96-inch wide body allows for easy maneuverability inside the vehicle. With a GVWR of 11,000 pounds and an available passenger capacity of up to 14 ambulatory or 5 wheelchairs, the Ford Independence is ideal for transit agencies that are looking for smaller low-floor buses. Backed by the reliable Ford dealer network, the Independence offers convenience and ease of serviceability.

ARBOC Specialty Vehicles 51165 Greenfield Pkwy., Middlebury, IN 46540 574-825-1720 Website: www.ARBOCsv.com

Model ...........................................................................................Independence Seating Capacity..........................Up to 14 ambulatory or 5 wheelchairs Length..........................................................................................................24’ 6” Width.................................................................................................................96” Height .............................................................................................................103” Engine ..........................................................................................3.5L EcoBoost Type of Fuel ....................................................................................................Gas Chassis.................................................................Ford Transit T350 Cutaway Wheelchair Lift Option.................................................................Braun ramp Suspension ...............................................................OEM spring suspension or optional AutoFlex air suspension March/April 2021

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Micro Bird Commercial

Micro Bird Commercial

CT-Series

CTS-Series

Offered in gas, recent tests demonstrate an impressive day-to-day fuel economy of up to 38 percent compared to other shuttle bus chassis. The transit chassis also offers an encased capless fuel filter and an improved engine compartment layout, in both 3.5L Ecoboost and 3.5L gas engines, that are proven worldwide. In addition to many of the Micro Bird body benefits such as the reinforced structure and the superior insulation, the CT-Series wide center aisle creates more room for passengers enhancing the comfort. The design offers optimized driver ergonomics, and the overall look of this vehicle is contemporary and stylish.

Micro Bird Commercial designs and manufactures a complete line of commercial buses built with superior durability. The CTS-Series delivers exceptional safety and stability, making this bus an excellent choice for special needs applications. This bus is ready to be equipped with a variety of options to suit the needs of any passenger, disabled or not. The CTS-Series (CT-Series) offers more visibility and a more comfortable driver’s area, with easy access to controls. The double-leaf wheelchair doors offer protection on both sides of the lift, thus adding to passenger safety, while offering superior weather seal and door strength.

Micro Bird Commercial 3000 Girardin Street Drummondville, Quebec J2E 0A1 Fax: (819) 475-9633 Email: commercial@microbird.com www.mbcbus.com Sales Contact Person: James Mansell 819-473-3366 • james.mansell@microbird.com Sales Contact Person: Christopher Shigley 402-889-1097 • Christopher.Shigley@microbird.com

Model.....................................................................................................CT-Series Seating Capacity............................................................Up to 17 passengers Length ............................................................................................................273” Width ................................................................................................................86” Height .............................................................................................................106” Engine.......................................................................3.5L Gas | 3.5L EcoBoost Transmission.....................................................10 speed AOD w/Selectshift Chassis ..................................................................................Ford Transit T350 Air Conditioning........................................................................Up to 55K BTU Steering.........................................................................................Tilt-Standard Suspension......................................................................................Leaf Spring Wheelbase......................................................................................................156” Page 44

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Micro Bird Commercial 3000 Girardin Street Drummondville, Quebec J2E 0A1 Fax: (819) 475-9633 Email: commercial@microbird.com www.mbcbus.com Sales Contact Person: James Mansell 819-473-3366 • james.mansell@microbird.com Sales Contact Person: Christopher Shigley 402-889-1097 • Christopher.Shigley@microbird.com

Model ..................................................................................................CTS-Series Seating Capacity ............................................................Up to 11 passengers Length ............................................................................................................273” Width ................................................................................................................86” Height .............................................................................................................106” Engine.......................................................................3.5L Gas | 3.5L EcoBoost Transmission.....................................................10 speed AOD w/Selectshift Chassis ..................................................................................Ford Transit T350 Air Conditioning........................................................................Up to 55K BTU Wheelchair lift.....................................................................................Standard Steering.........................................................................................Tilt-Standard Suspension......................................................................................Leaf Spring Wheelbase......................................................................................................156”


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Micro Bird Commercial

Micro Bird Commercial

D-Series

DS-Series

The D-Series is a dual rear wheel bus, made with six longitudinal structural beams, combined with one-piece galvanized steel roof bows that enhance safety and rollover protection. This mid-size bus can be built to accommodate various floor plans and configurations, with seating up to 28 passengers. Micro Bird buses are purpose built for tours, assisted living, public transit, shuttle markets and many more. Several options such as luxury seats, extra wide rearview window, flat screen TV, and panoramic windows, are offered to enhance a rider’s experience. Alternative fuel propane and electric systems are also available.

The DS-Series, a dual rear wheel special needs vehicle, delivers superior safety and a smoother ride because of the energy absorbing body mounting blocks, which greatly reduce road vibration and noise within the bus body. Micro Bird’s recessed wheelchair tracks, Slide N’Click or floor pocket anchorages, offer safe and secure transportation for special needs passengers. The double-leaf wheelchair doors offer protection on both sides of the lift, thus adding to passenger safety, while offering superior weather seal and door strength. Alternative fuel propane and electric systems are also available.

Micro Bird Commercial 3000 Girardin Street Drummondville, Quebec J2E 0A1 Fax: (819) 475-9633 Email: commercial@microbird.com www.mbcbus.com Sales Contact Person: James Mansell 819-473-3366 • james.mansell@microbird.com Sales Contact Person: Christopher Shigley 402-889-1097 • Christopher.Shigley@microbird.com

Micro Bird Commercial 3000 Girardin Street Drummondville, Quebec J2E 0A1 Fax: (819) 475-9633 Email: commercial@microbird.com www.mbcbus.com Sales Contact Person: James Mansell 819-473-3366 • james.mansell@microbird.com Sales Contact Person: Christopher Shigley 402-889-1097 • Christopher.Shigley@microbird.com

Model.......................................................................................................D-Series Seating Capacity...........................................................Up to 28 passengers Length..................................................................................From 257” to 346” Width.................................................................................................................96” Height..................................................................................................111” or 113” Engine ...................Ford: 7.3L gas Economy or Premium or GM 6.0L gas Transmission......................Ford: 6-Speed AOD or GM: 8 or 6 Speed AOD Chassis.............................................Ford E350 & E450 or GM 3500 & 4500 Air Conditioning........................................................................Up to 82K BTU Steering.........................................................................................Tilt-Standard Suspension......................................................................................Leaf Spring Wheelbase ............................................................................From 138” to 216”

Model ....................................................................................................DS-Series Seating Capacity...........................................................Up to 22 passengers Length...................................................................................From 283” to 315” Width.................................................................................................................96” Height ..............................................................................................................118” Engine ...................Ford: 7.3L gas Economy or Premium or GM 6.0L gas Transmission......................Ford: 6-Speed AOD or GM: 8 or 6 Speed AOD Chassis.............................................Ford E350 & E450 or GM 3500 & 4500 Air Conditioning........................................................................Up to 82K BTU Wheelchair Lift....................................................................................Standard Steering.........................................................................................Tilt-Standard Suspension......................................................................................Leaf Spring Wheelbase ............................................................................From 158” to 216” March/April 2021

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Driverge Vehicle Innovations®

Driverge Vehicle Innovations®

Ford Transit Small Bus With Wheelchair Lift Options

Ford Transit CurbSmart® Microtransit Community Access

The Ford Transit Small Bus from Driverge Vehicle Innovations provides traditional bus door walk-in entry, which saves money on upfit and fuel economy over traditional cutaways. Benefits include: Built on the Ford Transit 350 with 144-inch long wheelbase and extended body; 3.7L V6 engine with 275HP; 38-inch wide doorway with built-in steps that are perfect for shuttle or transporter use; 84-inch high door opening that offers maximum clearance and more room for entry and exit; bus door features remote for quick and easy operation from the driver seat, or outside the vehicle to allow driver to better assist passengers entering and exiting the vehicle; seats up to 15 passengers, including driver; rear lift available for wheelchair transport; can hold up to four wheelchairs; and, exclusive SmartFloor flexible flooring system that allows moving and removing of seats to bring dozens of seating and wheelchair layout options.

Driverge’s patent pending Ford Transit CurbSmart is designed to transport passengers with ease thanks to an added rear-entry doorway. Perfect for public transport and microtransit service, this van was designed with metro-area drivers in mind to make picking up and dropping off passengers as simple as possible. A heavy-duty lift for wheelchair passengers offers a safe accessibility, while a 27-inch wide and 80-inch tall walk-in door provides generous height for all size passengers. The CurbSmart comes equipped with slip resistant, durable flooring, overhead standing rails for additional passengers and an optional roof-mounted secondary AC system. CurbSmart® is a registered trademark of Driverge Vehicle Innovations, LLC.

Driverge Vehicle Innovations 4199 Kinross Lakes Parkway Richfield, OH 44286 855-337-9543 Email: biz@driverge.com www.driverge.com

Model............................................................................Ford Transit Small Bus Seating Capacity .......................................15 passengers including driver Length............................................................................................................264” Width.....................................................81.5” (97.4” including side mirrors) Height .............................................................................................................108” Engine..............................................................................................Ford 3.7L V6 Type of Fuel ....................................................................................................Gas Chassis ........................................................................Ford Transit 350 EL HR Air Conditioning ....................................................................................Factory Wheelchair Lift Option ..............................................................................Rear Page 46

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Driverge Vehicle Innovations 4199 Kinross Lakes Parkway Richfield, OH 44286 855-337-9543 Email: biz@driverge.com www.driverge.com

Model..........................................................................Ford Transit CurbSmart Seating Capacity........................6 ambulatory + 2 WC (including driver) Length............................................................................................................264” Width.....................................................81.5” (97.4” including side mirrors) Height .............................................................................................................108” Engine..............................................................................................Ford 3.7L V6 Type of Fuel ....................................................................................................Gas Chassis ........................................................................Ford Transit 350 EL HR Air Conditioning ....................................................................................Factory Wheelchair Lift Option...............................................................................Side


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Driverge Vehicle Innovations®

Driverge Vehicle Innovations®

Ford Transit NEMT

Mercedes-Benz Smartliner®

Driverge vans are the most popular wheelchair lift upfits in the industry for non-emergency medical transportation (NEMT). In fact, we’ve been Ford Motor Company’s number one mobility upfitter of paratransit vans for 16 years running. We meet the needs of medical transportation businesses, nursing homes, community centers and many other businesses that serve wheelchair riders and ambulatory passengers. All of our senior care transporters and paratransit vehicles are ADA compliant, and are built with comfort and safety in mind. Driverge installs both rear and side entry wheelchair lifts on the Ford Transit, with lift capacities up to 1000 pounds. Driverge paratransit vehicles come with professional grade, non-skid commercial flooring and are available with the SmartFloor™ flexible flooring system.

Driverge’s Mercedes-Benz Smartliner, built on the Sprinter van, is the ideal solution for businesses that move people–without the expensive upgrades that riders don’t need. The Smartliner package features seating for up to 15 passengers in a center-aisle configuration, class-leading leg room, a luggage section in the rear and all of the quality that can be expected in a Mercedes-Benz vehicle. It’s the perfect van for hotels, resorts, tour operators, limo companies, and corporate fleets that desire the Mercedes-Benz brand with smartly appointed amenities–at a price that’s competitive with other executive-style vans. Smartliner® is a registered trademark of Driverge Vehicle Innovation, LLC.

Driverge Vehicle Innovations 4199 Kinross Lakes Parkway Richfield, OH 44286 855-337-9543 Email: biz@driverge.com www.driverge.com

Model ....................................................................................Ford Transit NEMT Seating Capacity.......................................................................................Mixed Engine..............................................................................................Ford 3.7L V6 Type of Fuel ....................................................................................................Gas Chassis ....................................................Ford Transit 150, 250, 350, 350 EL Air Conditioning ....................................................................................Factory Wheelchair Lift Option ...............................................................Rear or Side

Driverge Vehicle Innovations 4199 Kinross Lakes Parkway Richfield, OH 44286 855-337-9543 Email: biz@driverge.com www.driverge.com

Model....................................................................Mercedes-Benz Smartliner Seating Capacity..........................................................Up to 15 (with driver) Length............................................................................................................290” Width.......................................................85” (92.3” including side mirrors) Height .............................................................................................................108” Engine......................................................................................3.0 L, 188 Hp V-6 Type of Fuel................................................................................................Diesel Chassis ...................................................................................................3500 HR Air Conditioning................................Factory with optional 2nd rear unit Wheelchair Lift Option ..............................................................................Rear March/April 2021

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MobilityTRANS

MobilityTRANS

SafeTbus

EZSafe

MobilityTRANS is America’s most experienced manufacturer of paratransit vans, commercial passenger vans, shuttles, and small buses. Our experience started in 1981. We have all federal, OEM and industry certifications. We have production capacity of 20 vans per week. Our new SafeTbus line of vans and small buses has more safety features than any other bus. We have innovation – composite bus doorways, electric wheelchair tiedowns with memory, track seating, and unique wheelchair side entry models. We believe in value, delivering a quality van or bus at a very attractive price. We have a nationwide network of dealers to serve customers. SafeTbus may be amongst the smallest buses, but are certainly the safest buses available. There are 20 standard safety features and 15 available safety options. Many standard items are not available on any other bus. All-wheel drive is now available at affordable prices. Because our vans have more OEM equipment, they are more reliable. Because they use state-of-the-art engines and 10-speed transmissions, they average 12-14 mpg. Call today and have a MobilityTRANS sales engineer tailor a floor plan and options to fit your needs.

MobilityTRANS is America’s most experienced manufacturer of paratransit vans, commercial passenger vans, shuttles, and small buses. Our experience started in 1981. We have all federal, OEM and industry certifications. We have production capacity of 20 vans per week. Our new SafeTbus line of vans and small buses has more safety features than any other bus. We have innovation – composite bus doorways, electric wheelchair tiedowns with memory, track seating, and unique wheelchair side entry models. We believe in value, delivering a quality van or bus at a very attractive price. We have a nationwide network of dealers to serve customers. Want folding seats? Removable seats? Sliding seats? EZSafe does ALL THREE! Losing or tripping over wheelchair tiedowns? EZSafe power straps self-retract under the floor. Worried about lawsuits from improperly secured wheelchair? EZSafe displays a green light when, the wheelchair is secure and records proof that your passengers trip was safe. The EZSafe saves this for up to three years! Call a MobilityTRANS sales engineer for more information.

MobilityTRANS 12633 Inkster Road Livonia, MI 48150 Phone: (734) 453-6452 info@mobilityTRANS.com www.mobilitytrans.com

Model .....................................................................................................SafeTbus Seating Capacity...................................................................................Up to 16 Length ...............................................................................................................22’ Height...............................................................................................................9’1” Engine..............................................................................................3.5L PFDi V6 Type of Fuel..........................................Gas, Diesel, Propane, CNG, Electric Chassis.............................................................................................Ford Transit Air Conditioning......................................................Dual, choice of systems Wheelchair Lift Option.........................................................Yes, lift or ramp Steering......................................................................................................Power Suspension.....................................................................Coil and leaf springs Page 48

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Model..........................................................................................................EZSafe Seating Capacity.....................................Up to 13 or 4 plus 3 wheelchairs Length ...............................................................................................................22’ Height...............................................................................................................9’1” Engine..............................................................................................3.5L PFDi V6 Type of Fuel..........................................Gas, Diesel, Propane, CNG, Electric Chassis.............................................................................................Ford Transit Air Conditioning......................................................Dual, choice of systems Wheelchair Lift Option..........................................................Lift is standard Steering......................................................................................................Power Suspension.....................................................................Coil and leaf springs


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MobilityTRANS

Airport/Hotel Shuttle MobilityTRANS is America’s most experienced manufacturer of paratransit vans, commercial passenger vans, shuttles, and small buses. Our experience started in 1981. We have all federal, OEM and industry certifications. We have production capacity of 20 vans per week. Our new SafeTbus line of vans and small buses has more safety features than any other bus. We have innovation – composite bus doorways, electric wheelchair tiedowns with memory, track seating, and unique wheelchair side entry models. We believe in value, delivering a quality van or bus at a very attractive price. We have a nationwide network of dealers to serve customers. When running a shuttle service, low cost and dependability are paramount. Because our vans have more OEM equipment they are more reliable. Because they use state-of-the-art engines and 10-speed transmissions, they average 12-14 mpg. Bus doorways, front or rear luggage, side or front facing seats are all possibilities. So reduce your operating costs and look into a shuttle by MobilityTRANS. Call anytime for further information.

Model..............................................................................Airport/Hotel Shuttle Seating Capacity.............................................................Up to 12 plus driver Length ...............................................................................................................22’ Height...............................................................................................................9’1” Engine..............................................................................................3.5L PFDi V6 Type of Fuel..........................................Gas, Diesel, Propane, CNG, Electric Chassis.............................................................................................Ford Transit Air Conditioning......................................................Dual, choice of systems Wheelchair Lift Option..........................................................Lift is standard Steering......................................................................................................Power Suspension.....................................................................Coil and leaf springs

Daimler Coaches North America Expands Aftermarket Parts And Service Network

“Daimler Buses is further strengthening its motorcoach business in the U.S. by joining forces with its North American business unit, Daimler Coaches North America (DCNA), the parts distribution of Daimler Trucks North America (DTNA), and distributors of Detroit Diesel engines. Setra operators will now fully benefit from the unique infrastructure that DTNA operates in North America,” according to a press release. Till Oberwoeder, head of Daimler Buses said, “With the foundation of our business unit DCNA, Daimler Buses demonstrates, with our North American bus operations, its commitment to the North American motorcoach industry and its ambition to continually grow in this core market. By leveraging our Daimler infrastructure in North America, we will provide best-in-class-service to our Setra operators and continue to expand our customer base.” North American Service Centers As of September 2020, DCNA has partnered with four experienced and highly qualified Detroit Diesel distributors in the U.S. to significantly grow its service network: • Interstate Companies (Midwest); • Penn Power Group (Northeast); • Stewart and Stevenson (Southeast); and, • Valley Power Systems (West Coast). “Daimler Coaches North America has qualified eight new workshop locations for those selected Detroit Diesel distributors, to perform dedicated motorcoach service. Those service locations will expand their service for Detroit Diesel engines and Allison transmissions to full coach support. Their service will now include electrical, HVAC, pneumatics, and interiors. Customers will benefit from this unique full coach service to the industry: the new workshop set-up will enable Setra operators to have all of their coach service performed in one location by specialized coach mechanics, resulting in reduced service repair times for our operators. “Additionally, the new service locations are qualified to serve as selling points for motorcoach spare parts, offering a true onestop shopping experience to Setra operators.” Thomas Rohde, head of Daimler Coaches North America said, “These new workshop locations in the U.S. offer a service coverage and parts supply that operators expect from Setra as the premium motorcoach brand. It is our ultimate target to minimize idle times for our customers—wherever they need us, we will be there.” Aftermarket Service Parts Logistics “The backbone of the aftermarket parts distribution is the DTNA supply chain, which includes 10 parts distribution centers (PDC) across the U.S. and Canada, as well as a Dedicated Delivery Service (DDS) for next-day delivery on 90 percent of orders. Setra’s motorcoach parts are integrated into DTNA’s existing support of more than 50 product lines, that serve the commercial transportation industry with reliable new and remanufactured parts. In working with DTNA’s aftermarket, Detroit Diesel’s service partners will be able to leverage its supply chain network, ensuring fast and reliable supply for Setra motorcoach operators.” For more information, contact zane.gray@daimler.com.

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BITZER U.S., Inc. See Ad On Page 12 4080 Enterprise Way Flowery Branch, GA 30542 USA 770-718-2900 Website: www.bitzerus.com Products: BITZER provides bus/coach air conditioning compressors. BITZER’s product range covers all compressor technologies from reciprocating to scroll and screw compressors. BITZER bus air conditioning compressors are designed specifically to excel within the harsh environment of today’s engine compartments. BITZER’s bus air conditioning compressors offer high capacity to cool coaches, school buses and transit buses, including larger articulated and double-decker buses. 18

Eberspaecher Gruppe GmbH & Co. KG Eberspaecherstrasse 24 Esslingen, BW 73730 Germany +49 711 939-0250 Website: www.eberspaecher.com Products: Integrated solutions for the sustainable cooling and heating of buses of all drive types — from diesel and gasoline to hybrid and electric vehicles. Eberspaecher has developed a three-step-solution to provide clean air inside buses: Particulate Filters and the Polarised Media Electronic Air Cleaner in the bus AC system capture contaminated water droplets. UV-C LED modules are a solution to inactive viruses. The UV-C LED Module is the most effecient solution from Eberspaecher, where 100 percent of the air inside the bus moving

Breathe clean cabin air Feel safer onboard More than 95% of viruses including Covid-19 are inactivated in a single airflow cycle.

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through the air-conditioning unit is treated, and up to 99.9 percent of this is sterilized by the UV-C LED modules. It consists of four to six modules, with up to 198 UV-C LEDs to inactivate viruses within the airflow. Independent tests confirmed the qualification for disinfection of influenza viruses (strains H1N1 and H3N2). Modules can be used either inside the roof-mounted air-conditioning system or within the bus air ducts. This solution can be adapted to almost any kind of airconditioning system. 21 Mobile Climate Control 17103 State Rd. 4 East Goshen, IN 46528 USA 905-482-2750 Website: www.mcc-hvac.com


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Products: Mobile Climate Control specializes in custom engineered HVAC systems. Its climate control systems can be found worldwide in all types of commercial vehicles, from buses and off road machines to utility and defense vehicles. The company supplies custom designed solutions, from single system components to complete climate systems. With its engineering staff with many years of experience, Mobile Climate Control creates and supplies optimal solutions for the best climate comfort. 19

ProAir, LLC 715 Willow Springs Lane York, PA 17406 USA 717-767-2775 Website: www.proairllc.com Products: ProAir designs and manufactures a complete line of advanced bus air conditioning systems for all sizes and makes of buses including conventional, alternate fuel, hybrid and electric drive buses. Products include split-type air conditioning systems as well as complete roof mount air conditioning systems for all buses. In addition, ProAir offers air conditioning installation services, specification preparation assistance, product testing, replacement air conditioning service parts for most brands, product training and on-site customer support. 20 Proheat 3831 No. 6 Rd. Richmond, BC V6V 1P6 CANADA 604-270-6899

Website: www.proheat.com Products: Proheat manufactures heavy- and medium-duty, diesel-fired auxiliary coolant heaters to preheat engines and provide supplemental heat to keep windows clear, maintain passenger and driver comfort and to help reduce engine emissions. The Proheat X30 heater utilizes O2 sensor-controlled combustion to ensure clean burning and extended service intervals. 17 Rifled Air Conditioning, Inc. 2810 Earlham Pl. High Point, NC 27263 USA 800-627-1707 Email: info@rifledair.com Website: www.rifledair.com Products: Manufacturer and installer of climate control systems specifically designed to meet the demands of the bus market. 21

Sutrak Corporation See Ad On Page 26 6897 E. 49th Ave. Commerce City, CO 80022 USA 303-287-2700 Website: www.sutrakusa.com Products: ISO 9001 certified. Heating, ventilating and air conditioning systems for light rail vehicles, people movers and buses, including school buses. 19 Trans/Air Manufacturing See Ad Below 480 E. Locust St. Dallastown, PA 17313 USA

717-246-2627 Email: jsterner@transairmfg.com Website: www.transairmfg.com Products: Trans/Air Manufacturing is an ISO 9001 registered firm, manufacturing a full line of climate control systems for the school, commercial, and electric/hybrid vehicle markets. Units, parts, service, training, warranty, and new or aftermarket installations are available through factory-owned operations or a network of distributors throughout North America. Trans/Air is proud to introduce its new Safer/Aire product line. These products are focused on disinfecting and sanitizing the air and surfaces of any space, including inside a bus, installation facility or office space. 21

Valeo Thermal Commercial Vehicles North America, Inc. See Ad On Previous Page 22150 Challenger Dr., Elkhart, IN 46514 574-264-8321 Email: tcv.na-sales.mailbox@valeo.com Website: www.valeo-thermalbus.com/en_us Company Officers: Umit Kilic, Site General Manager; Rick Stephens, Sales Director Products: Valeo TCV NA is a global leader and manufacturer of the UV Purifier, conventional and electric mobile air conditioning and heating systems, hatches, circulation pumps, and heaters; and a supplier of OEM products for the school bus, heavy-duty, commercial transit, and special vehicles market. 21

RT140E

Anti-microbial Fungistatic Filters

New Electric Rooftops Safer/Aire line of air purification and sanitization products Get 10% off all online orders when you order through our Parts website www.busacparts.com www.transairmfg.com Office: 717-246-2627

Handheld CLO2 Fogger

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Amaya-Astron Offers Antimicrobial Fabric Treatments On All Fabrics, All Seat Models

“Amaya-Astron Seating (based in Mexico City) continues its longstanding position as the premier seat manufacturer for the North American Motorcoach industry. As the world changed with the Coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic, Amaya changed, too, by adapting its production and design protocols to fit the requirements for not only safety, but health too. We now provide antimicrobial treatments for all the fabrics on all seat models manufactured today,” said AmayaAstron. “We have 13-plus years producing 3-point seat belts to meet FMVSS, NHTSA, and DOT regulations and requirements on all models of seats available to North American coach manufacturers. Amaya’s engineering and production departments focus on, not only meeting, but exceeding these safety standards/requirements as well as designing and building the most comfortable seats available to the market today. These seat models include: the GT, A-220, SIGMA, and the newest model, the Alpha. “Our goal is to provide the safest and most comfortable seats for motorcoach manufacturers, operators, and passengers. Seats are designed for safety, built for comfort, and now are helping to reduce the risk of transmitting the virus with the treatment of all fabrics with an antimicrobial solution.” According to the company, Amaya-Astron Seating is constantly striving to improve its manufacturing processes by working together with all departments in order to offer the best seats available to the

motorcoach industry. From engineering and research and development to production, shipping, and quality control departments, Amaya’s goal is 100 percent customer satisfaction. Amaya-Astron seats come with a 3-year warranty from the factory. “Amaya-Astron seats focus on ergonomic design in order to add to overall seat comfortability. All seat models now feature a thinner seat back design in order to increase passenger leg room. Amaya offers a variety of different fabric and upholstery options, from flat-woven to plush-fabrics to vinyl and leather, which include stylish designs or solid colors. There are many options and accessories available including automatic foot rests, grab handles, airline-style and flip-up tray tables, cup holders, mesh magazine pockets, and 110V outlets. Amaya-Astron The Alpha also offers luxury-seating options such as the 2+1 seats. “Offering a variety of different seat models and types is just one of the many ways Amaya-Astron works to keep ahead of the market. Amaya proudly stands behind its seats by providing the best in aftermarket sales and service support.” To learn more, contact North American sales representatives Bob Greene (bgreene45@cox.net), Jeff Goldwasser (interiors@jeffgoldwasser.com) and Donovan Albarran, vice president of export sales, (donovan@amaya-astron.com.mx). Visit Amaya-Astron at www.amaya-astronseating.com, which offers an English language version.

Covid-19: Valeo Equips Buses And Coaches With An Air Purifier Capable Of Eliminating More Than 95% Of Viruses

Paris, September 24, 2020 – Valeo has developed the world's most powerful air sterilization system for bus and coach cabins. Upon activation, the system eliminates, in a single airflow cycle, more than 95% of viruses, including Covid-19, as well as any bacteria or mold present in the air circulating in the cabin. Irrespective of the source of infection, whether inside or outside the vehicle, the Valeo-designed modules are effective throughout the vehicle's journey with passengers onboard. Valeo UV purifier The Valeo devices are available as a standalone solution box or they can be directly integrated into the vehicle’s air conditioning systems. They use ultraviolet light technology, similar to that used in medical and hospital facilities. The UV rays work as both a bactericide and Valeo UV purifier a germicide and can kill microbes such as viruses and pathogens. The rays stop these microbes from spreading and can be used as an alternative to other disinfection methods, avoiding the use of chemical products. Valeo has created a unique solution integrating a UV light provided by one of the leading global experts in the technology, and a “light labyrinth”, which blocks the UV rays from spreading outside of the metal box, ensuring that passengers are never exposed to them. Only the air circulating in the ventilation box is purified by the light. On July 10, 2020, the Institute of Medical Virology at the Goethe University Hospital in Frankfurt confirmed the technology's virucidal efficacy. The Valeo solution has recently been integrated as original equipment in vehicles manufactured by a Brazilian bus maker. It is designed to be compatible with buses and coaches of all types and sizes, air-conditioned or not. Valeo now plans to bring these systems to markets in Europe, the Americas and Asia. Valeo’s air purifiers will also be offered to operators of vehicles already on the road, as they can be adapted to existing ventilation systems or retrofitted to non air-conditioned vehicles. Valeo is also working to roll out this technology to passenger vehicles. For more information, visit valeo-thermalbus.com/us. Page 52

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5Star Specialty Programs: Continued From Page 38

benchmarks include industry standards. Internal measurements should include: 1. Injuries — Total Recordable Injury Rate: Total number of OSHA injuries times 200.000 divided by the total work hours. 2. Vehicle Accidents — Vehicle Accident Recordable Rate: (VARR - total number of vehicle accidents divided by total number of hours driven). POST-INCIDENT SAFE BEHAVIOR REVIEW After identifying the top causes of injuries and accidents, managers and supervisors should conduct one-on-one coaching sessions with involved employees. The intent of these sessions is to formalize a process for managers to instruct employees, helping them understand what specific safe behaviors must be followed to prevent further incidents. In addition, these coaching sessions will clearly show the company provided remedial training/instruction, and can be used in the progressive disciplinary process, as necessary, if safe behaviors are not used by employees going forward. COACHING PROGRAM The following provides a standard approach for managers/supervisors to use when coaching an employee regarding safe and unsafe work behaviors.

Four Steps For Coaching Safe Behaviors: Guiding employees toward success in new or challenging situations. Six Steps In Coaching Unsafe Behaviors: Guiding employees to improve unacceptable performance or work habits. COACHING PROCESS 1. Identifying Needs: Observe performance & measure results. 2. Coaching: Day-to-day feedback to your employees, with both positive reinforcement of safe behaviors and strong remedial coaching for unsafe behaviors. 3. Provide Support: Encourage responsibility, provide resources and remove barriers. SAFETY ADVISORY Following specific incidents or a series of incidents that suggest a trend, management shall prepare and disseminate short documents with specific information and guidance for employees in regard to safe job performance under particular circumstances. NEW HIRE ORIENTATION One of the most important impacts on safety, and to ensure a great start for new employees, is to provide instruction, support and well-modeled safe behaviors from trainers and managers. 6 STEPS IN COACHING UNSAFE BEHAVIORS 1. State the unsafe behavior/act and why it is unsafe.

Include what you observed and potential risk/outcome. 2. Seek the employee's opinion on what you observed. Listen carefully, watch body language and repeat back the reason you heard. 3. Ask the employee to come up with a solution to avoid the unsafe behavior/act. 4. Give them feedback on their ideas and add a few more if needed. Be open to new ideas. Explain why their ideas cannot be implemented, if applicable. 5. Summarize the conversation and note the needed safety action items. Get a commitment from the employee to encourage ownership. 6. Express confidence and support. Thank them for their ideas and cooperation. 4 STEPS FOR COACHING SAFE BEHAVIORS 1. State the safe behavior/act and why it was safe. 2. Seek the employee/crew opinion. Ask why they do it this way/get feedback. 3. Summarize the conversation. Recap what you talked about and any action items that need to be addressed. 4. Express confidence and support. Thank the employee/crew for their time. ZERO UNSAFE BEHAVIOR IS THE GOAL. Visit www.5starsp.com.

Camira StaySafe THE DIAMOND FAMILY

Now available from Camira for bus & coach fabrics, this advanced textile treatment destroys viruses and kills bacteria – ensuring upholstery does not act as a potential source of transmission. Learn more at www.camirafabrics.com/staysafe.

Serving The Industry Since 1947 Made in the U.S.A.

diamondmfg.com 800-343-1009 816-421-8363

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SanUVAire’s 360™ Provides Continuous Inaction Of Harmful Pathogens

SanUVAire 360™, the leader in air quality solutions for the public transportation industry, launches the latest addition to its product line. SanUVAire 360™ is not just a product, it is a portfolio suite tailored to your needs, with a plan to protect against harmful pathogens in the new age of pandemics, to detect by continuous monitoring, to respond with state-of-the-art comprehensive technological coverage, and to recover fully and effectively with the greatest return on investment. The SanUVAire 360™ portfolio suite implemented into any public transport vehicle, whether a bus, train, ship, or airplane provides CONTINUOUS INACTIVATION of harmful pathogens, while maintaining a chemical and ozone free compartment, all without the need for reapplication. Air is the most important environmental element we rely on every moment to survive, including, and especially, in spaces where the public congregates for daily routine needs such as traveling to and from work on a bus or rail car. This necessity has created a familiar, common place inside vehicle cabins where occupants want to feel safe. Under the direction of SanUVAire’s CEO, innovator Chad Sleiman, SanUVAire has launched the most comprehensive product portfolio to create continuous inactivation of harmful pathogens in the air and on surfaces within the confines of public transport compartments. Since the onset of the current worldwide COVID-19 pandemic, public transportation and other marketplaces have been inundated with pop-up products claiming to provide safe air and sanitized surfaces. New and veteran companies alike have fleetingly rolled out product without sufficient testing and accreditation. Many tout claims without having any expertise in air purification, surface sanitation, UVGI technology, or transit applications, but rely on company history and name to promote product. SanUVAire, however, specializes in air quality and UVGI technology, and has over 60 years of combined expertise, engineering efforts, and talent. The launch of the SanUVAire 360™ system is the result of those many years of research and development prior to the current pandemic, not as a result of the pandemic, and is a testament to SanUVAire’s expertise in UVGI technology, its solutions, and its target public transportation market. The SanUVAire 360™ introduces the plan first, to protect, detect, then to respond and recover. It is a full circle, 360degree approach to air quality with a derivative methodology to surfaces. The plan is founded on UVGI technology principles, an all-angle implementation, and includes air purification, coil disinfection, surface sterilization, air filtration, and air quality monitoring. Not only is the approach all-encompassing, but it is provided by a company focused on air quality with a tried, tested and accredited UVGI product line. No other company provides this complete and comprehensive approach with the expertise that SanUVAire offers. SanUVAire 360™ is the only portfolio suite on the market TO PROVIDE CONTINUOUS INACTIVATION of harmful pathogens, including COVID-19, without the need for any reapplication, while providing a chemical and ozone free environment. To breathe safe and breathe clean, to build the greatest and safest protection against harmful pathogens, SanUVAire 360™ is the only unmatched line of attack. Visit SanUVAire.com. Air is Life, SanUV 'Air'e for Better Life.

CCW Delivers Two Completely Rehabbed 60-Foot Buses To PA’s Capital Area Transit

Complete Coach Works (CCW) has made the final delivery to Capital Area Transit (CAT). CAT, also known as the CumberlandDauphin-Harrisburg Transit Authority, is a regional public transportation agency that operates bus and shared ride/paratransit services in the Harrisburg, PA, metropolitan area. The contract, which calls for the rehabilitation of two articulated New Flyer buses, was awarded late last year. Work on the buses included repowering the engines. The new engines are fuel efficient, low weight, and compact. Additional work for the buses included installment of rebuilt transmissions, new driver seats, reupholstered and repainted passenger seats, new interior and exterior LED lighting, and ADA compliant wheelchair ramps. Other upgrades included new brakes and suspensions, steering components, and destination signs. Page 54

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“Rehabilitation of vehicles is often part of a transit system’s strategy. During the COVID-19 pandemic, the 60-foot articulated vehicles provide more space for riders and allow for greater social distancing. The vehicles also enhance the passenger experience by improving customers’ comfort and safety in a costeffective manner,” said CCW. “By purchasing a remanufactured bus, CAT receives two fully renovated buses for about half the cost of a new bus.” “A complete restoration is not only cost effective, but a retrofit bus takes a fraction of the time to deliver in months not years,” said Brad Carson, director of sales and marketing at CCW. “Our priority is to assist our clients in their efforts to ensure the safety of the people in their communities. We will continue to work and support agencies through this unprecedented time.” For more information, contact Brad Carson at (800) 287-7253 or e-mail bradley@completecoach.com.

March/April 2021

BYD Buses And Coaches For New Mexico

BYD buses and coaches are headed to New Mexico thanks to a statewide purchase agreement made public in mid-February. “Listed on the agreement are BYD's 30-foot K7M, the 35-foot K8M, the 40foot K9M, and the 60-foot K11M, the first articulated bus to successfully complete Federal Transit Administration reliability test. Motor coaches included in the agreement are the 23-foot C6M, 40-foot C9M, and 45-foot C10M,” said BYD. “BYD is the first battery-electric bus manufacturer that has both a unionized workforce and a Community Benefits Agreement, which sets goals for hiring veterans, single parents, second chance citizens, and others facing hurdles in obtaining manufacturing employment.” For more information, visit byd.com.


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Busline Cover Feature: Landline Offers Ground To Air Transportation With Ease • Texas Transit Agency Has Battled Weather And COVID While Mai...

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