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CONTENTS

M

A

G

A

Z

I

N

90-Year-Old Family Company Where Systematic Approach Rules

James River Transportation ...........................8 Uses Technology And Data To Win 94 Percent Community Acceptance

Illinois’ Rock Island County MetroLINK........28 Busline Buyers Guide To

FLOORING .....................................................................38 Busline Buyers Guide To

BRAKES & TIRES ...........................................................41 47

RAPID RESPONSE .........................Page 6 INDUSTRY NEWS........................Page 37

ON THE COVER: James River Transportation Vice President Diane Story Hall, and her brother, President Stephen Story, are shown next to one of their company’s Van Hool CX35 motorcoaches. James River is based in Richmond, VA. See page 8.

CALENDAR OF EVENTS

JANUARY 2019 January 6-10 United Motorcoach Association (UMA) Motorcoach Expo Fort Lauderdale, FL Info: 800-424-8262

January 25-29 American Bus Association (ABA) Annual Meeting & Marketplace 2019 Louisville, KY Info: 800-283-2877 MARCH 2019 March 17-19 APTA Legislative Conference Washington, DC Info: 202-496-4800

March 19-21 Bus2Bus Trade Show & Congress Berlin, Germany Info: www.bus2bus.berlin

MAY 2019 May 19-22 APTA Bus & Paratransit Conference Louisville, KY Info: 202-496-4800

May 23-29 Community Transportation Association of America (CTAA) Expo Palm Springs, CA Info: 800-891-0590

AUGUST 2019 August 6-9 The International Motorcoach Group (IMG) 2019 Strategic Alliance Meeting Halifax, Nova Scotia Info: 888-447-3466 SEPTEMBER 2019 September 23-25 BusCon 2019 Indianapolis, IN Info: 800-576-8788

OCTOBER 2019 October 13-16 APTA Annual Meeting New York, NY 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 2018 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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E

NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2018 Published by Rankin Publishing, Inc. www.buslinemag.com

BUSLINE

November/December 2018

EDITORIAL & CORPORATE OFFICES

Rankin Publishing Co., Inc.

Don Rankin and Linda Rankin, Publishers 204 E. Main Street • P.O. Box 130 Arcola, IL 61910-0130, USA Email: drankin@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 Don Rankin @ 800-598-8083 Fax: 217-268-4815 Email: drankin@consolidated.net


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.

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James River Transportation

8

38

Rock Island Co. MetroLINK

28

41 47

Company

Website

ABC Companies Almott Altro Amaya-Astron ARBOC Specialty Vehicles Atlantic Detroit Diesel-Allison Bitimec Wash-Bots Bitzer BYD CBM NA Chestnut Ridge Foam CHTC Bus Group City of Culver City Complete Coach Works Diamond Manufacturing Dixie Electric Ltd. DriveWare Software EnerDel Freightliner Page 6

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www.abc-companies.com www.almottusa.com www.altro.com www.amaya-astron.com.mx www.ARBOCsv.com www.atlanticdda.com www.wash-bots.com www.bitzerus.com www.byd.com www.cbmna.com www.CRFOAM.com www.chtcbusgroup.com www.culvercitybus.com www.completecoach.com www.diamondmfg.com www.dixie-electric.com www.driveware.com www.EnerDel.com www.freightlinerchassis.com

51 26 39 10 23 18 25 27 7 34 32 11 37 15 34 43 22 29 3

November/December 2018

Company

Website

Gerflor USA Hometown Trolley Hudson River Corporation Kelderman Air Suspension Systems Marathon Brake Systems Midwest Bus Corporation Motor Coach Industries (MCI) Motorcoach Tire Sales Prevost Car Relational Bus Systems REV Coach LLC Safety Step Service Insurance Sutrak Thermo King TIAA Bank TransitWorks UMA Motorcoach Expo Vanner Power

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www.gerflortransport.com www.hometowntrolley.com www.lavdump.com www.kelderman.com www.MarathonBrake.com www.midwestbus.com www.mcicoach.com www.motorcoachtiresales.com www.prevostcar.com www.rbs2000.com www.revcoach.com www.safetystep.net www.serviceins.com www.sutrakusa.com www.thermoking.com www.TIAABank.com www.Transit-Works.com www.motorcoachexpo.com www.vanner.com

38 13 31 14 19 21 2 12 5 20 52 35 35 30 9 24 33 17 16


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James River Transportation 90-Year-Old Family Company Where SYSTEMATIC APPROACH RULES By Harrell Kerkhoff Busline Magazine Editor

President Stephen Story Vice President Diane Story Hall

Ninety years of creating and building lasting relationships has paid off well for James River Transportation, a Richmond, VA-based bus/motorcoach operator that provides a wide variety of services along the East Coast. This includes such well-known metropolitan destinations as Washington, D.C., Philadelphia and New York City. To help service this large region, the company also has a facility in Norfolk, VA.

“It’s important to have a businesslike approach to doing things. This includes knowing your company’s financial numbers, setting specific goals and hiring talented people.” — Stephen Story


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Among these vehicles are four Van Hool CX35 38-passenger motorcoaches, purchased from ABC Companies. “I would estimate that 60 percent of our business today is considered charter work, satisfying the travel needs for a variety of clientele. This includes field trips for schools, transportation to sporting events, corporate outings, ski trips and casino runs,” James River Transportation President Stephen Story said. “Approximately 30 percent of our work centers on contract transportation. This includes services for area transit systems, a parking lot feeder service for Amtrak and private commuter work for corporations. Contract work can involve providing the same trips every day. It may be temporary transportation, such as taking commuters daily to certain destinations while a parking lot is being worked on; or it The main facility of James River Transportation, located in Richmond, VA, was built in 1998. may involve a five-year contact, where we A family business throughout its nine-decade history, the Story transport a company’s employees to and from work during that family has run the company for the past 40-plus years, helping to, specific period of time. not only maintain its reputation as a solid transportation provider, “We are also the recommended transportation provider for Richbut also expand the many services and types of vehicles now being mond (VA) Region Tourism, taking passengers to and from the area provided by James River Transportation. convention center, hotels and local events. Years ago, some in the Its fleet of approximately 90 vehicles includes full size and bus/motorcoach industry felt it was imperative to put ‘heavy miles’ smaller motorcoaches, shuttle buses, vans, SUVs and sedans. on their vehicles in order to make money. However, after carefully

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“Years ago, some in the bus/motorcoach industry felt it was imperative to put ‘heavy miles’ on their vehicles in order to make money. However, after carefully looking at our costs, we found that we could make just as much money transporting a lot of people within a small area around Richmond — basically just going in circles.” looking at our costs, we found that we could make just as much money transporting a lot of people within a small area around Richmond — basically just going in circles.” The final estimated 10 percent of business at James River Transportation involves the company’s airport service, in both Richmond and Norfolk.

“It’s good to not only diversify a transportation company’s entire service offering, but also within each segment, such as found in charter, contract and airport work.”

“We provide cars, vans and some shuttle bus service at both airports. Most of our airport clientele are corporate business travelers as well as military personnel. There are many military bases in, and around, Richmond and Norfolk. We work closely with the USO, and have transportation contracts in place with most of the area military bases,” Stephen Story said. “We operate a small office and counter at both airports, very similar to a car rental facility.” Since Richmond is the state capital of Virginia, and located ap-

proximately 95 miles south/southwest of Washington, D.C., it makes sense that James River Transportation has many customers connected with local, state and federal governmental agencies. Washington, D.C., is also a huge draw for tourism, a fact that is very familiar to Stephen Story and his employees. “There is definitely a lot to see and do in our nation’s capital. This includes an amazing number of museums, many of which are free for visitors,” he said. “If a person can get beyond traffic and parking issues, the city itself is very beautiful and clean. There is a lot of history and majesty surrounding the area. It’s one of those awesome places that people feel they can’t miss if they are visiting the East Coast.” Philadelphia, New York City and many other well-known destinations are other common travel stops for James River Transportation, as the company mainly focuses on the Eastern Seaboard. “In the ‘old days’ we would travel farther west, but it’s been our experience over the past few years that demand for this type of long distance travel by motorcoach has decreased. We have found our passengers just don’t have the time, and it’s too easy for them to fly to longer distances,” Stephen Story said. “Four to seven days is the extent of our overnight trips, and even that makes up just a small percentage of our business. Most of our trips can be made within a day.”

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No matter the distance traveled, seeking a consistent revenue stream, one that feeds from diverse product offerings, remains paramount for officials at James River Transportation. Past experiences have proven to Stephen Story why this is essential. “Charter work, in particular, is not only seasonal by nature, but if something tragic happens, such as the terrorists events of 9/11, demand for charters can dry up rather quickly,” Stephen Story said. “It became very clear after 9/11 of the importance of having a diverse revenue stream.” James River Transportation’s main complex is located near downtown Richmond, VA. He added it’s good to not only diversify a transportation company’s entire 90 YEARS OF SERVICE service offering, but also within each segment, such as found in ames River Transportation began in 1928 with one bus and a charter, contract and airport work. line run that followed the James River, a major waterway that “Within our charter service, for example, there is work directed bisects both Richmond and Virginia. The company had at schools, corporations, athletic programs, community clubs, etc. This all makes for a good mix,” Stephen Story said. “Meanwhile, changed hands from its original owner when the late L. Woodrow our contract work is very beneficial if leisure travel demand, “Woody” Story, father of Stephen Story, was hired in the 1950s through charters, goes down for any reason. The same can be said to serve as general manager. Woody Story had gained past experience in the bus industry after for our airport service. “It’s all about keeping our overall company strong when one, or serving in the U.S. Navy during World War II. He had purchased a more parts of the travel business, are negatively influenced by out- bus and operated a part-time charter business, with the help of his wife, Anne Story. Soon, he became a natural fit for James River side forces, beyond our control.”

J

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November/December 2018

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Transportation. Over the years, his talents and responsibilities grew 94 and extremely active up until a short time prior to his death. Our mother, Anne Story, died in 2000.” to the point that, in the 1970s, he purchased the business. Being the youngest in the family, “The company has gone from Stephen Story said he greatly benone family business owner to the efited by learning the transportanext family business owner tion business from the ground up throughout its 90-year history, from his father. which is quite unique,” Stephen “My father was in his late 30s Story said. “We have remained when I was born. By the time I was friends with members of the family 19, I had become vice president of who owned James River Transthe company, and five or so years portation prior to my father’s purlater, was general manager. This alchase over 40 years ago.” As with the case of many family transportation companies, the lowed my father to retire from day-to-day operations. In 1990, I became company president,” Stephen Story said. “I was very fortunate second generation of Story children “grew up in the business.” “My sister, Diane Story Hall, started working at James River that my father and I worked very well together as I learned the busiTransportation in the travel department after graduating from high ness. The same is true today with my sister and myself. We make school. Today, her official title is vice president. She concentrates a good team, sharing many of the same ideas and goals about the on human resources and acdirection of our business.” counting,” Stephen Story The siblings have seen “I have often been asked, ‘If you only focus on numbers, what about said. “I started working here many service changes take in 1980 while earning a deplace over the years since customer service?’ I respond, ‘I use the numbers to measure and gree in human resource manbecoming involved with correct performance. That is how to give great customer service.’” agement from the University James River Transportation. This included a shift away of Richmond. Diane and I have an older brother, Dr. L. Woodrow Story Jr., who is a retired from a heavy focus on line run work in the 1980s to a more charoptometrist. He never became involved with the family business ter-driven organization. “As we worked years ago to move away from some of our line on a full-time basis, but is a silent partner. “Our father, Woody Story, passed away in March 2018. He was runs, it became apparent that the charter business was extremely

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seasonal, especially in our area, due to winter weather. This, of was an early participant of a 20 Group through his involvement with course, influenced revenue,” Stephen Story said. “My goal was to the International Motorcoach Group (IMG). A 20 Group is comfix that problem. Back in those days, some bus operators seemed prised of representatives from non-competing companies, working to be OK with the idea of making small profit margins. The attitude in the same industry, who share financial information and successful was, ‘That is just how the industry operates.’ However, it seemed practices. A main goal is for members of the group to receive ideas crazy to me to do all that work, with all the related risks, for a small and strategies, from similar businesses, for future success. profit margin. “It’s important to realize that no company is great at everything. I “Therefore, my two goals at James River Transportation were to found the 20 Group experience helped me identify our weaknesses increase margins and smooth out the ‘bumps in demand’ from our and strong points as a company,” Stephen Story said. “Participation charter customer base. We started to look for in a 20 Group forces you, as a company leader, ways to accomplish those goals.” to look at your financial numbers, set goals and “It’s important to have real data One way was to partner with various area make adjustments when your business is not to back up your key decisions.” corporations, allowing the company to provide meeting those goals. more contract transportation work, starting in “To be successful, I believe it’s important to the 1980s. This often involved private shuttle services. have a very businesslike-systematic approach to running a com“I think we were also one of the first transportation companies to pany. A lot of people in small business show plenty of desire and partner with Amtrak. This allowed us to provide feeder transporta- effort, but there has to be more than that to truly be successful in tion bus service to and from some of the train stations in Virginia,” today’s environment. It’s important to have a businesslike approach Stephen Story said. “We focused on being a very numbers and per- to doing things. This includes knowing your company’s financial formance-based operation — knowing precisely what our costs were numbers, setting specific goals and hiring talented people. and how much to charge for every single trip that we provided.” “I have often been asked, ‘If you only focus on numbers, what He added that some companies make it a practice to wait until about customer service?’ I respond, ‘I use the numbers to measure the end of the year to see if they have been financially successful and correct performance. That is how to give great customer servor not. Officials at James River Transportation, however, monitor ice.’ If I didn’t do this, I would always be using my gut feelings, each trip and every contract throughout the year. This allows them and I can prove, through past company mistakes, that gut feelings to better understand, on a continual basis, what revenue is coming don’t always work. It’s important to have real data to back up your in and what costs are going out — eliminating any surprises. key decisions.” To help him better understand pricing and costs, Stephen Story He noted that every person who has owned James River Trans-

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portation over the past 90 years has wanted the company to become cility is a large parking lot. It serves as a place to not only board its very best. This has been achieved by focusing on being a high- passengers, but is the location of our obstacle course where we conend transportation provider — one that is not afraid to charge a fair duct CDL training and defensive-driving courses. price for a quality service. “Our headquarters is located about one-half mile from downtown “We are often more expensive than other companies, but we feel Richmond. It’s a great location for our company, helping us save like James River Transportamoney when picking up tion is worth that extra exgroups within the Richmond “We measure job performance for just about every position... This pense. To get the business, we area. If we were located on tell people why we are differthe edge of the city, it would includes a detailed calculation on how each person performs on a ent, why we are worth the extra cost us more, both in time and weekly, monthly and quarterly basis. Almost every position offers money,” Stephen Story said. money, to reach many of our customers. It helps, as well, “We offer far more than the incentives and bonuses as part of its compensation package.” that our headquarters is one bare minimum, which is onmile from the Greater Richtime performance and wellmaintained vehicles. Everybody should provide those things. Our mond Convention Center and many downtown hotels. company highlights the other great services that we offer customers “As a company, James River Transportation is very visible in — beyond just showing up on time with a clean vehicle.” Richmond. Everyone who drives downtown has probably seen our facility and buses. We encompass an entire block. It’s good that A CAN’T MISS LOCATION our company is viewed as an important part of the community. We t’s hard to not notice the headquarters of James River Trans- are also very active in the Greater Richmond Chamber Of Comportation. It’s that rather large facility and grounds, surrounded merce, the Retail Merchants Association in Richmond and other by company vehicles, near the heart of downtown Richmond. local organizations.” “This entire area covers around 12 acres. We had our main facilJames River Transportation has a second facility in Norfolk, loity built here in 1998 when there was not much else going on in cated on the east coast of Virginia, near the Atlantic Ocean. This this part of town. Economic development has since followed us in facility, which includes a maintenance garage, caters to charter custhis area. It’s where we do most of our heavy vehicle maintenance tomers, contract transportation work and operates an Amtrak bus work. Our corporate office is also located here as well as the train- feeder service. “There are very large military bases in the Norfolk area. We proing staff,” Stephen Story said. “Across to street from our main fa-

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vide transportation for not only the military, but also contractors who work for the military,” Stephen Story said. As mentioned, James River Transportation also has a presence at Norfolk International Airport.

H

HIRING ON TALENT, NOT EXPERIENCE aving focused on human resource management in college, Stephen Story feels that certain hiring practices put into place at James River Transportation over the years have proven to be beneficial. “When we hire people, we rarely hire those who have past experience in a particular field. Once exception would be employees involved in accounting. We would rather teach a person completely

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new tasks, than to have that person with past experience bring in a lot of bad habits,” he said. “I feel it’s more important to hire a good person, with a good personality, who we feel will buy into our corporate values — integrity being among the top of these values. We will then properly train the person according to what he/she has been hired to do at our company. “We focus a lot on training. This involves all positions — from drivers to customer service personnel.” There are approximately 150 people who work at James River Transportation. “We always say that our company looks big, because we take up a lot of space with our vehicles and our property, but we really are a small company,” Stephen Story said. “Of our 150 or so employees, 13 are in leadership or office positions, approximately 10 are in maintenance and cleaning, and the rest are drivers. “We measure job performance for just about every position that is offered at James River Transportation. This includes a detailed calculation on how each person performs on a weekly, monthly and quarterly basis. Almost every position offers incentives and bonuses as part of its compensation package. This includes drivers as well as members of our leadership and sales teams. We believe in helping our employees make good money. After all, they are the ones helping our company generate income. If they succeed, we succeed as a business.” He added that when a company is able to attract and hire quality candidates, the “domino effect” often follows. “Great employees attract other great employees. When word gets around that you are a good company to work for, that also improves employee retention,” Stephen Story said. “Employe recognition is key. Many people don’t leave a company because of the pay. They leave because they do not feel valued.” To help improve its level of employee recognition, James River Transportation offers monthly “WOW” awards. “We receive nominations for these awards in different ways, such as from customers,” Stephen Story said. “It’s important to recognize and celebrate employees who go above and beyond the call of duty.” The company has been presenting its “WOW” awards for nearly 10 years, and has seen an overall improvement in customer service. “The funny thing is, what could have won an employee a ‘WOW’ award 10 years ago is now often considered normal behavior. Our employees have raised the bar as to what a ‘WOW’ award is today,” Stephen Story said. Winners of these awards receive a


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“WOW” pin for their clothing at work, as well as a gift card. “Last year, we had over 400 ‘WOW’ nominations and 60-plus winners,” he said. “We receive 20 or so nominations every month. Winners are determined during our monthly managers’ meeting.”

“When it comes to driver candidates, we look for good personalities and communication skills. Approximately 90 percent of the drivers we hire are taught from scratch. They have no professional driving experience. We have been running our own driving school since 1996,” Stephen Story THE BENEFITS said. “We will hire some expeOF TRAINING rienced drivers if they have o further improve cusmoved from another area, but if tomer service, James they are already in our area, River Transportation inthere is probably a reason why stituted a corporate trainer posithey are looking for another tion approximately 12 years ago driving job — and it’s usually to teach a variety of skill sets, not a good reason. We have not including what Stephen Story been very successful in hiring refers to as “soft/personal” experienced drivers. We started skills. For examples, drivers are recognizing that fact decades taught dinner table etiquette and ago, and decided to hire more other social skills, as many find people with no experience and themselves eating with custhen train, train, train. tomers. Proper telephone eti“Again, along with all of our Technicians Chris Wells, left, and Leon Fisher are shown next to quette is also discussed. employes, we set goals for one of James River Transportation's Van Hool motorcoaches. “Numerous group sessions also drivers, measure and monitor take place at our company throughout the year, to discuss customer their performance, coach them, and modify their training when service ‘best practices.’ This type of activity helps to generate and share necessary.” ideas. Obviously, one of the problems when hiring inexperienced peoOfficials at James River Transportation also work with a comple is their lack of experience in their new field. This is where our more pany that specializes in background checks prior to hiring an emseasoned employees can help during these group sessions, sharing what ployee, such as a driver. The idea is to fill in any areas that may they have learned while driving a bus, selling a charter trip, etc.,” have been missed by traditional FBI checks. Stephen Story said. “Our corporate trainer is also constantly identifying “The company we work with has developed its own database, needs that we have, and adapting training programs.” searching and monitoring records at the county courthouse level. Of course, special training is a necessity when hiring people to This company seeks a 10-year history of a candidate to see if there drive large vehicles full of passengers. is any past criminal record,” Stephen Story said. “Having these ex-

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tensive background checks conducted is very important to our clients, especially when transporting school children, professional athletes and corporate personnel.”

“I tell our employees, we are a ‘performance-based organization.’ Everything we do must make sense, and we have to justify why we do it based on set goals.”

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DIFFERENT VEHICLES FOR DIFFERENT NEEDS hen it comes to transporting various customer groups, one size and type of vehicle doesn’t fit all. Simply put, different groups have different demands and transportation needs. Therefore, the 90-vehicle fleet of James River Transportation includes full- and medium-size motorcoaches, buses, vans, SUVs and sedans. On the motorcoach side, the company has experienced an industry trend felt by many North American operators that involves group sizes becoming smaller. To better accommodate these groups, James River Transportation recently put into service four new 38passenger Van Hool CX35 motorcoaches, from ABC Companies. These vehicles include 38 seats with extra legroom, three-point seat belts, power outlets at each seat, Wi-Fi capabilities, luggage bay, restroom, DVD players and monitors, satellite tracking and cameras.

James River Transportation also has its own driving simulator to better train and retrain drivers. This simulator is in a trailer and can be transported to different locations. “We can teach a driver how to properly react to different situations that can happen on the road. This includes what to do if a tire blows or a child walks in front of a vehicle,” Stephen Story said. “Having our own driving simulator is a hugh investment, but it’s an important part of our training process. “Every current driver also goes through a “We heavily focus on preventative maintenance. A mechanic taught me years twice-a-year assessment. This involves not only ago the ‘three-foot rule’ when conducting an inspection. The rule states that our simulator but actual on-the-road driving with a trainer. This helps the trainer identify any bad you not only properly inspect the specific item in question on a vehicle, you also driving habits that have developed. These habits inspect three feet around that item to see if anything else needs attention.” are then corrected. “I tell our employees, we are a ‘performancebased organization.’ Everything we do must make sense, and we “These motorcoaches have been a hit with customers who are have to justify why we do it based on set goals. Therefore, it’s im- looking for a smaller vehicle that comes with big-coach features,” portant to make proper adjustments when needed.” Stephen Story said. “In the past, we have taken seats out of our

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TVs, in-vehicle camera systems and larger motorcoaches in hopes of GPS tracking. meeting the needs of these smaller These amenities not only make groups, but they are still large vehithe passenger experience more encles. When I heard that ABC Comjoyable, comfortable and safer, they panies was offering a 38-passenger also help James River TransportaVan Hool vehicle, based on the extion’s drivers. isting Van Hool C-model, it was an For example, two years ago, comeasy decision for me to buy those pany officials introduced newly coaches. government-mandated electronic “My relationship with ABC Comlogging device (ELD) technology panies goes back many years, and for its drivers. However, instead of the CX35 motorcoach opens up fupurchasing ELDs as just another ture opportunities with passenger piece of equipment to be installed in groups. This helps us provide a vehicles, the company was able to more efficient operation. connect ELD technology to each “I was also impressed by how repdriver’s smartphone through the resentatives of ABC Companies set company’s transportation app, up conference calls every two weeks which is available to all of its emwith our company after we had James River Transportation employees showcase a wedding ployees. taken delivery of the Van Hool vehiservices award. They are, left to right, travel consultants Lynn “We didn’t just want to install ancles. They wanted to make sure Brockwell, Kizzy Taliaferro (holding the award), and Sheila those vehicles were doing well, and other piece of equipment in our veAlexander, along with administrative assistant Bonnie Miles. hicles that would eventually become to see if we had any questions or problems. This is very similar to the type of customer service that outdated and would need replaced. That seemed silly. Therefore, we gave our employees incentives to purchase smartphones, if they we try to provide for our own clients.� Like many of today’s bus/motorcoach operators, James River did not have them already, so that we could incorporate current Transportation provides a wide variety of vehicle amenities for its ELD technology. We also installed driver-vehicle inspection report passengers. This includes Wi-Fi, electrical seating outlets, satellite (DVIR) technology on these phones for our drivers’ pre-trip inspec-

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tions,” Stephen Story said. “Our company transportation app is for internal purposes only, and was not designed for passenger or client use. It includes a system to help employes complete, during their free time, any required company training program. Drivers can do this on their smartphone while waiting for a group to arrive, etc.” The company’s transportation app also features various operating manuals, emergency check lists and an internal newsletter that includes special announcements. “We also send monthly quizzes to many of our employees through this app, as part of our continual training program. The employees have to type in their answers for these quizzes for better retention,” Stephen Story said. Another focus point for James River Transportation, over the years, is making sure every vehicle in its fleet has seat belts. A process of retrofitting older vehicles with seat belts started five years ago for the company. James River Transportation Director of Sales & Marketing Craig Treanor “Obviously, when we purchase new buses, tests his driving skills while using the company’s bus simulator. they now come with seat belts. Many of our older vehicles, however, did not have them, which is why they have ment, many of which do have seat belts. How would you decide who, been retrofitted,” Stephen Story said. “There is no way we are going among a large group of passengers, would be in the vehicles with to keep a small number of vehicles in our fleet without seat belts, seat belts and who would be in the vehicles without seat belts? “That is an example of our company being extremely proactive. and then send those vehicles out as part of a larger group of equip-

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We spend a huge amount of money on training, safety and technology. It does not make business and safety sense, therefore, to have some vehicles in our fleet without seat belts. Today, we advertise that all of our vehicles have seat belts. It’s become a big deal for many of our clients, and it reinforces our safety culture.” Keeping all vehicles well maintained and clean is another important factor when it comes to superior safety and customer service. This comes naturally for Stephen Story, as his professional background includes vehicle maintenance. “I’m a state inspector as well as a certified mechanic and technician,” he said. “As with other parts of our business, we measure everything we do as it pertains to vehicle maintenance. This includes recording every breakdown, whether it’s electrical in nature or related to problems with a tire, air conditioning, etc. “We heavily focus on preventative maintenance. A mechanic taught me years ago the ‘three-foot rule’ when conducting an inspection. The rule states that you not only properly inspect the specific item in question on a vehicle, you also inspect three feet around that item to see if anything else needs attention. For instance, a person might find that a nearby hose is loose or a small

“We measure everything we do as it pertains to vehicle maintenance. This includes recording every breakdown, whether it’s electrical in nature or related to problems with a tire, air conditioning, etc.”

leak that needs attention. It’s all part of proper preventative maintenance.” Stephen Story is also the first to admit that properly cleaning a vehicle, in a timely manner, is not an easy task, and holds the people who do the cleaning at James River Transportation in very high regard. “It’s very hard to clean a vehicle overnight, getting it looking and smelling fresh. Again, we monitor and measure how much cleaning is done, and the end result,” he said. “We also spotcheck every vehicle before each trip. This involves several people, including the driver, a maintenance staff member and our safety director. If something needs improved upon within the cleaning process, “We also spotcheck every then we will retrain — just like every other part of our busivehicle before each trip. ness.”

E

BECOMING INVOLVED people, including the driver, IS KEY ndorsing the philosoa maintenance staff member phy that, “What you and our safety director. ” put in this life is what you get out of it,” Stephen Story has long been an advocate of industry participation and community involvement. It started early for him. For example, he is a longtime member of the Virginia Motorcoach Association. Ironically, it was a competitor who encouraged him to join the group when he was just 19 years of age.

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these government agencies can gain a better understanding of what type of company James River Transportation is, and learn more about its strict training and maintenance policies. “When we do make a mistake, and every company makes mistakes, representatives from these agencies will know that something we did wrong was not intentional, and that we were not trying to hide something,” Stephen Story said. “Due to these relationships, I have been invited, on occasion, to speak at government events. I have even brought our bus simulator to some of these events, emphasizing the different types “A lot of people are willing to pay good rates for good service. I continue of training conducted at James River Transportation. to feel that many people are starved for better customer service.” “The end result is, when an official from one of these state agencies sees our vehicle going down the road, Today, James River Transportation continues to participate he/she knows that the vehicle has been inspected and is in good with other local operators when transporting large groups of peo- condition. Overall, the many relationships that we have built over the years with the local community, the state regulatory and enple, especially during special events. “This can only be done if you continue to maintain good rela- forcement agencies and our competitors have helped James River tionships with your competitors,” Stephen Story said. “Such co- Transportation to become a much better company.” operation allows for complicated transportation projects to LOOKING AHEAD WITH ENTHUSIASM succeed. The end result is helping our own company’s revenue stream grow.” rganic growth is very high in importance for officials at Other solid partnerships that James River Transportation has James River Transportation. This growth will come developed over the years is with the Virginia Department of through new markets and services, according to Stephen Transportation and the Virginia State Police. Story. For example, the company is getting ready to test an elec“Because we are such a visible organization in our area, it was tric downtown shuttle for a client. decided a long time ago to build a positive relationship with the “I am also excited about the possibilities of autonomous vehiDOT and state police. The same is true with the Virginia Depart- cles. We are looking to partner with a particular software comment of Motor Vehicles,” Stephen Story said. pany to test such a vehicle,” Stephen Story said. “As a company, He added that by building such relationships, officials from I feel James River Transportation is the right size to be such a

“I would go to the meetings back then, and other members would say, ‘Here comes the new guy. We can get him on the board and he can volunteer for things. He has more energy,’” Stephen Story said, with a laugh. “It was a great early experience for me in the industry, and taught me that although the bus industry is full of competitors, many of these competitors can also be friends and allies. I feel it’s always good to create good relationships within the entire industry.”

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experimented, over the years, with just about every type of transportation service. Some were successful and some were not. That is OK. It’s how you learn.” Having spent most of his life in the bus/motorcoach industry, Stephen Story said this type of business does have its rewards. “As an owner, I have become involved with all aspects of this line of work. It’s definitely not been mundane. There is also good money to be earned. A lot of people are willing to pay good rates for good service. I continue to feel that many people are starved for better customer service. This has helped James River Transportation stand out,” he said. “It’s all about finding what type of customer service a client wants, and then how that service can best be delivered. Again, it’s much more than simply showing up on time and with a nice vehicle. That is the bare minimum. “You know that great customer service has The first bus James River Transportation owned was this 1924 Studebaker. been provided when a client comes back from a trip and has an amazing story to share — not partner for this type of project. We can be very flexible.” He added that autonomous vehicles could be beneficial when only with you but 10 other people.” providing smaller shuttle services. Contact: James River Transportation, “It would have to be a vehicle designed for low speed/low risk 915 N. Allen Ave., applications,” Stephen Story added. “We are always on the lookRichmond, VA 23220. Phone: 804-342-7300. out for new transportation services and modifications. We have Website: www.jamesrivertrans.com.

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Illinois’ Rock Island County

MetroLINK

Jeff Nelson

Jennifer Hirsch

Chelsey Hohensee

“We take every opportunity to give back to the community. It is a great story to tell.” — Jennifer Hirsch

Uses Technology And Data To Win 94 Percent Community Acceptance

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By Rick Mullen, Busline Magazine Associate Editor

eeking and implementing the latest in public transportation technology and innovations is a high priority at the Rock Island County Metropolitan Mass Transit District (MetroLINK). The transit agency primarily services communities on the Illinois side of the Quad Cities, which is comprised of Moline, East Moline and Rock Island in Illinois, and Davenport and Bettendorf in Iowa. The Mississippi River separates the Illinois and Iowa cities. BUSLINE

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“In Illinois, we originally serviced Moline, East Moline, Rock Island and Silvis,” said MetroLINK General Manager Jeff Nelson, during a recent interview with Busline Magazine at the system’s state-of-the art Metro Operations and Maintenance Center. “In the early 1990s, we expanded service into some of the smaller villages in the area — Milan, Carbon Cliff, Hampton and Colona. We mainly run service on the Illinois side of the Quad Cities. The Quad Cities metro area’s population is about 300,000 people, which is pretty much equally divided between the Illinois side and the Iowa cities. Our system and the Iowa city systems are coordinated to make a seamless connection from one state to the next.” In its fleet, MetroLINK operates 60 fixed-route buses (branded as “Metro”), 15 paratransit vehicles and three ferryboats (Channel Cat). The three Channel Cat passenger ferry boats operate on the Mississippi River, typically from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day. Weather permitting, the boats also run on weekends through October. In addition, the river service has been showcased by National Geographic and the Mississippi River Geotourism Stewardship Council as one of the best destinations for travelers seeking an authentic experience of the region, according to MetroLINK. “Offering the ferryboat service makes MetroLINK little bit different from most transit systems,” Nelson said. “Ferryboats are more likely to be seen on the East and West coasts, but not a whole lot in the Midwest.” Manager of Operations Chelsey Hohensee reported that, on average, MetroLINK logs about 2.4 million miles yearly. Rid-

ership has been holding steady at about 3.4 million passenger trips annually. “We are experiencing a slight uptick in ridership,” Nelson said. “We kind of hit a lull for about a two-year period, but now we are seeing the numbers starting to creep up.” Nelson said rider demographic data shows more than half of the system’s ridership are “choice” passengers. “Probably 58 percent of the choice riders are people going to and from work,” Nelson said. “The next biggest group are riders going to and from school. The cities of Moline and Rock Island do not have school buses. We have done pretty well with discretionary riders.” MetroLINK also offers unlimited ride cards for students of three local colleges and universities — Western Illinois Quad Cities University, Black Hawk College and Augustana College.

T

MAKING A DIFFERENCE

he Rock Island County Metropolitan Mass Transit District was established in 1970. The system was first known by its initials, RICMMTD. The system’s managers wanted a name that would be more easily recognized in the community. In 1988, a public contest was conducted, and the name MetroLINK was born. Since its inception in 1970, the system’s leadership made it a foundational principle to be a leader in the community, and to be a positive force based on how it impacts the environment and sustainability.

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Perhaps the most visible example to the general public of the has a parking deck on top. Some transit facilities have black soot system’s effort to improve the quality of life in the Quad Cities covering their ceilings, as well as clouds of dirt everywhere, and we area by being environmentally friendly is the evolution of the didn’t want that to happen here. So, shifting to that No. 1 high cetain MetroLINK bus fleet. was a great experience for us. In 1983, Nelson, a native It gave us our first taste of of Moline, came to clean burning energy,� Nelson MetroLINK as a transit plansaid. ner. He was named general In the early 2000s, John manager in 1986. Deere & Co., based in Moline, “When I started here, our began producing compressed board provided a lot of the natural gas engines for ongoal setting and vision eleroad vehicles. The company ments. They truly wanted to was seeking a marketplace for make a difference in the the CNG engines, and it apcommunity,� Nelson said. proached MetroLINK. As a When he first arrived at result, in 2002, the transit sysMetroLINK, the primary tem began operating CNG vefuel being used in the syshicles powered by the John tem’s buses was No. 2 diesel. Deere engines. “John Deere was manufac“That grade of diesel fuel The Metro Operations and Maintenance Center is designed to be turing natural gas engines produced a lot of soot and environmentally responsible, sustainable, and to support the ultimate with electronic fueling, which particulates,� Nelson said. in human potential and mechanical efficiency, according to MetroLINK. was new to the public transit Working with the Chicago Transit Authority, an additive product, called No. 1 high cetain, industry at the time. We worked with ElDorado National to put the John Deere engines in city buses,� Nelson said. “So, we took was developed. “No. 1 high cetain significantly reduced the particulates and, delivery of our first 12 CNG buses, and, a short time later, anprobably more importantly, the soot coming out of the buses. We other 10. Within a two-year window, we were operating 22 clean just finished our new Centre Station in downtown Moline that burning natural gas buses with John Deere engines.�

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When the federal government began pushing for clean diesel technology, incentives for clean-burning energy shifted, Nelson explained. “As a result, John Deere left that market and Cummins Inc. became the primary CNG engine manufacturer in the industry,” Nelson said. “We are now retiring the last of our buses with the John Deere engines.” MetroLINK continued to build on its CNG program, and its fleet is now comprised of about 85 percent alternative fueled vehicles. “We have two in-house CNG fueling compressors. We built a redundant station at the Moline Public Works, which also runs compressed natural gas vehicles,” Nelson said. “We put the fueling station at the Public Works as a backup to be able to continue service in the event we have a catastrophic issue at the Metro Operations and Maintenance Center.” As a side note, MetroLINK’s first set of CNG buses left the factory and went straight to the 2002 Winter Olympic games in Salt Lake City, UT. “They went to the Olympics before they arrived here, because there was a big push for clean energy for the Olympics,” Nelson said. “When they arrived after the Olympics, each bus had a nice little Olympic plaque inside.”

I

“It is amazing to look back at the ribbon cutting we had for the electric buses. There were more than 100 people from the business community and elected officials who attended. That was a significant number of people for a city our size, and it speaks to what Jeff (Nelson) does to promote public transit.” One thing riders notice, when traveling on one of the electric buses, is how quiet they are when the engine is running. In fact, one can stand near an electric bus and not be able to tell if the engine is running or not. “The electric buses are unique. People can have conversations on these buses without having to talk loudly,” Nelson said. “When we first started, if you were in the back of a bus, you weren’t going to have a conversation.”

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n keeping with its commitment to be a leader in the communities it serves by seeking the latest in sustainability technologies, in April of this year, MetroLINK unveiled three all-electric fixed-routes buses. Also, in April, it was announced that MetroLINK will receive about $3.2 million from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bus and Bus Infrastructure Program to purchase electric buses, charging stations and passenger shelters. As a result, an additional five electric buses have been ordered and are expected to be delivered in 2019. “We have stepped into the next phase of clean energy, and that is battery electric buses,” Nelson said. “We now have three battery electric buses, and we have ordered five more, which will arrive in February 2019. We have been very impressed with the all-electric buses.” MetroLINK Manager of Administration Jennifer Hirsch added: “We take every opportunity to give back to the community. It is a great story to tell. When CNG first came out, we worked really hard to make that known to the community. When we brought in the electric buses, we conducted a pretty significant campaign.

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Operations Supervisor Steve Quested

Operations Supervisor Erica Bell

With the transition to CNG, MetroLINK’s mechanics received significant training on the new technology. “John Deere was really good about giving us training on CNG engines. They actually have a John Deere University,” Nelson said. “When we first rolled out the CNG buses, John Deere’s trainers spent nearly a month educating our mechanics on natural gas. “Fast forward to today, Proterra Inc., produced a nice prep course for our mechanics to understand how electric buses work. Our alternative fuel program has been well received by the community each step of the way. We received endless positive comments when we went to natural gas, and, even more so, with our move to electric-powered buses.”

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Assistant Director of Operations Mitch Pannell

Nelson said it is too early to determine if the electric buses have impacted ridership numbers. “Currently, the three electric buses are operating on one corridor that goes from the Quad City International Airport to downtown Moline,” Nelson said. “It is a nice welcoming format for people coming through the airport to see the battery electric buses. It really denotes a progressive community, as we constantly seek new technologies to improve service.” No matter how high tech its buses are, none of it matters without MetroLINK’s drivers, who are billed as the “face of Metro.” The system’s bus operators undergo intensive and extensive training before they can drive a bus solo. While driver turnover is not a major problem, MetroLINK promotes a unique perspective on how its drivers view their jobs. During Busline’s visit, Hirsch showed a short video on the subject. The video shows that MetroLINK encourages operators to view themselves as being almost like independent subcontractors. Drivers view their buses as their “office” and riders as “clients.” The video also points out, there are no office cubicles and no desks involved, just the road and a good view. The video also acts as an effective tool to recruit drivers. The video can be seen on the system’s website, www.metroqc.com. As with bus operators, there is not a lot of turnover when it comes to mechanics. However, in attracting mechanics, MetroLINK competes with John Deere and the Rock Island Arsenal, which is a U.S. Army facility located on an island in the Mississippi River. MetroLINK’s state-of-the art Operations and Maintenance Center, which was completed in the spring of 2014, was designed with mechanics in mind. “In designing the facility, we knew specifically we would be challenged in the recruiting of mechanics, so we spent a lot of time developing the maintenance area,” Nelson said. “We sought input from our existing employees as to what would motivate them to want to come to work every day.


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Assistant Director of Maintenance Dan Hyett, left, and Director of Maintenance Matt Simaytis.

The result was a maintenance area laid out to be a very attractive workplace. “John Deere and Arsenal pay their mechanics a lot more, so we had to design a value-added work environment. Our maintenance shop has heated floors and plenty of natural lighting. It is a very clean environment, and is an effective recruitment tool.” Hirsch added: “The talk in the community is we have the best maintenance shop around.”

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Greg Meldrum, DCS Computer Services, left, and Jim Tuttle, systems administrator.

FORWARD-LOOKING PROJECTS

uring the past several years, in addition to the electric bus program, MetroLINK has completed, or is in the process of completing, several progressive, forward looking projects designed with sustainability and improving the quality of life in the Quad Cities in mind. Major projects include: n John Deere Commons Ferry Terminal: Environmental

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work is currently underway for this project, and construction is expected in 2019. Located at the John Deere Commons landing in Moline, the terminal will increase safety and security, enhance Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) accessibility, expand docking space, and provide new passenger amenities; n The Q Multi-Modal Station: The “Q” is a mixed-use, public-private station to serve future passenger rail service and en-

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hance intermodal connectivity in the Quad Cities. The project involved the reuse of an six-story historic structure in downtown Moline that was built in 1917 as a Sears warehouse. Major improvements include common space waiting areas for rail passengers, real-time information signage, restrooms, and a grand passenger hall. Exterior project elements include a soonto-be-constructed rail platform and pedestrian plaza capable of hosting a range of community events. The facility also includes the 96-room Element hotel; n Moline Riverbend Commons Ferryboat Terminal: In 2016, MetroLINK completed construction on a new Moline ferryboat terminal to serve the Channel Cat passenger ferryboat service; n District Station: Opened in early 2014, District Station replaced MetroLINK’s on-street transfer site in downtown Rock Island. The facility includes 2,000 square-feet of interior passenger waiting area with restrooms, an information kiosk and a monitor displaying next bus arrival information. Ten exterior bus bays with canopies are equipped with real-time signage. In December 2017, MetroLINK announced that District Station had achieved USGBC LEED Gold Certification; n TransLoc® Rider app: The app, which is available on both Android and Apple devices for riders of Bettendorf Transit, MetroLINK, and Davenport CitiBus, offers real time bus tracking and displays a map, which enables riders to locate specific routes and stops. n Centre Station: A signature hub of the MetroLINK system, Centre Station provides connections to nine routes. Located in Moline on River Drive and next to the John Deere Pavilion, riders can browse its gift shop and eat lunch. With many amenities close at hand, Centre Station is an attraction worth visiting; n Metro Operations and Maintenance Center: This aforementioned facility is designed to be environmentally responsible, sustainable, and to support the ultimate in human potential and mechanical efficiency, according to MetroLINK. The 150,000 square-foot facility includes an operations corridor, a bus maintenance building, a storage area and fueling bays. The facility was designed to USGBC LEED (U.S. Green Building Council Certification Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) Gold standards and includes energy efficiency and sustainability features such as: • An energy recovery system that captures heat or cooled energy to eliminate the power needed to change the building’s air temperature to inside levels; • Solar arrays that supply the majority of the facility's electrical power and hot water needs; • A water reclamation system that filters water used in the facility’s bus wash for reuse; and, • An indoor compressed natural gas fueling station. MetroLINK also operates an Americans With Disabilities (ADA)-certified paratransit service. “In 1978, we started installing wheelchair lifts on our fixed-route buses. Our board chose many years ago to become a fully-ac-


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Operations Coordinator Jennifer Kincaid

Facilities Engineer Luke Hansen

Finance Assistant Tammy Fetterer

cessible fixed-route system,â&#x20AC;? Nelson said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Because our fixed-route buses are so accessible, we still find today that the bulk of our physically-challenged customers use fixed-route buses. As a result, we have an unusually small paratransit fleet, for use by people who donâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have a choice.â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x153;We also do a lot of outreach in the community in terms of travel training for seniors, the disabled population and school children, to help them feel comfortable and familiar with riding the fixed-route system,â&#x20AC;? Hirsch said. MetroLINK has also established programs with some local factories to transport their employees. â&#x20AC;&#x153;Tyson Foods is probably our best example. It is located outside the edge of our service area,â&#x20AC;? Nelson said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;The company pays MetroLINK a flat fee every year, in lieu of property taxes, which allows us to operate an express service that takes people to work every day.â&#x20AC;? â&#x20AC;&#x153;In addition,â&#x20AC;? Hirsch said, â&#x20AC;&#x153;we have a program called Metro

H

Planning and Projects Tanning Osing

Information Systems Coordinator Devon White

Works, where we are going out to manufacturers and the business community promoting our service.â&#x20AC;? BREAKING DOWN BARRIERS

istorically, one of the major barriers that has kept people from considering public transit as a viable transportation option has been the perception that buses are dirty and unsafe. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We spend a lot of time trying to work on perceptions and values,â&#x20AC;? Nelson said. â&#x20AC;&#x153;We are 100 percent opposite of the old perception of public transportation as being unsafe with dirty buses, etc. We have been successful in this effort. When we survey the community, we have a 94 percent high acceptance rate. There is no question the community sees value of public transportation. They see investment in public transit as being critical.â&#x20AC;? Nelson said MetroLINK, along with other transit agencies, bat-

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tles a “vocal minority” who are opposed to public transportation. “It doesn’t make sense. They fight referendums and service expansions, and when you pin them down as to why, they can’t answer the question,” Nelson said. “It is an interesting anomaly that is starting to pop up in communities around the nation. Unfortunately, sometimes the vocal minority is having more success than the mainstream.” To battle public perceptions, MetroLINK has completed an economic analysis report, which was a project completed by one of the sysMetroLINK’s maintenance area, with its heated floors and plenty of natural lighting tem’s interns. makes it an attractive workplace, as well as an effective recruitment tool. “The report shows what the true value of having a transit system in a community means in num- ship with elected officials, and is constantly looking for ways bers,” Hirsch said. “We are working to publish the economic to innovate.” LOOKING AHEAD analysis report and getting it in front of our business community and the taxpayers. There is some hard data in the report s has historically been the case, MetroLINK’s leadership that shows the importance of transit, and how it positively imcontinues to seek ways to improve upon its progressive pacts the community. This is something new that not a lot of public transportation system. communities are doing.” “The whole big data field is very intriguing. The challenge is Nelson added: “We have to give APTA (American Public Transportation Association) kudos because they developed the how can we better use technology and data to create a system framework to allow us to successfully put together such a re- based on need and demand?” Nelson said. “When I started here, port. APTA has done a great job trying to prepare transit agen- it was all guesswork. As much as people would say they had the cies to better discuss their impact on communities. When you fine art of transit down, there was still a lot of guesswork. “With all the new technology, software and data out there, we can talk about the economic impact of transit in a community, that speaks volumes across a lot of lines. APTA has done a great are finding some unique services. For example, we are looking at developing microtransit service to better fill buses more sigjob helping us frame the conversation.” nificantly at the end of the line. We are stepping into the microtransit arena. We are conducting studies to see if it is really a viable alternative. We will probably do some prototyping on that in the next 18 months to two years.” Nelson explained microtransit involves added service at the end of a fixed-route where, typically, buses are nearly empty. “For example, in a small community at the end of a fixed-route, we might be able to offer service that allows people to move around in the community itself,” he said. “We have one community that is very small, but it has a post office, a grocery store, convenience stores and a drugstore. The question is, can we design a system that allows people to stay within their village, as well as catching that mainline bus to downtown?” Another futuristic technology that has many public transportaIn April, MetroLINK unveiled three all-electric fixed-route buses. The electric tion officials nationwide pondering on how it will be used at their buses are exceptionally quiet and create virtually no noise when idling. respective agencies is autonomous vehicles. “We are dabbling in the autonomous arena,” Nelson said. In addition to APTA, Hirsch gave credit to Nelson’s leader- “We are looking at how to create an autonomous shop where ship in establishing a progressive approach to public transporta- a bus can drive itself through the fuel line and into storage tion that has resonated positively with the Quad Cities and maintenance areas. “As autonomous vehicle technology moves forward, we are community. “He (Nelson) truly is a visionary and has led this organization trying to take advantage of the value-added features that to do many progressive things,” she said. “He holds us to a come with it, to make our vehicles safer and our operators pretty high standard. He represents our brand in the community, more efficient.” as well as Chelsey (Hohensee) and myself. I would like to think Contact: MetroLINK, 1515 River Drive, Moline, IL 61265. we are a reflection of him. He has been involved with APTA Phone: 309-786-2705. Website: www.metroqc.com. for many years in leadership roles. He also has a great relation-

A

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Berkshire Shows Luxury Coach At BusCon Built On Freightliner Custom Chassis S2C

Berkshire, a member of the Forest River Bus Division, recently debuted a new addition to its product lineup, one that is powered by Freightliner Custom Chassis Corporation (FCCC). Riding on a purpose-built S2C commercial bus chassis platform from FCCC, Berkshire’s Ultra 42 coach offers a full range of standard features and highlights made possible by the chassis’ industry-leading design, durability and amenities. The Ultra 42 was on display during the recent 2018 BusCon, in Indianapolis, IN. According to FCCC, features of the Ultra 42 and its purpose-built S2C chassis include: “The best visibility in its class and superior cab ergonomics, safety and visibility; leather seating and steering wheel; premium driver and passenger air-suspension seats; and exclusive front and rear suspension configuration for optimum ride and handling.” Additional features include LED headlamps with daytime runninglights; an easily accessible slide-out battery tray and battery disconnect switch; and a weather-protected power distribution center. “Berkshire is already setting a new standard in the luxury bus industry, and we’re excited they see the S2C as the best platform for the Ultra 42,” FCCC Product Manager for Commercial Bus Gordie Taylor said. “The S2C offers the ideal combination of performance, comfort and durability — providing the perfect foundation for this exciting addition to the Berkshire product family.” FCCC Sales Manager/Commercial Bus Ivan Roberts added, “The S2C has specific features that cater well to the commercial bus market. This involves

BYD Awarded Electric Bus Contract By WESTCOACH Sightseeing

BYD (Build Your Dreams) Canada has been awarded an order for zero emission, battery-electric buses by WESTCOAST Sightseeing, the first tour company in Canada to order clean energy buses, and the first to commit to having a 100 percent clean-energy fleet by 2023. The largest private bus operator in Vancouver, WESTCOAST Sightseeing will work exclusively with BYD on converting its entire fleet of 90 buses, which will include open-top buses, double decks, singles and others. WESTCOAST Sightseeing will also work with the city to develop charging infrastructure that will also benefit many other companies that want to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and climate impact. “Our business is built around the natural beauty of our home, and we are especially conscious of the impact our day-to-day operations have on the environment,” said Rob Safrata, CEO of WESTCOAST Sightseeing. “We are working towards a greener and more sustainable future. Adding electric buses and boats is the first step to achieve our goal in 2023 of becoming the first sightseeing firm in Canada with 100 percent electric vehicles.” WESTCOAST Sightseeing recently added Electric Harbour tours to its line of sightseeing products, providing the first harbor tour on a 100 percent electric boat in Vancouver. These buses alone will deliver a reduction in carbon emissions of 4,500 metric tons of carbon emissions per year based on EPA standards. Investing more than $250 million in North America to date, BYD has delivered more than 270 buses in North America, and sold or leased in excess of 600 buses in total to more than 50 municipal, transit agency, university, airport, federal and other commercial and private sector clients in 14 U.S. states, and across 4 provinces in Canada, according to the company. Visit www.byd.com for more information.

the type of suspension, ride and handling that many operators desire.” Roberts added that the rear sway bar of the S2C provides added handling capabilities for the benefit of passengers who are seated toward the back of the vehicle. “That is important, especially in a vehicle that is full of passengers and their luggage,” Roberts said. FCCC Manager of Product Marketing Bryan Henke added that one of the benefits to using Freightliner Custom Chassis products is access to the company’s 24/7 Direct app, providing on-demand customer support — any time and anywhere. “The app offers that extra customer support that separates FCCC products from many commodity-type items,” Henke said. This type of service now benefits a growing number of Berkshire customers. “We chose S2C because of its design and the outstanding support FCCC puts behind its products,” Berkshire Coach General Manager Troy Snyder said. “With the S2C, we’re able to develop a fully-loaded, high-end motorcoach with very few modifications that fits naturally into our entire line of products. We’re already seeing a lot of excitement among dealers and potential end-users.” The Ultra 42 is the fourth Forest River Bus product built on the S2C, joining the Glaval Legacy, StarTrans P/S2 and the Starcraft Allstar XL. Visit www.freightlinerchassis.com for more information.

RFP #1919

Notice is hereby given that proposals will be received by the City of Culver City, California, for the following:

WHEELCHAIR RESTRAINT SYSTEMS

In strict accordance with the specifications on file in the office of the CULVER CITY PURCHASING DIVISION, 4343 Duquesne Avenue, Culver City, California, 90232.

One original, One electronic (USB Drive) and three copies of the proposal must be submitted to the CITY CLERK in a sealed envelope at CITY HALL, 9770 Culver Boulevard, Culver City, California, 90232, not later than 3:00 p.m. on November 15, 2018, at which time they will be opened at the City Clerk's Desk on the first floor of City Hall. Late submissions will not be accepted. Facsimile proposals will not be accepted. Any proposer may withdraw his/her proposal, without obligation, at any time prior to the scheduled closing time for receipt of proposals. A withdrawal will not be effective unless made personally or by telephonic notification received prior to the closing date. Proposals may later be referred to the City Council for appropriate action. The City reserves the right to reject any or all proposals as the best interests of the City may dictate.

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AbiliTrax 26 Center St. Randolph, NY 14701 USA 716-484-7014 Email: jen@abilitrax.com Website: www.abilitrax.com Company Officers: Keven Crawford, Managing Partner; Scott Fenton, Owner, Inventor; Jen

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Overfield, Dealer Sales & Marketing Products: AbiliTrax universal, flexible flooring systems, stationary and quick disconnect seating solutions (CAM Lock, CAM2, and StepNLock). Also available are state-of-the-art ShiftNStep dual access lift system and more. All products are FMVSS compliant and patents are pending. 18

November/December 2018

Altro See Ad On Page 39 12648 Clark St. Santa Fe Springs, CA 90670 USA 800-382-0333 Email: transport@altrofloors.com Website: www.altro.com/transport Products: Altro is a manufacturer of slip-resistant floors and has been in the forefront of innovation for almost 100 years. Being the inventors of safety floors, Altro’s transport floors have been satisfying the diverse needs of the transportation industry for decades in both bus and rail applications. Put passenger safety first with Altro’s combination of aluminum oxide, silicon carbide and quartz aggregate. All products are lightweight, easy to install and maintain, and have been developed specifically to meet the demands of moving vehicles. Altro floors are engineered for the latest international smoke, fire and toxicity regulations. Investing in an Altro product is an investment in a complete system - a full range of accessories, including adhesives, color coordinated weld rods and sealants, nosings, trims and moldings are available. Customers can also take advantage of Altro’s kit-cutting service to save time on installation and get their vehicles back into service quickly. Family owned and run since 1919, Altro is committed to providing customers with innovative products to serve their needs. 17 Baultar Concept, Inc. 110, J.-E. Lemieux St. Windsor, QC J1S 0A4 CANADA 819-845-7110 Website: www.baultar.com Products: Baultar Flooring Solutions provides


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composite flooring and other products for the transit industry. 15 Better Life Technology 9736 Legler St. Lenexa, KS 66219 USA 913-890-4619 Email: jkeys@bltllc.com; tterrill@bltllc.com Website: www.bltllc.com Company Officers: Brett Sneed, Chief Executive Officer and Founder; Randy Treas, Chairman of the Board; and Terry Terrill, Vice President of Retail Sales Products: G-Floor universal flooring is Better Life Technology’s signature line of high quality 100 percent polyvinyl flooring, purposefully designed for easy installation and maintenance and for long lasting beauty and protection. This transit flooring won’t scratch, crack, peel, tear, and prevents moisture damage, denting, puncturing, and ripping. G-Floor is exceptionally durable and will withstand heavy traffic over years of continuous use. Additional advantages: waterproof to prevent rust damage and wood rot; covers entire floor without seams; lightweight material is easier to handle, install and provides greater fuel efficiency; special textured surfaces provide improved traction; slip resistant and stain resistant; thick, yet cushiony for passenger comfort; cleans with soap and water; and no rubber odor. 18

Forbo Flooring Systems North America Humboldt Industrial Park P.O. Box 667 Hazleton, PA 18201 USA 570-459-0771 E-Mail: info.na@forbo.com Website: www.forboflooringna.com Products: Flooring product portfolio for the bus and coach sector. Includes entrance systems, safety floors, vinyl floors and flocked flooring as well as adhesives, accessories and installation tools. 15

Gerflor USA See Ad On Page 38 595 Supreme Dr. Bensenville, IL 60106 USA 877-266-2042 Email: pdegroot@gerflorusa.com Website: www.gerflortransport.com Company Officers: Perry DeGroot, National Sales Manager; Kurt Brown, Sales ManagerMidwest; Larry Mabery, Sales Manager-NE and Canada; Walter Yang, Sales Manager-West Products: Gerflor is recognized as a specialist in PVC transit flooring solutions. Tarabus is the Gerflor product range designed for bus and coach applications. High product quality and innovative designs make Tarabus a leader in this market. Developing close partnerships with bus and coach manufacturers for more

than 50 years, Tarabus offers a complete flooring solution designed to meet customers’ requirements and expectations. 18

Milwaukee Composites, Inc. 6055 S. Pennsylvania Ave. Cudahy, WI 53110 USA 414-571-2788 E-Mail: sales@milwaukeecomposites.com Website: www.milwaukeecomposites.com Products: Since 1997, Milwaukee Composites has produced its patented lightweight floor for the transit industry. 15

ProFusion Industries 822 Kumho Dr. Fairlawn, OH 44333 USA 330-668-7694 Website: www.profusionindustries.com Products: Manufactures the Koro-Trans™ Astra Flor™ group of flooring, step tread and nosing components for shuttle and transit buses. Manufactured using sustainable processes, Astra Flor features an aesthetically pleasing metal flake texture. Astra Flor may be purchased as a welded one-piece construction in full width rib, full width smooth, or a smooth/rib combination, as well as in standard width rolls for pieced installation. Widths range from 79 to 114 inches. Step tread options include Astra Flor, Astra

safety engineering durability support partnership Flooring systems engineered for transportation 800.382.0333

altro.com/transport

Altro Transflor Figura ™

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Flor Ribbed, and the slip resistant Pebbletread™ design. Nosings can be provided with textured or ribbed finishes. Proprietary processes provide for short lead times. Astra Flor is fire, slip, abrasion, and moisture resistant. OEM’s and service departments can select custom length flooring kits or prefabricated welded one-piece flooring. 16

Protectolite™ Composites Inc. 84 Railside Rd. Toronto, ON M3A 1A3 CANADA 416-444-4484 Website: www.protectolite.com Products: Protectolite™ has been serving the mass transit bus community for over 50 years. It supplies a wide variety of products, including transit seating and seat components, flooring, exterior and interior body panels, bezels and headlamp housings. 15 Safeguard Technology Inc. 1460 Miller Pkwy., Streetsboro, OH 44241 330-995-5200 E-Mail: info@safeguard-technology.com

Website: www.safeguard-technology.com Products: Anti-slip flooring products for transportation and other industries. 15

SpaceAge Synthetics, Ltd. 1402 39th St., NW Fargo, ND 58102 USA 701-277-5631 Website: www.spaceagesynthetics.com Products: Thermo-Lite Board®, a fiber-reinforced urethane product for applications subjected to static and dynamic loads. The company’s product lines offer a non-absorbent, lightweight, tough material, with lifetime performance, for the bus and other industries. 16 TransitFlor 1833 E. Market St., Akron, OH 44305 USA 800-321-2340 Email: info@transitflor.com Website: www.transitflor.com Products: TransitFlor® premium-grade rubber flooring, stair treads and entrance plates are de-

signed for such vehicles as school, metro and touring buses. 18

TransitWorks See Ad On Page 33 4199 Kinross Lakes Pkwy. Richfield, OH 44286 USA 855-337-9543 Email: guy.hanford@transit-works.com Website: www.transit-works.com Products: SmartFloor™ flexible flooring system. The modular technology allows for quick and easy movement of seats and wheelchair positions. 18 Wooster Products, Inc. 1000 Spruce St. Wooster, OH 44691 USA 800-321-4936 Website: www.wooster-products.com Products: Wooster Products is a USA manufacturer of anti-slip safety stair and walkway products. This includes anti-slip nosings for bus entry steps. 17

From RBS

GoTour, GoChart, Credit Card Processing And More

RBS, Inc., a provider of tour and charter management software specifically designed for the motorcoach industry for more than 25 years, has been designing, implementing and supporting its premier products, GoChart and GoTour. The company describes its offerings as follows:

“GoTour, our cloud based tour management software, manages reservations, itineraries, payables, receivables, and produces management reports and customer documents for group and retail tours. Hosted in the cloud using AWS (Amazon Web Services), GoTour can be accessed using a broadband internet connection. The RBS professional staff actively monitors AWS services health, including continuous data backups, software updates and network traffic analysis. RBS is now distributing GoTour v4.10 which includes Blocked Out Passenger Inventory as well as many feature enhancements,” according to a press release. “GoChart charter management system features customer and contract management, scheduling, dispatching, accounts receivable Page 40

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and numerous accounting/operations reports. Modules allow companies to purchase and customize the RBS system to fit their needs. The security module is powerful and has strict controls, and requires each employee to access RBS using a unique login and password. User-defined permissions allow access to specific areas of the program depending on job types such as administrator, salesperson, dispatcher and driver. RBS is now distributing v23 which includes user definable traits and attributes, batch emailing of driver's orders, customizable coloring of views and many feature enhancements. Traits are used to define properties of buses/customers such as a bus that is ADA compliant. Attributes are used to create categories of customers and drivers. Version 23 also includes the ability to track a customer's requested and unwanted driver lists.

“GoChart’s Web Manager provides reliable credit card authorization, online quote generation and notification, and driver access to schedules. Web Manager modules include: • Credit Card Processing — Integrated into the RBS GoChart application;

November/December 2018

• Quote Request — Customers request quotes online by providing basic information which is used to open a quote in GoChart. Email is forwarded to the customer and sales staff notifying receipt of online quote; • Online Driver Schedule— Provides web access to drivers’ schedules, allowing drivers to access schedules from home, office or anywhere with an Internet connection; • Offsite Backup and Recovery software and services are designed with disaster recovery in mind. A backup client on your server connects remotely and backs up your critical RBS data daily. Only you and RBS have access to this data. Notification emails are sent each time the data is backed up. RBS ensures that backup data is properly available for restoration and maintains terminal services/remote desktop environment to which your data can be moved. You will have access for two users, for one month, while you re-establish your network infrastructure; and, • GoText automatically provides scheduled text messages to drivers reminding them of upcoming assignments.” Call RBS at 800-448-7001 or visit www.rbs2000.com to request an evaluation copy of GoChart, or, to schedule a demo of GoTour and start a 30-day trial.


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AxleTech International 1400 Rochester Rd. Troy, MI 48083 USA Phone: 248-658-7200 Website: www.axletech.com Products: Various brake-related products including drum brakes - cam; drum brakes wedge; hydraulic dry disc brakes; hydraulic wet disc brakes and park brakes. 14

Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems LLC 901 Cleveland St. Elyria, OH 44035 USA Phone: 800-AIR-BRAKE, 440-329-9000 Email: info@bendix.com Website: www.bendix.com Products: Bendix Commercial Vehicle Systems, a member of the Knorr-Bremse Group, develops and supplies active safety technologies, air brake charging and control systems and components under the Bendix® brand name. Markets include medium- and heavy-duty trucks, tractors, trailers, buses and other commercial vehicles throughout North America. 14 Bremskerl North America, Inc. 1291 Humbracht Cir. Bartlett, IL 60103 USA Phone: 800-939-4047 Email: sales@bremskerl.com Website: www.bremskerl.com Products: German manufacturer of air disc brake pads for coach bus applications. Available for every bus make and model in North America. 16

Bridgestone Americas Tire Operations, LLC 535 Marriott Dr. Nashville, TN 37214 USA Phone: 615-937-1000 Website: www.bridgestoneamericas.com Products: Provides lease, sales and service of commercial and specially-designed mileage tires, retreads, wheels and tire service equipment. 15

CBM NA See Ad On Page 34 8477 Chemin Dalton Ville Mont Royal, QC H4T 1V5 CANADA 877-332-3163 Email: info.canada@cbmcompany.com, info.usa@cbmcompany.com Website: www.cbmcompany.com Products: Spare parts for motorcoaches, buses and trams. 17 Continental Commercial Vehicle Tires - The Americas 1830 MacMillan Park Dr. Fort Mill, SC 29707 USA Phone: 704-583-3900 Website: www.continentaltire.com Products: Tires for various markets including the bus and motorcoach industries. 14 Cooper Tire 701 Lima Ave. Findlay, OH 45840 USA Phone: 419-423-1321 Email: cooperinfo@coopertire.com Website: www.coopertrucktires.com Company Officer: Brad Hughes, President & CEO

Products: Cooper Tire recently introduced a new line of commercial tires which are designed and engineered to deliver quality and value. The WORK Series™ line, which has been developed specifically for buses––as well as regional-haul, pick-up and delivery applications––offers a wide tread footprint to maximize traction. The tire balances fuel efficiency and tread life with scrub-resistant properties, and offers a full-width, four-steel belt package to provide the casing integrity needed to handle multiple retreads. The Cooper® WORK Series™ RHA is a premium 22.5/32nds deep, four rib tread design all position tire that provides a wide footprint needed to maximize traction. The tapered grooves and stone ejectors are designed to resist stone drilling-a casings worst enemy. The Cooper® WORK Series™ RHD provides premium 26/32nds deep open shoulder drive tread design to provide the footprint needed to maximize traction. The aggressive tread pattern balances fuel efficiency and mileage while also keeping cut and chip resistance in mind. The RHA and RHD are both SmartWay verified. 18

DuraBrake Co. 2311 Calle Del Mundo Santa Clara, CA 95054 USA Phone: 408-748-0400 Email: info@durabrake.com Website: www.durabrake.com Products: DuraBrake™ is a manufacturer of medium and heavy-duty brake drums, rotors and hubs for the aftermarket and OEM. The company has over 2,000 part numbers for transit buses, motorcoaches and other vehicles. 18

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The Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co. 200 Innovation Way Akron, OH 44316-0001 USA Phone: 330-796-2121 Website: www.goodyear.com Products: Goodyear is one of the world’s largest tire companies. It employs approximately 69,000 people and manufactures its products from 51 facilities in 22 countries around the world. It has two Innovation Centers, located in Akron, OH, and Colmar-Berg, Luxembourg. 14

Haldex Brake Products Corp. 10930 N. Pomona Ave. Kansas City, MO 64153 USA Phone: 816-891-2470 Website: www.haldex.com Products: Haldex develops and manufactures brake systems for heavy trucks, trailers and buses. The product offering covers all primary components and subsystems included in complete air brake systems. The operations are conducted through two business units: Air Control and Foundation Brake. 14 Marathon Brake Systems See Ad On Page 19 125 Old Mill Rd. Cartersville, GA 30120 USA Phone: 800-223-5201 Website: www.marathonbrake.com Products: Marathon Brake Systems has been serving the North American heavy-duty marketplace for more than 25 years. In that time, the company has developed a complete line of friction materials to satisfy applications ranging from general over-the-road freight to the most severe duty hauling to intercity and intracity transit and school bus fleets. These aftermarket and OE approved linings are manufactured in the company’s ISO-certified facilities.

From the beginning, the company’s goal is to provide a better brake lining while offering dependable service and delivery. Brake linings are manufactured using state-of-the-art materials, processes and equipment to ensure reliable products are delivered to customers. 17

Meritor, Inc. 2135 W. Maple Rd., Troy, MI 48084-7121 USA Phone: 248-435-1519 Website: www.meritor.com Products: Meritor is a global supplier of drivetrain, mobility, braking and aftermarket solutions for commercial vehicle and industrial markets. Meritor supplies more than two million brake assemblies per year for trucks, trailers, buses and coaches. 14

MGM Brakes 8530 Cliff Cameron Dr. Charlotte, NC 28269 USA Phone: 704-547-7411 Email: mail@mgmbrakes.com Website: www.mgmbrakes.com Products: For over 50 years, MGM Brakes has been providing air brake actuators to the commercial vehicle market, with the addition of MGM’s advanced Electronic Brake Monitoring Systems (e.STROKE) for drum and air disc brake applications. MGM Brakes is an American-owned company with products “Made in the U.S.A.” and a global reach. Two ISO-certified manufacturing facilities and technical research centers are located in the United States. The company develops new solutions to the transportation industry’s needs, from service chambers, to double-diaphragm and piston-diaphragm spring brakes for use with Wedge, S-Cam or Air Disc Foundation Systems, to the Electronic Brake Monitoring System. MGM products are available through a global sales and distribution network. 14

Michelin North America, Inc. P.O. Box 19001 Greenville, SC 29602-9001 USA Phone: 864-458-6968 Website: www.michelintruck.com Products: Tires for various markets including the bus and motorcoach industries. 14 Motor Coach Tire Sales, LLC See Ad On Page 12 1133 4th St. Columbus, GA 31901 USA Phone: 678-463-4110 Email: bill@motorcoachtiresales.com Website: www.motorcoachtiresales.com Company Officer: Bill Kaiser, President Products: Sales of Toyo and Yokohama tires to the motorcoach industry. 17

Telma Retarder, Inc. 1245 Humbracht Cir., Ste. B Bartlett, IL 60103 USA Phone: 800-797-7714 Email: customerservice@telma.com Website: www.telmausa.com Products: Telma provides frictionless braking systems based on the physical principle of electromagnetic induction. Telma’s expertise in the field of induction braking systems has been built from over 60 years in the market. 14 Webb Wheel Products, Inc. 2310 Industrial Dr. SW Cullman, AL 35055 USA Phone: 800-633-3256 Website: www.webbwheel.com Products: Webb Wheel Products produces wheel-end equipment. This includes brake drums, hubs, rotors and spoke wheels. 14.

ARBOC Receives Patent For Spirit Of Independence

ARBOC Specialty Vehicles, LLC (ARBOC), a U.S. subsidiary of NFI Group Inc. (NFI), has received a patent number, U.S. 10,023,243 B2, for its Spirit of Independence (Independence) model. According to a press release, “The Independence is a small low-floor bus used primarily for transit or shuttle applications. The bus is produced using a monocoque body attached to an original equipment manufacturer (OEM) cab frame, having the chassis removed. The patented passenger compartment floor structure improves accessibility for wheelchairs, passengers assisted by walkers and other riders by providing a sloped entrance with a deployable ramp, and by eliminating any step-up over the rear axle. The continuous low-passenger-floor resides at a lower level than the OEM cab frame.” Don Roberts, president of ARBOC, said, “ARBOC is proud to develop another fully low-floor option for the transit industry. We are already experiencing a significant amount of success with this new product offering, and expect it to escalate well into the future.” Roberts is a co-holder of the patent assigned to ARBOC, along with Kelvin Tetzloff, research and development technician, and Barry Hines, Page 42

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November/December 2018

Pictured from ARBOC are inventors: Kelvin Tetzloff, research and development technician; Don Roberts, president; and, Barry Hines, vice president of engineering. Photo Credit: ARBOC Specialty Vehicles, LLC

vice president of engineering. The addition of patent number U.S. 10,023,243 B2 brings ARBOC’s total patent count to six for both its cutaway and rail products. ARBOC said that over 70 percent of North America’s low-floor bodyon-chassis buses (cutaways) are manufactured by ARBOC. For more information, visit www.arbocsv.com.


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Prevost Entertains Customers At A Sonoma NASCAR Weekend

“Continuing its partnership with NASCAR that spans more than 30 years, Prevost welcomed a select group of customers to a Prevost Sonoma (CA) Weekend in late June. In the heart of wine country, the event offered a blend of activities and a lasting finish that paired wine tasting with action-packed NASCAR racing,” said the company. Prevost Sonoma weekend festivities began with a Saturday morning coach ride to Napa Valley where Cliff Lede Vineyards welcomed the group for lunch and a tasting of its wines. That evening, Silver Oak Cellars hosted the group for a reception and dinner at its Oakville winery. The evening included a tasting of the winery’s cabernet sauvignon, and a tour of the facility, including the water tower and glass house library. Sunday, in the Prevost Suite at Sonoma Raceway for the Toyota/Save Mart 350, a western stop in the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series, NASCAR Driver Darrell “Bubba” Wallace Jr. of Richard Petty Motorsport, more often seen at the wheel of the No. 43 Chevrolet Camaro, dropped in for a meet and greet, as did two-time winner of the NASCAR Daytona 500, Michael Waltrip. Prior to the driver introductions, the group was led on a detailed tour through the NASCAR pit and garage areas before the race. The guest list included Royal Coach Tours, San Jose, CA, a longstanding Prevost customer of 20 years. Its services run from VIP customer service in Silicon Valley to chartered fun for group tours, all with expectations of a polished coach experience. Royal Coach Tours President Sandy Allen said she was pleased to be on the receiving end over the weekend. “While we routinely run wine country tours, my dream was, at some point, to visit Silver Oak Cellars for myself. To do so with our Prevost

Collins Bus Awarded $26 Million Paratransit Bus Contract From New York City Transit

REV Group, a manufacturer of specialty vehicles, has announced that its Collins Bus Corporation subsidiary has been awarded a $26 million contract from the New York City Transit (NYCT) to provide 400 paratransit buses. “The buses will be built to NYCT’s custom specifications on a Ford F350 chassis. They will feature a flexible 20foot length, 138-inch wheelbase, single-rearwheel (SRW) design and wheelchair lift.” NYCT is a new customer for Collins Bus, and the contract represents the single largest commercial order in the history of the company. “We are incredibly excited to be working with New York City Transit,” said Matt Scheuler, general manager of Collins Bus. “The NYCT contract comes on the heels of Collins Bus’ 50th anniversary, and the launch of the brand’s new low-floor bus product – that offers passengers benefits with respect to safety and equal accessibility.” It serves a diversified customer base primarily in the United States through three segments: Fire & Emergency, Commercial and Recreation. For more information, visit www.REVgroup.com.

partners was an absolute treat, and it was thrilling to be treated like royalty for the weekend,” said Allen. “Our team is big on NASCAR, so we appreciated the opportunity to get a little closer to the action, visit with the drivers and go behind the scenes. The tour of the garage and pit area was especially interesting for our mechanics.” According to a press release, “Sayeed Chaudhury, senior director of commuter operations for Loop Transportation, San Francisco, CA, had only recently become familiar with the Prevost brand, and found the Sonoma weekend the perfect venue to get better acquainted. His company is a division of Hallcon, Inc., Lenexa, KS, which provides VIP shuttle and contract bus transportation services nationwide.” Chaudhury said, “The weekend was casual and relaxed while Prevost made it very first class. Our day at the wineries was exceptional. Though I can’t say I am a NASCAR fan, there was no denying the energy and the atmosphere when we joined the group on Sunday in Prevost’s suite. I was captivated once the race started.” Keith Hayward, Prevost sales director, western region, said such company events are a highlight for many. He added that hosting several occasions, such as this each year, helps to show appreciation for the people Prevost works with. Prevost has its main manufacturing facilities in Sainte-Claire, Quebec, Canada, and has 10 parts and service centers located in the United States and Canada. For more information, visit www.prevostcar.com.

HD Brushless Alternators

designed for

Transit and Motor Coach Buses

AVAILABLE MODELS: 24Volts from 200 to 600 Amps Negative or Insulated

Series 400 Series 180-T1 Series 180

The DelStar Series alternators are an integral charging system of an innovative air cooled brushless design. The compact, heavy duty construction, provides the increased service life expected to match the longer maintenance intervals of today’s engines, while providing a performance level without parallel.

Setting the Standard

CANADA & EXPORT SALES

Dixie Electric Ltd. 517 Basaltic Road Concord, ON Canada L4K 4W8

November/December 2018

Tel: 905-879-0533 Fax: 905-879-0532 Toll Free: 800-461-5799 E-mail: sales@dixie-electric.com www.delstar-hd.com

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MCI Awarded Georgia State Transportation Contract For MCI D4500 And D45 CRT LE Commuter Coaches

Motor Coach Industries (MCI), a U.S. subsidiary of NFI Group Inc., was recently awarded a contract from the state of Georgia for its commuter coaches. The contract, managed by Georgia’s Department of Administrative Services, permits authorized state and local Georgia public entities, including colleges and universities, as well as local government, municipalities, cities, townships, counties and other political subdivisions in the state, to purchase the MCI D4500 and nextgeneration D45 CRT LE Commuter Coaches. The contract is also available to other states. “MCI has a long history with the state of Georgia, and welcomes the opportunity to have our best-selling D4500 and new, all-accessible D45 CRT LE as part of the Georgia contract,” said Tom Wagner, MCI vice president of public sector. “Georgia’s arrangement is particularly innovative as a central purchase point for both in-state and out-of-state public entities, permitting agencies to efficiently and affordably acquire North America’s most reliable commuter coaches.”

CCW Completes Electric Retrofit Project For Weber State University

Complete Coach Works (CCW) has completed an electric retrofit project awarded by Weber State University (WSU), in Ogden, UT. “The project converts the diesel fuel bus into an all-electric Zero-Emission Propulsion System (ZEPS) bus. The project included the removal of WSU’s diesel engine power package components, and the addition of electric components such as an electric air compressor, power steering pump, and HVAC system,” according to a press release. “With the university covering more than 500 acres, the effective management of resources is a top priority. WSU, which converted the lighting in one of its arenas to LED in 2013, can now add the conversion from diesel to a ZEPS bus to its environmentally-beneficial accomplishments.” Brad Carson, director of sales at CCW, said, “We are very grateful to be part of an historic time for Weber. We hope this conversion will allow the university to further expand its educational programs. CCW is honored to be a part of WSU’s goal of greater energy efficiency. The ZEPS bus will improve vehicle reliability and significantly reduce fuel costs. These savings will enable the university to allocate more of its budget to the growth and expansion of its campus.” CCW has an experienced team of over 350. Page 44

For more information, visit www.completecoach.com. BUSLINE

MCI’s ADA-and Buy America-compliant Altoona-tested D4500 Commuter Coach already

serves GRTA Xpress routes throughout the greater metro Atlanta area, with more than 1.8 million passenger trips annually. The MCI D45 CRT LE, introduced last October at Atlanta’s APTA EXPO, was developed in consultation with disability advocacy groups. The model features a mid-coach low-entry vestibule with seating for all passengers, including those with mobility devices. The design offers an automatic ADA-compliant ramp capable of loading and unloading passengers, said MCI. “With one in five Americans today living with

a disability, and a future that includes an aging workforce with potential mobility issues, we consider the D45 CRT LE to be the right coach to meet passenger requirements,” said Wagner. Other variants of the D45 CRT LE are underway including a batteryelectric model, and a high-floor coach equipped with a traditional wheelchair lift. As this contract is not for a specific stated number of motorcoaches, and represents an alternative to participating public transit agencies for the purchase of a variety of mass transit vehicles, MCI does not record any of the coaches available under this contract in its backlog until actual purchase orders have been received from customers. MCI offers the J4500 and the all-new J3500 model including the ADA-accessible MCI D45 CRT LE. MCI also supports nearly 30,000 MCI coaches on the road with maintenance, repair, 24-hour roadside assistance and the Automotive Service Excellence (ASE) accredited MCI Academy technician training center. Further information is available at www.mcicoach.com.

TAPCO Launches New Connected Vehicle Interface

Traffic & Parking Control Company, Inc. (TAPCO), a manufacturer, distributor and service provider of traffic and parking control products, has introduced its new Connected Vehicle Interface. “This enhancement option upgrades new and existing AC and solar-powered TAPCO Intelligent Warning Systems to integrate with connected vehicle-ready infrastructure. The Connected Vehicle Interface communicates with Smart City Road Side Units (RSUs) to relay Intelligent Warning System activation data to connected vehicles via Dedicated Short-Range Communication, 4G or 5G networks, providing drivers with instant in-vehicle alerts,” according to a press release. “The Connected Vehicle Interface transfers system data through integration with local Advanced Traffic Management Systems providing officials with activation trends, status information and actionable insight into each connected system.” Jon Zick, director of engineering and marketing at TAPCO, said, “As connected vehicles and smart city infrastructure continue to evolve, we decided now was the right time to ensure all TAPCO Intelligent Warning Systems have the capability to be connected vehicle ready. The Connected Vehicle Interface allows TAPCO to tap into existing RSUs to enhance driver responsiveness to our Intelligent Warning Systems. This innovation signals to customers that we're dedicated to advancing our technology in step with the needs of smart city and connected infrastructure.”

November/December 2018

For more information, visit www.tapconet.com.


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Premier Transportation Takes Delivery Of 6 New 2018 Van Hool Coaches

Headquartered in Knoxville, TN, with offices cial amenities for its customers. When asked coach solely for charter service. There was an in Chattanooga and Greeneville, Premier Trans- about the acquisition of the new Van Hool undeveloped market which presented a chalportation recently took delivery of six new Van coaches, Nate Frederick, COO of Premier Trans- lenge and opportunity for the operator. The comHool coaches, including three CX35, two CX45 portation said, “What’s not to love about a new pany was successful and creative in establishing Van Hool? Our customers enjoy the great ameni- a market for this specialty coach and shortly models and one TX model with in-seat audio. According to ABC, “Founded in 2003, the ties and fantastic styling and our drivers rave added a second double deck to the fleet.” “We are thrilled to have such a close relationcompany began on the premise of supplying east about the incredible ride and solid engineering.” ship with Premier for so many years,” Tennessee with a high level of motorsaid Jim Morrison, vice president of coach services. The company’s Nick sales for ABC Companies. “Seeing Cazana, who had a passion for the mothis company’s growth over the years torcoach industry, demands Premier to has been exciting and we are very be much more than a name for his comproud to be part of that growth.” pany, but also a way of doing business. The company is active in the indusThat vision, and his passion for building try, and has been a member of UMA, relationships and providing a premier ABA and TNMCA since 2005, saying service to customers, has been the corthat these organizations give them the nerstone of the company’s success. Pretools they need to know where to mier has grown to become a leader in focus their attention. charter service, with a fleet of 51 vehiABC Companies supplies new and cles ranging from 14-passenger shuttles pre-owned full-size highway coach to 81-passenger Van Hool Double Deck equipment, transit and specialty vehicoaches. Premier primarily runs charter cles. It offers an after-sale service netservice to New York City, Washington, work for service and repairs, collision D.C., Orlando and Chicago, as well as Pictured from left to right are: Nate Frederick, services, OEM and aftermarket parts other U.S. and Canadian destinations. Premier Transportation COO; Sol Miller, service director; needs for transit, motorcoach and “A longtime ABC customer, Premier and, Clay Gilstrap, operations manager. heavy-duty equipment from 10 locabegan purchasing Van Hools in 2004, tions throughout the U.S. and Canada. and the two companies have worked For more information, “Premier was one of the first private operators well together to satisfy its customer base. ABC visit www.abc-companies.com. and Premier work together to supply many spe- to purchase a Van Hool TD925 double deck

Hometown Trolleys Offer Features With Modern Technology

The Hometown Trolley features are: • The streetcar is a heavy-duty vehicle fit for any mass transit, high passenger capacity applications; • Full stainless steel low-floor patent-pending monocoque chassis design; • 29-foot, 35-foot and 40-foot lengths; • Fully warrantied; • Exceeds required 1:6 ratio for ADA loading with fold-out ramp; • Available in hybrid electric and CNG; and, • All streetcar models are Altoona tested, and meet FMVSS, DOT and SAE standards and guidelines. Hometown Trolleys are recommended for: • Historical downtown areas, theme parks, wineries, and breweries; • Public and private tour companies, shopping malls and churches; • Universities and college campuses and museums; • Retirement communities and beach communities; • Wedding and party charters and resorts. For more information, visit www.hometowntrolley.com.

BusBank Group Transportation Provider Acquires Buster

BusBank, a group transportation service provider, has acquired Buster, a startup that books group transportation online. BusBank has a presence in 135 metro areas, and has done charters in all 50 states and every province in Canada. A press release stated, “Everyone from who plans company trips to the association organizing a major convention knows the pain of booking group transportation,” said Buster CEO Harald Kruse. “This market is demanding more technology, and we’re bringing it to them.” According to the press release, “The acquisition will create a simple booking experience similar to what travelers use for booking plane tickets, rental cars and other travel products, whether they’re booking a single party van or a fleet of 100 buses. “BusBank and Buster are providing a simple, online platform for bus charter bookings.” BusBank and Buster said their travel and transportation experience sets them apart. Kruse was a director of account management at Priceline, and Jeffery Boyd was chairman of the board at Priceline. He is a future board member of BusBank and Buster. In addition, key members of the leadership team at Lancer Insurance Company are invested in BusBank, including David Delaney, Lancer Financial Group’s CEO and president. Buster is an internet group transportation service for event planners, corporate travel departments, and consumers. Vendors input their data, and Buster creates a market price based on all area vendors’ fees. Vendors receive emails that trips are available in the marketplace, and can accept them according to their availability. For more information, visit www.busbank.com.

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Cincinnati Metro Celebrates Safety At Annual Luncheon

Senator Gary Peters Visits Transit Bus Remanufactuer Midwest Bus Corp.

More than 110 Cincinnati Metro operators and maintenance employees were recognized for achieving outstanding safety milestones in safe driving and service during Cincinnati Metro's 45th annual Safety Awards Luncheon.

Pictured left to right are: SORTA Board Chairman Kreg Keesee, Metro CEO/GM Dwight A. Ferrell, Metro Operator Andrew Rodgers, ATU Local 627 President Troy Miller, and, Metro Executive Vice President Darryl Haley.

Milestone awards were given to employees who achieved between five and 35 years without a preventable accident or injury. A preventable accident was defined as one in which the operator did not exercise every available precautionary measure to avoid the accident. In total, 514 Cincinnati Metro employees worked a full year without a preventable accident or injury. Sixteen employees were recogniized for having reached 10 consecutive years without a preventable accident or injury. Fifteen employees were honored for 15 or more years free of accidents. One operator, Andrew Rodgers, marked 36 years without a preventable accident. “It’s been a long stretch, but it feels good,” Rodgers said. “I really enjoy the job. I guess that’s what makes it so easy.” Cinncinati Metro said, “The employees recognized demonstrate Cincinnati Metro’s commitment to safety, a commitment that saw the company make big strides in 2017.” Over the course of the year, Metro: • Reduced overall preventable accidents by 7.5 percent; • Decreased collisions with parked vehicles by 8 percent; • Reduced off-property collisions by 50 percent; and, • Reduced recordable injuries in maintenance by 40 percent since 2007. Cincinnati Metro is a non-profit, tax-funded public service of the Southwest Ohio Regional Transit Authority, providing about 14 million rides per year. For more information, visit www.go-metro.com. Page 46

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Senator Gary Peters (D-Mich.) visited Mid- haul program, according to the release. Midwest Bus said, “As Senator Peters learned west Bus Corporation for the first time recently, seeing the operation of one of the largest public during his visit, Midwest is celebrating 38 years transit bus remanufacturers in the United States. of business with organizations like MBTA because According to a press release, “During Peters’ it incorporates a strict three-phase process – planvisit, he observed the company processing a $40 ning, production and inspection. It also tailors its million-plus, 155-bus project for the Massachu- engineering to implement creative solutions for its setts Bay Transportation Authority. For Midwest, customers as well as maintaining the ability to rethis is the largest contract in the company’s 38- manufacture buses back to OEM specifications.” year history. Due to the size of the project, dozens of new jobs have been created. Midwest has had to bring in welders, painters, auto body workers, electricians and many other manufacturing-related positions. Because of other similar large projects for MBTA in the past – as well as the work Midwest does for its other customers locally and across the country – it’s not the first time the company has had to hire large numbers of people. Its economic impact has been felt on many levels.” “Remanufacturing saves taxpayer dollars by lengthening the lifeSenator Gary Peters (left) joins Midwest Bus Corp. cycle of government vehicles, which President/Founder Dan Morrill for a recent tour is why I worked to pass a law enof the company's main facility in Owosso, MI. couraging remanufacturing in the federal fleet,” said Peters, who is the top Democrat on the Federal Spending Oversight “It was an honor to have Senator Peters see Committee. “I am glad to see a Michigan com- our operation,” said Dan Morrill, owner of Midpany helping to meet the nationwide transit in- west Bus. “It allowed us to demonstrate how we dustry goal of ‘State of Good Repair’ while have stayed in business and grown through hard making efficient and effective use of scarce fed- work, innovation and outstanding employees. eral resources.” We hope we helped provide some insight into Peters’ bipartisan Federal Vehicle Repair Cost the positive, essential, diverse impact manufacSavings Act, which was signed into law in 2015, turers can have on our economy – locally, requires federal agencies to encourage the use of statewide and nationally. remanufactured parts in federal vehicle repairs — “We have never rehabbed the same fleet for when doing so lowers costs, maintains quality and Boston twice. We’re extremely proud of the work performance, and does not compromise safety. we do for them. This contract is the seventh bid The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Author- Midwest has been awarded by MBTA. We go ity, better known as the “T,” has been remanufac- through a strict bidding process for these projects, turing buses over four decades to meet the goal of and we work hard to deliver a quality product. It’s providing reliable, high quality services to the a savings for their taxpayers and riders, not to public. Improving on the reliability and safety of mention the environment.” city transit buses is a priority for the agency, which For more information, visit is why it invests wisely in a regular midlife-overwww.midwestbus.com or call 800-627-6627.

Bailey Coach Awards Safe Drivers

John W. Bailey, president of Bailey Coach (York, PA), announced its Motorcoach Drivers of the Year awards at the company’s driver safety meeting held recently. Bailey Coach recognizes its drivers in gold, silver and bronze categories. The awards are determined on safe driving practices based on factors provided by the insurance company that monitors each trip the driver has driven during the past 12 months, via its onboard camera system. The winners were: Gold: Hal Brook; Silver: Tammie Moore; and, Bronze: Tom Shellenberger. The honored drivers received an award certificate along with gift cards for their accomplishments.

November/December 2018

For more information, visit www.baileycoach.com.


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Hometown Trolley By Double K, Inc.

Hometown Trolley By Double K, Inc.

Villager

Mainstreet

The Hometown Trolley Villager model is a front engine trolley capable of many applications from a small private tour operator to a full scale transit agency. The Villager model is available in gasoline, bio-diesel, CNG and propane. The Villager can be equipped with minimal components to make a more economical choice for the small operator or loaded with many transit features such as destination signs, spiral brass railings, bike racks, GPS systems and more. Double K, Inc. (Hometown Trolley) 701 N. Railroad Ave., Crandon, WI 54520 715-478-5090 • Fax: 715-478-5095 Email: kristina@hometowntrolley.com Web site: www.hometowntrolley.com Model........................................................................................................Villager Length .......................................................................................................22’, 40’ Width...............................................................................................93”, 96”, 99” Height ............................................................................................................10’6” Wheelbase.....................................................................158, 178, 190, 208, 228 Overhang (front/rear)..................................................Front 28” / Rear 118” Inside Height (min./max.).................................................................Aisle 88” Tire Size ....................................................................................19.5x6.75 & 22.5 Engine .....................................................................................Cummins ISB 6.7 Transmission ........................................................................................Allison 2 Fuel Tank Capacity..................................................................................75 gal. Chassis............................................................Ford, Workhorse, Freightliner Baggage Capacity ..............................................................................Available Wheelchair Lift Option.................................................................................Yes Suspension ...................................................................................Spring or Air

The Hometown Trolley Mainstreet model is a heavy-duty rear engine trolley combining all the transit components for the high volume urban areas, such as full air suspension, air brakes, Allison B300 transmission, Cummins ISB, LED destination signs, Voice Annunciation systems, instep ADA lift equipment and more. The Mainstreet trolley will provide the quality and reliability of any high demand transit needs while at the same time lending the nostalgic feel of the turn of the century cable car. Double K, Inc. (Hometown Trolley) 701 N. Railroad Ave., Crandon, WI 54520 715-478-5090 • Fax: 715-478-5095 Email: kristina@hometowntrolley.com Web site: www.hometowntrolley.com

Model..................................................................................................Mainstreet Length.......................................................................................................25’, 40’ Width.................................................................................................................99” Height .............................................................................................................11’2” Wheelbase.............................................................................160, 190, 208, 228 Overhang (front/rear)......................................................................42” / 120” Inside Height (min./max.).................................................................Aisle 88” Tire Size..........................................................................................................22.5 Engine ............................................................................................Cummins ISB Transmission.................................................................................Allison B300 Chassis .............................................................................................Freightliner Baggage Capacity ..............................................................................Available Wheelchair Lift Option.................................................................................Yes Suspension ......................................................................................................Air

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Hometown Trolley By Double K, Inc.

Hometown Trolley By Double K, Inc.

Carriage The Hometown Trolley Carriage model is a front engine, low-floor trolley providing ease of entry and exit with no steps. The Carriage low-floor design allows the ADA ratio of 5:1 and minimal step in height when pulled to curb locations. The Carriage is available in gasoline, diesel, CNG and full electric. The Carriage is also available with LED destination signs, DVD player and monitor, HVAC with climate control, brass or brushed stainless handrailing, luggage rack, exterior wood package, forward facing or perimeter seating, 110 volt invertor for Christmas lighting on the interior and exterior, and many more transit components. The Carriage is less than 22-feet in length, making it the perfect size for historical downtown areas, hotels, theme parks and many other shuttle type transportation needs. Capture the nostalgia of a Hometown Trolley in your hometown with the new lowfloor Carriage, built to preserve integrity and craftsmanship true to its era of the “turn of the century.” Double K, Inc. (Hometown Trolley) 701 N. Railroad Ave., Crandon, WI 54520 715-478-5090 • Fax: 715-478-5095 Email: kristina@hometowntrolley.com Web site: www.hometowntrolley.com Model ......................................................................................................Carriage Type ........................................................................................Low Floor Trolley Passenger Capacity...................................................................................16-20 Length......................................................................................................20’ - 24’ Width....................................................................................................................8’ ADA ...............................................................................................1 or 2 Position Engine................................................Gasoline, Diesel, CNG or Full Electric Chassis.............................................................................................Chevy 4500 Handrailing .........................................................................Brass or Stainless Comfort Control .................................................................................Full HVAC Mileage .................................................................................................MPG 12-15 Page 48

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November/December 2018

Streetcar Trolley The Streetcar Trolley low-floor model combines the nostalgic features of the turn-of-the-century passenger cable car with the modern technology of today’s transit advancements.The Streetcar Trolley is a powerhouse heavy-duty trolley capable of running in any mass transit, high passenger capacity applications. The Streetcar is a full stainless steel lowfloor monocoque chassis design, exceeding the required 1:6 ratio for ADA loading with the fold out ADA ramp. Optional equipment such as LED destination signs, DVD flat screen packages, mahogany finishes and many more choices are available to customize the Streetcar. Standard equipment such as a multiplex wiring system, brass or brushed stainless hand railings, as well as simulated wood trim set the Streetcar in a class all its own. Vintage tram interior, transit flooring, HVAC packages and ADA packages are available. Altoona-tested for 10 years/350,000 miles.

Model.......................................................................................Streetcar Trolley Passenger Capacity..................................................................................28-48 Length .....................................................................................................30’ - 40’ Width...............................................................................................................100” Overall Height .............................................................................................10’6” Wheel Base..............................................................................190”, 208”, 228” Door Opening ......................................................................................48” x 78” GVW.............................................................................................27,500 - 32,000 Engine .............................................................Cummins Diesel ISB and L9N, CNG or Full Electric Transmission.....................................................................Allison B300, B400


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Hometown Coach By Double K, Inc. Home of the Best Full-Service Travel Plaza in Northern Illinois Featuring… View With panoramic-view windows, heavy-duty construction, outstanding fit and finish, and exceptional shuttle, tour and paratransit performance, the Hometown View is the bus you have been waiting for. With a full array of customization options and floorplans, the View can be modified to meet the diverse needs of customers, further demonstrating Hometown’s commitment to offering quality, Americanmade products. As with other Hometown product lines, customer service exceeds expectations. The View is fully integral, providing the same level of technology as other mid-size transit and tour buses on the market today. The customization makes the View versatile for transit needs such as college shuttling, rugged national park tours, prison transportation, as well as urban city and small community transit applications. The Hometown View provides seating for up to 45 passengers, each given an outstanding travel experience. The View is built on a Ford F550 chassis, with a Triton V10 gasoline engine and automatic 5-speed Allison transmission, with the capability to add LPG, CNG or full electric options. The View is seven-year, 200,000-mile lifetime durability Altoona tested.

Hometown Manufacturing 750 Industrial Parkway, Crandon, WI 54520 715-478-5090 • Fax: 715-478-5095 email: Kristina@hometowntrolley.com Website: www.hometown-mfg.com Model..............................................................................................................View Length ................................................................................24’, 28’, 32’, 36’, 42’ GVWR.............................................................................22,000, 24,000-26,000 Body Width......................................................................................................99” Body Height................................................................................................123.5” Int. Height....................................................................................................80.5” Wheelbase ................................................158”, 178”, 190”, 208”, 228”, 242” ADA Location................................................................................................Rear Engine ....Cummins ISB 6.7 L diesel, Triton 6.8 L V10 gasoline, electric Transmission............................Allison PTS 2200 / Ford auto 5-speed OD Fuel Options ..........................................Diesel, gas, CNG, LPG, full electric Brakes........Hydro-Max power brake assist, 4-sensor ABS/WABCO ABS Seating.......................................................................22-30, 30-45 passenger

Seating for 175, Homestyle Cooking, Daily Specials, Buffet, Soup & Salad Bar, Full Menu, Carry-Out

(815) 562-5840

Super Salad Bar by-the-pound! Stromboli, Pizza, Pasta & more! Hand-Dipped Ice Cream!

(815) 561-9595

Designated Bus Parking and Pull-Thru Fueling Island

Bus Drivers & Tour Guides Eat free! Mini-Mall — 2 Stores with over 5,000 sq. ft. of shopping!

ATM, Major Credit Cards accepted. I-39 & Hwy 38, Exit 99 Rochelle, IL

OPEN 24 HOURS

Please call ahead!

November/December 2018

BUSLINE

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HART Million Miler Bus Operator Receives Third Place Operator Of The Year Award From The Florida Public Transportation Association

Jimmy Suarez, a 15-year bus operator for the Hillsborough Area Regional Transit Authority (HART), received the third place Operator of the Year Award by the Florida Public Transportation Association (FPTA). “Suarez’s nomination and win celebrates his exemplary customer service and safety record, including 14 consecutive years of safe driving, and more than 1.5 million miles behind the wheel,” said HART. “I have been doing this for a long time. I take pride in my driving and taking care of my customers,” said Suarez. “I take my job very seriously because I have a responsibility to protect my customers. When I notice a new customer boarding my bus, I consider them a new family member. I do my best to make them feel comfortable and give them a good experience with HART.” HART said the award is presented annually to operators whose service has enriched and enhanced public transportation in the community. Recently, Suarez was honored with the Million Mile Award and has received numerous rider commendations. “He is known for his enthusiastic attitude, excellent driving skills, good judgement and firstclass customer service to our passengers,” said HART. “It is dedicated professionals like Jimmy

Suarez, and our other Million Mile honorees, who make it possible for HART to receive accolades from our peers for our hard work, dedication and commitment to excellence,” said HART Interim CEO Jeff Seward. Jimmy Suarez

For more information on HART, visit www.gohart.org.

New BRT System In Richmond Begins Revenue Service

The Pulse, a new high-quality, high-capacity bus rapid transit (BRT) system in Richmond, VA, has gone into revenue service. According to a press release, “Public officials praised The Pulse, which runs 7.6 miles east-towest along East Main and Broad streets in Richmond and Henrico County, as the first of many planned transportation infrastructure improvement programs in the area. The Pulse provides the city with its first BRT-style service since the late 1940s. The project is operated and administered by the Greater Richmond Transit Company (GRTC), with grant oversight by the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation (DRPT), and construction oversight performed by the Virginia Department of Transportation (VDOT).” The Pulse was financed through a collaboration of the Federal Transit Administration (FTA), DRPT, VDOT, the city of Richmond, Henrico County, and GRTC. Construction on the $65 million bus line began in August 2016 and lasted 22 months. The program was financed by a $24.9 million federal TIGER grant as well as $32 million in state and $8.3 million local funding from the city and Henrico County. The overall scope of services included design of five stations located in the roadway median,

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and nine curbside stations. Buses come every 10 minutes during the morning and evening rush hours; every 15 minutes during morning, daytime and nighttime off-hours; and every 30 minutes after 11:30 p.m. During its first-week of revenue service, The Pulse served nearly 31,000 riders, surpassing its initial goal of 3,500 daily riders.

U.S. Department Of Transportation Announces $75 Million Grant For Bus Rapid Transit Project In Albuquerque, NM

The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Transit Administration (FTA) has announced a $75 million grant agreement with the city of Albuquerque Transit Department (ABQ Ride) for a new bus rapid transit (BRT) line. The project will improve the speed and reliability of transit service along the city’s Central Avenue (Historic Route 66), providing connections to the region’s local employment and activity centers. According to the announcement, “The project is a 17.1-mile bus rapid transit line with 8.8 miles of exclusive BRT lanes. The line runs mainly along Central Avenue, which is one of the region’s key east-west corridors and one of the few roads crossing the Rio Grande River. It will serve the University of New Mexico, regional medical facilities, entertainment, shopping and recreational destinations. Existing bus service in the corridor accounts for about 40 percent of ABQ Ride’s daily ridership.” FTA has agreed to provide ABQ Ride with $75 million for the project through FTA’s Capital Investment Grants (CIG) program. Funds will be provided on a reimbursement basis. The CIG Program provides funding for transit capital infrastructure investments nationwide. Projects accepted into the program must go through a multi-year, multi-step process according to requirements in law to be eligible for and receive program funds.

Numbers High For San Diego’s First Ever Free-Ride Day

“Tens of thousands of new commuters realized the benefits of taking transit during the region’s first ever Free-Ride Day, Oct. 2, as the Metropolitan Transit System (MTS in San Diego, CA) experienced a ridership spike of nearly 47,000 trips,” according to MTS. “Free-Ride Day was a great success and showed that San Diegans want public transit,” said MTS Board Chair Georgette Gómez. “As we move forward, we need to invest in the things that will make transit an everyday choice.” MTS and the North County Transit District jointly held Free-Ride Day, and provided free trips on buses, the Trolley, COASTER and SPRINTER. Cities, universities, the U.S. Navy, business groups and many other stakeholders came together in support of Free-Ride Day, which was held in conjunction with the SANDAG iCommute program to promote National Rideshare Week, and to educate people about transportation choices available in the San Diego region.

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PARTNERS FOR GENERATIONS POWERED BY POSSIBILITY

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LET’S TALK ABOUT WHAT’S POSSIBLE UNITED MOTORCOACH ASSOCIATION EXPO 2019

JANUARY 7-10

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www.abc-companies.com

BOOTH #2122


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One Part German Engineering. One Part European Styling.

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REV Coach, LLC is a distributor of Setra Buses and Setra Parts in the United States and Canada. 245 South Executive Drive · Brookfield, WI 53005 · revcoach.com

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Nov/Dec 2018 Busline Magazine  

• Busline Cover Feature:James River Transportation • Busline Transit Feature: Illinois’ Rock Island County MetroLINK • Busline Buyers Guide:...

Nov/Dec 2018 Busline Magazine  

• Busline Cover Feature:James River Transportation • Busline Transit Feature: Illinois’ Rock Island County MetroLINK • Busline Buyers Guide:...

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