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The most trusted resource in the bus and motorcoach industry





One Show. Two Days. Infinite Possibilities. Now in its 18th year, BusCon continues to bring the bus industry together to share challenges, find solutions and improve performance. See over 60 of the latest buses and newest technology the industry has to offer in BusCon’s 115,000 square foot exhibit hall.



BusCon 2013 I Navy Pier, Chicago

North America’s Biggest Bus Show Welcome Reception: September 9, 2013 Conference & Expo: September 10-11, 2013

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Cover Story


All–electric transit has arrived


Six transit agencies debut the Proterra EcoRide BE35 in-service this fall By David Hubbard

Features QAS ensures repeatable success


MCI line techs empowered to contribute and ensure quality work

Patrick Scully speaks to new MCI initiatives

14 30


By David Hubbard

THE RIDE keeps rolling in NYC


The concept has grown to include corporate participation

HVAC compliance and regulation

15 32

Air-conditioning innovations help the bus industry to comply By Steve Johnson


Special Section


Summer Safety Series: Safety Training and Compliance


New wheelchair standards call for robust equipment 26

Reaching for worldclass safety at Veolia Transportation


12 Deliveries 16 TRANSIT AUTHORITY

Deadline for ANSI/RESNA WC18 and WC19 standards approaches


By Richard Tackett

Veolia develops tools to aid safe operations By Shelly Hall

Training increases safe behavior TAPTCO standardizes comprehensive driver training



Have a playbook for the unthinkable 24



The DATTCO Emergency Preparedness Plan provides online intelligence for first responders


By Richard Tackett

By Doug Jack

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BUSRide has a new look. We are very proud of the dynamic new design that has been created to bring the articles and features alive on every page of BUSRide Magazine. This exciting new look and feel signifies a major turning point for BUSRide, as we prepare to celebrate our 50th Anniversary in 2015. We believe that dynamic design links the editorial content with the interest and passion we at BUSRide share with everyone in the transit bus and motorcoach industries. We hope our new look serves to put you even more in touch with our mission to give you, our valuable readers, an informative, educational and thoroughly enjoyable reading experience. Rogoff speaks to SMS Appropriate to our Summer Safety Series, Federal Transit Administrator Peter Rogoff recently penned an open letter to the industry clarifying the U.S. Department of Transportation Safety Management Systems (SMS). To paraphrase his remarks, this MAP-21 safety authority marks a significant change in how the administration does business to keep transit safe. He says the aim is to bring management and labor together to better control risk; detect and correct safety problems earlier; and measure safety performance more carefully. Rogoff took the time to dispel a few misconceptions about SMS, like: SMS is just a buzzword - SMS adds formal safety management concepts to address root causes. Most safety research has shown that major accidents are not simply the result of the behavior or action of one individual. They more typically involve people operating across many levels or functions in an organization. SMS requires a separate department - SMS is a set of management practices, not a requirement for an additional organizational layer. SMS focuses on functional expectations by operational departments. SMS requires voluntary employee reporting - Each public transportation agency will be able to determine how best to involve employees and obtain voluntary safety reports. SMS is a costly regulation - The hazards that put our people at risk are the same hazards that disrupt transit operations. Done right, SMS can help transit agencies improve their bottom line. The message is clear: Strong safety management is simply good business.

David Hubbard Editor Busride Magazine



Publisher / Editor in Chief Steve Kane Associate Publisher Sali Williams Editor David Hubbard Managing Editor Richard Tackett Art Director Stephen Gamble Production Director Valerie Valtierra Accountant Fred Valdez Contributing Writers Doug Jack, Matthew A. Daecher, Christopher Ferrone

BUS industry SAFETY council

A publication of:

POSTMASTER: Please send address changes to: BUSRide Magazine 4742 North 24th Street, Suite 340 Phoenix, Arizona 85016 Phone: (602) 265-7600 Fax: (602) 277-7588 Vol. 49 • No. 8 Subscription Rates: United States: $39 for 1 year, $64 for 2 years, $89 for 3 years. United States via periodicals mail: $42 for 1 year, $69 for 2 years, $98 for 3 years. Canada. Canadian tax (GST) is included. Rest of the world, via air mail: $75 for 1 year, $125 for 2 years, $175 for 3 years. Single copies: $5 for the United States, $6 for Canada and the rest of the world. All prices are in United States Dollars (U.S.D.). Reprints: All articles in BUSRide are copyrighted and may not be reproduced in whole or in part without the express written permission of the publisher. For reprints of 100 or more, contact Valerie Valtierra at (602) 265-7600, ext. 203.


New Flyer acquires NABI for $80 million New Flyer Industries, Winnipeg, MB, Canada, acquired North American Bus Industries, Inc. (NABI), Anniston, AL, from an affiliate of Cerberus Capital Management in June for cash consideration of approximately $80 million. The acquisition excludes discontinued operations in Hungary and substantially all related assets and liabilities. Founded in 1992, NABI was known prior to October 1996 as American Ikarus. NABI is an innovative manufacturer of urban transit buses with bus manufacturing operations in Anniston, AL, a parts distribution center in Delaware, OH, and a service center in Jurupa Valley, CA. NABI also operates one of the transit industry’s most sophisticated aftermarket parts organizations, sourcing parts from over 200 different suppliers and providing support for transit buses throughout North America. As of March 31, NABI had delivered 582 bus equivalent units (EUs) with bus revenue of approximately $268 million and aftermarket parts revenue of approximately $60 million. NABI currently has a total backlog of 1,579 EUs of which 593 are firm and 986 are options. New Flyer Chairman of the Board Brian Tobin says the acquisition of NABI is consistent with the company’s strategic plan to ensure market and technology leadership, while providing public transit operators with long-term stability and excellence in product support. “NABI represents a compelling growth platform for us,” says New Flyer President and CEO Paul Soubry. “The addition of NABI to the New Flyer family provides us with a highly complementary product line, access to new customers, a cost-efficient manufacturing platform based in Alabama and it creates a significant player in aftermarket parts.” The company plans to operate the NABI bus and NABI parts operations under the names NABI Bus, LLC, and NABI Parts, LLC, within the New Flyer group of companies. “New Flyer is a world-class company and this acquisition will provide NABI with synergistic opportunities to achieve an even higher level of performance and success,” says Jim Marcotuli, NABI president and CEO. “This transaction is mutually beneficial for both New Flyer and NABI customers and will provide both companies with access to new resources and customers that will serve as catalysts for future growth.” Dev Kapadia, a Cerberus managing director, says his company is proud of the operational turnaround that occurred since it acquired NABI in 2006 under the leadership of Marcotuli, and with capital resources and extensive operating expertise from Cerberus. The number of attractive opportunities for New Flyer includes: •E  nhanced transit bus offering — The addition of NABI low floor (LFW) and bus rapid transit (BRT) product platforms complements New Flyer’s XcelsiorTM and MiDiTM product platforms. There is little overlap in customers for whom the two companies are currently building buses.

New Flyer’s aftermarket parts business. New Flyer intends to synchronize the parts databases and cross-reference lists of New Flyer, Orion and NABI, which management anticipates will permit the company to source parts more efficiently and offer expanded supply chain solutions to customers. •T  echnology and best practices — The combined entity will employ over 3,000 people who share a like-minded commitment to excellence in heavy-duty transit buses and product support, with over 40,000 buses currently in operation in Canada and the U.S.

— Trojan Battery, a manufacturer of deep-cycle lead acid batteries based in Santa Fe Springs, CA, has partnered with Charlesbank Capital Partners, Boston, MA, enabling the company to take advantage of diverse opportunities to continue to grow and increase market share worldwides. This includes establishing a U.S.-based manufacturing facility for AGM batteries. — Prevost, Sainte-Claire, QC, Canada, launched its E-Media website, Default.aspx, which allows Prevost customers to order service and training materials online. These include maintenance manuals, operator manuals, driver guides, service instructions, training materials and EPA mandated emissions information. Visitors also have a link to the Premium Tech Tool site, an application platform for aftermarket tools developed to make workshops more efficient with applications such as Guided Diagnostics and VCADS.


• Stainless steel option — NABI offers stainless steel frames for customers who have a specific requirement for this feature. •E  xpanded parts business — The addition of NABI’s aftermarket parts segment represents a significant step for | BUSRIDE



Anchor Tours acquires Brantley Charter John Stancil, president of Anchor Tours, Nashville, TN, announced the purchase of Brantley Charter, Inc., Lexington, TN. The acquisition now gives the company four offices in Lexington, TN; Nashville, TN; Paducah, KY; and Tuscumbia, AL. Stancil says the two companies shared so many core values that the merger seemed a natural extension of the business, making it possible to provide affordable services in the western part of Tennessee. Anchor Tours Vice President Jared Stancil says the strategically located facilities can support one another to cover volume or unforeseen service interruptions, while the main Nashville garage can provide scheduled state-ofthe-art maintenance. Danny and Nancy Brantley owned and operated their company since 1988. “This was a difficult decision for us,” says Danny Brantley. “This business has been like one of our children, and our customers and drivers are like family.” He says, however, the company values of Anchor Tours so closely mirrored Brantley Charter that he knows the Stancils and their team will continue to run the business and take care of his customers as he would.




Anne S. Ferro to address NAMO Annual Meeting When the annual meeting of The North Association of Motorcoach Operators (NAMO) commences August 17-18 in Columbia, MD, Anne S. Ferro, administrator of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), will be on hand to deliver the keynote address. Ferro will discuss all recent FMCSA safety initiatives that reflect her strong commitment to saving lives by reducing bus crashes, injuries and fatalities, and action taken to remove unsafe motor carriers and drivers from the nation’s roadways with a combination of effective rules and regulations, education and enforcement, accountability and compliance, and research and analysis. Representing Lancer Insurance, Bob Creszenso will speak to the immediate actions an operator must take after an accident, and the difference proper management makes at the scene of an accident. American Bus Association President Peter Pantuso will be on hand to provide an overview and updates to the current state of the motorcoach industry. Historian Anthony Cohen will guide a tour of Howard and Baltimore County African-American heritage sites as he shares the stories of African Americans in the struggle for freedom.

ABC Companies inks exclusive distribution agreement with IBP Industries Under a recently signed agreement, ABC Companies, Faribault, MN, is now the exclusive distribution partner in for IBP Industries, Inc., Apopka, FL, a designer and fabricator of body components for the motorcoach and mass transit markets. ABC Companies will have sole distribution rights of IBP exterior bus components which encompass a robust inventory of body parts for all major OEM coach models. “This is an important strategic initiative for ABC Companies and our customers,” says ABC Companies Chairman and CEO Dane Cornell. “Our exclusive partnership greatly enhances ABC Parts and significantly expands inventory levels of body parts now available under ABC Select Parts.” Al Runfola, founder and CEO of IBP Industries, says his company sees the new partnership as a very natural fit. “ABC Companies’ North American presence and established distribution network broaden both our supply chains,” he says. “This agreement gives ABC Companies customers more convenience and access to the body components they require for all makes and models.” ABC Companies says stocked inventory levels integrate a comprehensive selection of body components, with plans for new product releases throughout 2013 and beyond.

Princeton University honors First Transit driver as honorary graduate First Transit driver Helen Joynes recently joined the Princeton University Class of 2013 as one of its honorary graduates in recognition of her distinguished service to the university. Joynes has served Princeton University’s Tiger Transit since 2009. “I know I speak for First Transit in saying how proud we are of Helen and how much we value her service to Princeton University,” says Scott Conroy, First Transit director of operations. “This is an unprecedented honor for one of our employees and really exemplifies the professionalism and connection to the university community we aspire to create.”




FCRTA orders 36 ARBOC Specialty Vehicles Spirit of Mobility ARBOC Specialty Vehicles, Middlebury, IN, recently received an order-to-purchase from Fresno County Rural Transit Agency (FCRTA), Fresno, CA, for 36 Spirit of Mobility vehicles. The order is through A-Z Bus Sales, Colton, CA, the ARBOC dealer for the entire State of California. A-Z Transit Sales Manager Clay Hartman worked closely with FCRTA and ARBOC for a numbers of months to provide the bus that best fits FCRTA needs. Jeffrey D. Webster, general manager of FCRTA, expressed his gratitude to the California Department of Transportation-approved Cooperative Procurement process by Morongo Basin Transit Authority (MBTA) and the California Association for Coordinated Transportation (CalACT), which allowed his agency to expedite the process and procure the buses in a timely manner. Deliveries are expected to begin this month. A-Z Bus Sales President and CEO Jim Reynolds says the team effort involved ARBOC as well as vendor partners Freeman Seating, TransAir HVAC, Q’Straint Wheelchair Tie-Downs, Braun Ramps, TwinVision and Velvac.

MCI ReliaDrive offers fixed-right guarantee Motor Coach Industries (MC), Schaumburg, IL, is offering a new service center guarantee. The company says operators who bring MCI and Setra models into any of the seven service centers throughout the U.S. and Canada are guaranteed same-day diagnostics, and a six-month parts and labor warranty. MCI says that if it should fail to meet any of these reliability standards, a customer’s next service will include a free oil change. The seven MCI service centers guarantee: • Same-day diagnostics • Fixed right the first time • Accurate estimates • Six-month parts and labor warranty

Prevost Service Center to relocate to Richmond, BC Prevost, Sainte-Claire, QB, Canada, announced this fall that it will relocate its Prevost Service Center in British Columbia from Delta to Richmond. Prevost Service Vice President Guy French says the move will not interrupt services and when finished the Richmond center will offer expanded services beyond the former location. Easily accessed from Exit 32 off Highway 99, the new 21,625 square foot facility will be equipped with six full service bays, a large parts warehouse area, training room, customer lounge and increased parking area. The new Richmond facility will be one of 10 North American service centers with factory-trained experts providing a full range of maintenance services and mechanical repair solutions. The phone and fax numbers remain the same.




ABC Companies, Faribault, MN, promoted Tim Wayland to president and chief commercial officer. Wayland joined the company in 1994 as president of ABC Financial Services and named chief financial officer in 2008. Promoted to chief commercial officer in 2011 and will continue to hold a seat on ABC Companies Board of Directors. As president, Wayland will be responsible Tim Wayland for the day to day operations of the company and continue to direct the development of corporate-wide sales plans, policies and forecasts to meet targeted objectives in all facets of ABC sales activities. Dane Cornell will continue as CEO and has been appointed as Chairman of the Board. ABC Companies founder Clarence “Clancy� Cornell has been appointed as Chairman Emeritus and will remain as an advisor on the board of directors. ABC Companies appointed Michael Anstead as director of CustomerCare Group, which functions as the main access point for all new coach equipment and related issues. Anstead will be responsible for the day-to-day activities and overall management of the warranty programs and both the internal and external technical field support teams in CustomerCare. He brings over 30 years of customer care Michael Anstead experience in field support service, call center environments, warranty, training and publication fields within the coach industry. Ashley Cornell, vice president of CustomerCare, will continue to direct the CustomerCare Group and manage all vendor alliances, engineering, technical and product development services. Motor Coach Industries (MCI), Schaumburg, IL, promoted Thomas Hoskins to service manager for its Los Alamitos, CA, service center. At the same time, Mark Heldt joined MCI as service manager for the Des Plaines, IL, service center. Hoskins began his career with MCI as a technician 10 years ago and has since held positions of lead technician and shop supervisor. Thomas Hoskins Heldt moves from 32 years with Ryder System, Inc., holding positions as district maintenance manager and senior maintenance manager, and was most recently with First Student Bus Company as a region maintenance manager responsible for 38 locations over a three-state area.

Mark Heldt

president, Maintenance, Central Region for MV Transportation, overseeing operations of 7,000 vehicles covering 24 states. Seber will oversee the RTA dual mode bus build and rollout scheduled for 2014, as well as the integration of the diesel and electric shops. Robert Ruzinsky recently joined Greater Dayton RTA as the chief capital officer, a newly created position to meet the competitive federal grants environment and challenging financial capital needs of the agency. Ruzinsky will be responsible for agency asset management, and capital program planning, development and execution. He will also manage regulatory compliance of federal, state and local funding programs, as well as conduct reviews and provide support for construction and facilities maintenance activities. The Long Beach Transit board of directors selected Kenneth McDonald as its new president and CEO. McDonald brings 25 years of transit experience to the agency. He currently serves with Parsons Brinckerhoff International as assistant vice president of Transit and Rail Systems, overseeing transit programs and projects throughout the United States and Canada. He also served as the Kenneth McDonald chief operating officer of San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency. Prior to that, McDonald spent 20 years with the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA), Atlanta, GA.


Greater Dayton RTA, Dayton, OH, selected John Seber as its new chief maintenance officer for the regional authority. He replaces retired chief John Thomas. With over 25 years of experience of maintenance management, Seber comes to RTA after serving most recently as vice | BUSRIDE


DELIVERIES ABC Companies/Van Hool added






Tornado Bus Company Dallas, TX

Capitol Bus Lines Inc. West Columbia, SC

Tornado Bus Company, founded by Vicente and Juan Vazquez in 1986, recently took delivery of five Van Hool TD925 81-passenger doubledecker coaches powered by Cummins ISX engines and Allison B500R transmissions. The ADA-compliant buses feature luxury entertainment systems that Alfredo Ramos, Tornado Bus Company CFO, says provide passengers a great travel experience. He says the fact that Tornado can transport 81 passengers comfortably in a single bus adds additional value. Operating in out of terminals in nine states, Tornado’s fleet has grown to 70 coaches for scheduled service throughout the central and southern US.

Capital Bus Lines took delivery of its first Temsa TS35. Owners Buddy and Mary Young say they were in need of a smaller coach with the same durability and comfort as a standard size motorcoach. Capital Bus Lines serves a variety of tour groups throughout the United States and Canada. The TS35 coach is constructed from stainless steel and equipped with a Cummins ISL 345 engine, Allison B500 transmission, three-point seat belts, REI audio/video, Alcoa rims, driver shades, leatherette seats and a wheelchair lift.

AFC Transportation Houston, TX Inspired to offer coach service equal to his family’s five-star restaurant, AFC Transportation President John Ferrari has grown his company to more than 185 units in limousine, charter and transit. Five recently delivered 2013 Van Hool C2045s reflect the growth in the motorcoach operation and bring the fleet’s count to 18 late-model luxury coaches. Equipped with Detroit DD13 engines and Allison B500G4 transmissions, features include the ITERIS lane departure warning system, electronic stability control, leather seating inserts and REI Elite entertainment.

CH Bus Sales








Express Bus Hattiesburg, MS

International Stage Lines Vancouver, BC, Canada

rabbittransit York County, NY

Express Bus owner Tom Curtis celebrated 30 years in business by adding two more MCI D4505s to his regularly updated fleet of D-model coaches, the company workhorses for the last 29 years. The new coaches include lavatories, PA systems, DVD players with VHS capabilities, Wi-Fi and DirectTV installed post-purchase. In addition to charter, Express Bus is routinely approved for military transport and serves a solid client mix that includes college athletic teams. Many customers have been with the company for more than 20 years.

George Almas, International Stage Lines general manager, views the addition of four 2013 MCI J4500s in an update to the all-MCI fleet of 39 as a demonstration of care to his loyal customers. This delivery marks the beginning a five-year upgrade plan. The J4500 coaches come equipped with three-point passenger seatbelts, electronic stability control, a fire suppression system and air-pressure tire monitoring. The company added optional 110-volt power outlets at every seat. Group tours traveling to Western Canada and the western United States from around the world, especially Japan and Europe, hold International Stage Lines in high esteem.

In York County, PA, rabbittransit has taken delivery of three new MCI Commuter Coaches. One of these is its first to feature an EMP electrical cooling system rather than a standard belt-drive. The agency is assisting MCI in tracking data and fuel usage to compare the efficiency of both systems. The three coaches are in service on the rabbitEXPRESS service between York, Harrisburg, northern Maryland and Gettysburg. Testing will show how the EMP system performs on a three-axle coach traveling at highway speeds over longdistance routes as well as through city traffic— the typical application of the MCI Commuter Coach.



New Flyer Industries announces new contract awards King County replaces aging trolley fleet


econd only to San Francisco for operating the largest electric trolley fleet in the nation, King County Metro Transit, Seattle, WA, will replace its aging trolley fleet with new all-electric New Flyer coaches that take about one-third less energy to power. The agency plans to initially purchase up to 141 trolley buses – about 10 percent of its entire fleet – under a contract with New Flyer totaling as much as $164 million. King County Metro is teaming with the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Authority (SFMTA) to purchase replacement coaches on the same contract. The agencies say this cost-saving move ensures they both receive the most competitive pricing. King County expects the first prototype expected to arrive in 2014, while riders can expect to see new coaches hit the streets in 2015. The trolleys also will be able to operate off-wire on battery power for short distances — a feature that will allow the bus to reliably reroute around collisions without calling for a Metro pushtruck. It also will reduce the need to substitute diesel buses when construction affects routes along electric bus corridors. The new buses will have low floors for faster boarding and exiting. They include an updated system to secure wheelchairs, and the 60 foot buses will have three doors, air conditioning and the ability to kneel the full length of the bus.

New Flyer will deliver all of the first 25 CNG buses in 1Q 2014. VTA adds 50 Xcelsiors Valley Transportation Authority (VTA), Santa Clara, CA has awarded New Flyer a contract for 50 (100 EUs) Xcelsior dieselelectric hybrid 60-foot articulated heavy-duty buses. The contract for the 50 buses contains a firm order of 29 buses (58 EUs) with options for an additional 21 buses (42 EUs). To date, New Flyer has built and distributed 40 60-foot diesel buses to VTA’s fleet of approximately 450 active buses.


Golden Empire Transit contracts for 15 Xcelsiors New Flyer Industries Inc., Winnipeg, MB, Canada, received an order from Golden Empire Transit, Bakersfield, CA, for 15 Xcelsior compressed natural gas (CNG) heavy-duty buses. The manufacturer has built and delivered 70 40-foot CNG buses for GET Transit between 2006 and 2012. Complete manufacturing and assembly of the 15 buses begin in 4Q at the New Flyer of America manufacturing facility in St. Cloud, MN, with delivery expected by 1Q 2014. BC Transit to receive 50 CNG Xcelsiors BC Transit, Vancouver, BC, Canada, will add 50 Xcelsior CNG 40-foot heavy-duty buses to its fleet of approximately 650 buses that operate throughout Nanaimo, BC. The order is firm for 25 buses with options for an additional 25 buses that may be exercised at a later date. Between 1992 and 2009 New Flyer has built and delivered 316 buses to BC Transit, which include the Hydrogen Fuel Cell buses.

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

Don’t let anything hold you back | BUSRIDE


QAS ensures repeatable success MCI line techs are empowered to contribute and ensure quality work


nvisioning a day when coaches roll off the production line without a single measurable flaw does not seem like such a stretch for Motor Coach Industries (MCI), Schaumburg, IL. The company has now implemented Quality at Source (QAS), a highly structured lean manufacturing process to help ensure repeatable successes. This initiative empowers employees at its plants in Winnipeg, MB, Canada, and Pembina, ND, to contribute more proactively to the manufacturing process and measure progress all along the way. With buzzy acronyms and terminology like process failure modes, effects analysis, training-within-industry, cost scoring, first-time quality, hours per unit, zone offices, control points and audits, QAS isn’t exactly poetry. Nonetheless, it promises plainspoken dedication to organization and procedures that eliminate opportunities for failure, as the system tracks successes as well as lapses. “It’s a common-sense approach to quality,” says Jim Macdonald, MCI executive director of engineering. “We deliver perfect quality by eliminating failures at every point.”

Science of simplicity

QAS hinges on clean, well-organized work stations with necessary parts nearby.



The work at each station is standardized and well defined with all parts and tools for that station delivered beforehand. This process will soon become modus operandi for all MCI production lines in the Winnipeg and Pembina plants. The pilot for QAS at MCI has been Department N700 in the Winnipeg factory, the site of engine, axle, window and seat assembly and installation on the J4500 coach. McDonald says that since adopting QAS a year ago, N700 has seen remarkable success. This success includes a recent stretch of perfect scores, measured as zero safety incidents, zero flaws and meeting targets on waste, time and costs. To manage workflow, management has measured the actual time taken to complete normal tasks. Zone offices put representatives from engineering, parts and other key departments alongside manufacturing to help the areas communicate better and to offer expertise as needed. Multiple control points audit quality, with red and green lights indicating whether the process at each station is under control. A red light always signals the need for immediate corrective action. While first-time quality is the goal, the Winnipeg management team responsible for QAS has also found the process is shaping a happier and more engaged workforce. “It’s changing both the way we work and the attitude of the people doing the work,” says Bryan Couch, vice president and general manager of operations. “People want to do good work and this gives them the opportunity.” Bobby Premsukh, production supervisor of the MCI J-model production line, says empowering workers leads to better quality. In the implementation of this program, MCI President and CEO Rick Heller brought in QAS expert Eric Walker and appointed David Rowe, vice president, Business Excellence, to lead the transition. “Since the QAS implementation, we have not experienced a top-five failure mode that would cause a coach-down situation related to N700,” Couch says. “We continue to live up to our Reliability Driven promise. Our policy — to build the most reliable coaches in the industry — is posted throughout our facilities. Our customers are also taking notice, indicated by the orders they are giving us, including Greyhound and many others.”

Patrick Scully By David Hubbard

speaks to new MCI initiatives


s Motor Coach Industries (MCI), Schaumburg, IL, builds on its Reliability Driven strategy, Patrick Scully, executive vice president, Sales and Marketing, spoke with BUSRide on recent company initiatives to strengthen customer service and support. Talk about the specific steps MCI is taking to meet its initiatives. We started by assessing the best possible approaches we would need to take to better serve our MCI customers and meet their needs. Most notable to them would be how we’ve reorganized our sales force in such a way that our field sales staff represent all products offered through MCI. Before we had a very specific sales force for each product — MCI coaches and the Setra brand, as well as for each sector, private and public. How do the sales representatives function under the new structure? Every MCI sales representative has the capability to sell any and all of our products. We do not want our customers to have such a splintered view of MCI now that we provide Setra coaches. We also have reduced the size of our sales territories to allow our sales teams to best serve their customer base. With this scenario, each field sales representative can become a more reliable and trusted source for customers who operate all MCI products, from the J-models to Setra to the D-Model coach. Additionally, we have invested significantly in our parts inventory to ensure better products and further support for our customers after the sale. How is MCI positioning the Setra brand in the product mix? I enjoy an 11-year history with Setra and am excited to continue with the brand under MCI. Setra has always stood for customized luxury and serving a more premium sector position in the business segment. From a customer perspective, Setra coaches offer a greater number of customizable options that come with full support from the network of MCI service and parts facilities throughout the U.S. and Canada. What is happening in the MCI Public Sector Division? The public sector has always been very important to MCI. With low-cost of operation leading the entire industry, MCI is the leader in commuter buses in the public sector market. We run the gamut from serving the very large to the very small public transit agencies, so the D-model fits in very well where the commuter base travels into the city. We also serve a great number of suburban transit agencies operating in the smaller communities around the larger cities. LA Metro does not run coaches, for example, but LA DOT does. In Chicago, PACE conducted a pilot program running MCI commuter coaches on the shoulder during rush hour to prove that it can grow its customer base. From the success of the testing, we will deliver 13 new D-models to the agency this fall. What’s the state of the public’s view of the bus and coach industries? I think our reliability and professionalism on the supply side to provide better, safer vehicles goes hand in hand with the operators in both the public and private sectors who are performing at a much higher level. I believe the public sees all this in a positive way, judging by the demand from those who see buses and coaches as a better way to travel. There have been tremendous improvements to motorcoaches over the last 10 years, including reduced emissions, improved safety, upgraded onboard amenities and passenger comfort. They’ve all contributed to a more positive perception of motorcoaches. | BUSRIDE



Oregon study offers guide to success for small-city transit By Norman Clark

Public transit allows rural populations access to jobs, retail centers, healthcare and social services.


s the training coordinator/planner for the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) Public Transit Division, I often see cities and transit agencies struggle over ways to make local transit systems more accessible, more comfortable and supportive of general community goals. These goals include downtown revitalization, economic development and better mobility for local residents. I was therefore pleased when I received an invite to serve on the Project Advisory Committee for the development of a new guidebook, Transit in Small Cities: A Primer for Planning, Siting, and Designing Transit Facilities in Oregon ( TGM/docs/fulltransitprimer4-4-13.pdf). In partnership with ODOT Public Transit Division, the Oregon Transportation and Growth Management Program (TGM) produced the study in conjunction with Parson’s Brinkerhoff in Portland. The new primer gives specific guidance to smallcity transit providers for planning, designing and locating transit facilities. It offers instruction for



bus shelters, signage, access-ways to transit stops and other amenities that support public transit systems. The primer lays out a basic planning process and offers tips for success that are easy tailored to the particular city. Finally, it draws upon successful examples from Oregon to provide relevant advice and illustrate best practices. This study addresses dozens of questions central to making public transit easier to access and use: • How can bus shelters be integrated into the community? • What shelter fixture and amenities, such as benches and lighting, should the agency provide? • How can transit agencies improve access to transit for everyone, including elderly and disabled pasengers? • How can access to transit stops be improved for pedestrians and bicyclists? • Where should transit providers locate park-andride lots? • How can these and other parking facilities be integrated into surrounding neighborhoods?

THE TRANSIT Authority • What funding sources are available for transit facilities? Small-city transit helps connect people with the places they want to go. Public transportation opens economic opportunities for local residents and businesses, enables students who do not own cars to get to school or college classes, and helps the elderly stay independent. It allows rural populations access to jobs, retail centers, healthcare and social services. Much like larger transit systems, small-city transit enhances quality of life and economic vitality. As in larger communities, small-city transit systems function best when integrated with local land use and community design decisions. When transit planners collaborate with local land-use planners and key stakeholders in the community, they leverage the investments of others. Well-located, well-designed transit facilities can help advance broader community goals, such as downtown revitalization. They can promote active transportation by providing direct access to transit stops and nearby destinations. In this era of economic austerity and tight budgets, transit providers can significantly improve their system by working with local governments to create a package of small and low-cost transit amenities Kimi Iboshi-Sloop of ParsonsBrinckerhoff’s Portland office served as the lead author of the primer, while many transit and land use representatives provided insights into the project. The project advisory committee included Steven Allen, South Metro Area Regional Transit (SMART); Constance Beaumont, Oregon Department of Land Conservation and Development; Joni Bramlett, Oregon Department of Transportation Public Transit Division; Norm Clark, Oregon Department of Transportation Public Transit Division; Sue Geniesse, Oregon Department of Transportation; Will Mueller, Lane Transit District; Cheryl Jarvis-Smith, Oregon Department of Transportation; Frank Thomas, Community Connections of Northeast Oregon; Paige Townsend, Rogue Valley Transit District; and Dinah Vanderhyde, Oregon Department of Transportation Public Transit Division. For more information about the primer or TGM’s technical services to local governments – contact Constance Beaumont at To exchange ideas on how the primer can be used for training purposes – contact Norm Clark at Norman Clark serves the Oregon Department of Transportation as training coordinator/planner. | BUSRIDE


All–electric transit

has arrived Six transit agencies debut the Proterra EcoRide BE35 in-service this fall By David Hubbard

The all-electric 35-foot Proterra EcoRide™ BE35 transit bus expands its public service this year. Garrett Mikita, president and CEO of Proterra, Greenville, SC, says he could not be more delighted for the six transit authorities nationwide realizing the simplicity of electric propulsion. He notes that the buses going to the agencies are production units and not hand-built prototypes. The model is the first of its kind to pass through the arduous shakedown by the Altoona Bus Research and Testing Center in Pennsylvania, the decisive test for transit buses. “The technology is proven; our company is performing and winning orders as a result,” he says. “Passengers enjoy a smooth noise-free ride on zero emission transit.” He says that while the Proterra electric bus has a price premium over diesel or natural gas vehicles, the total cost of ownership has a payback in some cases as fast as three years. “While the EcoRide™ is environmentally friendly and quiet, there is no escaping the economic benefit,” says Mikita. “It is always a key factor in the adoption of this technology.” Last year, Proterra produced eight buses and will manufacture another 40 this year. Mikita says Proterra is producing the the goal for 2014 is 100 units. automated fast-charging Proterra says the proprietary charging stations station for San Joaquin RTD’s Downtown Transit also differentiate the company from other bus Center as a matching manufacturers. The transformer behind the scene commitment to a CEC grant. has undergone a significant evolution, now half as big as its original size. It is soon to become smaller yet. “The founders of Proterra have created a highly reliable vehicle with quick-charge battery energy propulsion system as a superior alternative to fossil fuels,” he says. “However, the true change agents are the transit authority leaders who are operating this technology today and providing their ridership the opportunity to experience this new technology.”



Six transit authorities lead the charge City of Seneca, Seneca, SC —The City of Seneca, SC, contracts with Clemson Area Transit, otherwise known as CATbus and operated by Clemson University for fare-free public transportation. Seneca happens to be the electrical service provider, owning its own electric utility, which makes a very attractive platform to invite all-electric transit technology. With arrival of four Proterra EcoRide™ buses, the City of Seneca will be the first community in the nation to operate a totally electric bus system and no longer be beholden to the price fluctuations of diesel fuel. “These are exciting days,” Mayor Dan Alexander said at the launch of the project.

allow optimal charging for each bus without interference from the other vehicles. The city purchased and converted a former textile mill into a garage and maintenance facility for the new fleet, where a shop charger will be installed to support regular maintenance. CATbus General Manager Al Babinicz says he hopes to eventually expand the all-electric concept to the other communities within the transit district.

StarMetro removed sections of the brown bag to gradually reveal an area of the bus design prior to the Big Reveal. Additionally, StarMetro is working with IS BuildArts to design and construct a concrete cladding sculpture to cover the entire 28-foot wall surrounding the fastcharge equipment. The sculpture represents the symbolic Live Oak Tree of Tallahassee and symbols that show the benefit of electric buses to the environment.

Star Metro, Tallahassee, FL — Through the summer, Star Metro turned its launch of the Proterra EcoRide™ into a carefully choreographed community event leading up to the Big Reveal of the specially wrapped mystery bus later this month. The campaign entices the community to help disclose the final bus wrap of the EcoRide™ BE35, now designed as if in a brown paper bag.

San Joaquin RTD, Stockton, CA — San Joaquin Regional Transit District (RTD) celebrated its deployment of two fast-charge Proterra EcoRide™ BE35s buses earlier in the year. The agency will test the two buses over a two-year period as part of a demonstration project administered by CALSTART, and will retain ownership of the buses after the demonstration period. The California Energy

A VIA Transit EcoRide BE35 rolls in front of the Alamo in San Antonio, TX.

The entire fleet will consist of four allelectric transit buses,” says Ed Halbig, City of Seneca director of Planning and Development. “We are looking forward to reduced emissions and lower cost of service overall. We want to demonstrate the efficiencies that a 100-percent viable electric alternative can achieve.” The Center for Transportation assisted in writing and procuring the grant for Seneca, and will participate for two years with the city to collect data in a study on the project. All four Proterra buses will be in service on three routes by the end of the year. “After that, we’ll let the study take its course,” says Halbig. “We think we will have some very positive results to show for our effort.” Two overhead fast chargers will be in place at the downtown park-and-ride facility and at another location further along the route toward Clemson. The planned route schedules

“This was all done to build genuine excitement over the big change coming to public transit in Tallahassee,” says Ralph Wilder, StarMetro superintendent of transit maintenance. “We have been very careful to this point not to reveal to the community what is under wrap.” To stir anticipation for the launch of Tallahassee’s first electric bus fleet, the agency employed QR technology accessible through social media and communication sources throughout the Tallahassee community. Using smartphones, iPads or tablets, riders would scan the dozens of Q/R codes within the artwork mounted on the bus ceilings, which took them to a website containing valuable information presented through interactive games and classic comedy routines. Curious riders captured the codes, entered them on the website and earned credits in a drawing for prizes. As the QR entries poured in,

Commission (CEC) awarded San Joaquin Regional Transit District a $2.56 million grant towards an electric bus demonstration project valued at over $4 million. “We’re excited to be a part of an historic new era of zero-emission public transportation,” says RTD General Manager and CEO Donna DeMartino. “We are very impressed with Proterra’s innovations in providing environmentally-friendly and sustainable transportation. This project is another positive example of how we can leverage new technology to protect our environment and save costs at the same time.” Proterra is producing the automated fast-charging station for RTD’s Downtown Transit Center as a matching commitment to the CEC grant. RTD’s only responsibilities are the installation costs for the charging station and the administration of the CEC grant. | BUSRIDE


s p e c ia l se c ti o n SUMMER SAFETY SERIES - PART THREE {Safety Training and Compliance} The buses will initially operate on RTD’s Route 51, which has the DTC as its midpoint. At the DTC, the 100 percent battery-electric buses will use the overhead charger to fully charge in 10 minutes or less. The buses can operate up to two hours on a single charge.

Glasscock reports positive responses from operators as well as the people working downtown who appreciate the buses’ quiet movement. “One of the issues we deal with on a regular basis is the noise level from the number of buses running in the downtown area,” he says. “We operate a hub-and-spoke system, so just about every bus runs its route through downtown. We get noise complaints regularly, but people were quick to pick up on the quiet Proterra buses.” Currently three VIA buses operate for three route cycles between charges, which Glasscock says takes about an hour. Glasscock sees this technology as the wave of the future. He says that as the battery technology continues to develop, transit authorities will able to increase the range the buses can travel between charges. This will mean more flexibility in assigning routes.

The Worcester Regional Transit Authority, Worcester, MA —Worcester Regional Transit Authority (WRTA) serves the city of Worcester and 35 communities in the central Massachusetts area. Interested in reducing its dependency on one particular fuel source, the agency began exploring its options. A presentation by Proterra five years ago encouraged WRTA to consider the Proterra EcoRide™ BE35 as a means to save money and attract new riders. This led the agency to apply for a $4.5 million clean fuels grant to purchase three Proterra electric vehicles. “We wanted to gingerly test this technology, as Worcester is in a cold climate with hilly terrain,” says WRTA Washoe Regional Transportation President Stephen O’Neil. “We feel Commission, Reno, NV — By September, certain that these buses will perform Washoe Regional Transportation and also improve the air quality in Commission (RTC) will have this area. Over the summer, we began received its four Proterra electric determining routes for the six buses. buses. They’ll go into service in We will have three in service after November. According to David Labor Day, and Proterra will deliver Jickling, director of Public three more by the end of the year.” Transportation and Operations, the WRTA is introducing the buses with agency will devote several months a green theme. They’ll include graphics to orientation and training. and slogans - Every day is Earth Day, for “If there is one bit of advice example. The agency has established a we have sensed from some of the special route through the downtown other properties, it is to train area to demonstrate all-electric transit. the operators thoroughly on how WRTA is encouraging people to leave these buses work, particularly their cars at home and rely on the green the charging component,” he bus at least a few times a week. says. “Connecting to the charging The agency recently opened its new unit is a whole new driving and $16 million hub, which provides space maneuvering aspect to the bus. The for the Proterra fast charging station. process is a little counterintuitive “Half of our battle was won for most drivers.” before the buses arrived,” says He sees this as new territory for O’Neil. “The public saw the Washoe RTD. charging station and started asking “There’s no need to rush into questions about what it was and service,” Jickling says. “We want to what it was for.” The EcoRide BE35 recharges in downtown Stockton, CA. make sure we have everything right, The first three buses will run on and will take the time to orient our a new downtown shuttle route and charge once an hour. Once in full service, all six buses will fan out in maintenance technicians on how to maintain these buses.” Because of the relationship of these buses to the charger, they cannot different directions through the Worcester community on shorter, run on every route. The plan is to introduce the electric buses on the lower- capacity routes. Sierra Sprit circulator route in the downtown Reno area that also serves VIA Metropolitan Transit, San Antonio, TX — VIA Metropolitan applied for the University of Nevada, Reno. Each bus will return to the charger a TIGER grant in 2011 and received $5 million for its three Proterra approximately every 15 to 20 minutes for a three-minute charge. EcoRide™ buses, as well as an on-route charger and a garage “The students will get a good look at the buses,” says Jickling. charger. The agency put the buses into service in January, becoming “Residents and visitors will get to see the technology in action.” the second city behind Pomona, CA’s Foothill Transit to employ allWashoe RTC first worked with a larger consortium of transit electric technology. agencies to put together funding to purchase Proterra electric buses. Gary Glasscock, VIA vice president, Fleet and Facilities, says his When that deal collapsed due to a lack of federal support, RTC agency’s Proterra deployment is unique, in that it charges its batteries continued with a funding mechanism of its own. with 100 percent renewable energy. “Our three electric buses are totally green, including the electricity A note on Proterra from the grid,” he says. “The in-route charger features solar panels to augment the power coming from the grid to charge the batteries. We Committed to helping the United States achieve energy purchase extra energy, whatever energy the solar panels can’t produce, independence, Proterra says it sources more than 80 percent of the from the grid. In this case, the electric power comes from wind turbine content and components for its EcoRide™ buses in the United States generators located in western Texas and along the Gulf Coast.” from 33 states.



emissions and zero reasons to go any other way. The makers of the first all-electric, zero-emissions transit bus, Proterra, is moving the industry even further — with our on-route charging stations. The electric buses can recharge quickly while passengers load and unload, so you don’t have to take the vehicles out of service. It’s fast, easy and made in America, like all our buses. To learn more, contact Ian Shackleton at 864-438-0015 or email us at Isn’t it time we all Ride Zero™?

TM Altoona Tested Electric Bus ©2013 Proterra.

s p e c ia l se c ti o n SUMMER SAFETY SERIES - PART THREE {Safety Training and Compliance}

Reaching for world-class safety at Veolia Transportation Veolia develops tools to aid safe operations By Shelly Hall


keeping this core principle at the forefront of employees’ minds. t Veolia Transportation we are very proud of our safety efforts Veolia’s National Safety Audit Program helps to further assure and programs and the stellar results we’ve achieved across our continuous improvement in our safety performance by measuring 130 locations in the U.S. and Canada. However, even in the face compliance with federal, state and local requirements. It also of many safety achievements, we never relent on our goal of improving ensures we are meeting Veolia’s standards. Every Veolia location our safety performance. We strive for new ways every day to ensure is audited annually utilizing customized software and rigorous that safety is present in the thoughts and actions of every employee standards. Audits are followed by detailed action plans for which at every level of our company. This means that our managers and managers are held accountable. supervisors must fully integrate our safety standards into their daily Safety Performance Data is measured at all locations. We believe business practices and decisions, and each employee must consider safe in the old adage that you can’t manage what you don’t measure. operations his or her personal responsibility. “Webrisk”, our nationwide database, records accident and injury data To achieve a “safety first, service always” mindset, we have for each location following prescribed procedures. This lets us analyze developed tools and programs designed to provide the information and our performance and progress by individual location, by region, and technology employees need to meet their goals. nationwide so we can tightly Our proprietary Operator monitor our performance, Development Training Program compare performance of (ODP) is considered an industry similar locations, and develop leader in both classroom and improvement plans where behind-the-wheel training needed. Our actionable for bus and paratransit. Each “Dashboards” enable each driver spends 40 hours in the location to see its performance classroom, 10 hours in a closed measured against its peers. course and 70 hours behind the DRIVE is an innovative wheel. Operators must meet engagement and incentive 33 performance standards and program for employees. DRIVE skills. Our safety trainers at is led by employees and each location provide coaching supported by local managers. and strive to model sound DRIVE teams are formed behaviors. Training sessions are Safety trainers at each Veolia location provide coaching and strive to model at individual locations and very participatory, and include sound behaviors. include a representative from comprehensive materials for trainers, operator workbooks for practice and comprehension, and tests each department. The teams tap the collective expertise of employees to identify potential safety issues and propose solutions to the to document performance and learning. Our program can be adapted to management team. include the training requirements of our transit authority clients. The team also engages employees in a variety of motivational SmartDrive technology is installed in the majority of our vehicles, programs. All employees are eligible to receive incentives based on and is used to train and coach drivers. The system automatically the improvement in safety performance at their location. The DRIVE captures on video any situation that exceeds a pre-determined G-force, program contributes to building a culture of safety and generates such as sudden stops, swerves or impacts. The video footage captured individual and group accountability. by this state-of-the-art technology coupled with related coaching from Safety is our most deeply held value and top priority. We remind supervisors helps operators become aware of their recurring patterns each other continually that achieving “world-class safety” is dependent and identify and correct unsafe driving behaviors. upon building a team culture where every employee considers safety 300:29:1 is a company-wide employee engagement program, which his or her personal responsibility. We know we share a commitment to focuses all of our employees’ attention on identifying and eliminating safety with many in our industry and we believe that everyone benefits unsafe acts that may lead to an accident. This is based on a long-held from greater information sharing. safety principle that preventing minor unsafe acts will in turn reduce the number of accidents. We have an extensive communication plan Shelly Hall is vice president of Safety and Security at Veolia Transportation. including a variety of reinforcement and training materials aimed at





is the industry leader in federal grant writing and administration services, development of innovative media strategies including pre trip onboard safety videos, emergency preparedness planning and TSA security training. We can also provide additional Safety Services for you and your company. Our staff has 40+ years of passenger transportation experience in Motor Coach, Transit, Para-Transit, Shuttle Bus and School Bus service. Our team is specifically trained and experienced in the unique aspects of Safety Management for passenger carrier companies.

with you in a way that makes sense of it and therefore becomes useful to help your company to prevent future mishaps. You will gain tools to provide even safer transportation services to your clients and a safer workplace for your employees. WE CAN HELP YOU TO SUCCEED EVERY DAY!


can help you to enliven your Safety Program and make it a dynamic, driving force in the success of your business. can design a Safety Program that fits your company’s needs and abilities as well as help you to proactively address safety issues and concerns. Our staff can review your safety data and interpret it


CALL Ryan Kelly TODAY!

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196 Alps Road, Ste 2-390 Athens, Georgia 30606

s p e c ia l se c ti o n SUMMER SAFETY SERIES - PART THREE {Safety Training and Compliance}

Training increases safe behavior T

TAPTCO standardizes comprehensive driver training

standards and on-site ransit & safety surveys and Paratransit consulted to more than Company 200 transportation (TAPTCO), Macedonia, companies and agencies. OH, developed Jeff Cassell has been comprehensive training developing transit courses for both transit training programs for and paratransit bus more than 20 years. He operators, as well as served as vice president, a trainer certification Corporate Risk, for process. TAPTCO the Laidlaw group for President Jeff Cassell nearly 21 years. Cassell says the company can holds the FCII, Fellow customize these highly of Chartered Insurance, effective video-based Institute of England. presentations for any “Our goal was to type of transit or Materials for TAPTCO’s Paratransit Operator Development course. The company also offers courses in standardize all our paratransit bus. Transit Operator Development and the Trainer Certification Process. training processes Investing more than to the same high $500,000 to create level at every location,” he says. “We looked at all the available the courses — Transit Operator Development, Paratransit Operator training materials and could not find anything being even close Development, and Trainer Certification Process — resulted in highto high quality comprehensive, systematic, integrated materials quality video presentations that include classroom facilitator guides, we required. That is until came across the TAPTCO performance behind-the-wheel instructor guides, operator study guides and improvement company in Macedonia, which we ultimately operator training progress charts. contracted to create all our own materials.” “These courses fully prepare drivers with the basics they need Cassell, who would eventually join the company, recalls it being to provide safe and efficient service,” Cassell says. “The focus this well ahead of anything else available. “Its programs helped reduce our training places on drivers makes a significance difference in their accident frequency rate by 72 percent,” he says. “Our annual accident daily behaviors.” savings across all of Laidlaw was $58 million per year.” The Ohio Transit Risk Pool provided copies of the Transit Driver When First Group acquired Laidlaw, First Transit Services Training Program to its members. adopted the programs Laidlaw was using, asking they be changed Loss Control Services Manager Kenneth F. Reed says he found the to the First Group name for continued use. Cassell says with the transit-specific training material to be professional and effective. training programs currently in use at every location, First Transit “It is comprehensive and systematic,” he says. “It integrates a Services reported the lowest DOT accident rate he has ever seen — continual safety message into every module.” 0.29 DOT accidents per million miles. Mark G. Gardner, founder and CEO of TAPTCO, says it is the TAPTCO has also created the training programs currently first and only company dedicated solely to improving human in use for the transit management companies Veolia performance in the ground passenger transportation markets. The Transportation, MV Transportation and Keolis, as well as for development staff includes transit professionals, performance Greyhound Bus Lines. improvement experts, industrial psychologists, curriculum The sister company of TAPTCO, School Bus Safety Company, has designers and media producers. created all the training materials currently in use by over 2,600 school Prior to forming TAPTCO, Gardner held executive-level positions districts plus seven of the eight largest school bus contractors. with Progressive Casualty Insurance, where he created and managed the national Share The Road With Trucks Campaign, devised comprehensive organizational analysis protocols, underwriting



COVERAGE THAT REVOLVES AROUND YOU PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION Protective Insurance Company, rated A+ (Superior) by A.M. Best, has been providing specialized insurance policies to the transportation industry since 1950. Our hands-on approach to insurance allows us to understand the needs of our customers and form long-standing partnerships. We have a strong safety culture, a tenured claims department and superior customer service standards. Here are just a few of the benefits Protective offers: • Outstanding cash flow payment options • Superior claims service • Ability to package all lines of coverage including auto liability, general liability, physical damage and workers’ compensation • Dedicated loss prevention team that specializes in the transportation industry


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s p e c ia l se c ti o n SUMMER SAFETY SERIES - PART THREE {Safety Training and Compliance}

New wheelchair standards call for robust equipment Deadline for ANSI/RESNA WC18 and WC19 standards approaches By Richard Tackett

The three-year grace period for voluntary compliance with ANSI/RESNA WC18 and WC-19 standards regarding wheelchairs and tie-downs is quickly approaching the final deadline in December 2014. Q’Straint, Ft. Lauderdale, FL, is hard at work educating bus operators on the practical application of these updated safety recommendations. New specifications WC-18 acts as a companion to WC-19, a standard that went into effect in 2000 and mandates the use of wheelchairs that have been crash-tested and come with an integrated lap belt. A WC-19 wheelchair has four crash-tested securement points for tie-downs and it can withstand the forces of a 30 miles per hour/20 g impact. WC-18 mandates that tie-down equipment must meet the added weight load requirements associated with WC-19-compliant wheelchairs. WC-19 and WC-18 are meant to escalate the current Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) J2249 regulations. “The main differences, as they pertain to a wheelchair user, is a better built wheelchair that’s been tested for use as a seat in a moving vehicle,” says Patrick Girardin, product manager at Q’Straint. “Now that the wheelchair securement is absorbing the load of the chair and the occupant restraint, we have to have a much stronger retractor.” Girardin says that WC-19 wheelchairs, while providing serious improvements for wheelchair users, made WC-18 and stronger tiedowns necessary. 26


s p e c ia l se c ti o n SUMMER SAFETY SERIES - PART THREE {Safety Training and Compliance}

AIR DISC BRAKE PADS OE Quality, German Engineered for Safety and Reliability

Why are Bremskerl pads different from anything else available in North America? “J2249-mandated wheelchairs had lap belts either anchored to the vehicle or attached to our securements,” Girardin adds. “As the person moved forward in a collision, the load of the occupant was transferred to the floor of the vehicle through the Q’Straint provided occupant restraint. In a WC-19 chair, the wheelchair moves forward and the occupant moves forward – and the load of the occupant is transferred to the WC-19 wheelchair supplied lap belt, through their wheelchair and then directly to the retractors that are secured to the floor. Their load is dispersed between the shoulder attachment to the vehicle and the chair’s two lapbelt attachments. In essence, you’re combining their load with the wheelchair. It’s a significant increase on the loading for the rear tie-downs.”

Getting the word out “We want to make sure that bus operators understand these new guidelines,” Girardin says. “We show how it advances passenger safety, how to meet the new standards, and show operators how to use the new products. When a wheelchair passenger gets into any type of vehicle, they should be assured that they are as safe as possible.” John Goss, a Q’Straint training specialist, says that the company has mobilized a lot of its workforce to accomplish this kind of customer education. “Our regional managers are all equipped for training, plus we conduct national training seminars in Ft. Lauderdale and invite people from all segments of the industry,” Goss says. “They come in for two days of training that Q’Straint and Sure-Lok fully sponsor – attendees only need to fund their transportation to South Florida.”

“The organizations behind these new guidelines have published papers and presented at a variety of conferences and symposiums,” Girardin adds. “Q’Straint will be doing our part to build awareness at events, at customer visits and through the media.”

The bottom line Girardin says that, while the new regulations aren’t mandated by law, noncompliant operators could see adverse effects for their agency. “I always say to look at the acquisition cost of a paratransit vehicle or city bus,” he says. “It’s quite substantial. Our tie-downs are probably some of the least expensive equipment on the vehicle. But if you are transporting someone in a wheelchair and you get involved in an accident, that has the potential to cost many times more than the cost of the vehicle.” Girardin says that as more and more WC19 wheelchairs are deployed, the need for WC-18’s stronger tie-downs will become more evident. “You’re starting to see a lot of WC-19 wheelchairs,” Girardin says. “The issue is extra loading, and standard tie-downs may not offer complete protection. We have an escalation of standards that the entire industry is committed to, including wheelchair manufacturers, tie-down manufacturers, bus operators and the OEMs. We’re in this together and we recognize that no one wants to be the weakest link in the chain. We owe it to wheelchair passengers.”

Safety first. Bremskerl products stop trains, buses, trucks and other vehicles every day. Stopping the vehicle safely is the most important factor. Extended Life. We designed our 8010 formulation to provide longer pad and rotor life when compared to the existing OE and aftermarket pads available in the marketplace.

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s p e c ia l se c ti o n SUMMER SAFETY SERIES - PART THREE {Safety Training and Compliance}

Have a playbook for the

The DATTCO Emergency Preparedness Plan provides online intelligence for first responders By Richard Tackett



hould the unthinkable occur, Terrapin Blue, Athens, GA, has put a plan in place for DATTCO Inc., New Britain, CT, a municipal transit and commuter service operating in in Connecticut and Massachusetts. Additionally, DATTCO operates school bus service and is a franchisee. The company also employs 120 mechanics at 12 service facilities across New England. The Terrapin Blue Safety and Security team provides first responders and transportation companies with tools essential for preventing, protecting against, responding to, and recovering from emergencies and catastrophic natural disasters. All of these tools combine to create what the company calls an Emergency Preparedness Plan.

DATTCO emergency preparedness Terrapin Blue President Ryan Kelly says crafting an effective Emergency Prepared Plan for DATTCO meant creating a specialized playbook to fit a transportation operation. “With DATTCO, we’ve developed walkthrough videos for all of their different vehicles,” Kelly says. “This allows first responders to have all relevant information when they’re responding. The videos include electrical wiring, diesel tank location, as well as instructions about how to cut valves. We’re aiming to mitigate more unwanted events during an emergency.” Terrapin Blue created a web portal for DATTCO’s senior management, first responders and emergency personnel, and any other parties that might be required during a crisis. By logging on to a secure website, any authorized user can access a multitude of data about any of DATTCO’s many facilities. “We wanted to make sure people could log in anywhere in the world and see the incident,” Kelly says. “The facility manager or first responder can log in, see evacuation protocols for a fire or even an armed incident. Police and fire positions are outlined, in case those departments haven’t fully communicated with each other. Many kinds of



s p e c ia l se c ti o n SUMMER SAFETY SERIES - PART THREE {Safety Training and Compliance} incidents are role-played out so that people can see what everyone else’s game plan is.” Using the National Preparedness Guidelines published by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Terrapin Blue has developed a comprehensive framework for preparing and linking all the appropriate stakeholders during an emergency. Additionally, Terrapin Blue incorporated the concepts, principles, terminology and philosophy of the National Incident Management System (NIMS) and Incident Command System (ICS) to establish effective interorganizational communications in the event of a crisis. A blueprint for success

emergency, you can fall into uncharted waters if you don’t have a blueprint for success. We have a playbook, and it changes based on the situation at hand.” Moving forward

Hazardous chemicals are highlighted on Terrapin Blue’s facility maps.

Kelly says that the Emergency Preparedness Plan concept has also been a bit of a marketing tool for participating bus companies. “TSA and FEMA love this too, since they’ve been on to evaluate it,” he says. “Escot, Arrow Stage Lines, DATTCO and these other bus companies are five to ten years ahead of everybody else, in terms of security, because of what we’ve created.”

Kelly says that his team spent six weeks at various DATTCO sites while researching the Emergency Preparedness Plan. They then developed the plan over the course of five months. They’re currently on the tail-end of uploading online content and training DATTCO employees about its use. “Now DATTCO has a plan that senior managers can use to unleash whatever is needed in an emergency,” Kelly says. “Whether it’s an accident at a facility or with a bus, management can log on and manage the incident professionally. When you get into an

By logging on to a secure website, users can access a multitude of data about any of DATTCO’s facilities.

Facility managers or first responders can see evacuation protocols, as well as locations for fire extinguishers and other tools. | BUSRIDE



THE RIDE keeps rolling IN NYC The concept has grown to include corporate participation

The 49-seat state-of-the-art motorcoach offers a panoramic view of The Big Apple.

THE RIDE launched in New York City in 2010 when entrepreneurs and creative minds came together in an amalgamation of a coach tour and live sidewalk entertainment viewed from a 45-foot Prevost shell outfitted with stadium seats and floor to ceiling windows for up to 49 passengers engulfed in surround sound. The fleet of four custom coaches roll through Manhattan on a 75-minute tour as a constantly changing show by actors and performers unfolds.



Photos courtesy of THE RIDE.

The founders called on LDV Bus Converter Company, Burlington, WI, to custom design and outfit The Ride coaches. The company says it carries three patents from its effort to reshape and “amp up” the standard Prevost shells with special fiberglass molding. Along with three rows of stadiumstyle seating is enough audio-video equipment to fill a theater, plus more than 3,000 LED lights to stage a true rolling extravaganza. “It’s an immersion of incredible video and 25,000 watts of sound with 120 speakers in a tour bus people have never seen before,” says CEO Richard Humphrey. “Each vehicle contains miles of wire and nine tons of HVAC capacity, enough to heat or cool nine suburban homes.” The total cost of each coach is in the neighborhood of $1.3 million — $450,000 for the conversion and $850,000 to convert the coach into The Ride.

Two Broadway hopefuls break out in song about their dreams to one day take the stage.

TOUR BUSINESS “This is a new category of entertainment,” said Ride President and CEO Jonathan Danforth at the time. “The streets of New York are the world’s biggest stage and our passengers have front row seats.” He coined the tour “experiential entertainment” to describe experiencing the fabric of New York through the eyes of talented and funny people and life-long residents who love the city and its history. The show begins as the coach pulls away from the New York Marriott Marquis in the heart of Times Square with hosts on board. The high-tech monitors and sound system emulate the city’s unique characteristics from a rumbling subway to a disco night at Studio 54. The coach makes short stops at iconic locales such as the Chrysler Building, Grand Central Terminal, Times Square and Columbus Circle. Along the way hired actors, singers and performers put on improvised performances for the passengers, while the distinctive and often idiosyncratic city dwellers unwittingly become part of the entertainment. The experience has grown significantly since BUSRide first reported on The Ride. In 2011, a new corporate staff led by Richard Humphrey stepped in to bring the company to new heights by creating innovative corporate and group sales programs that promote fresh ideas. The four coaches can caravan to accommodate groups up to 196 people. Typically a corporate outing, The Ride highlights company achievements in pre-scripted presentations by the hosts and performers in an interactive experience incorporating music, video, company logos and voice-overs. Team-building on The Ride involves colleagues in corporate trivia, scavenger hunts, and other business-focused activities integrated into the performance. Such outings typically begin and end with cocktails, dinner, coffee and spirits at some of New York City’s trendiest bars and restaurants. The Fazzino Ride launched in May 2012 as a limited summer edition tour featuring the personal view of New York City through the lens of 3D pop artist Charles Fazzino, the official artist of the NFL, Super Bowl and the 2012 Olympics. The Fazzino Ride marked the first of many such thematic tours to come. In addition to drivers and maintenance technicians, The Ride employs up to 70 performers, as well as box office workers and office administrators. The staff selects its street performers in casting calls as with any Broadway show. The basic format for each show changes throughout the year to coincide with holidays and seasons. The staff meets with scriptwriters to create and continually freshen up each show. If someone takes The Ride in June, the experience will be different six months later.

A RIDE operator guides an audience through Times Square. | BUSRIDE


HVAC compliance and regulation Air-conditioning innovations help the bus industry to comply By Steve Johnson


eating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system manufacturers have been instrumental in helping transit bus and motorcoach manufacturers meet changing federal Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and state requirements in recent years – without sacrificing the passenger comfort and benefits that operators rely upon. For example, new bus and motorcoach engines were required to meet new emission standards that took effect in 2010. To meet the standards, engine manufacturers added diesel particulate filters (DPFs), which took up valuable space on the rear of the bus above the engine. In the U.S. transit industry, the rear of the bus was far and away the most common location for the HVAC unit.

Roof-mounted HVAC units offer various benefits The addition of DPFs created a dilemma for HVAC system manufacturers. They eliminated or reduced the space available for installation of a rear-mounted HVAC unit on many new models of buses and motorcoaches. Leading original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) responded by developing highly efficient roof-mounted units that offer improved weight balance, lower noise levels, better air distribution and other benefits that positively affect operator efficiency and passenger comfort. The availability of roof-mounted HVAC units gives greater flexibility to bus and motorcoach designers and manufacturers. Weight was a critical consideration for bus and motorcoach manufacturers, who challenged their HVAC system partners to move the air conditioning system to the rooftop without adding additional weight. Earlier-generation rooftop units were typically 50 to 60 percent heavier than rear-mounted systems. Technology advancements and innovative designs enabled OEMs to come up with systems that met weight objectives at a comparable cost. In addition, today’s top-of32


the line rooftop units meet or exceed the cooling performance of conventional rear-mounted units. New refrigerant regulations, calling for a reduction in hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), also took effect in 2010. These regulations banned the use of the R-22 refrigerant in new units, requiring OEMs to modify HVAC systems to accommodate more environmentally friendly alternatives. OEMs continue to innovate as federal and state environmental regulations evolve and new refrigerants are developed and introduced. HVAC innovations help the industry comply Modern HVAC systems use significantly less energy than previous-generation systems, putting less strain on the main engine and contributing to greater fuel economy, which translates directly to a smaller environmental footprint. This year, motorcoach and transit bus manufacturers are working diligently to meet the federal 2013 On-Board Diagnostics (OBD) standards, which are designed to ensure that vehicle emission control technology is working properly and that greenhouse gas emissions

are reduced to their required levels during every phase of operation. Today’s advanced HVAC systems are equipped with sophisticated diagnostic capabilities that interface directly with the main bus OBD system, which communicates directly with the engine OBD system. This communication loop is particularly important since the HVAC system is the largest electrical load on a bus engine, requiring as much as 40 percent of the total available electrical energy the engine generates. Additionally, the HVAC compressor can require as much as 30 horsepower each time the bus accelerates from the curb. Direct digital communications between the OBDs and HVAC system enables all to work together to keep the vehicle in compliance and provide the data the operator needs to ensure operational efficiency. Employing strategies to reduce the HVAC load on the engine is a key initiative for HVAC system manufacturers. Bus and motorcoach manufacturers and their HVAC system partners continue to battle excess weight for a variety of reasons. Lighter vehicles are more fuel efficient and have less impact on the environment. In addition, several states are considering legislation that would lift current transit bus and motorcoach exemptions to axel-weight

restrictions, impacting both the purchase and operation of large buses and motorcoaches. By managing HVAC system size and weight, HVAC system OEMs are helping vehicle manufacturers prepare for this potential regulatory change. Finally, HVAC manufacturers are keeping pace with transportation industry trends by developing state-of-the-art systems that are compatible with the alternative-fuel, natural gas and electric vehicles that are becoming an increasingly important part of many operators’ fleets. These innovative systems provide new levels of performance, efficiency and reliability while, most importantly, ensuring passenger comfort in every phase of operation.

AT LEFT: The availability of roof-mounted HVAC units gives greater flexibility to bus OEMs. ABOVE: The Thermo King IntelligAire III™ controller is highly configurable and can be programmed to control variable speed fans and blowers. The optional electronic pressure display saves maintenance time by allowing the technician to check system pressures with the touch of a button. Steve Johnson is product manager for large bus and rail HVAC solutions for Thermo King, a global leader in transport refrigeration and a brand of Ingersoll Rand. A veteran of more than 30 years at Thermo King, he is currently responsible for HVAC marketing and product management for United States coach and transit buses.

This December, BUSRide Magazine will launch the 2nd annual Best of BUSRide Awards. We will celebrate bus and motorcoach operations that exemplify innovations and best practices in: MOTORCOACH • Green / Eco-initiatives • Safety • Customer service • Community outreach • Marketing • Technology • Other

TRANSIT • Green / Eco-initiatives • Safety • Customer service • Community outreach • Marketing • Technology • Other

PARATRANSIT • Green / Eco-initiatives • Safety • Customer service • Community outreach • Marketing • Technology • Other

NOMINATION DEADLINE IS SEPTEMBER 16, 2013 If you’d like to nominate a company or agency that you feel deserves recognition, please visit our website — — and complete a nomination form today! | BUSRIDE



Electric buses at UITP Geneva By Doug Jack


very two years, the International Union of Public Transport (UITP) holds a World Congress and Exhibition. This year’s May exhibition in the beautiful Swiss city of Geneva welcomed more than 2,000 delegates from around 80 countries to the Palexpo exhibition center. The center features two adjacent halls, with one designated for the transit bus industry and its suppliers. The other focused on the rail industry. It has become a tradition at UITP that manufacturers showcase not just their latest products, but often new concepts. This year, the spotlight was on a number of all-electric vehicles, which included trolleybuses despite the clutter of overhead wiring at busy junctions, and battery-powered vehicles. The main problem with battery-powered vehicles is their insufficient range for a full day’s operation. Too many batteries can limit the number of passengers. The batteries also have to power all the systems, including heavy-duty HVAC. The solution is to recharge the batteries at regular intervals during the day, perhaps at each end of a route. There are two main systems, conductive recharging and inductive charging. Conductive recharging involves a contact on the underside of the bus that connects with a plate on the road surface or wiring buried just beneath the surface. Inductive charging takes place when a pantograph or collector on the roof of the bus connects with an overhead charging station. Both systems were on display in Geneva. Bombardier has a trial project in Mannheim, Germany, using two midibuses built by Rampini in Italy. They follow a fixed route where the batteries can recharge regularly through contact with wires under the surface of the street. Bombardier says that they could also serve other vehicles, such as taxis, municipal trucks and local delivery vans. Users could be charged regularly for the electricity consumed. Conductix Wanpfler uses plates laid in the surface of a street, usually at each end of a route. One system has been operating successfully in Genoa, Italy, for several years. Hess, the only remaining bus builder in Switzerland, worked with a consortium of Swiss partners to build what is believed to be



A Swiss consortium built the world’s first rechargeable articulated electric bus.

the world’s first rechargeable articulated bus. This was running a shuttle service between the exhibition halls and the airport. After each round trip, the driver parked the vehicle under an overhead gantry. The lasercontrolled collector on the roof of the trailer connected with the gantry and took a three to four minute recharge. ABB, one of the partners in the consortium, believes it will soon be possible to provide ultra-fast charges at each stop, giving a 15-second boost while passengers get on and off without interrupting the schedule. VDL Bus & Coach of the Netherlands displayed an all-electric version of its Citea low floor bus. This very neatly packaged 40-foot model stores the batteries and electrical equipment in a tower in the offside rear corner of the vehicle, taking up the space of two double seats. This vehicle has electrical wheel-hub drive motors from German company Ziehl-Abegg in which neither a transmission nor a differential is needed. The company is investing just over $30 million in building and equipping a new factory for this advanced automotive drive technology. The enterprising Polish manufacturer Solaris showed a 40-foot all-electric bus and announced an order for two from Raginbahn of Düsseldorf, Germany. Solaris says that it will be able to offer options to extend the range with fast charging. It is a long way from China to Geneva, but two Chinese manufacturers showed all-electric vehicles. BYD has started to take some small orders in Europe from customers who want to gain experience of the new technology. They have changed their body structures from steel to aluminum to save weight. Youngman, a licensee of Neoplan with


A Van Hool Exqui.City articulated trolleybus for Geneva.

connections with the MAN Group, had an allelectric bus priced at $350,000. A collector toward the rear of the roof could connect with trolleybus overhead wiring. Iveco, the industrial arm of the Fiat Group, has abandoned the Irisbus name, created when Iveco and Renault merged their bus manufacturing activities 14 years ago. Now Iveco Bus, the new company celebrated with the introduction of a new city bus range that’s compliant with the forthcoming Euro 6 emissions legislation. The stylish and well-equipped Urbanway is lighter but stronger than the previous range. It’s available in overall lengths of 34-foot 6-inches, 39-foot 4-inches, and 59foot articulated. They come with a choice of diesel or CNG and with BAE Systems hybrid drive. Van Hool had a large and impressive stand with three of its Exqui.City vehicles designed for high-quality Bus Rapid Transit systems. Van Hool is able to tailor these

Bombardier showed its inductive charging system under a Rampini electric midibus.

vehicles to the exact requirements of its customers. For instance, there were biarticulated 80-foot diesel hybrid vehicles for Barcelona and Metz that look quite different. The Metz Exqui.City had a more squared-off front and rear styling than its Barcelona counterpart. The third Van Hool model was one of 33 60-foot trolleybuses for the local system in Geneva. The second and third axles are driven to handle the hills and winter snow. Daimler has taken the lead in putting Euro 6 buses into service before the

deadline of January 2014. Currently 350 are running. Hartmut Schick, head of Daimler Buses, predicted 1,700 would be on the roads before the end of the year. He made a quick summary of Daimler’s activities in other parts of the world. While he regretted the necessary closure of Orion, he was optimistic about the link between MCI and Setra. Five new models will soon be introduced in the intercity sector in Mexico where Mercedes-Benz has nearly half of the market. Daimler will soon introduce the CapaChassis in Brazil. This articulated vehicle can stretch to 65 feet with two axles in the trailer section, making it ideal for BRT systems. Scania had a large stand without any vehicles but instead a backdrop of a Swedish street. Scania’s theme was that the diesel city bus is not dead. It is now extremely clean with minimal emissions, they say. Buses cost much less than trams or metro systems and can be installed far more rapidly. Scania urged cities and politicians not to think about buses in isolation, but to look at a whole package of solutions that could make journeys faster and more attractive. The company’s message was at least partly based on its experience with its vehicles on BRT systems in South America.

Compared with its European competitors, Scania has been much slower to develop hybrid buses. There has been one small-scale trial with ethanol-fueled hybrid buses in Stockholm. Scania said that, in its view, neither batteries nor super capacitors have evolved sufficiently to provide a commercially satisfactory solution when it comes to service life and lifecycle cost. Current hybrid systems are mainly selling on image and are

The Conductix Wampfler system uses plates in the road surface for recharging.

dependent on incentives, not on financial merits or robustness. The next UITP World Congress and Exhibition will be held in Milan, Italy. Doug Jack is with Transport Resources in the United Kingdom.

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BUSRide August 2013