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AUGUST | 2014

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Silver State connects NV p18 Detect and suppress fires p24 SPECIAL SECTION Summer Safety Series: Part Three p20

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AUGUST 2014 CONTENTS

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Cover Story The Temsa TS 45 hits the road

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CH Bus Sales reviews its well-laid rollout and plan for the future By David Hubbard

Features Silver State Mainline now connects rural Nevada

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A new private-public partnership extends intercity fixed route service By David Hubbard

Cleaning vehicles in your own facility

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By Jack Jackson

Bridj leaves and breathes transportation 32 Boston-area commuters get a taste of a new way to get across town

UMA convenes with Congress 34 United Motorcoach Association members have a winning day on Capitol Hill

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SPECIAL SECTION Summer Safety Series Safety through information delivery

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MiX Telematics solutions promote a company culture of safety By Richard Tackett

SP Fire Research heats up in North America

Apollo Video Technology receives New Flyer honors

The U.S. expansion of SP Technical Research Institute of Sweden provides further evaluation and risk analysis in the prevention and suppression of vehicle fires

The award recognizes the surveillance company’s 2013 delivery performance

By David Hubbard

The Bus Industry Safety Council keeps its finger on the pulse to help ensure a safer industry

Detect and suppress FMNA’s patented system identifies and attacks the “fire triangle” By Ray Melleady

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How BISC spent the summer 26 24

COLUMNS 6

David Hubbard

30 THE INTERNATIONAL REPORT

By Doug Jack

DEPARTMENTS 8 UPDATE 11 Deliveries 12 People in the News 28 Transit Authority

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FROM THE EDITOR

Fire Safety advocacy carries on in North America “FIRE!” is a word that just won’t go away. Operators, drivers, safety directors, maintenance technicians, government transportation agencies, mechanical engineers and insurance claims adjusters know the same inevitable truth: As preventable as bus fires are, they will always be a threat. Nearly 10 years ago, retired safety consultant Jack Burkert told me that, though he reported at least one bus fire a week over his 10 years as an insurance investigator, the U.S. DOT had only then come around to data collection on bus fires, finally defining them as recordable accidents. The problem was that DOT was not examining the actual causes, but certainly noting them on the operator’s safety record. Burkert said automatic punitive consequences did not contribute any solution. The regulation does offer operators the option of appeal for removal of a disputed report. About the same time, Chris Ferrone, a staunch crusader for bus fire prevention, wrote in BUSRide that it was more imperative than ever that everyone conducting inspections and maintenance needed to become intensely focused on the causes and ever-present potential for fire. When I first met Ferrone, he nearly made me take a solemn oath that BUSRide would lend its full support to matters of fire safety. That’s still the case, except 10 years later — after Ferrone and Burkert set the stage for the industry to yell “FIRE!” even louder — it is Fredrik Rosen, of the Sweden-based SP Fire Research, and fire-safety veteran Joey Peoples raising the noise level. SP Fire Research is active in testing methods and products specific to vehicle fires to establish international standards and best practices in the prevention and suppression of vehicle fires. This year the organization opened its U.S. facility in Raleigh, NC. Previously working in special hazards fire protection for Kidde Technologies, Peoples is directing the effort to provide further knowledge and research capabilities to the North American bus and coach industry. “Responsibility to ensure safe travel on buses should be shared by all parties worldwide,” Rosen says. “Establishing standards and best practices will ultimately lead legislation that is backed by sound scientific knowledge.”

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

BUS industry SAFETY council

A publication of:

POSTMASTER: Please send address changes to: BUSRide Magazine 4742 North 24th Street, Suite 340 Phoenix, Arizona 85016 Phone: (602) 265-7600 Fax: (602) 277-7588 busride.com Vol. 50 • No. 8 Subscription Rates:

David Hubbard Executive Editor BUSRide Magazine

United States: $39 for 1 year, $64 for 2 years, $89 for 3 years. United States via periodicals mail: $42 for 1 year, $69 for 2 years, $98 for 3 years. Canada. Canadian tax (GST) is included. Rest of the world, via air mail: $75 for 1 year, $125 for 2 years, $175 for 3 years. Single copies: $5 for the United States, $6 for Canada and the rest of the world. All prices are in United States Dollars (U.S.D.). Reprints: All articles in BUSRide are copyrighted and may not be reproduced in whole or in part without the express written permission of the publisher. For reprints of 100 or more, contact Sali T. Williams at (602) 265-7600, ext. 209.

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UPDATE

ABA remembers Eugene Conway ABA released the following statement in July: Eugene R. Conway, well respected businessman, educator, and life-long resident of Cumberland Hill, RI, died July 7. He was 92. Eugene turned the lessons learned from early success at selling apples from the family orchard into growing the family bus and tour company Conway Tours. The lessons he learned from curiously dismantling radiators on frigid winter mornings were turned into a successful career as a Cumberland High School science teacher for 27 years, retiring in 1983. Although he never learned to swim, he was a navy veteran of WWII, attaining the rank of captain. But the hats he wore most proudly were those of husband, father, grandfather, and great grandfather. He was loved, cherished, respected, and will be greatly missed.

Mildred Howard, a Berkeley-based artist, has received numerous awards for her critically acclaimed mixed-media and installation work. Peter Richards is senior artist emeritus at the San Francisco Exploratorium, and best known for his Wave Organ, a waveactivated sound sculpture on the San Francisco waterfront. Development of stations with the integrated artistic elements will occur during major construction of East Bay BRT scheduled to begin in fall 2015.

West Creek Elementary School’s Heather Li.

FMCSA names “Be Ready. Be Buckled.” winners

This team of artists will work to integrate their art with the architecture of 34 AC Transit BRT stations.

AC Transit names artists for East Bay BRT The AC Transit Board of Directors has selected artists Johanna Poethig, Mildred Howard, Joyce Hsu and Peter Richards from a national call to enhance the stations planned as part of the 9.5mile East Bay Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system. The team of artists will work to integrate their art with the architecture of the 34 BRT stations in keeping with the theme, Honor the Past and Celebrate the Future. “When this project is complete, East Bay communities will enjoy state-of-the-art rapid transit bus service,” said AC Transit Board President Greg Harper. “These artistically-enhanced stations will enliven and upgrade the streets in every neighborhood touched by this project.” Johanna Poethig is a professor at the Visual and Public Art Department at California State University, Monterey Bay, and is an Oakland resident. 8

BUSRIDE | AUGUST.2014

Heather Li, a third grader at West Creek Elementary School, Orlando, FL, is an advocate for bus safety, as shown through her award winning artwork, which took top honors in her age group, for the U.S. Department of Transportation 2104 “Be Ready. Be Buckled” safety belt art poster contest, which stresses the role of seat belts in saving lives. The artwork of the winners as well as that of ten other students will be included in the 2015 “Be Ready. Be Buckled.” Art Contest Calendar, available this fall. Li’s winning entry shows a Van Hool TX45 motorcoach for good reason. Her father, Yao Li works for ABC Companies Parts Division. U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx and FMCSA Administrator Anne S. Ferro recently honored the national contest winners at DOT headquarters in Washington, D.C., which Li and her family attended.

Yuma County Area Transit partners with Greyhound to implement service between Yuma and San Luis Yuma County Intergovernmental Public Transportation Authority (YCIPTA), Yuma, AZ, has partnered with Greyhound Lines, Inc., to implement Greyhound Connect as part of Yuma County Area Transit (YCAT) to connect its Yellow Route 95 with the Greyhound network as well as Amtrak to destinations nationwide. Local stops include San Luis, Gadsden, Somerton, Cocopah Casino, West Yuma Transfer Hub, Downtown Yuma Transit Center and Yuma Greyhound bus stop. YCIPTA through the Arizona Department of Transportation (ADOT) is providing federal funding for the new service, while busride.com


UPDATE

Greyhound is providing the required match to help make the new service sustainable into the future. Because of this match for this route, the service requires no state or local funding.

Mark Moline, Voith Turbo’s vice president of operations in its York, PA, office, congratulates Voith employees on reaching 1,000 days without a lost time accident.

Voith Turbo reached 1,000 days without a lost time accident Voith Turbo North America has been recognized by its parent company, Voith GmbH, for reaching 1,000 days without a lost time accident, based on the company’s key performance indicators. The recognition is for Voith Turbo facilities and workers across U.S., Canada, and Mexico. The company officially reached the mark on June 26th, 2014; it has also reached over 1 million hours worked since a lost time accident. “Safety is a top priority across Voith Turbo and the entire Voith family, and today’s milestone is evidence of the commitment to safety demonstrated by every man and woman working for Voith Turbo in North America,” said Norm Boisvert, chief administrative officer at Voith Turbo in York. “1,000 days without a lost time accident is an important milestone, and one we have strived to reach for nearly three years. We look forward to continuing our commitment to safety excellence.” Impressively, Voith Turbo reached the 1,000 day landmark during a time in which it has grown its business in North America.

John Benjamin receives the Jim DeVeau Award

John Benjamin of Benjamin Bus

John Benjamin of Benjamin Bus, a family owned school bus transportation company with over two decades service, is proud to have been presented with the Jim DeVeau Award at the 2014 Minnesota School Bus Operators Association Summer Conference in Cohasset, MN. MSBOA’s Jim DeVeau Award is an annual honor that serves to acknowledge those who have worked tirelessly to promote high standards for school bus safety, efficiency, and environmental responsibility. The award was presented in front of nearly 70 Minnesota school bussing industry leaders during the President’s Banquet dinner. busride.com | BUSRIDE

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UPDATE

Smart Ticketing Alliance to facilitate worldwide transport ticketing Two years after signing their Memorandum of Understanding, the five founder members of the Smart Ticketing Alliance formally launched the Alliance in Brussels to a wider audience of transport operators and industry players. The transport smartcard operators from 10 countries gathered in Brussels to confirm their support for joining with the founders and setting the Smart Ticketing Alliance onto a formal legal footing which will lead the way towards a single transport implementation specification for NFC phones across Europe and cross border acceptance facilitating the implementation and deployment of NFC-enabled devices. Spurred on by endorsement from the EU’s Transport Commissioner Siim Kallas, the Smart Ticketing Alliance has been busy setting up Working Groups looking at the contactless interface, NFC, certification and media security.

FMCSA shuts down Minnesota bus company The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) has ordered Lakeville, MNbased On Eagles Wings Charters, Inc., USDOT No. 1100785, to immediately cease all passenger transportation operations after finding that the company was endangering the traveling public by failing to ensure the safety of its vehicles and drivers.

Gray Line or CitySights “HopOn, Hop-Off” bus tour customers in NYC could get a refund up to $20 per ticket The following is being released by the law firm of SUSMAN GODFREY LLP. There is a $19 million settlement with Twin America, LLC, Coach USA, Inc., International Bus Services, Inc., CitySights LLC, and CitySights Twin, LLC (together called the “Defendants”). The lawsuit pending in federal court in New York City claims that Coach and CitySights conspired to form a joint venture, Twin America, against state and federal law. The lawsuit claims that this new company dominated the “hop-on, hop-off” bus tour business in New York City enabling the Defendants to fix ticket prices and reduce competition – resulting in higher ticket prices for customers. The Defendants deny that they did anything wrong.

Megabus.com expands reserved seating serving 30 cities in North America Megabus.com – the popular city-to-city, express bus company with fares from $1, plus a reservation fee – today announced it will be expanding its reserved-seating program on select routes to/ 10

BUSRIDE | AUGUST.2014

Megabus.com’s new service option allows customers to choose from 10 popular seats for a nominal fee.

from 30 cities in North America. The new service option allows customers to choose from 10 popular seats for a nominal fee. Tickets for specific reserved seats can be purchased at www. megabus.com today, with service beginning September 10. The customer initiative premiered May 28 in the United States on select routes in Baltimore, Boston, Philadelphia, New York and Washington, D.C., and June 18 in Canada in Toronto, Kingston and Montreal. Additional cities in which reserved seating will be available on megabus.com are: • Austin, Texas • Baton Rouge, Louisiana • Burbank, California • Chicago • Cincinnati • Cleveland • Columbia, Missouri • Columbus, Ohio • Dallas/Ft. Worth • Des Moines, Iowa • Houston • Indianapolis • Iowa City, Iowa • Kansas City, Missouri • Katy, Texas

• Las Vegas • Los Angeles • Madison, Wisconsin • Milwaukee • Minneapolis • New Orleans • Oakland, California • Omaha, Nebraska • Riverside, California • San Antonio • San Francisco • San Jose, California • St. Louis, Missouri • St. Paul, Minnesota • Toledo, Ohio

More than 30,000 medical professionals now listed on the NRCME The U.S. Department of Transportation’s FMCSA announced that 8,000 more health professionals have been added to the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners (NRCME) since the new system for USDOT medical examinations launched last month with 22,000 providers. Another 22,500 medical professionals have also initiated the process for gaining their certification. All interstate commercial truck and bus drivers must pass a USDOT medical examination at least once every two years in order to obtain a valid medical certificate and maintain their commercial driver’s license (CDL). As required by federal regulation, effective May 21, 2014, all new USDOT medical examinations for interstate bus drivers (both CDL and non-CDL drivers) are required to be performed by a medical examiner who has completed the required training and passed a certification test. To meet the needs of professional drivers throughout the country, there are certified examiners in every state, and dozens or hundreds in most cities that can be located by visiting http://nrcme.fmcsa.dot.gov/. busride.com


DELIVERIES ABC Companies/Van Hool added

added

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AT&T Charter Service Louisburg, NC

Transportation Charter Services Orange, CA

To serve colleges, churches and businesses in North Carolina and southern Virginia, AT&T Charter Service took delivery of one 2014 Van Hool CX 45 with the Detroit DD13 engine and Allison B500G5 transmission; and equipped with Braun wheelchair lift, Saucon Wi-Fi and TDS, 110volt outlets and an REI Elite entertainment system with 15-inch monitors. Its sister company A&B Tours offers prepackaged, fully escorted tours to destinations throughout the United States and Canada. The company runs 13 coaches offers more than 100 tours a year. Bobby and Ann House operate AT&T from their home where it began in 1989.

Transportation Charter Services (TCS) added two 2014 Van Hool TX coaches to the fleet of 25 coaches. The coaches are equipped with Detroit D13 engines and Allison B500 G5 transmissions, and feature REI Elite Entertainment Systems with 15.4-inch monitors, 110volt outlets and Wi-Fi. Both coaches are equipped with a Saucon TDS GPS Owner Terry Fischer says the intent is to take the business he purchased in new directions to encompass long distance charters, luxury tours and collegiate athletics. One coach is configured with two passenger-entrance doors and a traditional European center restroom.

Motor Coach Industries (MCI) added

added

3

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MBT Worldwide Boston, MA

Thielen Coaches Redwood Falls, MN

MBT Worldwide took delivery on three Setra S 407 Comfort Class coaches. Owner Russel Libby likes their European styling. The coaches feature Mercedes-Benz BlueTec engines, as well as Electronic Stability Control Program, all-wheel disc brakes and ABA braking with antislip control. Libby, an electrician prior to joining and later buying out his father-in-law’s airport flight-crew shuttle business, and his staff of family members maintain a fleet of 10 coaches, primarily MCI and Setra models. He says he takes an optimistic view of the industry as it usually centers on happy social events and great destinations.

The business strategy at Thielen Coaches for 42 years has been to stay small, run a newer fleet and concentrate on customer service; for which it added one MCI J4500 model to the fleet of seven MCI J4500s. The goal is to provide an upscale level of service by offering higher quality and newer coaches. The new coach features Amaya seats with standard three-point passenger seatbelts, arm and footrests, cup-holders and magazine nets. Other added amenities include window shades, six LCD widescreen video monitors and an enhanced sound system, as well as MCI wide-ride suspension.

busride.com | BUSRIDE

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PEOPLE IN THE NEWS

Troy Snyder has recently been selected by ABC Companies to oversee the Ameritrans mid-size transport facility located in Elkhart, IN. Snyder brings extensive knowledge and expertise in manufacturing to Ameritrans. Most recently, he served as both president and VP of sales at Goshen Coach, where he specialized in the product development and high-output production of Goshen Coach Inc. Alex Clifford has been appointed to the position of CEO/ general manager of Santa Cruz Metropolitan Transit Alex Clifford District (METRO). METRO operates fixed route and ParaCruz transit services in Santa Cruz County, CA.

marketing and communications materials, bus advertising and other applicable public relations, marketing and communications activities. Karen J. Kacynski

Stertil-Koni, Stevensville, MD, announced that Kevin Hymers has joined the company as director of operations. In his new post, Hymers brings more

than 20 years of top experience in warehouse management and order processing, having most recently overseen the distribution center of Prometric. Notably, Kevin Hymers Hymers also served in the U.S. Marine Corps for more than nine years obtaining the rank of Major.

CH Bus Sales, Faribault, MN, appointed Roy A. Furo as senior account executive for sales of Temsa coaches in the Northeast region, which takes in Maine, New Hampshire, Roy A. Furo Massachusetts, Connecticut, Vermont, Rhode Island and Upstate New York. A 10-year veteran in the motorcoach industry, Furo brings a wealth of knowledge on tour and charter operators in this area of the country. Motor Coach Industries (MCI), Schaumburg, IL, has named Darril King as vice president, New Coach Sales, for the Northeast region, responsible for all of New York State and the New Darril King England area. King joined MCI when the company gained Setra North American distribution rights in 2012. his new position, King will continue to report to Patricia Ziska, MCI vice president of sales. The Muskegon Area Transit System (MATS), Muskegon, MI, has added Karen J. Kacynski as transit marketing specialist, filling a recently vacated position. Kacynski will be responsible for maintaining MATS’ web and social media sites, designing 12

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CHIEF OPERATING OFFICER (COO) NATURE OF WORK The Chief Operating Officer is responsible for providing optimum levels of bus service to the ChampaignUrbana area through planning and monitoring the route system, coordinating maintenance needs, managing bus personnel, and recommending policy changes based on available data. The COO serves in the place of the Managing Director (CEO), in coordination with the Chief Administrative Officer (CAO), as needed. When the CAO is not available, the COO will serve as the District’s personnel officer. The COO oversees the Service Delivery department. Functions within the Service Delivery department are: operations, maintenance, safety & training, marketing, and public relations/customer service. It is also the responsibility of the COO to establish and maintain strong local intergovernmental relationships. The Chief Operating Officer operates in coordination with and under the direction of the Managing Director (CEO).

EXAMPLES OF WORK • Monitors departmental progress toward specific system-wide goals. • Performs functions of the Managing Director (CEO) in his absence. • Monitors the District’s daily performance through review of daily logs and consultation with managers. • Manages system-wide activities with Operations, Maintenance, Safety & Training, Marketing, and Customer Service. • Works with and assists the Managing Director (CEO) in long and short range planning. • Oversees the hiring of District employees in conjunction with individual managers, as well as consulting on employee performance, progressive discipline, and terminations. • Serves as staff support for managers in the area of personnel. • Serves as the District’s representative at necessary public functions.

REQUIRED KNOWLEDGE, SKILLS, AND ABILITIES • Thorough knowledge of sound management practices as they relate to public transit. • Thorough knowledge of the practices and procedures of good employee relations. • Ability to understand and deal with the complex realities of operating a municipal corporation. • Analytical skills demonstrating sound judgment and decision-making. • Demonstrated desire for quality work from self and others. • Initiative, leadership, professionalism, team-building, speaks persuasively before groups. • Demonstrates a strong work ethic, integrity and discretion in all areas, especially in dealing with confidential matters. • Demonstrates financial responsibility. • Accepts responsibility for problems and for the implementation of corrective actions. • Bases decisions on the welfare of the CUMTD as a whole.

REQUIRED EXPERIENCE Requires a BA/BS in Public Administration, Transportation, Urban Planning, Business Management or a related field; including a broad course work background. Seven years of experience in progressively responsible positions in public transportation. Specific training and/or extensive experience in personnel, marketing, and management, preferably in a senior management position. This position has an attractive salary and benefits package. The MTD is an Equal Opportunity Employer. All positions require taking a drug test. Apply at District Facility or send a copy of your resume to Karl P. Gnadt, Managing Director, 1101 East University, Urbana, IL. No phone inquiries please. Deadline for application submittal is September 2, 2014.

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The Temsa TS 45 hits the road CH Bus Sales reviews its well-laid rollout and plan for the future By David Hubbard

Planning and development of the Temsa TS 45, built in Turkey by Temsa Global expressly for the North American market, has progressed at a steady crescendo over the past two years. The rollout continues as CH Bus Sales, Faribault, MN, has hit the road with its demo coaches, giving operators across the country an opportunity to slide behind the wheel for a test drive and close-up look inside and out. In June the company hosted an outing and vehicle demonstration in Faribault for a group of operators. Though their time with the coach was brief, several company owners were able to offer BUSRide their first impressions of the TS 45. “At this time, we have demo coaches in all of our sales regions,” says CH Bus Sales Executive Vice President of Sales and Service Duane Geiger. “We also are beginning to leave coaches with interested operators. Though Temsa is a reputable brand worldwide, a lot of operators want to get the coach into their own shops with their mechanics, put it on the lift and give it a good going over. This is their first time to see this new model and they want to draw their own conclusions.” The 45-foot, 56-passenger coach up for review features Temsa’s hallmark stainless steel integral monocoque construction. The powertrain is a 425 HP ISX Cummins engine and B500 Generation 5 Allison transmission. The TS 45 comes equipped with the standard safety features that include an engine fire suppression system, lane departure warning system, tire pressure monitoring system, ABS, ATC, ESC, RSC, brake pad wear monitoring and warning system, in addition to three-point seat belts for passengers and driver. Other important safety features include the side windows, tempered and laminated for safety that will not blow out in an accident. CH Bus Sales is the only distributor to offer these windows as standard. Dale Streif, owner and president of Vandalia Bus Lines, Caseyville, IL, was on hand to drive the TS 45 for the first time, carrying on a family tradition within his company of being the first operator to purchase new model coach. His father, Leon Streif, bought the first Van Hool coach that arrived in

The 45-foot, 56-passenger coach up for review features Temsa’s hallmark stainless steel integral monocoque construction. The powertrain is a 425 HP ISX Cummins engine and B500 Generation 5 Allison transmission.

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this country. Vandalia’s name is on the first TS 45 sold, which will be delivered to Streif later this month. “It just makes sense for us to be at the front of the line for the Temsa TS 45,” Streif says. “We know everyone at CH Bus Sales and we’ve been very pleased with the quality and performance of our TS 35 and TS 30 coaches over the last three years.” Streif says when he first drove the coach, though only for a short distance, he knew he had a made a good decision. “The design and quality is impressive and the handling is outstanding,” he says. “If this coach compares with our five TS 35s over the next several years there won’t be any issues.” In his stint in the driver’s seat, Craig Osborne, safety manager and driver for Northfield Lines, Northfield, MN, found the cab area of the TS 45 to be very operator friendly, which he says is of utmost importance to him as a driver trainer. He noted how a driver new to the coach can identify the switches by both symbols and lettering; lettering for definition, symbols for quick recognition. “This makes it much easier for drivers learning the bus and watching the road at the same time,” he says. “This should prove very helpful when it comes to training.”

said it would be a miracle if I could climb at any more than 45 mph. But this coach has power. Understanding, of course, that I was not a carrying a full passenger load, I ran the grades at around 70 mph.” Coming down the mountains, Armes says he was able to cruise between 65 and 70 mph with the engine brake set at level one. “Driving through Blythe, CA, along I-10 I encountered a major dust storm,” he says. “I saw quite a few vehicles getting tossed around, but with this coach a little shorter at 11-foot 6-inches, the handling was very stable in the high winds.” Speaking to features on the coach, Armes commented on the roominess and accessibility of the driver’s seat and cockpit. “I am a bigger guy and this is the roomiest I have experienced in any coach,” he says. “The slightly curved dash makes the switches very accessible. Temsa was able to find space and still get everything within reach.” Another feature that caught Armes’ attention was the backup sensors in addition to the backup camera. “If the driver is not watching the camera, he receives a very loud audible warning to check the camera,” Armes says. “It is not always necessary to keep an eye on the camera. The same alert goes for

The Temsa TS 45 delivers on curb appeal.

The CH Bus Sales and Temsa teams raised a toast and launched the TS 45 at ABA Marketplace in January.

Osborne says when he drove the coach he felt a connection with the road that perhaps only an experienced coach driver could understand. “In traffic I immediately felt very comfortable behind the wheel — and safe,” he says. “It’s hard to explain unless you are a driver, but I didn’t feel as if I was floating down the highway. I was connected with the pavement and the coach was very responsive. The stability is unbelievable.” Asked if there is anything about the TS 45 he might change, Osborne pointed to the review mirrors. “The side mirrors are more the European style that extend down from the top of the coach,” he says. “I like the style, but on this coach, Temsa has compacted and narrowed them some. For me personally, I found myself groping for a better view. We send our coaches into larger cities — New York, Chicago, Boston, New Orleans — where drivers do a lot of tight maneuvering through tight turning situations in heavy traffic. I would like it if the mirrors were just a little bigger.” CH Bus Sales reported back that the TS 45 is also available with upright mirrors for those customers who prefer uprights. Rick Armes, a maintenance technician for CH Bus Sales, was actually the first to take the TS 45 out on the long haul. Following ABA Marketplace and UMA Motorcoach EXPO, he made a 3,000-mile swing through the western states that included a stop in Phoenix, where BUSRide heard his early impressions of the newest Temsa model. In this case, Temsa TS 45 VIN No. 3. “Overall, I have found the TS 45 very quiet riding and exceptionally easy to drive,” he says. “Before I set out on this trip, people told me the mountains in California would be the biggest test of the coach. They

unlatched seat belts, which trigger an audible beeping until they are fastened. A lot of coaches only provide a visual, but this feature gives both as a reminder to buckle up.” “I did notice the driver side window gets very dirty,” Armes says when asked if he spotted anything on the coach he would want to see improved. “I think it could use a gutter or deflector to keep it cleaner.” CH Bus Sales says this change has been made. Shannon Kaser, owner and president of Royal Excursion, Mishawaka, IN, may have wanted more time behind the wheel. “My test drive wasn’t like we had the coach for a week, running it with other drivers,” he says. “However, in the short time I did have to test it out, I could tell this coach stands up well against the MCIs and Van Hools. What first struck me was that Temsa and the CH Bus Sales team have certainly listened to its customers in developing this new product. They are delivering a new coach with great curb appeal and a smooth, quiet, comfortable ride. As a passenger, I found the interior spacious, and I even felt like I had more leg room for a full size coach.” During his test drive, Kaser says the steer tag axle got his attention. “Driving the coach in a parking lot, I had to maneuver through some pretty tight squeezes,” he says. “I would like to say it was my superior driving skills, but it was really the effect of the steer tag axle. I was anticipating some curbing, but I made it through without a scuff. The shorter turning radius makes it much easier.” Behind the wheel of the TS 45 for the first time, Streif says he liked what he saw. “The dashboard is well organized, the gauges and switches easy to read with no more than needed,” he says. “The fact that the driver sits busride.com | BUSRIDE

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CH Bus Sales maintenance tech Rick Armes put the TS 45 VIN 3 to the test on a 3,000mile swing through the western states.

a little higher in the cockpit is an advantage. The extra height improves visibility and puts him closer to eye level with the passengers rather than sitting down low in the the front.” Streif says the TS 45 will mark the company’s first experience with a steer tag axle. “With the rear steer tag, the coach is easier to maneuver,” he says. “But we’ll have to see how the drivers adjust to it, as the back swings out a little quicker. I really like the backup sensors as standard. Coaches are becoming more like automobiles with all the OEM safety features.” Streif also commented on the fact that the windows are all one size. Besides the sleek look, he says the uniformity alleviates the worry of ordering and stocking several different sizes of glass. Foley reports that orders placed throughout the launch and rollout have totaled nearly 50 vehicles, with customer deliveries starting in August. “As everyone knows, building a motorcoach distribution organization takes time, and we can’t get everything in place overnight,” he says. “But anyone who has watched us closely over the last couple of years can see we have a strategic plan to methodically build a support system and we have stuck to it. With our newest model in full production, we are in a position to offer very good technical and service support, as well as for parts and warranty.” With very experienced management and staff working out of CH Bus Sales’ Orlando location to address all aftermarket, parts and warranty service, Foley laid out his company’s plan for growth in service and support. “We have three regional service technicians working out of service vehicles, led by Marvin Borntrager, directory of Warranty and Technical Services, and we will be adding more in the near future,” Foley says. “We have a product specialist and trainer, Elmer Holz, and we also work with a great number of service providers.” In addition to the Orlando Service Center, this year CH Bus Sales opened another service center in the Dallas-Ft. Worth, TX, area, and over the next two years will established service locations in California and the Northeast to serve operators who do not operate their own maintenance facilities. Foley says the company’s initial coach sales were to operators who purchase new equipment and typically operate their own shops for their own maintenance and repair. “As long as we provide technical and parts support, and maintain a 24/7 call center, most of our customers prefer to work on their coaches in their own shops,” Foley says. “But for those who don’t, we work with a number of service providers that are located in or near the larger metro areas.”

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Silver State Mainline now connects rural Nevada

A new private-public partnership extends intercity fixed route service By David Hubbard

Silver State Trailways, Orange, CA, a Trailways Transportation System member, launched its Silver State Mainline in June to provide intercity fixed route bus service between Doyle, CA, and Las Vegas. A public-private partnership with the Nevada Department of Transportation allows Silver State Mainline to connect with riders in rural municipalities underserved by public transportation that include municipalities, unincorporated areas, military installations and Native American communities with stops in Reno, Sparks, Carson City, Fallon, Hawthorne, Tonopah, Beatty and Pahrump. The service also connects with Greyhound Bus Lines in Reno and Las Vegas.

Silver State Trailways says it now is able to significant increase mobility for Nevada residents.

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The Silver State Mainline project is made possible by DOT Federal Program 5311(f), which provides assistance to fund regularly scheduled intercity bus service for the general public. This program requires limited stops over fixed routes that connect two or more urban areas not in close proximity. “I have been working with Silver State Trailways for the past couple of years to get this service in place,” says Nevada Department of Transportation Transit Manager Michelle Gardner. “The most difficult aspect for me was the fact they wanted to use Greyhound as their match. I had never heard of this option and really had to do my research to see if this match source was eligible for FTA funding.” As the DOT in her region was not familiar with this type of match, Gardner had to call around to find another DOT with a similar program in place. “As it turned out, Washington State DOT was very helpful,” she says. “After researching the laws and talking with WSDOT, I finally told Silver State we were going to move forward.” The next step was to get Silver State in compliance with all FTA requirements. “The company complies with all of the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration requirements,” Gardner says. “But that doesn’t mean it met all the FTA requirements.” The service must demonstrate the capability to transport passengers with their baggage and make “meaningful connections” with other scheduled intercity bus service. Gardner points out that Silver State was careful in its due diligence, advertising to the public that it was applying for these funds to start this service in the event that other for-profit companies might want to compete for this service. In the end, Silver State won the contract. “With this new service, Silver State Trailways is able to extend transportation options that increase mobility significantly for the residents in these Nevada communities,” says Silver State General Manager Jerry Hagan. “The Mainline also provides greater economic opportunity and improves quality of life for their citizens.” This private-public service allows additional opportunities for Nevada residents and other travelers to ride the public transit systems in both Reno and Las Vegas. Silver State Trailways says it will soon be working to courier packages along the service corridor. “I think this is a good route,” Gardner says. “It is connecting some very rural areas of our state to the larger metropolitan areas, which us good for all of us. I want to see this succeed.”

Silver State Trailways launched its Silver State Mainline in June to provide intercity fixed route bus service between California and Las Vegas.

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Safety through information delivery MiX Telematics solutions promote a company culture of safety By Richard Tackett

For MiX Telematics, Boca Raton, FL, a comprehensive company culture of safety is paramount to road safety. To that end, the fleet and mobile asset management provider offers a full suite of driver safety solutions that goes beyond simply monitoring driver behavior. While many companies offer video solutions to capture unsafe events like speeding or a hard braking, MiX tries a different approach to driver safety. “We want to create a culture of safety,” says Brian McCoy, VP of Business Development at MiX Telematics. “It’s just as important to recognize and reinforce safe driving behaviors as it is to mentor a driver after an unsafe event. By tracking driver behavior scoring trends, we can identify the strengths and weakness of each driver over time. With this trend we are able to tailor a training program and identify which training method works best for each driver. “ Those training programs can be in the form of classroom instruction, a commentary drive or even online training modules. MiX services include monitoring driving habits, error reporting, live incident analysis, driver training and safety consulting. Standard services include driver scoring, driver I.D. and vehicle access control. Driver certification management and consulting are optional. “We set ourselves apart with how well we do at going beyond safety monitoring,” McCoy says. “We take it to the next level and come up with a full coaching plan to modify bad behavior, so that it doesn’t end in any type of crash or incident.”

Driver I.D. The driver tag can restrict vehicle access and identifies drivers to the vehicle. This allows managers to match the safety event to the right driver. “A lot of other systems don’t have the ability to identify the driver,” McCoy says. “How can I begin to modify driver behavior without knowing who was driving the vehicle?” MiX SafeDrive With the SafeDrive platform, MiX sends certified trainers and consultants out to lead safety courses for clients’ drivers. These courses are tailored to a specific client’s operation, relevant to behaviors identified

MiX’s driver safety solution comes with an onboard computer and optional in-cab display or video camera.

Driver reporting MiX’s solution comes with an onboard computer and optional incab display or video camera, meant to correct unsafe driver behavior the moment it occurs. FM-Web RAG Scoring Reports Suite MiX’s FM-Web RAG Scoring Reports Suite records driver-related events like over-speeding, harsh braking, and harsh acceleration in Red, Amber, or Green categories in its self-generated reports. McCoy says this allows for managers to correct driver behavior on a case-bycase basis and trend analysis. “Rather than send a bunch of speeding alerts to managers, we’ve taken it to another level and actually do driver scoring, ranking behaviors in the three categories,” McCoy says. “We not only detail those behaviors in reports, along with all of the exact GPS tracking, but we offer the next step and figure out how best to implement driver training and driver incentives.”

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in the driver reporting system. MiX says its training programs focus on driver awareness, incorporating hazard and risk identification through proactive vision and modification of driving behavior, as well as sound perception and risk analysis. “We also do defensive driving, even in motorcoaches,” McCoy says. “We’re able to offer a full solution, instead of just the technology. We provide coaching on the backend on what’s best to do, but if the clients are incapable of correcting the behavior Brian McCoy, VP of Business themselves or make a request to Development at MiX Telematics have a trainer onsite, we’ll send our trainers out to the clients.” McCoy says that SafeDrive avoids teaching from a skills-based perspective, preferring instead to educate drivers about various potential hazards. “We want to make sure that we’re coaching them and instituting an always-conscious state,” he says. “We give commentary drives and we allow drivers to do a hazard perception.” Perhaps most importantly, MiX Telematics tailors its solutions to be completely scalable. “All of our programs are tailored to the client’s vehicles and fit for purpose,” McCoy says. “We get to the heart of what’s wrong with any sized operation, correcting behavior with comprehensive USSC-074 FMNA Ad_BRM.pdf 1 5/21/14 12:19 PM information delivery.”

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The FM-Web RAG Scoring Reports Suite records driverrelated events in Red, Amber, or Green categories.

We Soak the Competition! Cools, chokes and suppresses engine fires in seconds. FMNA water mist Fire Suppression System . . . the only system that attacks all three components of the fire triangle: • Heat • Oxygen • Fuel FMNA is superior to conventional systems. • Environmentally friendly • Easy clean-up • Safe, non-toxic to occupants • Longer duration discharge than powder systems • Quick, easy to install • Electrical power not required for activation

For more information visit us at www.usscgroup.com/fmna or call 866.312.6820

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SP Fire Research heats up in North America The U.S. expansion of SP Technical Research Institute of Sweden provides further evaluation and risk analysis in the prevention and suppression of vehicle fires By David Hubbard

SP Fire Research says its new activity in the U.S. is representative of increased global fire safety awareness.

conditions specific to bus engine environments. The goal is a new international standard and certification for bus engine fire suppression. SP Fire Research currently issues certificates to successful systems and permits them to show the trademark “P” mark of approval on the components — a voluntary certification quality mark for the industry to denote high quality, approved fire suppression systems on buses and coaches. “Several fire tests conducted on operational buses have confirmed that the pass/fail criteria used in this certification demonstrate a high level of protection,” says Fredrik Rosen, marketing manager. “More than 20 various types of systems — dry chemical, water base, aerosols and gaseous — are pursuing the “P” mark. Several systems have already been approved or are in the final stages of approval.” As adoption of the standard becomes more common around the globe, Peoples says U.S. transit operators are among the first to actively include the “P” mark in their procurement specifications. Fire safety trends globally

SP Fire Research, a division of SP Technical Research Institute of Sweden, is one of the largest fire research and testing facility in Europe. The 130-plus SP Fire researchers, engineers and industry experts provide evaluation and risk analysis in the prevention and suppression of vehicle fires; and have promoted bus fire safety globally as a top priority since 2004. The organization has been active in test methods specific to vehicle fire. Testing products and solutions against realistic fire scenarios and aspects specific to vehicular fire hazards, its aim is to establish standards by which to the objectively evaluate safety performance of fire suppression products and prevention methods. SP Technical Research been involved in North America for over 20 years, conducting research in such fields as surface chemistry and agriculture. As of this year, SP Fire Research has expanded its mission to include work in the United States. Vehicle fire safety expert Joey Peoples heads up the expansion from offices in Raleigh, NC. Peoples, a 27 year veteran in the special hazards fire protection field, previously served as manager of the Commercial Ground Vehicle group for Kidde Technologies. He is continuing in the same vain with SP Fire Research to bring the group’s vast knowledge and research capabilities to bear on vehicle fires in North America. He says vehicle test fires and thermal event investigations, as well as simulations, fire event recreations, live fire testing and small-scale testing are just some of the capabilities SP Fire Research will soon be providing. The power of the “P” mark As part of its work, SP Fire Research is leading the way for more effective fire suppression systems by establishing a certification process (SPCR183) and test method (SP test Method 4912) for testing fire suppression systems against known fire threats and environmental 22

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SP Fire Research says its new activity in the U.S. is representative of the increased awareness globally of fire safety, noting that government agencies, industry associations, OEMs, bus and coach operators and fire safety advocacy groups have formed committees and knowledge platforms to discuss the issues. Peoples says research, testing and adoption of requirements for automatic fire detection and suppression systems are underway in the U.S. at both the federal and state level. “To one degree or another, all modes of bus transportation in the U.S. are using some form of automatic fire systems,” he says. “Some make it mandatory for all vehicles; others focus on vehicles where evacuation issues are a concern.” Meanwhile, the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UN ECE) is considering a proposed change to Regulation 107 which could require the installation of fire suppression systems in the engine compartment of all single-deck, double-decker, rigid or articulated vehicle of category M2 or M3. “Responsibility to ensure safe travel on buses should be shared by all parties worldwide,” Rosen says. “Establishing standards and best practices will ultimately lead legislation that is backed by sound scientific knowledge.” Build in best practices Bus fire safety encompasses many aspects of design, operation, maintenance, evacuation, and all play a role in establishing effective standards and best practices. SP Fire Research says the first and perhaps the most important step in designing a fire safety plan is to conduct a thorough fire risk analysis that includes a Failure Mode Effects Analysis (FMEA). The FMEA identifies the highest risks of fire in terms of occurrence and severity, busride.com


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This mock-up of an engine compartment tests the performance of the suppression system under different driving conditions. Tests include both small and large fires under varying conditions of air flow, temperature and size of ventilation openings in the test rig.

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SP Technical Research Institute of Sweden has developed a new method to test the efficiency of fire suppression systems intended for engine compartments of buses and coaches.

as well as the best methods for detection; and helps establishing the news standards for them in heavy vehicles. This project will further investigate non-traditional methods such as predictive failure modes best maintenance and training practices to address each risk area. for high risk components, which it says will For example, high temperatures in the engine facilitate the rapid identification of pending compartment can cause premature failure of components failures of hoses and lines carrying flammable and potentially increase surface temperatures which fluids and components that have greatly could ignite flammable fluids more readily than exceeded their operational parameters. expected. Ventilation through fans and openings in the engine compartment can produce high levels of airflow Flammable materials that facilitates cooling of the engine and compartment, While the need for lighter, less costly but also increases the intensity and spread of flames. materials is always present, Rosen and Peoples Therefore, the use of temperature strips in high risk areas say further research is necessary to establish to identify unexpected high temperature zones is a good adequate performance requirements for the use best practice. of flammable material in high risk areas for all “A bus fire of any magnitude is always an unfortunate buses and coaches. event,” Rosen says. “Still, beyond just knowing what caused the fire, such incidents can also be viewed in as Electrical fires the most important learning tools that provide critical Electrical arcing and shorts do not always trip input to instill best practices for safer design, operation protective devices such as fuses. Some cables such and human behavior.” as from the battery to the starter and alternator Peoples says the various vehicle types and modes carry very high currents capable of producing of operation pose unique challenges in regard to fire enough heat to not only ignite nearby combustible safety. materials, but also cause breaches in hydraulic SP Fire Research issues “P” mark “The risk for fire multiplies throughout the most lines and metal covers. The adoption of best certificates to successful systems vulnerable areas,” he says. “SP Fire Research will be and permits them to show its practices for routing, securing and protecting publishing its Top Most-Wanted fire related issues. trademark of approval. Details at electrical circuitry greatly reduces such risks. Some projects are already funded and under way; www.sp.se/safebus/certified. others are awaiting funding.” Alternative fuels According to SP Fire Research, areas of concern Alternative fuels and propulsion are striving include: to replace fossil fuels. Hybrid-electric, natural gas, all-electric and even Wheel well fires hydrogen are currently in use. The overall benefit is great but with The exposed environment and deep seated risk makes wheel well new fuels and technical solutions, the fire risks change and need to be fires particularly difficult to detect and suppress. Testing has shown analyzed for their potential threats. toxic fumes and smoke can seep into the passenger compartment in less than five minutes. In addition to tire pressure/temperature monitoring systems, early testing of some wheel well coatings have been shown to provide a significant increase in the evacuation time. Detection systems

The future requires research Fire safety in buses has been the focus of significant research in recent years but much improvement still remains, particularly in the areas of prevention and safe egress. Sharing information and best practices can benefit all parties, but most importantly the safety of the passengers.

SP Fire Research is currently working to develop an improved test method fire detection and fire alarm systems, and plans to propose a busride.com | BUSRIDE

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FMNA’s system is built to protect enclosed spaces: the engine compartments, battery boxes and the HVAC area.

FMNA’s patented system identifies and attacks the “fire triangle” By Ray Melleady FMNA FMNA, a division of USSC Group, Exton, PA, manufactures and installs water mist fire suppression systems for transit buses, motor coaches, small and midsize buses and also has industry leading technology to protect CNG transportation vehicles. FMNA’s system is built to protect enclosed spaces. The system is geared toward the engine compartments, battery boxes and the HVAC area. The company identifies the “fire triangle” as a crucial part of understanding fire suppression. The fire triangle consists of oxygen, heat and fuel. While other systems suppress fire by attacking two of the three elements of the fire triangle, FMNA’s water mist system attacks all three parts of the fire triangle. Standard vehicles FMNA is UL approved as a complete automatic fire suppression system (AFSS). The approval covers both suppression and detection. Testing of the system covered multiple scenarios as well as over 100 component level tests. “Our system is unique,” says Jeff Krueger, FMNA’s director of engineering. “The suppression element knocks out the fire using high pressure environmentally friendly water mist. The mist is driven with our piston accumulator, the key piece of our system, which sends close to a 1000 PSI pressurized stream of water into a thermal event through our patented nozzle technology. The mist meets and knocks down the fire, creates steam which chokes off oxygen, and rapidly reduces temperatures below reflash point.” Detection is another unique element of the FMNA fire suppression system. The primary method of detection is loss of pressure (LOP) tubing. The tubing is routed around any potential risk area. The LOP system is 100 percent self-activating, failsafe, and needs no electricity to operate the system. Unlike other systems, if the bus is turned off with no operator present and a thermal event occurs, the system will still activate.

FMNA’s CNG systems utilize advanced technology for detection of methane fumes.

While the vehicle is in operation, FMNA’s system uses electrical output, which includes a user-friendly panel for the operator. It provides clear visual indicators to the operator that the system is active and functioning correctly, or that service is required. In the case of a thermal event, the system indicates deployment and activates both an audible and visual alarm. The FMNA electrical systems are 100 percent output only (the system requires zero electrical input). This is an advantage of the FMNA system when compared to other systems on the market today. FMNA’s system minimizes the risk of human error. “Our system will not accidentally activate if there are any issues due to vehicle electrical systems,” Krueger says. “This is integral to our FAILSAFE mission.” CNG vehicles FMNA offers multiple types of methane detection systems. These detection systems are custom designed for both large and cut-away bus applications. The systems can be either stand-alone or they can tie into the FMNA AFSS control panel. These CNG systems utilize advanced technology for detection of methane fumes. FMNA’s methane detection sensors are designed to easily demonstrate the system status with incorporated LED indicators providing visual confirmation. The system continually monitors for fault detection. The control panel also indicates any methane detected showing, ‘zero trace’, ‘20% Lower Explosive Level’ (“LEL”) or ‘50% LEL’. The control panel also shows, ‘system ok’, ‘fault’ 20% with visual alarm’, ‘50% LEL with visual and audible alarm’ and has an optional external audible warning system. The detection system is durable, waterproof and temperature resistant. FMNA’s AFSS control panel complies with all applicable APTA specifications. FMNA deployment cleanup

Without a proper fire suppression system, a small bus fire can quickly become a disaster.

In the event of a discharge, cleanup is easy and fast. Cleanup requires simply power washing the area, flushing and recharging the system. The recharge and maintenance costs of a water mist system are superior to most any other systems on the market today. FMNA strives to always minimize the life cycle cost of any fleet. Ray Melleady serves as managing director of FMNA North America.

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Apollo Video Technology receives New Flyer honors The award recognizes the surveillance company’s 2013 delivery performance

Apollo Video Technology, Bothell, WA, has been recognized with the Gold award from New Flyer Industries for delivery performance in the 2013 calendar year. The award marks the fourth performance award Apollo Video has received from New Flyer and the third consecutive “gold” rating. The Supplier Delivery Performance Award honors suppliers that have provided New Flyer with more than 50 deliveries over a 12-month period with an on-time performance at the New Flyer established standard of three days early and one day late to dock date. Apollo Video achieved 99 percent on-time delivery. New Flyer is a leading manufacturer of heavy-duty transit vehicles in the U.S. and Canada. The company’s three facilities -- in Winnipeg, Manitoba, St. Cloud, MN, and Crookston, MN -- are all ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001 certified. Apollo Video provides New Flyer with the mobile video surveillance

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systems for its buses built for their mutual transit customers. Through partnerships with suppliers such as Apollo Video, New Flyer has eliminated its warehouses in recent years and now delivers incoming parts direct to the point-of-use on the production line. Apollo Video’s performance has helped New Flyer maintain its in-station parts availability of greater than 99 percent for all three production locations. “Apollo Video continues to take great pride in its delivery performance and is honored by this fourth recognition from New Flyer,” said Rodell Notbohm, CEO of Apollo Video Technology. “We deeply value our production partners and revel in supporting their success. We recognize that such an accomplishment requires a team effort and would not be possible wit hout the extraordinary dedication and service of Apollo Video’s staff and partners.”

Apollo Video provides New Flyer with the mobile video surveillance systems for its buses built for their mutual transit customers.

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The Bus Industry Safety Council (BISC), an independent safety advisory council affiliated with the American Bus Association (ABA) and sponsored by ABC Companies, Faribault, MN, held its summer meeting in June in Baltimore, MD. Twice a year, BISC provides a forum for bus and coach operators, vendors and suppliers and government agencies to address the critical and most recent issues concerning motorcoach BISC Chairman Mike McDonal set the stage for the summer meeting safety and compliance. At in Baltimore, MD. this year’s summer meeting, with support from J. J. Keller, National Interstate Insurance and Transportation Safety Exchange (TSX), BISC hosted more than 130 motorcoach safety experts and interested industry members over two days, making it one of the most successful in the history of the organization. “The organization serves as the watchdog over the crucial issues that motorcoach companies deal with day-to-day,” says BISC Chairman Mike McDonal, general manager, Eyre Bus and Tour & Travel of Maryland, Columbia, MD. “At each meeting, our members address each topic on the agenda head-on and interact with the key government leaders and regulators to improve the industry’s culture of safety.” During this year’s summer meeting, the commentary and guest presentations focused on current issues that included: • The upcoming rulemaking on electronic logging devices – Discussion focused on operators’ experiences with this proposal to reduce to reduce the burden of hours-of-service recordkeeping and improve the quality and accuracy of logbook data. • What the medical card/commercial driver’s license merger means to operators and drivers – All CDL holders must supply their state DMV licensing self-certification on the driving they do and the status of their medical certificate card. Non-compliance means the driver will lose CDL privileges; the company will be unable to dispatch a driver on its roster whose license is downgraded, causing productivity and revenue losses. • The intersection of tire safety and outdated motorcoach weight specifications – With motorcoaches growing heavier due to amenities and mandates, a disparity exists between GVWR increases and the load current motorcoach tires are tasked to support. FMCSA asks tire manufacturers to help the carriers develop effective tire maintenance programs; and for motorcoach OEMs to work closer with tire manufacturers to develop tires to realistically fit today’s vehicles. 26

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spent the summer The Bus Industry Safety Council keeps its finger on the pulse to help ensure a safer industry • How carriers can use the Safety Management Cycle (SMC) to address CSA issues – The SMC is a step-by-step process to help safety investigators and commercial carriers understand more than the ‘what’ and ‘why’ of a safety performance issue. The six Safety Management Processes (SMPs) presented in order of a company’s operations — Policies and Procedures; Roles and Responsibilities Qualification and Hiring Training and Communication, Tracking and Meaningful Action — identify and correct breakdowns in safety procedures and compliance. The Bus Industry Safety Council meets twice a year, and everyone in the motorcoach industry is invited to attend and participate. The next BISC meeting will be held in St. Louis at ABA’s Marketplace, January 10-13, 2015. “The Bus Industry Safety Council is the most important meeting of industry safety professionals,” says ABA President and CEO Peter J. Pantuso. “BISC meetings are must-attend events. We encourage bus and coach companies and safety professionals who to sign up and get involved. We are also very grateful to our title sponsor and support sponsors in making these meetings possible.”

BISC hosted more than 130 motorcoach safety experts and interested industry members over two days — the most successful meeting in the history of the organization.

busride.com


Cleaning vehicles in your own facility By Jack Jackson When will you be banned from cleaning vehicles in your facility? It’s happening more and more often. Companies have been banned from washing vehicles on their own property. Recently I was in Montreal with a customer who had their drains sealed by the city. Not only could they not wash their vehicles, they could not even use water in their mechanics garage. This is becoming more prevalent across North America, and we are being called to solve these issues. The first issue is allowing dirty water from vehicles into the sewer system. Second is the amount of water used to wash, usually measured by gallons/liters per minute. Water is becoming the next carbon footprint measurement in industry as it is becoming more expensive for cities to process and clean. According to statistics, household usage is dropping constantly as shower heads, toilets and water taps are much more efficient allowing pressurized water to wash with less water and more pressure. Now it is industry’s turn to begin to look at ways water is being unnecessarily wasted. All levels of government are under pressure for cost containment. For any city to have to build water treatment facilities, the cost is in the millions with some reaching a billion dollars. Inspectors are on high alert to ensure that industry not conforming to not wasting water or having the city process dirty water, will fine the offenders. The other issue is allowing the wash water directly flowing into storm sewers. This is not only a moral issue of sending chemicals directly into the fragile eco-system, it is illegal. The EPA in USA enacted laws on discharge and sewage decades ago. The following are examples of discharges that are prohibited without a permit: • Power (Pressure) Washer that cleans such things as equipment or a parking lot and discharges the process water into a storm drain • Car Wash that allows wash water to flow into a storm drain As many know, it is illegal to wash your car on your driveway or city street in many cities, states and provinces currently. Check out the city of Toronto or Calgary for their bylaws on their websites. It is not a matter of if, but when will you be asked to control the water use in your building, shop or property. Old technology of oil separators is not enough to clean water. The three-step separator is a smelly, messy and costly system that requires contaminated materials to be hauled out of your facility and disposed at costly sites to render the contaminants neutral. Today there is technology available to reduce the amount of water to wash your vehicles and complete water treatment systems that can result in “zero discharge,” recycling and reusing all the water in your facility. Cleaning methods with proper chemicals can make you clean, green and compliant. Jack Jackson is president of Awash Systems Corp. “We solve vehicle washing issues where no one else can.” Email: jjackson@awashystems.com or call 1-800-265-7405. Visit them online: www.awashsystems.com.

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THE TRANSIT Authority

CTAA honors St. Cloud Metro Bus for its commitment to needs By Ryan I. Daniel

The St. Cloud Metropolitan Transit Commission (St. Cloud Metro Bus) was recently named the 2014 Urban Transportation System of the Year by the Community Transportation Association of America (CTAA). This was the first time a Minnesota system has received this honor. During the awards ceremony in June, CTAA cited several reasons for honoring St. Cloud Metro Bus with this award, which it gives to agencies that demonstrate innovation in its commitment to the community. As the first public transportation system in Minnesota to use compressed natural gas (CNG), and to open the state’s first Mobility Training Center, we offer two examples of our commitment to meet the diverse needs of our community. Compressed Natural Gas (CNG) This May, St. Cloud Metro Bus became the first public transit system in Minnesota to switch to CNG for our primary fueling source for our bus fleet. The conversion included the purchase of 23 new buses, as well as the construction of a fueling compound and fueling station as well as modifications to the maintenance and storage facility. The timing was perfect for the conversion to CNG as the bulk of the fixed route fleet was scheduled for replacement this year, the garage needed a new HVAC system and Congress was supporting green initiatives through the Clean Fuels grant program. The CNG project was funded by a $3.35 million U.S. Department of Transportation Clean Fuels grant, a $9.1 million Minnesota Department of Transportation grant and a local revenue bond. Because of the lower cost of CNG compared to diesel, we expect to save an average of $300,000 annually over the first 10 years in fueling expenses. Construction, during what ended up being the coldest Minnesota winter in 30 years, was a bit of a challenge. With ground-thawing

equipment and extra canopy structures to retain heat in the exterior areas, we were able to celebrate the project’s completion with a ribbon cutting ceremony in May. The 23 new Xcelsior bus models were built at the local New Flyer plant in St. Cloud. They feature ISL G Cummins CNG engines and Voith transmissions. We continue to receive positive remarks from passengers and community members about the clean, quiet ride of the new buses. The Dial-a-Ride fleet and remaining Fixed Route buses will be replaced with CNG-fueled versions as they are retired. The architectural and engineering for the CNG system, fueling station and building renovations were designed by Wendel Companies. Mobility Training Center We opened Minnesota’s first Mobility Training Center in July. This is a unique facility that helps staff access an individual’s abilities to determine best mode of transportation or training. An assessment course, complete with working traffic lights and a variety of surfaces, is designed to help determine eligibility for paratransit service. The training center also features a partial bus for training. The bus was made from donated parts from New Flyer, USSC Seating and Hanover Displays.

Metro Bus is Minnesota’s first public transportation system to use to CNG.

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THE TRANSIT Authority

bank and office building from the city and spent about $2.2 million in renovations and construction of training center. The project was funded by a $1 million state grant and the remaining amount was covered by local share. Because of the building’s advanced age, much work was needed to bring it up to code, including a significant amount of asbestos removal. Metro Bus worked closely with the city’s Heritage Preservation Commission and Minnesota’s State Historic Preservation Office to preserve the historic features of the building, including replacing windows with a period-correct design and cleaning and repairing the granite exterior using approved historic preservation techniques. The building also features all new electrical and plumbing. The facility’s interior was opened to take advantage of as much natural light as possible and features high exposed ceilings and concrete columns. To help defray some of the operating costs, Metro Bus has obtained a tenant for the top level. St. Cloud Metro Bus Executive Director Ryan I. Daniel pictured with US Senator Amy Klobuchar and St. Cloud Metro Bus Commission Chair Dave Kleis, mayor of St. Cloud.

The Mobility Training Center houses our successful Travel Training program, which provides specialized training to seniors, people with disabilities and people with limited English proficiency to help them learn how to use St. Cloud Metro Bus services. Through this program, we have partnered with more than 70 social and support agencies to provide free travel training to staff and clients to increase knowledge and use of public transportation. Through this training, agencies are able maximize their transportation budgets by utilizing our Fixed Route services first, which is more economical than Dial-a-Ride, taxi service or other private transportation. The Mobility Training Center is located in the historic district of downtown St. Cloud. Metro Bus acquired the vacated former

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About St. Cloud Metro Bus St. Cloud Metro Bus is located 65 miles northwest of Minneapolis. In addition to providing Fixed Route and Dial-a-Ride/paratransit public transportation services within the St. Cloud Metropolitan Area with a population of approximately 100,000, Metro Bus also operates Northstar Link Commuter Bus service between St. Cloud and Minneapolis. Operating seven days a week, St. Cloud Metro Bus provides more than 2.4 million passenger trips annually. Our diverse fleet of 73 buses is comprised of several bus manufacturers: MCI coaches for the Northstar Link; Gillig, New Flyer and Chance Trolley for the Fixed Route; a combination of ElDorado National, Turtle Top and ARBOC buses are for Dial-a-Ride. Ryan I. Daniel serves as executive director, St. Cloud Metro Bus, St. Cloud, MN.

Superintendent of Bus Maintenance Adirondack Trailways, with headquarters in the Hudson Valley of New York State, seeks a seasoned Maintenance Professional. Applicants for this position must have supervisory experience in a bus maintenance facility and will oversee all prevention and daily maintenance for a fleet of more than 100 buses in areas such as: • The efficient and cost effective management of the Maintenance Department • Supervising, motivating and evaluation of personnel • Ensuring compliance with DOT, Safety, A.D.A., and Environmental Regulations Technical expertise in diesel engines, drive train systems, components, air conditioning, and electrical systems is critical. Experience is also required in: • Administration • Office Management • Computerized vehicle maintenance systems The Superintendent of Maintenance is considered a safety sensitive position, and is subject to Federal drug and alcohol testing regulations. This position provides a highly competitive compensation package including relocation expenses, company vehicle, 401K plan, health benefits package and more. Interested applicants should send resume and letter of interest to: jobs@TrailwaysNY.com - or Superintendent Adirondack Trailways 499 Hurley Avenue EOE/AA/M/F/Vet/Disability Hurley, NY 12443

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THE INTERNATIONAL REPORT

Transports Publics Exhibition: No diesel please; we are French By Doug Jack

T

he Transports Publics Exhibition takes place in Paris every two years at the Porte de Versailles Center. The event in June was billed as the European Mobility Exhibition. In the United Kingdom the term “mobility” has a narrower meaning of accessibility to public transport by people with disabilities. While the French definition of mobility includes accessibility, the French use the tern in the wider sense to describe the capability to move from A to B by any means other than personal cars — as the European Mobility Exhibition demonstrated. As in North America, European truck and bus manufacturers have spent fortunes developing engines that meet the very latest strict emission limits. Even so, Paris and other large cities in France have said they no longer want diesel powered buses. There is political clamor for hybrid buses and those fueled by compressed natural gas (CNG). Although hybrid buses use a smaller diesel engine, the French consider it a range extender for hybrid buses to operate in all-electric mode in city centers where air pollution problems can be serious. Earlier this year there were days when pollution in Paris became so serious that motorists were restricted from using their cars and public transport was provided free of charge. RATP, the major operator of public transport in Paris, awarded contracts in May for the supply of more than 1,000 CNG and hybrid buses through 2017. While the successful bidders are known, RATP still has to decide on the mix of gas and hybrid vehicles for some awards. MAN was told that it had won contracts to supply 200 vehicles to RATP, but the mix between hybrid and gas had not been decided. In a previous International Report from France, I mentioned how the name of Case New Holland had appeared discreetly on the Iveco Bus stand as CNH Industrial. In 2011 the Fiat Group split into two divisions for trading on the Milan Stock Exchange. All car operations fell under Fiat Auto; the bus, truck and van manufacturing became part of Fiat Industrial, along with the Case New Holland agricultural and construction machinery business. Fiat Industrial bought out the remaining shareholders in Case New Holland in 2013 and renamed its operations CNH Industrial, trading on the Milan and New York Stock Exchanges. Iveco Bus has won orders from RATP to supply up to 600 buses, but the mix between gas and hybrid was still to be finalized at the time of the exhibition. One Iveco Bus was its new articulated 60 foot Urbanway, a full low-floor model with a BAE Systems hybrid drive. The rear panel

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BUSRIDE | AUGUST.2014

The new Iveco Urbanway BHNS.

proclaimed the vehicle as Full Hybrid. Though it retains a diesel engine, the vehicle could operate totally in electric mode in city centers — it is therefore politically acceptable. Heuliez Bus, which is 9 percent CNH Industrial owned, announced its confirmed order from RATP for 200 hybrid articulated buses, again with the BAE Systems drive. When all these vehicles are delivered, BAE Systems will sit firmly in the leading position as a hybrid drive supplier to Paris. During the exhibition, I talked to Pierre Lahutte, CEO of Iveco Bus. The company describes itself as a full-provider, being able to supply every kind of bus or coach from minibuses upwards. Last year, his company took second place in sales of city buses, interurban and luxury coaches in Europe. We talked about the demand for all-electric buses. The prototype ELLISUP vehicle was going through an intensive test program and is likely to enter demonstration service later in the year. However, Lahutte says his company’s hybrid road map, Arrive & Go, is already available, with a hybrid plug-in to come that will feature fast charging at the end of each route. The next stage beyond that is an electric plug-in for zero carbon emissions locally. He says Iveco Bus does not believe in an electric vehicle with large and heavy batteries for extended range. He sees the smart solution for the future as an electric plug-in with fast and regular charging. Iveco has produced gas-powered buses for around 25 years and is Europe’s leader for that technology with nearly 5,000 vehicles in service. The company had secured an order to supply 350 gas buses to Astana, in Kazakhstan, a republic in Central Asia which has rich reserves of gas. Its sister company, Fiat Power Train, delivered 1,400 gas engines to Beijing during 2013. busride.com


THE INTERNATIONAL REPORT

RATP has ordered 200 of these Heuliez hybrid buses with BAE Systems drives.

Politicians in French cities love to put their own stamp on projects. Iveco Bus and some of its competitors offer their standard city buses with the same structure, but with different external panels and higher levels of interior comfort and furnishings. In France these Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) vehicles are known as Bus à Haut Niveau de Service, which can look radically different and even more like a tram. Ideally, they should have their own separate roadways, segregated from other traffic in order to speed up point-to-point journey times. The Iveco BHNS Crealis is available at 40 and 60 feet. Iveco Bus recently won an order to supply 151 Crealis buses to the city of Baku, Azerbiajn. At the risk of turning this report into a geography lesson, the country lies on the west side of the Caspian Sea, sandwiched between Russia and Iran. Mercedes-Benz has been incredibly successful with its Citaro city bus range. In the spring, the company handed over its 40,000th unit

Van Hool is steadily building up production of its more standardized, economy-priced coaches at its new factory in Macedonia in southeast Europe. The main plant in Belgium is concentrating on high specification vehicles, including diesel, gas and fuel cell hybrid, all-electric, and high specification coaches, including double-deckers, principally for Stagecoach and its megabus.com operations. Several of the models are so specialized that the larger manufacturers would not dream of building them. Van Hool’s two-factory strategy looks to be inspired. Two of the largest public utilities in France, Electricite de France and Gaz de France, actively encourage the use of vehicles with alternative fuels by installing the infrastructure for recharging or refueling. There were several smaller vehicles in the exhibition, all with much of their floor only one step above the ground. They are suited to precinct type services in old city centers with narrow streets, and also as demand-responsive transport for the disabled and the elderly. In France, there is also a strong industry providing services to bus and coach fleets. Quite a number of these are aimed at improving information for passengers and enabling them to pre-purchase fares remotely. We might rapidly be approaching the time when city buses become cash-free zones, but quite how tourists will be expected to understand different payment systems in foreign languages is another challenge facing the industry.

The rear of the Businova hybrid electric vehicle. The drive is in the compartment beneath the rear lounge.

Doppelmayr showed this concept of a people-moving pod.

was handed over to a customer, which must surely make it a record production run in modern times. Probably only Ikarus of Hungary in its prime built more, but that was when it had regular orders for 8,000 per annum from Russia. At Transports Publics, Mercedes-Benz unveiled the articulated Citaro BRT, which retains the standard structure, but has a restyled front end and additional side windows that let more light in below the waist rail. The wood-like floor makes the vehicle look more like a café than a bus. Other features included charging points for cell phones and four double-width doors to help passengers get on and off quickly at busy stops. This was also an opportunity to catch up with Van Hool, which showed an 80-foot bi-articulated ExquiCity hybrid bus for a customer in the Duchy of Luxembourg.

Volvo displayed this articulated bus with its own parallel hybrid drive system.

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Bridj lives and breathes direct service Boston-area commuters get a taste of a new way to get across town

By David Hubbard

Bridj has operated in partnership with Academy Bus Lines, Braintree, MA, in early testing of the service.

Still in beta testing and having just launched service in the Boston area in June, Bridj bills itself as a “smart, living, breathing, thinking transportation system� that elevates the typical commute to high-end direct bus service. The startup company is building from a complex business strategy using machine-learning algorithms to gather predictive data on movement within the city. It then creates dynamic transportation routes to match direct service with the most popular pick-up and dropoff locations; adding bus routes where they are needed most, starting with nonstop routes in Boston, Brookline and Cambridge. Bridj has operated in partnership with Academy Bus Lines, Braintree, MA, a 40year old bus and coach operator serving the Northeast and the largest privately operated transportation company in the nation, Academy Bus Lines, along with other smaller transportation providers. These carriers are responsible for providing the buses and licensed and registered drivers to Bridj. The service is so new, in fact, that the Bridj buses still bear the branding of their partners. Ultimately they will be totally rebranded with trademark colors and its own corporate identity. Bridj the gap The company says this system intends to fill the gap between MBTA service and technology-driven car firms such as Uber. Bridj smart route planning offers customers direct service in a guaranteed leather seat and access to Wi-Fi. 32

BUSRIDE | AUGUST.2014

Bridj is the brainchild of 24-year-old Matthew George, a Middlebury College graduate majoring in biology, who cut his teeth in the bus industry building a college bus company in his dorm room. As student government transportation director at Middlebury College, he used his data skills to figure out more efficient bus routes for students headed home on school vacations. This exercise became BreakShuttle, which now serves nearly 40 schools and generates $1 million a year in revenue. His resume to-date also includes work as an emergency medical technician and a stint as a White House intern working with trendpredicting data.

Bridj is the brainchild of transportation entrepreneur Matthew George. He built his first college bus company in his dorm room for students headed home on school vacations, an exercise that now serves nearly 40 schools and generates $1 million a year in revenue under the name of BreakShuttle.

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Bridj is experimenting with 13 passenger Sprinter vans to best serve less popular destinations.

George says by harnessing vast amounts of online data that show where people live, work, and play, his company can predict and areas of peak demand on any given day and adjust its schedules accordingly. Bridj runs on a program George created using uses algorithms, Google Earth, and geographic information systems software to help move people from one place to another. BreakShuttle, while operating at Auburn University, has moved thousands of students to within 20 miles of their hometowns using just four routes. “Bridj reaches beyond funneling people into traditional modes of public transit,” George says. “We match up private transportation with people, from where they are to precisely where they want to go.” The company determines routes from algorithms and data supplied by riders, like where they live and where they work, and will continue to invite everyone’s input via crowdsourcing techniques. George says popular destinations and events such as Red Sox games will also factor into where and when Bridj will offer service. Riders sign up online and the company collects their home and work ZIP codes, eventually drilling down to specific streets. It also scours the internet for Foursquare check-ins, tweets and Facebook updates to gauge travel patterns and factors in significant sports and cultural events. A software program crunches the real-time data to anticipate what routes need to add, and where to use smaller shuttles to serve less popular destinations. Bridj is already experimenting with 13 passenger Sprinter vans. “Boston was the first city to put a subway system in the city,” George says. “Now it’s going to be really cool because this city is going to be the first in the entire world to have a pop-up transit system.” He says interest in the service is high. Earlier in the year, George advertised on Facebook looking for 350 people to try

Bridj. Within 24 hours, he received more than 1,000 responses and quickly totaled 3,200. “We believe that we are filling an unmet need,” George says. “Bridj exists and thrives in the middle ground between public transit and highly personalized private options. The average price of a Bridj trip is around $5, which is a bit more expensive than public transit but less expensive than taking a taxi.” George considers Bridj a relief valve for the MBTA, not a competitor. He hopes to eventually reduce prices to $3-to-$4 per ride for short trips — not far off from the $2 to $2.50 cost of a single-ride T fare. A Bridj so far out In no way content to stop here with a semi-traditional bus service, George is thinking about something on a grander scale. “By reinventing the way the world travels, we can use any form of transportation,” he says. “To match where people are with where they need to go, we should be able to mix and match vehicles from small — maybe driverless — vans to large buses and coaches, charter planes and perhaps even space ships.” George says transportation has undergone a tremendous paradigm shift in line with advances in technology over the past several years. Seeing Bridj on that cusp, the company will announce later this month its secured funding in the seven-digit range from private investors to take the next step toward “a living, breathing, learning, smart mass transit system operating in multiple cities around the globe.”

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UMA convenes with Congress United Motorcoach Association members have a winning day on Capitol Hill Members of the United Motorcoach Association (UMA) took to Capitol Hill in June en masse to speak to their Congressional elected officials to discuss key MAP-21 issues affecting the motorcoach industry at UMA’s annual event, Capitol Hill Days. In total, UMA operator members held 284 individual appointments at Congressional offices, having increased from 210 appointments at last year’s event. In their meetings, UMA says its members shared information about their own businesses and presented key message points vital to motorcoach operators. Message points included federal minimum financial responsibility limits, preservation of charter bus protections, return to zero federal fuel tax for over-the-road buses, increased opportunities for contracting with local transit agencies and a host of regulatory reforms that include due process for Imminent Hazard and Out-of-Service orders, and prohibition on third-party inspection requirements, local entity requirements for registrations of charter bus operators and en route inspections. Meetings were professionally arranged specifically for the individual UMA members by Prime Policy Group, a Washington, D.C.-based global public policy and government affairs firm. “Wow, to say our day was a success is an understatement,” said Victor Parra, UMA president and CEO. “The feedback we’ve heard from our members on their meetings tell us they had a great experience

and that this is exactly what we needed to make an impression on our regulators. This day may not provide the instant gratification we have all become accustomed to in this day and age, but I can promise you, the messages our members shared all over the Hill today will have a positive impact as we move closer to the reauthorization of the highway safety bill.” The day of meetings concluded with a reception for UMA members and Congressional Members and staff. Representative John Mica (FL-R) attended and was awarded with the inaugural “Motorcoach Champion Award” for his unfailing support for the private bus and motorcoach industry. “Our members were incredible today,” said Ken Presley, UMA’s vice president of industry relations and COO. “It can be daunting to walk into a Representative or Senator’s office and ask for their support on our issues, but they rose up to the challenge and made a difference.”

UMA operator members held 284 individual appointments at Congressional offices for Capitol Hill Days.

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BUSRIDE | AUGUST.2014

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BUSRide August 2014  

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