DECEMBER | 2015
O F F I C I A L
BUSRide Field Test:
TransTrack Systems streamlines San Joaquin RTD p 22
50 years of accidentfree driving p15 Crisis management and emergency planning p25 The future of fare collection p 28
When it comes to power, maneuverability, comfort and reliability, Freightliner Custom Chassis Corporation sets the standard. Backed by the legendary engineering strength of the Daimler Family, FCCC is the only manufacturer to offer 24/7 Direct support and the largest nationwide service network. Visit www.freightlinerchassis.com to learn more about the chassis that will back your fleet for life.
Specifications are subject to change without notice. Freightliner Custom Chassis Corporation is registered to ISO 9001:2000 and ISO 14001:2004. Copyright ÂŠ 2015 Daimler Trucks North America LLC. All rights reserved. Freightliner Custom Chassis Corporation is a subsidiary of Daimler Trucks North America LLC, a Daimler company.
DRIVEN BY EXPECTATIONS
THE NEWEST MODEL IN OUR FLEET
TEMSA TS 45 With top quality manufacturing and key standard safety features such as tempered & laminated side windows, lane departure warning system, ABS, ESC, ATC, RSC and engine ﬁre suppression system, the TS 45 is not only safe, but has a luxurious handle and ride that is sure to impress your customers. CH Bus Sales is the only distributor to offer motorcoaches of 30-, 35-, and 45-feet to accommodate a group of any size and help you best utilize your ﬂeet, affordably. CH Bus Sales is dedicated to after-sales support and service to keep your coaches on the road. Surpass your customers’ expectations with Temsa. For more information, contact CH Bus Sales at:
877-723-4045 or visit WWW.CHBUSSALES.COM “TEMSA”, “TS35” and Circle Design marks are trademarks owned by TEMSA GLOBAL SANAYI VE TICARET ANONIM SIRKETI.
DECEMBER 2015 CONTENTS
COVER STORY Official BUSRide Field Test: San Joaquin RTD streamlines data with TransTrack Systems 22 Who knew that a chance trade show meeting would completely change an agency’s operational culture? By Richard Tackett
FEATURES Motorcoach Management Systems
busHive and Fleetmatics discuss personnel management
BUSRide Safe Driver Hall of Fame
Presented by Prevost, the Hall of Fame honors Jesse Quintero for 50 accident-free years of driving
Riteway addresses sleep apnea the right way Fleet Management Systems
Infor explores integrated GPS tracking
The Science Behind The Seat 26
Kiel NA spotlights the science of style and design
The Future of Fare Collection 28 Genfare and Trapeze Group participate in a roundtable discussion
DEPARTMENTS 7 UPDATE 20 DELIVERIES
11 DRIVER SAFETY
By Prevost Prep
16 THE CONNECTED BUS
By David Rush
25 LESSONS LEARNED
By Todd Carrier
30 TRANSPORTATION CENTER DESIGN
By Donald Gray
31 SECURITY AND SURVEILLANCE
By Colin Smith
32 THE INTERNATIONAL REPORT
By Doug Jack
34 TransIT 4
By Mary Sue O’Melia
BUSRIDE | DECEMBER . 2015
After more than a year we are still finding new ways that this powerful program can help us improve our customer service and our bottom line. And the busHive™ staff has
question or need a customized report. Michael Neustadt (Owner), Coach Tours
EasyBus is now
been quick to help whenever we have a
busHive TRANSPORTATION SOFTWARE
where all your operations come together In 1997 Easybus™ began as a program with three screens that a mechanic with no computer experience could navigate. Both the company and the product were branded to convey this simplicity. Little did we dream that this simple system would blossom into a sophisticated software platform for tracking virtually all aspects of transportation for both school bus and motorcoach operations. In fact, our training today rarely is limited to just one mechanic as it was in 1997; since the software touches nearly all aspects of a transportation department, we provide a 30 day trial to allow the entire staff to put our platform to the test. We are proud of the reputation that not only our software but also our people have earned in these last 18 years, but we believe it is time to update the brand so that it captures the scaled elegance that we offer bus operators of all kinds in 2015. In this spirit, effective July 1, 2015 we are renaming our company and our single flagship software that replaces all former Easy-programs to busHive™. We believe this name conveys the elegance of a single software platform that can effectively organize the workflows of an entire transportation operation. To learn more, visit our website at www.busHive.com
Michael Hinckley President and CEO
The Dao of Doug reaches for stress-free transit I recently received another book of interest to the industry; a new work by one Douglas Meriwether, a veteran San Francisco transit bus driver who approaches his trade with his own voice and content in his own skin. Meriwether has operated transit buses for the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency (SFMTA) for 16 years. He works nights as a driver on Mission Street so he can pursue his day job writing his books. Meriwether shares his introspection on lessons learned, drawn from his years of thoughtful observation as a bus driver traveling the streets of San Francisco. The Dao of Doug: The Art of Driving a Bus OR Finding Zen in Public Transit — a Bus Driver’s Perspective, suggests that with the right attitude, a public transit bus is as good a place as any to find peace and contentment. From the transit warriors to newbies learning the ropes, Meriwether reflects on what he has learned from his fellow bus drivers and his passengers. He gives his applicable tips a transcendental spin. He says his book is merely a guide on how to help drivers drive and passengers ride a trolley bus in San Francisco, and how to appreciate public transportation for much deeper reasons. To Meriwether’s mind, Zen lies in knowledge, awareness and a practical approach to the situations and rigors that come with transporting the public on a bus. He says it entails safe driving habits, while at the same time remaining cognizant enough to perform, react and respond to traffic and behavior in a manner that only resolves the issue, eases the stress and brings clarity. “It’s a view from the trolley cockpit and how to apply driving techniques to real life,” he writes. “I wrote this book for new operators who just finished training and for newly arrived city dwellers, unfamiliar about getting around San Francisco. I hope I can increase awareness for the way it was before the car became king.” His fascinating insight is available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Balboa Press online bookstores.
David Hubbard Associate Publisher BUSRide Magazine
busride.com CEO / Director of Advertising Sales Judi Victor firstname.lastname@example.org Publisher Steve Kane email@example.com Associate Publisher David Hubbard firstname.lastname@example.org Editor in Chief Richard Tackett email@example.com Senior Art Director Stephen Gamble firstname.lastname@example.org Account Executive Shannon McCoughy email@example.com Accounting Manager Kevin G Boorse firstname.lastname@example.org
BUS industry SAFETY council
A publication of:
POSTMASTER: Please send address changes to:
BUSRide Magazine 4742 North 24th Street, STE 340 Phoenix, Arizona 85016 Phone: (602) 265-7600 Fax: (602) 277-7588 busride.com VOL. 51 • NO. 12
Subscription Rates: United States: $39 for 1 year, $64 for 2 years, $89 for 3 years. 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 Judi Victor at (602) 265-7600, ext. 125. ©2015 Power Trade Media
BUSRIDE | DECEMBER . 2015
Prevost President / CEO Gaétan Bolduc to retire After a distinguished career of 33 years at Prevost, the last 11 as President and CEO, Gaétan Bolduc is retiring at the end of 2015. During his time with the company, Prevost has grown from a small-but-respected operation with 280 employees that was a fairly minor player in the industry, to 1,500 employees and an industry leader in seatedcoach sales. Bolduc learned the business from the ground up over his threeplus decades. He joined Prevost in 1982 as a process technician. Four years later he became manager of industrial engineering, methods and tooling, and just kept moving up: vice president of production and material in 1993; executive vice president of operations in Gaétan Bolduc 1998; president and CEO in 2004. Bolduc credits a supportive company environment and the people he worked with for giving him the training and opportunities to grow and advance. “At the time I became president, the leaders of the company were taking a big risk,” Bolduc said. “I didn’t come with a big list of achievements; I came from within the ranks, with nothing else to offer but what I had done previously at Prevost.” Bolduc shaped the thinking of Prevost’s business as not being just about manufacturing coaches, but rather about how those coaches are used by the owners and operators in their business, and how Prevost could best support that business with its products and its service network. “I don’t think we’re selling a product,” he said. “I think we’re selling a partnership for the future – entering a long-term relationship with our customers. We are there to help their businesses succeed, and doing whatever it takes – anything we can do to honor our part of the relationship. That’s our mission, and we have a fantastic team that keeps doing it better every day. That is the essence of a partnership, after all. When our customers and partners win, we win; when they grow, we grow.” “He’s been a great friend professionally and personally, and a great asset to Prevost over the years,” says Ron Moore, president of Burlington Trailways. “Gaétan understands the product, and he and Prevost always support their product. Like any business relationship, ours had its glitches from time to time. But Prevost always stood up and backed its products, and Gaétan was always right there with them. He was quick to say, ‘Hey wait a minute. That’s not right. We need to fix that.’ And he would get it fixed… fast. We are going to miss him, and we wish him well.”
Complete Coach Works announces third Metro St. Louis contract Complete Coach Works (CCW) is pleased to announce that it has been awarded a contract to provide seven refurbished low-floor buses to Metro St. Louis, MO.
“The 40-foot buses will be used in regular service in Metro’s St. Clair County Division in Illinois and to transport St. Louis Cardinal fans to the downtown St. Louis stadium on game days,” said Dale Schaefer of Metro St. Louis. “For a high-profile service like that, we like to use the newly purchased CCW buses.” The buses will undergo a complete refurbishment at CCW that will include the power train and suspension, wheelchair fold-out ramps, and complete interior and exterior rehabilitation. “This is our third project with St. Louis Metro in three years,” Jay Raber with CCW said. “They have been pleased with our work in the past and we strive to continue a successful relationship with them.” In previous contracts with CCW, Metro St. Louis bought 10 buses for the St. Clair County Division and 15 refurbished articulated buses for use in St. Louis on routes with the heaviest passenger loads, Schaefer said.
Chief Learning Officer honors ABC Companies Chief Learning Officer magazine, published by Human Capital Media (HCM), the largest integrated media company in the human resources industry, announced the winners of its 15th Annual Learning In Practice Awards at a recognition ceremony during the Fall 2015 Chief Learning Officer Symposium in Austin, TX. The annual awards recognize outstanding enterprise education leaders, departments and vendors who have developed and implemented exemplary learning and development programs that produce measurable results for their companies. Awards were presented in more than 16 categories including business impact, collaboration, global learning, innovation, strategy, technology, trailblazer, academic partnerships, blended technology, community service, learning content, e-learning, gaming and simulations and social learning. The Training Team at ABC Companies led by Joe Malta was awarded the The Training Team at ABC Companies was awarded the Gold Trailblazer Award Gold Trailblazer Award in in Division II. Division II. The award in this division showcases learning executives who have either launched or completely overhauled existing workforce development initiatives in the past year. ABC earned the Gold Award in the division for businesses with under 10,000 employees for demonstrating that “learning is a process not a one-time event” with the launching of ABC University. The team continues to work hard in developing learning programs to meet ABC’s current and future needs. These include an updated Learning Management System that the company says will surpass anything currently used in the motorcoach industry. This system will not only support ABC’s internal growth but will support their customers with learning and development opportunities. The team is currently implementing learning paths to continue employee development at every level of the organization. busride.com | BUSRIDE
Keolis Transit America appoints Las Vegas general manager Keolis Transit America announced the appointment of Scott Lansing as general manager of its Las Vegas operations. Lansing is a veteran in the public transportation industry, with a track record of providing high quality and efficient transit operations. “Scott is an outstanding leader known for his unwavering commitment to safety and for his success in improving the passenger experience, and we are pleased to have an executive of his caliber in this critically important role within our organization,” said Steve Shaw, president and CEO of Keolis Transit America. “Our partnership with the Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada has led to many operational improvements and milestones since our contract began two years ago and I am confident that under Scott’s leadership we will see continual improvements to the system.” Lansing began his transit career as bus operator for the University of Virginia’s transit system. Most recently he served as director of bus operations for Go Triangle in Durham, NC, where he is credited for improving the operational safety culture and strengthening employee morale. Lansing also implemented key performance monitoring indicators bringing operational expenses into budgetary compliance while successfully managing labor relations and improving customer service. Prior to Go Triangle, Lansing worked as the general manager for UT Shuttle Services in Austin, TX, as the executive director for the Chatham Area Transportation Authority in Savannah, GA, and as general manager
of the Greater Lynchburg Transit Company in Lynchburg, VA, among other roles. Las Vegas is Keolis’ largest fixed-route contract in North America, serving an average daily ridership of nearly 108,000 passengers with over 9.7 million passengers transported already this year. In partnership with the RTC, Keolis manages the transit service that runs along the resort corridor of Las Vegas Boulevard as well as the Deuce on the Strip (Deuce) and the Strip and Downtown Express (SDX) routes. Lansing is taking over general manager responsibilities from Keolis Executive Vice President Scott Lansing Kevin Adams who is retiring at the end of the year after a long and distinguished career in public transportation.
Europe’s #1 Selling Retractors Now Available in America
AMF Protektor wheelchair restraint systems • The Global Standard • Meet ADA, American and International Safety testing and regulations • Compatible with nearly all standard and
For more information please call 877-506-3770
power wheelchairs • Available in 2 levels: - Silver Series – fully automatic pull-out - Black Series – manual pull-out • All retractors equipped with knob to ensure the most secure attachment possible
www.amfbrunsamerica.com ISO 10542-1 + 2, DIN 75078-2, CSA Z 605, FMSS/CNVSS, AS 2596, SAE J 49, 2001/85/ EC and ISO 9001
BUSRIDE | DECEMBER . 2015
1797 Georgetown Road, Hudson, OH 44236
NEBR launches new maintenance facility in Boston North Eastern Bus Rebuilders, Inc. (NEBR), the largest bus rebuilder in the Northeast, has launched operations in Boston with a major contract to support the operations on the new bus fleet recently delivered to the market by New Flyer Industries. NEBR has recently completed work on a 12,000-square-foot, state-of-the-art maintenance facility, located at 51 Industrial Drive in the Readville neighborhood of Boston. The new buses were manufactured by New Flyer Industries (NFI), which contracted with NEBR to warranty and commission the vehicles. The new high-powered, heavy-duty Xcelsior buses are powered by clean hybrid-drive (compressed natural gas and diesel-electric). The hybrid propulsion systems are manufactured by BAE and serviced by NEBR. Brian Kaminskey, president of NEBR, which is headquartered in New York, said he is excited about the company’s expansion into the Greater Boston and other regional Massachusetts markets. “Strong business relationships, and our staff of specialty skilled technicians, are the cornerstone of our business which drives NEBR’s footprint and expansion into markets such as Boston,” Kaminskey said. NEBR’s facilities offer the only one-stop service for the transit industry, providing major accident repairs, drive-line overhaul, transmission work and modified refurbishments, as well as inventory support. NEBR specializes in alternative fuel technologies, extended life warranty programs and fleet consulting. NEBR also provides field support for bus breakdowns and repairs at off-site locations.
NEBR is expanding its Readville operations and adding personnel to provide warranty service for the ever growing needs of the Massachusetts transit Industry. Founded 20 years ago, NEBR is a well-established and well-respected Certified Manufacturer Representative for warranty and after-market support for all major manufacturers and system providers. In addition to its newest facility in Boston, NEBR operates a 20,000 square-foot maintenance, refurbishment and structural facility in Deer Park, NY, and an 85,000 square-foot repair center at JFK International Airport. Its major customers include New York’s Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. In all, NEBR currently services more than 3,200 buses in the United States and Puerto Rico and provides on-site services through its own fleet of service trucks.
Prevost announces new sales director Prevost announced the appointment of Glen Gendron as director, pre-owned sales. Grendron takes over for Dann Wiltgen, who retired earlier this year. Grendon has been with Prevost for over 19 years and gained a tremendous amount of experience over the years working as Glenn Grendron a regional parts sales manager, internal parts sales and bid manager, new coach sales manager and sales coordinator with the Commercial Administration team.
COVERAGE THAT REVOLVES AROUND YOU PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION Protective Insurance Company, rated A+ (Superior) by A.M. Best, has been providing specialized insurance policies to the transportation industry since 1950. Our hands-on approach to insurance allows us to understand the needs of our customers and form long-standing partnerships. We have a strong safety culture, a tenured claims department and superior customer service standards.
pr ot ectiveinsur ance .c om
Here are just a few of the benefits Protective offers: • Outstanding cash flow payment options • Superior claims service • Ability to package all lines of coverage, including auto liability, general liability, physical damage and workers’ compensation • Dedicated loss prevention team that specializes in the transportation industry
FOR COVERAGE THAT REVOLVES AROUND YOU, CONTACT STACY RENZ: (800) 644-5501 ext. 2570
FLEET TRUCKING | PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION |
WORKERS’ COMPENSATION | INDEPENDENT CONTRACTORS busride.com | BUSRIDE
CCW finishes project of supplying rehab buses to City Utilities of Springfield Complete Coach Works (CCW) is pleased to announce it has finished a contract from City Utilities of Springfield (CU) of supplying seven rehabilitated 35-foot low-floor buses. The buses are equipped with remanufactured engines and rebuilt transmissions as a cost-effective method of quickly acquiring improved buses. The two-door 35-foot remanufactured buses will ease the onboarding process, expedite stops, allow an increase in rider capacity, and significantly improve wheelchair accessibility. “This project is outstanding because we were able to provide CU with their first set of remanufactured vehicles, which is not only economically convenient for them, but also helps the environment by allowing true recycling of buses,” said Jay Raber, CCW’s regional sales manager. CCW’s rehabilitated buses will help alleviate City Utilities of Springfield’s four heaviest routes by providing reliable buses for years to come.
SCRTTC receives achievements in transit award The Southern California Transit Training Consortium (SCRTTC) was awarded the National Transit Institute’s prestigious (NTI) Achievements in Transit Training Model Program Award for the SCRTTC’s National Innovative Transit Training Learning Model.
INSURANCE SINCE 1952
SERVICE INSURANCE AGENCY, LLC 6850 Catawba Lane • Richmond, VA 23226
Charter • Transit • School • Limo Auto Liability • Physical Damage Workers’ Compensation Easy Payment Plans Local: (804) 288-6993 Toll Free: 1 (800) 444-0205 FAX: (804) 288-7925 E-Mail: email@example.com Tim O’Bryan Ext. 303
Visit our web site: www.serviceins.com 10
BUSRIDE | DECEMBER . 2015
Presented October 12th at NTI’s Transit Trainers’ Workshop luncheon held at the Loews New Orleans Hotel, this award validates that the SCRTTC has brought its original vision into full focus. “SCRTTC was conceived over a decade ago by a grassroots effort of transits in Southern California that were mandated by the South Coast Air Quality Management District to be the first in the country to procure, maintain, operate and repair low/zero emission buses,” said SCRTTC Chair Tommy Edwards of Sunline Transit. “SCRTTC’s growth and success has been the result of setting standards including one of a true spirit of collaboration. SCRTTC has been a lot of work, over an extended period of time, by a number of dedicated transit industry professionals and their academic partners.” Inspired by the imperative training needs assessed, prioritized and developed, the SCRTTC has delivered over 65,000 hours of transit training to over 4,500 participants to date, preparing transit workers to meet the current, rapidly advancing and future technological needs. Originally funded under SAFETEA-LU enabling the development of its foundational courses, the SCRTTC also pursued supplemental funding as a non-profit to provide hybrid and electric transit bus training. SCRTTC also recently completed a Federal Transit Administration’s (FTA) Innovative Transit Workforce Development (ITWD) Program; the only award specific to training that enabled the development and the delivery of a Distance Education Technician Program.
Florida Public Transportation Association honors Jacksonville The Jacksonville Transportation Authority (JTA) received five awards at the Florida Public Transportation Association’s (FPTA) Annual Conference. JTA’s Route Optimization Initiative (ROI) won top honors in the Innovation and Creativity category. The Authority was also recognized for bus safety excellence and the marketing department picked up three awards. Jacquie Gibbs, JTA’s vice president of external affairs, and Lisa Darnall, JTA’s vice president of transit operations, received the awards on behalf the Authority at the 2015 FPTA Conference held October 25-28 in Daytona Beach.
Allied Specialty Vehicles selects “REV” as new company name Allied Specialty Vehicles (ASV) has announced the roll out of a new corporate name REV Group Inc., more directly aligning the company with its continuing commitment to building and delivering many of the world’s most popular specialty vehicle brands. The company serves a diverse group of market segments under the corporate brand, manufacturing 23 unique brands of buses, mobility vehicles, ambulances, fire apparatuses, recreation vehicles, terminal trucks and sweepers. “Like a revving engine letting bystanders know a car is preparing for a quick acceleration, REV communicates to the world that we are set for growth,” President and CEO Tim Sullivan says. busride.com
By Prevost Prep
Winter is here; drive slow and sure Winter has arrived. For most regions of the country, this means the return of ice, snow and slippery roads and highways. With storms seemingly more intense and growing harsher, professional coach drivers know to expect the unexpected and are bracing for what’s to come. While the best practices for driving in winter at its worst don’t really change from storm to storm or year to year, this is always a good time of year to remind drivers of the basics, and encourage them to keep safety front of mind to be mentally prepared for when the snow starts to fall. Some safety directors even advise drivers to brush up and get the feel on a safe stretch of road before taking passengers out. The basics — obvious but always in play
Beware of black ice Black ice is a thin layer of transparent ice formed when the temperature is close to freezing, with the road appearing to be wet rather than frozen. Black ice is the most dangerous winter road condition. It’s difficult to spot when the temperature gets close to freezing. Look for clues. Watch other vehicles, feel the road and get off the road at the earliest possible moment. Anticipate bridges, structures and highway overpasses freezing first and being more slippery than the pavement. Leave room Visibility is a challenge in inclement weather of any severity. Blizzards and blowing snow conditions do not necessarily pose a greater hazard in terms of traction, but pose a greater threat in terms of visibility. Drive only the speed necessary to be able to stop within
Go or no go? Throughout the winter, always anticipate a change in weather. Check weather reports before departure and always be prepared for sudden changes in road conditions. When the weather turns severe with heavy storms in the forecast, make a command decision and avoid travel, if possible. Postpone or cancel the trip as necessary, and stay off the roads until they clear. If it’s a go, go slow Unnecessary maneuvers can cause the coach to lose traction. Pump the brakes lightly to reduce the chance of locking the wheels and going into a skid. Turn off the cruise control. The driver has more options without cruise control, which only increases the chance of losing control in dangerous conditions. Most accidents in inclement weather occur simply because the coach is traveling too fast for road conditions. Anti-lock brakes, four-wheel drive, traction-control systems or chains do not empower the driver, they only assist. Normal — and never excessive — speed may prove too dangerous for the road and weather conditions. Drive as smoothly as possible with no sudden changes in speed. Avoid changing lanes if possible, and then very gradually. Read the road Is the road wet or frozen? Where the road appears wet, observe the area immediately behind the tires of the other vehicles. If the tires are spraying a mist, the road is not frozen. Drive with the same caution as with any wet surface. If not, the road is frozen and likely very slick and dangerous. Stay off the brakes; reduce speed by letting off the throttle and downshifting at low RPMs. Snow on the shoulders with travel lanes wet indicates that salt trucks have been working on the road. Drive using the same cautionary measures for a wet surface.
Unnecessary maneuvers can cause a coach to lose traction.
stopping distance. Allow ample stopping distance between vehicles on the road by increasing the following distance from the vehicle in front. Allow at least three times the usual distance. Don’t hit the panic button The coach can go into a skid any time for any reason. Learn not to panic during a skid and allow driver training to take over. As the coach begins to skid, hold the wheel firmly, avoid hard braking, or turning sharply and continue to steer in the direction the front of the coach should go. Brake, turn and accelerate one step at a time. busride.com | BUSRIDE
Motorcoach Management Systems
Personnel management In this issue, BUSRide continues “Motorcoach Management Systems,” an in-depth forum series addressing vehicle inventory management, charters and tours, fleet maintenance and personnel management. Experts in this forum focus on what metrics agencies should focus on to optimize vehicles, trips and routing, as well as what software is available that can help. This month, we cover personnel management – a crucial aspect of any comprehensive fleet management software. Fleetmatics, Waltham, MA, spotlights a recent case study that demonstrates how SaaS solutions can optimize personnel management and streamline operations. busHive, Ballston Lake, NY, explores how new software features are helping motorcoach operators to better manage their human resources and personnel issues.
BUSRIDE | DECEMBER . 2015
Time management is essential for efficient operations By Jonathan Durkee
After using the fleet management system from Fleetmatics for just six months, Butlers Buses is already experiencing significant benefits – in terms of improved timekeeping and even reduced fuel consumption. The family run firm, which has been in operation for more than 45 years, is based in County Cork, Ireland, and, with its fleet of 14 vehicles, provides services ranging from local outings to extended touring and international travel.
“The Fleetmatics system has helped us monitor our drivers hours, ensuring they are keeping within the legal limits and continue to comply with the law,” Butler says. “This can be done live using Fleetmatics rather than analyzing tachograph records which can be up to three weeks old.”
Added benefits According to Butler, another reason he chose to implement the Fleetmatics fleet management solution was to retain control of his growing fuel costs. “While the fleet size at Butlers has grown, fuel costs have also risen dramatically,” he says. After a free online demonstration, which provided a graphic overview of the fleet on the move as well as access to comprehensive field data to generate reports and automated alerts, Butler promptly decided to invest in the Fleetmatics fleet management system. “We initially ran the system for one month without telling anyone” Butler says. “This was mainly to assess how the system works and to get some raw data for initial trend analysis. Once I An important benefit Butler Buses has experienced while using Fleetmatics is to maintain drivers’ good timekeeping. was assured that the system was up and running, I announced it to the fleet Before using the fleet management system from Fleetmatics, drivers and provided them with comprehensive training.” Butlers Buses had no prior experience with fleet tracking. After “We use the standard dashboard of the Fleetmatics system to a competitor had shown the Fleetmatics system that it used to monitor speeds and idling times,” Butler says. “This ensures we Managing Director Ian Butler, he learned of the impressive ease-of- keep our drivers and customers safe and sound during their travels, use of a web-based solution and the potential cost reduction benefit as well as keeping fuel costs down.” his company could realize. A comprehensive motorcoach management system shows drivers An important benefit Butler Buses has experienced while using exactly how they can individually have a direct impact on lowering Fleetmatics is maintaining the drivers’ good timekeeping and offer fuel costs by reducing idling and employing a more economical them assistance from the office if they need additional directions en speed/driving style. route to avoid heavy traffic or unexpected road works. “We are confident that we have reduced our fuel bill by at least 6 “Timekeeping is vital for us,” Butler says. “We can never be late percent which equates into savings of at least €8,500.00 per annum for our customers – whether it’s for a golf trip, airport transfer or – this alone is well worth the investment in Fleetmatics,” he says. school outing.” “Our coaches spend a lot of time away from base touring and it is Jonathan Durkee serves as vice president, products & sales, product important that they are parked in a safe place overnight especially as management, for Fleetmatics, Waltham, MA. Fleetmatics is a leading global fuel siphoning has become an issue again for us – knowing exactly provider of mobile workforce solutions for service-based businesses of all sizes delivered as software-as-a-service (SaaS). Visit www.fleetmatics.com. where our coaches are parked overnight along with the benefit of street view gives us great peace of mind,” he adds. busride.com | BUSRIDE
Driver and personnel compliance By Brian Mann
The busHive system can track any personnel type such as drivers, tour guides, bus monitors and mechanics, as well as office staff, with each group having its own list of requirements.
Since 1997, busHive has provided a comprehensive personnel and driver training program that stands on its own as an industry solution in this area. A great number of operators use a mix of file folders, spreadsheets, calendars and post-it notes to tie together all the necessary information and data associated with driver record keeping. busHive instead allows its users to track all personnel requirements in one location, making it a favorite among many safety managers and driver trainers. The versatility available through busHive Personnel begins with the assorted personnel groups, which users can easily customize. The system can track any personnel type such as drivers, tour guides, bus monitors and mechanics, as well as office staff, with each group having its own list of requirements. For example, driver qualifications are different from those for tour guides, meaning the operator can define the requirements and training regimen differently for each group. Because many states have different requirements and qualifications, busHive has the flexibility to define both trainings and requirements for each and set unique warning schedules. Whether it is drug testing, behind the wheel refreshers or physicals, the system can manage them issue warnings to safety managers before the requirements are due and prevent their incurring fines. busHive can also track attendance, a feature incorporating a colorcoordinated system that allows the people in operation to stay on top 14
BUSRIDE | DECEMBER . 2015
of coverage and ensure with no hesitation that drivers are available for the scheduled charters. Spotting problems with driver attendance has never been easier. Infraction monitoring is another key tool in the busHive suite. Operations now have the capability to monitor a fully customizable list of infractions ranging from customer complaints and tardiness to preventable accidents. A complete detailed analysis of every infraction is available for every personnel type. busHive comes with a stock with over 40 personnel reports. It even prints out completed Federal Medical Examination forms as well as all New York State 19-A forms. Coming in early 2016, busHive will release an update making it the only software product that can summarize California T-01 driver training data and reprint the same card for each the year recorded. With a totally user-customizable interface and reporting, busHive will quickly organize all of all driver records so that the information that a company needs is always immediately available. Brian Mann serves as director of sales and marketing for busHive, Ballston Lake, NY, a sophisticated software platform for tracking virtually all aspects of transportation for both school bus and motorcoach operations. Visit www.bushive.com.
Jesse Quintero Jr. reaches 50 years without a preventable accident Since his first day on the job in 1965, when he hired on with San Antonio Transit (SATS) to drive transit buses, Jesse Quintero, Jr., received high praises. This extended to a tribute this past August from his current employer, VIA Metropolitan Transit and the Board of Trustees, for his service as the safest, longest-serving bus operator still behind the wheel. Quintero, 71, drove fulltime until his formal retirement in 2001. Showing no interest in giving up the work he had enjoyed for so many years, he has continued to drive for the agency on a part time basis. This year, Quintero completed 50 years in his distinguished career. A significant achievement in itself, but even more commendable as he has never been involved in a preventable accident while on the job. Quintero’s sterling safety record has earned him seniority in VIA Transit’s Million Mile Clubs sponsored by the National Safety Council to reward bus and van operators for safe vehicle operations. One million miles equates to 12.5 consecutive years or roughly 25,000 vehicle hours without a preventable accident. Although he does admit to a few close calls over the years, Quintero remains the only to hit the ultra-exclusive 3-million mile club, and is ever so close to marking 4 million miles. Quintero’s stellar safety record has also drawn the attention of the American Public Transportation Association (APTA). In May 2014, APTA highlighted 100 years of safety awards in the transportation industry by honoring three bus operators from across the nation who had completed over 40 years of safe driving, and Quintero was one of those three people. Quintero came to his career in transit through his father and uncle, who drove buses for SATS. Quintero later encouraged his son, Jesse III, to try his hand at driving transit buses. Today, he serves VIA Transit as a station foreman, where, ironically, his father is one of his employees. Quintero says he has no magical secret for his success, other than a few very basic driving practices that he has adhered to religiously from day one. “I never take my eyes of the road and I am always watching the traffic around me,” he says. “I even watch for pedestrians on the sidewalk. When I see skateboarders, I try to move
Jesse Quintero has driven 50 years accident-free.
to the left lane. They have a way of jumping the curb and jetting into the street.” Quintero says life for transit bus drivers changed forever with the advent of cell phones and texting. “Seeing how people were using their phones in the cars, I knew we had a new problem that wasn’t going away,” he says. “People began driving with cellphones and texting while driving. Driving habits have changed and we have to be more alert and careful than ever.” Quintero has his set precautions on his bus for passengers. “Again, I always look ahead and try not to engage in conversation while the bus is moving,” he says. “I will answer a question if I can, but I will not turn to look at the person. Anything can happen in the split second I take my eye off the road.” Quintero also has a safety routine for onboard disturbances or calls from dispatch. “I simply stop the bus and then tend to the problem,” he says. “When I am driving, I am magnetized to what I am doing to keep everyone inside the bus safe, myself included, as well as everyone out in traffic.” His adherence to these basic best practices have served Jesse Quintero well for 50 years, and BUSRide and Prevost are pleased to honor him as the newest inductee in its Safe Driver Hall of Fame. When not driving, Quintero enjoys performing mariachi.
busride.com | BUSRIDE
THE CONNECTED BUS
4G LTE enhances the VIA rider experience By David Rush
VIA Metropolitan Transit in San Antonio recently upgraded the 3G wireless service provided on a portion of the agency’s fleet, replacing the service with 4G LTE Wi-Fi on all buses, paratransit vans and facilities. Cradlepoint played a key role in providing VIA with a costeffective option that offers more reliable service with the ability to update units remotely. VIA has been the public easy to follow, helping the transportation provider for the agency install 769 platforms Greater San Antonio Region since in approximately 30 days. 1978. VIA operates seven days Instead of taking several a week on 90 routes, providing months of turnover time for approximately 134,000 passenger installation, VIA was able trips each day and serving 7,225 install the platform and bus stops, seven park & rides, return the bus to service in six transit centers, and 12 major a matter of hours. The ease transfer points. of installation allowed VIA “We utilized Cradlepoint to simplify deployments routers with our initial 3G and significantly reduce Wi-Fi program that were turn-up time. installed on a small fleet of “The first order of approximately 45 buses and business was to set up 10 park and ride locations,” the modems with Verizon says Lorraine Pulido, Wireless SIMs that would communications manager / be activated for use with public information officer for Cradlepoint,” Pulido says. VIA. “When the decision was “With ECM, the templates made to upgrade to 4G LTE and were created for each Cradlepoint played a key role in providing VIA with a cost-effective option for fleetequip the entire fleet of buses, wide Wi-Fi. group required and the vans, park & ride locations and Cradlepoint routers were our Primo In-Line stations, a determination was made to continue installed onboard the bus and van fleet by the maintenance personnel. with Cradlepoint based on past experience.” The fixed locations were installed by IT staff.” “Working with Cradlepoint, VIA was able to install more than 700 The cloud-delivered capabilities from Cradlepoint help VIA in routers in 30 days. The VIA IT staff tested the IBR1100LPE and found two main ways. First, they centralize monitoring and configuration it to be an excellent fit for the onboard installations, especially when activities across the network, making management much simpler. used with the Enterprise Cloud Management (ECM) application. Second, they provide VIA with a means to deploy analytics to visualize “After the installations, Cradlepoint provided the resources what kinds of devices are connected to the network, as well as track needed to merely flip a switch and offer free, 4G LTE based Wi-Fi to which destinations are the most heavily visited areas. all of our riders instantly,” says Larry Mixon, acting vice president of Cradlepoint also provides VIA the opportunity to leverage cloudinformation technology for VIA. delivered in-vehicle connectivity for more in the future. The dual mode The 4G enabled Cradlepoint routers provide 10 times the router provides VIA with additional functionality that may be used for bandwidth as 3G and support dual-band concurrent Wi-Fi with the other technology-based applications other than onboard Wi-Fi. latest technologies. VIA is currently seeing 14,000 users on the Wi-Fi system during peak Using Cradlepoint’s unique technology and expertise for in-vehicle time on weekdays. Some park & ride locations are seeing usage of 5GB solutions, VIA was able to upgrade to 4G LTE Wi-Fi service on every of data per day. bus and van, and passenger facility. Cradlepoint’s solution provided “To date, the majority of our riders have had a positive experience VIA with the ability to quickly and easily manage and configure the while using the Wi-Fi onboard our fleet and the fixed locations,” network all at once, resulting in a paradigm shift in how the agency Pulido says. deploys routers and wireless services. With Cradlepoint’s cloud management and application platform, David Rush serves as senior product manager for transportation solutions at Enterprise Cloud Manager (ECM), installing the in-vehicle network Cradlepoint. He holds a bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering from MIT and an MBA from Boise State University. Visit online at www.cradlepoint.com. was simple. This allowed VIA to create a deployment template that was 16
BUSRIDE | DECEMBER . 2015
Reprinted with permission from Motor Coach Industries (MCI) and the editors of FYI from MCI.
Riteway addresses sleep apnea the right way M
ost operators wouldn’t dream of sending out a coach with faulty brakes or worn-out tires — after all, precious human cargo is at stake. Operators need to be as careful that their drivers are fit to hit the road. Regulations such as Hours of Service (HOS) Rules have long recognized overly-tired drivers shouldn’t operate coaches. However, long hours behind the wheel aren’t the only factor. According to a study by the University of Pennsylvania and co-sponsored by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA), nearly one-third of commercial truckers have mild to severe sleep apnea. According to the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), in the general public, drivers with sleep apnea are seven times as likely to have an auto accident. There’s no reason to think it is any different for motorcoach drivers. Through the industry has been considering sleep apnea regulations for years, signs of moderate to severe sleep apnea are usually enough for a medical examiner to pull a driver’s CMV license. Altogether, it makes sense for operators to encourage their staff to eat right, get exercise and live a healthy lifestyle — and reduce some of the risks for sleep apnea and other conditions that might make a driver vulnerable behind the wheel. Enter Riteway Bus Lines Riteway Bus Lines, Richfield, WI, is ahead of the curve on sleep apnea and wellness. Wendy Bast, vice president of compliance, says she is seeing their effort pay off in happier, more energetic employees. For any driver who, during a physical to maintain his or her federal driving privileges, shows indications of sleep apnea, Riteway refers that person to Sleep Apnea Solutions, a partner with Riteway that provides drivers a cost-effective way to receive a diagnosis and treatment. Through this third-party company, drivers are able to do home sleep studies, which cost far less than typical in-patient studies. If it’s determined that a driver needs a C-Pap or similar machine, the company is able to set them up quickly and at a reasonable cost — a win-win for all. Drivers don’t have to worry about losing income or spending a lot out-of-pocket while waiting out a long sleep apnea diagnosis, and Riteway keep its drivers working.
Beyond sleep apnea Sleep apnea isn’t the only health-related concern for drivers. A National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health study showed truck drivers to have roughly twice the rate of obesity, morbid obesity and smoking behavior as the general population. Again, it’s likely that coach drivers face similar challenges. In an FMCSA-sponsored report on commercial-driver wellness programs, the authors highlighted traits of successful programs that include: • Committed management and strong leadership • Clear statement of philosophy, purpose and goals • Accurate, up-to-date, research-based information made available to participants • Effective communication • Accessible, convenient and realistic • Fun, motivating and challenging • Supportive work, cultural and physical environment • Individualized to meet the needs of each employee Where it is impractical for most companies to create, manage and maintain their own wellness programs, many are turning to insurance companies. Still, even this is a challenge for motorcoach operators who rely heavily on part-time drivers not insured through the company health plan. While only some of its drivers for Riteway are eligible for health insurance, those who take part in the company’s plan that incentivizes healthy behavior. Bast says one driver has made significant changes in his life because he valued getting the lower premium. Bast admits that drivers face the basic occupational challenge of a job sedentary workstyle, but believes better health is achievable. “We try to promote wellness,” Bast says. “If we can raise health awareness and improve access to care, drivers stay with us longer. They’re happier and more alert on the road, and that’s good for all of us.” BUSRide NOTE: Riteway President Ron Bast received the 2009 BUSRide Motorcoach Industry Achievement Award for his company’s effort and success in this critical area of driver wellness.
busride.com | BUSRIDE
Fleet Management SYSTEMS
GPS tracking In this issue, BUSRide continues “Fleet Management Systems,” an in-depth forum series addressing asset management, vehicle tracking, fleet monitoring, fleet optimization and in-vehicle diagnostics. The best fleet management system helps agencies efficiently and accurately track assets and rolling stock. Experts in this forum focus on what metrics and hardware agencies should focus on to better streamline their operations. This month, we cover integrated GPS tracking – a crucial aspect of any comprehensive fleet management software. Infor, New York, NY, examines how best to integrate GPS tracking with a comprehensive fleet management system. As Kevin Price, product director for Infor EAM, writes, this can be accomplished with up-to-date hardware and software.
BUSRIDE | DECEMBER . 2015
Fleet Management SYSTEMS
Integrated GPS tracking – A powerful tool for MAP-21 compliance By Kevin Price
way to track these assets and make better decisions, since the data is updated continuously. For organizations governed by MAP-21 regulations, the usefulness of AVL is even greater. MAP-21, or the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act that was signed into law in 2012, is a longterm highway funding authorization that created performance-based guidelines for organizations receiving those funds. In essence, transportation authorities must use funds to support federal goals, which include “improving safety, maintaining infrastructure condition, reducing traffic congestion, improving efficiency of the system and freight movement, protecting the environment, and reducing delays in project delivery.” Clearly, an integrated GPS or AVL An integrated GPS or AVL system gives a transit agency an edge by enabling them to track, record, and system gives a transit agency an edge analyze how vehicles are performing in real time. by enabling them to track, record, and analyze how vehicles are performing in nyone managing a fleet, especially someone who has ever “lost real time—helping to reduce traffic congestion, improve efficiency, and sight” of a vehicle, understands how valuable it would be to have reduce delays, which are all direct requirements of MAP-21. integrated GPS tracking, the technology that enables automatic vehicle Consider what can happen if assets are not tracked efficiently. After location (AVL). a series of snowstorms wreaked havoc on the equipment and schedules Using AVL, those who manage service, emergency and public of the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA), a report by transport vehicles — as well as any other mobile asset — can quickly the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) revealed that identify and report on the location of each piece of equipment. They can MBTA had failed to take basic steps practiced by other cold-weather also manage the driver crew more effectively, improving accountability transit agencies. APTA found that MBTA didn’t have enough or the right and operational performance. AVL lets managers see which drivers are kind of snow-clearing equipment, and the interim director admitted adhering to arrival and departure times, taking the correct routes, that such equipment had been on hand 20 years previously but hadn’t and so on. It enables comparisons of routes to determine those that been tracked or maintained. Having an integrated GPS system that are most efficient at both peak and low traffic times. It allows a realcontinuously tracked vehicles and equipment in real time would have time view of which vehicles are where in case route changes need to gone a long way towards saving MBTA from this disaster. be made on the fly. AVL has three components: locating hardware, which is the Kevin Price has more than 17 years in Infor’s asset management business, component necessary to identify the position of a vehicle on the earth’s holding roles in sales and service, as asset solutions director for the Infor Public surface; the communication package, which relays the positional data; Sector group, and now product director for Infor EAM, MP2, Spear Technologies, and the display system, which shows the location of the vehicle as it and Infor Energy Performance Management. He is based in Greenville, SC. Kevin welcomes your feedback and questions. Please don’t hesitate to email him at travels in real time. firstname.lastname@example.org. Adding vehicle tracking information into an asset management system that includes geospatial information provides a comprehensive
busride.com | BUSRIDE
DELIVERIES ABC COMPANIES / VAN HOOL
CH BUS SALES / TEMSA
Williams Charters and Tours College Park, GA
Premier Transportation Knoxville, TN
Williams Charter and Tours, which started in 2009 with a singled used bus, has taken delivery of three new 56-passenger TX45 luxury motorcoaches equipped with Van Hool’s exclusive contoured parcel racks, REI deluxe entertainment systems with 23-inch video monitors, satellite TV, 110-volt outlets, and Wi-Fi, in addition to safety features including three-point seatbelts, backup camera, lane departure warning, antilock brakes, Smartwave Tire Pressure Monitoring, Kidde Fire Suppression Systems and Automatic Stability Control. Driven by Detroit DD13 Engines and Allison B500 Gen V Transmissions, the coaches all have wood grain flooring and Alcoa Durabright aluminum wheels.
Premier Transportation has been offering group travel services for over 11 years. The company specializes in charter bus and motorcoach services from the Southeast region and throughout the United States. Currently, Premier owns and maintains a fleet of 34 vehicles consisting of Van Hool, Prevost, and TEMSA coaches. Premier’s four new TS 30 coaches are seated for 30 passengers which allows for extra legroom. The coaches are also equipped with 110-volt and USB plugs, Alcoa wheels, leather seats, an REI audio/video system, and woodgrain floors
ZEPS Electric Drive System
Purchase our ZEPS powered remanufactured electric bus
at a fraction of the cost of a new bus
or integrate our ZEPS Drive System into your current fleet • Seamlessly integrated motor control system for an optimized transit application • Charging system that actively balances batteries to maximize range and cycle life • Parallel energy storage system that optimizes efficiency and reduces downtime ZEPS Tour West Virginia
1863 Service Court • Riverside, CA 92507 completecoach.com • 800.300.3751
BUSRIDE | DECEMBER . 2015
DELIVERIES PREVOST / VOLVO
MOTOR COACH INDUSTRIES (MCI)
Academy Bus Hoboken, NJ
Letsgo Charter and Tours Fort Smith, AR
Academy Bus recently added the sophisticated Prevost H3-45® to its fleet in an effort to take “group travel to the next level”. Academy has been serving the Northeast region for over 40 years and currently operates charter and group tour buses all over the East Coast from operations centers in New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Maryland, Virginia, North Carolina, Washington, D.C., and Florida. The Prevost H-Series™ coach is available in the New York City Region.
In buying its company’s first new MCI® J4500, Letsgo Charter and Tours co-founder Lynn Johnson describes his company’s long history with MCI this way: “If we wouldn’t put our grandchildren on these motorcoaches, then we wouldn’t want to carry anyone else.” Safety and clean coaches have always come first at the Arkansas-based company, which went into business only a month before the 9/11 attacks. Today, the company has 15 MCI coaches and a smaller 29-passenger bus. Letsgo’s new MCI J4500 comes with advanced safety features, clean-diesel-engine technology with leading fuel economy, power outlets and Wi-Fi.
TOYO M144 TIRE NOW BEING USED BY OVER 100 FLEETS! AFFINITY PARTNER
POSITIVE MARKET FEEDBACK KEEPS ROLLING IN! CUSTOMER STATEMENTS: “We have been using the Toyo tires for over a year and have been impressed with the ride comfort and extended mileage the tires have delivered” • Wes Kanaga • Peoria Charters • Peoria Illinois “We have been running the Toyo M144 tires for more than a year now and we are impressed with their superior ride, handling, and wear characteristics.” • Scott Habr • West Valley Trailways • Campbell California “The Toyo tires have been a great value and great performer for us” • Ken Dillard • Champion Bus Lines • Greenville S.C.
NEW PROGRAM ADDITIONS: Government/School District Transportation Discounts Available Volume Discounts Offered *14 tire minimum order required
For more information contact: www.motorcoachtiresales.com or Call: 678-463-4110 busride.com | BUSRIDE
RTD’s Donna DeMartino originally met TransTrack Systems’ Mary Sue O’Melia at a trade show.
O F F I C I A L
BUSRide Field Test:
San Joaquin RTD streamlines data with TransTrack Systems Who knew that a chance trade show meeting would completely change an agency’s operational culture? TransTrack Manager turns volumes of transit data into meaningful operational and management information for optimal transit performance.
Donna DeMartino, general manager / CEO of San Joaquin Regional Transit District (RTD), visited the TransTrack booth with Allan Pollack, now with Salem-Keizer Area Public Transit. Pollack indicated that his agency had been using TransTrack solutions for some time, and that it had done wonders for the agency’s data reporting. Together, they approached Mary Sue O’Melia, president of TransTrack Systems. “Our clients are our best references,” O’Melia says. “If they have a need and they can relate to what we’re talking about in our presentations, they then go check our client references. If they all check out, we’re usually a lock.” RTD provides transit services for San Joaquin County, serving the Stockton Metropolitan Area as well as intercity, interregional and rural transit services countywide. DeMartino oversees all departments, operations and procurements; and has been with the agency for nearly 15 years. With such a large area to cover, it is essential for the agency to manage transit data efficiently and report it accurately. To that end, when DeMartino saw a demonstration from TransTrack Systems at a trade show, she knew it was something her agency needed to have. “A lot of data flows through our agency,” she says. “We have to be absolutely certain that the data is collected appropriately, that it’s calculated properly, and that we’re able to turn it into something that’s useful for business analysis and decision making.” TransTrack Systems provides a business intelligence solution called TransTrack Manager, which turns literally volumes of transit data into meaningful operational and management information for optimal transit performance. TransTrack says its solution uncovers opportunities for operational improvements and greater efficiencies 22
BUSRIDE | DECEMBER . 2015
normally hidden within rich data sources, providing the missing link between operational systems information and management reporting. “We had previously found that information we were providing to external agencies as well as our own board was inconsistent,” she continues. “When we realized the data wasn’t correct, it was alarming. When I saw TransTrack demonstrated at a conference, I realized it was exactly what we needed.” Forming a relationship Until this point, RTD was managing data and National Transit Database (NTD) reporting with Excel spreadsheets. “If they got a new route or general ledger account, they had to change all of their spreadsheets,” O’Melia says. “Every time they wanted to do any kind of reporting, it literally involved copying numbers from one spreadsheet to the other.” The challenge is that spreadsheets are manipulated by people, and the more that happens, the more likely it is that an error will occur in the process. TransTrack not only reduces the margin of error, it saves of staff time, as fewer people are handling the data. DeMartino says that RTD’s challenge wasn’t in collecting data – it was in making sure the collected data was correct. Where there were anomalies, staff would use guesswork to approximate answers. “I really wanted to make certain we were gathering the data we needed and confirming it on a regular basis,” she says. In the initial stages of implementation, O’Melia and her team met with the RTD executive management team. This, she says, “helps us to get a better handle on the agency’s expectations, pain points and issues.” TransTrack Systems then sets up onsite interviews, called busride.com
No ramp-up process is without its challenges, but TransTrack and RTD were able to work through all unforeseen issues as they arrived.
“baselines.” These staff interviews allow TransTrack to define all of the agency’s different business processes and find out where staff members are getting transit data, how they’re manipulating the data and where they’re uploading the data. All of this provides O’Melia and her team with a general gauge of how accurate the data sets are. “Then we do the same with passenger statistics; APC statistics; schedule adherence; AVL statistics; financial statistics; service statistics; hours and miles; complaints; road calls; maintenance billing and more,” O’Melia says. “It depends on how far into the organization they want to go – we can look at pay hours, employee certification and training, and dig even deeper. How do they handle customer complaints, commendations and investigations?” The TransTrack Systems team spent three to five days on site talking to the agency’s different data owners and process managers. From there, they created a profile that shows a proposed “before” and “after” image. This profile showed what RTD was doing currently, how that would change after moving to TransTrack, and TransTrack’s proposed roll-out. This process takes some time, as it’s important for all constituents to remain on sides. “They need to know that we understand what it is they do every day,” O’Melia says. “As long as we can talk to them about their work, we can move forward. We understand them. We’re not just someone trying to shove a new solution down their throat. That doesn’t go very far.” “What I loved about the TransTrack product is that it was designed by transit professionals, people who had actually used data that transit agencies need,” DeMartino says. “They understand where the data is coming from and where it needs to go. Mary Sue understood our need to fill in the blanks for NTD reporting requirements, so she designed TransTrack to extract data from our different areas.” For example, RTD has GFI fare boxes along with a Trapeze Group CAD/AVL system. TransTrack Manager pulls data from all existing systems and uploads it into reports. Those reports are already designed around NTD reporting requirements.
Gloria Salazar, assistant general manager / CFO of RTD, says that the TransTrack team was essential in helping the agency document its flow of information, identifying the flaws associated with the validity and reliability of the data, and documenting the definitions of each piece of information. “We needed to know the definition of each element within revenues, expenses, and other key indicators,” Salazar says. “For example, what does on-time performance really mean? Those definitions are critical to us because the entire agency needs to know what they mean before we can really analyze the validity of the data we get.” After that, TransTrack and RTD began developing definitions and appointing staff members to be in charge of each source data. “Then we had to determine the metrics – what do we want to measure?” Salazar says. “We needed people to own those key performance indicators and be able to explain the story behind the numbers. We needed staff to report on time but also interpret the meaning of data relationships. We’ve improved a lot since beginning the process, but that’s still an evolving process.” Ramping up No ramp-up process is without its challenges, but TransTrack and RTD were able to work through all unforeseen issues as they arrived. For one, it’s difficult to predict staff changes. As employees leave and new staff members come onboard, data management training becomes even more essential. “When staff changes, we have to really be on top of things,” O’Melia says. “We need to make sure management understands who needs training, and who is the new person responsible for a data stream. Most of the team leads have changed at RTD since implementation, so over the last few years we’ve returned to the agency to educate an entirely new set of data managers.” RTD wanted TransTrack representatives to come onsite and work with their data managers. As such, TransTrack conducted monthly meetings for a while before RTD staff was ready to take over. busride.com | BUSRIDE
From left: RTD Senior Accountant Priya Ram-Lal, Assistant General Manager / CFO Gloria Salazar and Planning Senior Specialist Damaris Galvan.
“Initially, I worked with the managers, followed by Gloria and Donna,” O’Melia says. “Eventually they were off doing their reports for their board.” “It’s all about education, with respect to changing the mindset of people, changing the way they look at numbers and encouraging them to translate those numbers into something they can explain and something that creates a story,” Salazar explains. “That’s part of the culture change. We encourage staff to dig deeper and keep asking ‘why?’” A culture change Converting from Excel spreadsheets to TransTrack Manager was less of a software switch and more of a change in agency culture. Those changes don’t happen overnight. They require significant education, many meetings, and a high degree of staff accountability. Salazar says they wanted to make data management a crucial part of the lives of each member of the staff. “I think it really works when we can show data to agencies in a dashboard format — and show them that data pulled from disparate systems is easily manipulated,” O’Melia says. “We press a button and out pops their NTD report in its exact format. Visuals like that are always an ‘A-Ha!’ moment for agencies.” “We have good employees who have been trained to do a good job,” Salazar says. “We are all very busy, as we’re a lean organization with many required day-to-day functions — but I never saw any resistance. It took some time on the part of TransTrack and our employees to really work at it, but everyone embraced the process.” “We call them our data managers now,” DeMartino adds. “In different areas of the organization, employees are now data managers who meet and report on a regular basis. They’re learning about how to manage data and coordinate reports, but they’re also challenging one another. It’s entirely different from simple data input.” With the data management training complete, the relationship between RTD and TransTrack Systems became more about analyzing data and finding trends. “That’s the exciting part,” O’Melia says. “All of the other stuff is just work you have to do in order to get to the real challenge. Think of the AVL systems and millions of dollars spent to get to the data – the value really comes when that data can be used to improve 24
BUSRIDE | DECEMBER . 2015
scheduling and operations. How can you make your agency more cost-effective, more safe and efficient?” Benefits over time Now, RTD spends much less time looking for numbers they need for essential reporting. Furthermore, their numbers are far more accurate. This has been a big help as RTD works with the American Benchmarking Group (ABBG). Good, consistent data allows agencies to facilitate in-depth peer discussions and reviews within the ABBG. “Over the long term, we’re getting much better information,” DeMartino says. “We’re much better armed to make solid business decisions. Our employees are better equipped to take care of their operating environments, whether in safety, maintenance or operations. It’s one thing to operate day to day, but it’s so much more effective to be able to see patterns, trends and opportunities for improvement. If you’re not measuring, you’re not managing.” For example, if RTD wants to reallocate funds between routes, the agency can now determine the cost distribution by type of service and thus determine the effectiveness of that service by measuring figures such as passenger per revenue hour, fare recovery and operating costs per hour. This helps RTD determine whether the allocation is fair, based on the actual performance of the route, rather than relying on guesswork. “We are able to make a decision about what kind of offering is working,” Salazar says. “We can support our decisions with data. For example, if more funding is available in the future, we can make more informed investments.”
Looking ahead RTD is now able to tie business analytics into service design. “When we budget annually, we are able to identify the budget drivers and make essential decisions with data to back them up,” DeMartino says. “We can identify fixed, variable, direct and fully allocated costs — with that accurate information, we can make much better business decisions.” “They’re much better managers of their entire operations, rather than the separate facets,” O’Melia says. “That’s the real benefit they’ve derived from this partnership.”
The second step in crisis planning is to analyze hazards and capabilities. Begin by collecting all relevant policies, procedures and documents that exist, from the executive level all the way to operations, drivers and support staff. Gather as much detail as possible about incident reporting and emergency procedures, such as a call tree, first responders and investigation steps. Once you’ve collected this information, perform a vulnerability analysis or risk assessment. A vulnerability analysis can be as simple as a spreadsheet that lists scenarios with their estimated probability of occurrence and severity of impact. Start with the most basic issues that require emergency response such as fires, floods, tornadoes, winter storms, earthquakes and hurricanes. Then list everything By Todd Carrier you can think of that could negatively affect company operations, such as environmental “Expect the unexpected.” spills, worker injury, motor COMPONENTS OF A CRISIS MANAGEMENT PLAN It’s an often overused vehicle crashes, workplace cliché, but planning and violence, terrorism, health practicing for unthinkable epidemics, and even utility Executive events is more critical than Contact and technology failures. summary & information ever in today’s world. How introduction for key personnel, Next, identify your explaining the vendors, utilities will your company react if purpose of the plan critical processes, services, & authorities involved in a catastrophic operations, and people. event with news cameras Is there something or rolling? What will the driver someone that if removed, say? What will the public even just temporarily, think? With technology and would have an immediate social media linking the and detrimental impact Press kit world in seconds, there is no Official policies, with company on the business? Quantify procedures & information and longer a margin for error. pre-written statements both the vulnerabilities and documentation for various scenarios An emergency or crisis criticalities in relation to is a situation that has time, dollar impact, brand reached a critical phase in and reputation. Finally, to which immediate decisions truly understand the hazards introduce the possibility of and your capabilities, meet with outside subject matter experts a highly undesirable outcome. There are four basic steps in crisis including state and local emergency authorities, regulatory agencies, management and emergency planning: 1) establish a planning team, insurance specialists and safety consultants. 2) analyze hazards and capabilities, 3) develop the plan, and 4) The next step is to actually develop the plan. Start by drafting an implement, practice, refine. executive summary and table of contents. Organize the documents Start by establishing a planning team composed of individuals you’ve collected into sections such as procedures, contacts, diagrams in key roles throughout your organization, such as operations, and vendor/utility lists. Include specific steps and instructions, maintenance, safety, dispatch, sales and IT. You want accurate perhaps in a flow diagram or decision tree format. Try to answer representation from all aspects of the company, but keep the questions like “If this happens, then who is notified? How are they committee size manageable at no more than 10 people. Next, define notified? What action is taken and who is responsible?” roles and responsibilities for each person on the committee. Document Finally, once the initial plan has been drafted, it’s time to the areas they represent and the time commitment expected both in implement, practice and refine. Announce the existence of the the planning process and execution during a crisis. Don’t forget to plan, distribute copies and train key people and affected individuals. appoint a team chairperson or “crisis coordinator.” This person will Be sure that everyone in your organization understands their role and be the primary decision-maker and public relations speaker. has clear instructions on what to do and what not to do. To reinforce According to Jim Parham, COO of Hirons & Company, an this information, consider developing a wallet-sized “crisis card” for Indianapolis-based public relations firm, a crisis management plan drivers that contains emergency contact info, first step instructions, “really comes down to one word: Communication. This is much how to secure the site with law enforcement, and a strict policy more than an emergency telephone call tree. It’s a detailed plan on against discussing details with emergency responders or the media who should be contacted and why, how to interact with various until designated company officials arrive on the scene. public entities, legal representation and ultimately the general Test your plan regularly with outside organizations such as local philosophy of executive management.” Jim issues a reminder that law enforcement and fire departments. Consider conducting drills or in an emergency, “Your company should display consistency, exercises that simulate actual emergencies to work out the details and credibility, accuracy and speed.” timing. Your crisis management plan can be continuously improved To deliver an optimal response, develop a repository of pre-written and modified as necessary. statements for various scenarios. Remember, during an emergency, every second counts. Decisions must be pre-determined and Todd Carrier serves as director of risk management for Protective Insurance information flow should be clear and concise. Also consider developing Company, Carmel, IN. For more information, please email a press kit containing company background information, photos and email@example.com. descriptions of facilities, the company’s annual report, community relations information, and executive biographies and photos.
Crisis management and emergency planning
busride.com | BUSRIDE
THE SCIENCE BEHIND THE SEAT
Styling and design From testing to ergonomic design, comfort, safety, cleanliness, ride quality and more, bus seating can be a tough nut to crack. This month, The Science Behind The Seat continues, where BUSRide presents a cooperative forum series that explores safety, modularity, design, styling and fuel efficiency associated with modern-day bus seating solutions. In this installment, BUSRide spotlights the science behind seating design with a contribution by Kiel North America, Elkhart, IN. Kiel explains why the seat is an important connection between customer and transportation provider. Furthermore, the company highlights the reasons why contemporary design is best along with key benefits that well-designed seats can provide for bus builders and operators.
BUSRIDE | DECEMBER . 2015
THE SCIENCE BEHIND THE SEAT
The science of style and design By Jürgen Mill Whether it’s a blind date or a job interview, everyone knows that first impressions count. Within the blink of an eye, or one-tenth of a second as research confirms, we subconsciously evaluate a situation and our reactions are greatly based on those judgments—and entering a city bus or motorcoach for the first time is no exception. Before they even sit down, passengers will have decided if the environment is comfortable and inviting, if it makes them feel safe and relaxed. A seat is, as much as we as industry professionals like to extol the safety features or fuel economy of a vehicle, really and truthfully the only aspect of a vehicle that thousands of riders a day will interact with and form a qualified opinion about. The seat as connection to the customer The seat is the part that makes everyone, from bus builder to passenger, an expert – whether they are sitting down just a few minutes during a daily commute or spending many hours traveling in a motorcoach seat. The design of a seat is the connection where all stakeholders come together and where, ideally, ideas and input flow both directions. Just how important the expert opinions of passengers are, is reflected by the fact that many transit systems will launch a survey or use feedback from social media during pilot phases on how riders feel about items like color of the seats, the texture of the cover material, and their overall comfort level to make adjustments if necessary before overhauling or replacing the entire fleet. This is exactly why Kiel has been collaborating with professional designers for many decades who feel that their responsibility is to be the “representative” of the passenger and ensure that technology follows design in order to create a seat that optimally serves the intended purpose, rather than passengers having to compromise their comfort levels adapting to the seat. Contemporary and timeless The challenge is to make a seat’s design as modern, inviting and functional today as well as for 10 or 15 years down the road. Granted, colors and materials that we perceive as trendy now will change over the years as general tastes fluctuate, so designing a seat that can be updated easily and inexpensively to remain modern and harmonious is a crucial advantage. Similarly, the seat’s style needs to appeal to riders from across all ages and backgrounds, and strike a democratic design balance so that, for example, older and younger passenger alike feel like the seat “gets them,” understands their needs and preferences and transports them in a better and more supportive way to where they need to go. In this sense, seats are almost part of an urban design or fashion that ignites the attention of trendsetters as much as getting the “approval” of more conservative minds. However, quality design and style speaks to more than just our visual senses, and again, long before the passenger sits down. Within the first few moments of embarking, riders will also be able to smell, hear and feel a seat’s design attributes. Even the smallest details are essential parts of a seat’s overall success.
1. Modular seating design that leaves plenty of room for customization: passengers judge a seat by its (leather) cover, as in this example with Arrow Stage Lines whose company logo is embossed on a metal plate in the upper seat back. Seat colors reflect the company colors. Copyright: Arrow Stage Lines. 2. Styling that invites the senses: all parts of the seat are equally important in creating a positive experience for the customer. Details like rounded edges and the tactile feeling of grab handles and tables are an essential part of quality design. Copyright: Kiel North America. 3. First impressions count: whether it’s for a few minutes during the daily commute or for long distance travel, a clean and contemporary design makes it easy for passengers to embark on the (design) journey. Copyright: IndyGo.
For example, the tactile sensation of the fabric should be a pleasantly smooth and clean feeling. Sitting down or moving the seat or seat accessories, like armrests and tables, also needs to be as noiseless and effortless for the user as possible. Edges and outlines should feel organic to the seat’s design and invite use through their rounded feel and general unobtrusiveness. Design benefits for bus builders and operators Not coincidentally, these are also features that operators value highly as they ensure that the seat is easy to clean, operate, and maintain for years to come. Lightweight seating design is not only an ideal boon to the fuel-economy of a vehicle or fleet, the streamlined silhouette is also a big plus for the ergonomics of the seat and the ease of operation, especially in the case of a slider seat that glides away effortlessly to accommodate passengers in wheelchairs. Bus builders, too, can work best and most efficiently if the design of the seat ensures an easy, time-saving installation process that works in a variety of different settings. Modular seating solutions have the advantage to adapt easily and effortlessly to fit customized needs while also being budget-conscious. For over 20 years, Kiel designers and engineers have worked closely together to create design-informed quality-engineered seating solutions that work so well because their function follows their smart, well thought-out form. Jürgen Mill is senior VP of engineering and R&D at the global headquarters of the Kiel Group. Kiel is a trendsetting seat provider to transit systems around the world including seating solutions fort buses and trains on the local, regional and intercity level. Visit www.kielna.com.
busride.com | BUSRIDE
The Future of Fare Collection BUSRide spoke with representatives from Genfare and Trapeze Group about the fare collection solutions and software available to transit agencies now and in the future The participants in this roundtable discussion were: Darren Dickson – president – Genfare David Kachemov – VP of ITS/AFC operations & development – Trapeze Group For the agencies, it’s a little difficult. The implementation of backend systems that support new technologies is proving time consuming and costly. Agencies need a method for faster implementation for multipayment in a quick and consistent manner. Riders need the ability to pay with whatever is in their pockets, whether it be cash, coin, token or mobile phone. David Kachemov: What is working is the ability to collect cash. Forms of ePayment are being used, which are mostly magnetic but switching over to smartcards and NFC-based payment. There are some troubles with magnetics – security and durability come to mind. Currently, most of the systems are closed-loop. That means that revenue information stays local to the bus until the end of the day. Where the industry wants to go – and where some of the bigger agencies are pushing it – is account-based revenue collection. From there, most agencies will want to head into open payments. A primary goal of major transit agencies is to get out of collecting cash and to rid themselves of the overhead costs of fare collection.
QR-codes present an incredibly secure and cost-effective way to manage fares.
Please provide an overview of the current fare collection market? What’s working? What could work better? Darren Dickson: I think there are a few viewpoints that I have as a relative newcomer to this industry. I see a market that’s a bit troubled by this overhanging limb of funding, which I think has been around a number of years. There’s some doubt and trepidation in the marketplace, but that’s really an underlying theme to the overarching theme. What I really see is the introduction of more and more technology to fare collection. That’s proving somewhat advantageous and also has its disadvantages. What’s working? The passenger is able to, in a lot of cases, broaden their options in terms of how they can pay for a fare. That’s really introducing different demographics into the market. The bus riders of today continue to change, there’s still a high population of historical transit users, but also a big influx of millennials and other users. Overpopulation is pushing a lot of people to non-automobile transportation. 28
BUSRIDE | DECEMBER . 2015
From the standpoint of the transit agency, how does what is available on the market today compare to five years ago? Ten years ago? Dickson: We’re in an interesting time, because some of the technology is already here to make multi-payment really simple. On the same hand, I don’t know if technology has evolved enough on the credit card spectrum to really make it as effective as it will be in a number of years. We’ve got existing technologies being applied to the transit market. It’s an interesting dynamic. Kachemov: All new fareboxes are called registering fareboxes – they keep statistics and information on ridership. Also, there’s the addition of ePayments (smartcards and mobile payments). The less agencies have to handle, the happier they are. These payments allow them to easily record data for internal use and for government reports. Given the success of ePayments, using a smartphone to pay fares is a major advance. The rider has the ability to manage his/her own purse from a phone. There’s no need to learn different operations – you use your phone, the interface you’re most comfortable with. Conversely, if you were to look 5 or 10 years into the future, what would fare collection look like for passenger and agency? Dickson: Fare collection of the future will be a technology that can seamlessly move between those different offerings and needs. busride.com
A broad technical evolution will influence the way that transit agencies handle fare collection, whether it’s on-board a bus, via Point of Sale devices, or at Ticket Vending Machines (TVMs).
Something that doesn’t get talked about much is this – what will transit agencies look like in the future? This is an interesting area – an area where transit agencies will have opportunities to move passengers in way different from tradition. Agencies will move more toward a consumption-based technology platform – where they almost pay as they go. That’s a model that we’re working toward. I could be totally wrong, but a consumption-based model is how a lot of markets go when they’re facing situations close to transit. Agencies will become less experts in technology, and more experts in the moving of people. Kachemov: For the passenger, the industry will be pushing toward open payments. In essence, as everyone will have a smartphone, riders will be able to use them for payment. Another change is dependent on the federal government – if agencies were allowed to drop cash, they’d greatly reduce costs. The government could accomplish this by assigning debit accounts to America’s “unbanked” population. If that doesn’t happen in the next decade, you’ll see the agencies start to push for it.
What changes do you foresee in system integration in the future? Dickson: I’ve thought about this a great deal. In the short term, we’ll continue to see vertical integration of systems and componentry. On the other hand, we’ll see open architecture. Open architecture will be really dependent on the technology partners. They need to be concentrated on this niche if they’re to succeed. It will be interesting to see which providers dive into open architecture. There will be a split. Some vendors may play in both sides of that split – open architecture vs. vertical integration. The players’ ability to profit in that space will dictate how long they stay in that space. Kachemov: The agencies will definitely want to move toward generic interfaces, much like Europe (Germany in particular) has adopted. A common interface allows different vendors to integrate. Most companies, however, want to keep things the way they are in order to sell products. Some of the companies, we’ll see, are more interested in providing services and not equipment. So there’ll be a push to have standardized fare equipment across America’s transit agencies. busride.com | BUSRIDE
Transportation Center Design THE FUTURE OF TRANSIT CENTER DESIGN By Don Gray When asked to write on the future of terminal design, I found the challenge daunting as well as thought provoking. When I am designing, my goal is to design a building that is both functional for and attractive to future generations. To design a building whose function must adapt to a rapidly evolving world, designed with new, smarter technology is even more challenging. A transit center must adapt to an evolving population of travelers, the vehicles that transport them, new fuels, maintenance needs, real-time communication technologies, geographic impacts and more. I reached out to several transit design experts on my staff and here is what I heard: What are the biggest challenges in designing a facility? When designing a transit facility our goal is to design a building that can physically last for 50 years before needing major renovations. However, anticipating the potential program changes in transit vehicles and user requirements is a significant challenge for the designer. With the rate of technological advancement, designing 50 years in the future is an almost impossible task. In addition to technological changes, it is also important to understand that transit riders now want a very personalized experience. Two examples of which are the Heathrow Pod and Morgantown Personal Rapid Transit (PRT). These driverless vehicles provide an intimate mode of transportation. Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) is also changing the look of transit, leading to smaller but more frequent transit stations providing a faster, more frequent service for the rider. These alternate modes of transit are differentiated from the typical fixed route bus system that is currently determining transit facilities. Trying to provide flexibility for all the new future modes will prove to be the biggest challenge in the future. Sean Beachy, architect What design considerations do you find exciting to contemplate? The design of a future intermodal facility is less about the passenger waiting and more about the passenger experience. I think you will see these facilities become more like an airport with shops, retail, restaurants – places that people want to use as well as it being a multimodal center. The large, static passenger waiting areas of the past do not serve people well – it needs to be active, vibrant, and useful while still providing waiting areas for transit users. For example, colleges would not have just a transfer station; it would be a transfer station, a student union, a coffee shop and more. In the deep inner cities, the station could house government functions providing social services. Ron Reekes, southeast regional manager 30
BUSRIDE | DECEMBER . 2015
From an architecture standpoint, the look of the transfer station is what is going to draw in people. For people to choose to ride transit – there must be appeal – aesthetics, amenities, ease of use and helpful technologies. Safety, security, and atmosphere are incredibly important, but ultimately people have to know stops exist where they want to go. Jeana Stright, architect What is happening right now? The future, in a word, is flexibility. Dealing with the next generation of vehicles and vehicle types. The intermodal facility of tomorrow will accommodate many more modes than we have right now. Intermodals of the future will need to facilitate other modes such as heavy, light and commuter rail, and even high-speed rail, while remaining pedestrian friendly, accommodating significant bicycle use, and rideshare connectivity. David Duchscherer, PE How will new fueling options affect transit center design? There is an accelerating trend for electricity to be the prime energy source. The impact on transportation terminals will be hubs for generator power (solar, wind, pavement motion, dynamic thermal change) for on-site consumption and for export to utilities. Potential exists to provide charging for large and small vehicles including fixedroute buses, paratransit vehicles, private cars, bikes and trikes, and commercial vehicles. Phil Muse, architect In addition to electric fueling, hybrid, CNG and ultimately hydrogen fueled buses will certainly factor into the mix. The variety of future fueling possibilities will require more flexibility and foresight in the design of transportation terminals to allow for a mix of fuel usage at the same terminal. John Havrilla, director of alternative fueling services What are some of the trends and technologies you see influencing the future of transit center design? Generational and social trends will greatly influence the future of transit center design. One of the more intriguing current trends is how the millennial generation prefers to take transit because it is sustainable and elevates their quality of life by increasing their social interaction in person and through technology. Since each generation has its own unique characteristics and expectations, it will be interesting to see what future generations expect in the way of mobility and travel. Keeping in step with those expectations and desires will be key in designing future transit centers they will want to use. So what does all this mean? The transit center of the future will be a living, social organism that will be technology-based and need to have ultimate flexibility as it grows, evolves, and morphs, much like people do. It will be expected to enhance our quality of life through sustainable principles as transportation systems and vehicles get us to where we need to go. The possibilities are exciting to contemplate! Donald Gray, AIA, LEED AP, vice president of Wendel’s Public Transportation Group. Like many people who grew up relying on public transportation, Don is inspired to use his architectural background to help provide truly workable transportation facilities. You can reach Don at firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information about Wendel, visit wendelcompanies.com
SECURITY & SURVEILLANCE
BODY-WORN CAMERAS: TRANSIT POLICING’S NEWEST TOOL By Colin Smith
Body-worn cameras (BWCs) are fueling a nationwide reassessment of the United States’ policing practices. Considering several positive case studies, endorsements by the federal government, and the public’s demand for transparency in community policing, BWCs have gained credibility in a very short period of time. And it is not an overstatement to predict the continued existence of this market and growth beyond its current borders. Considering the benefits to be had from the use of BWCs in community policing, a pertinent question arises – might BWCs produce the same results in transit policing? History Law enforcement-specific body worn cameras were first tested in Denmark during the early to mid 2000’s, and the U.K. was the first country to widely adopt the cameras, having first tested them in 2005. American companies began manufacturing the devices as early as 2008; however, their visibility in the U.S. market remained low until 2014. The shooting of Michael Brown launched BWCs into the spotlight with the conversation circling around what could have been captured on video had the officer been wearing one of these devices. Since that time, BWCs have proven themselves as objective, fact-based observers. While there are yet unresolved policy issues, reductions in false complaints against officers and decreases in the need for officers to use force have resulted in monetary savings that grossly outweigh initial outlays. Functionality Body-worn cameras are wearable devices that record and store audio, video, and meta-data files captured from a first person point of view. Features of different venders vary, but, for example, Safety Vision’s Prima Facie® BWC captures video in full high definition resolution (1920 x 1080), utilizes infrared illuminators to ensure visibility in poor lighting conditions, and is resistant to liquid or dust particles. BWCs exhibit various levels of security, but it is certain that police require non-removable memory and user-defined access to uploaded files, each eliminating the possibility of evidence tampering. Stationary cameras exhibiting these same qualities have been used on or around public modes of transportation for years; however, their ability to capture events is restricted by limited fields of view and object obstructions. By placing a camera on the body of an officer, a first-person point of view is achieved, offering substantial benefits beyond those of stationary cameras. Transit police Transit police retain either full policing powers or are restricted to limited powers, and their existence is normal in regions with sufficient public transportation infrastructure to require their presence. Examples in Texas include Houston’s METRO Police and Dallas’ DART Police. And although transit police have jurisdiction over a comparatively narrow purview, the situations they face mirror those of their community policing counterparts. An internet search for news headlines lends credibility to this assertion: “Metro Transit Police Officer honored for saving woman’s life,” “D.C. man accused of
punching Metro transit police officer,” and “Police arrest man after video shows him beating man in MBTA station.” These headlines are just a sample of those found within the month of October 2015. Deployment Major transit agencies such as the Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART) and the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority (SEPTA) have or are in the midst of using BWCs. As well, the Niagara Frontier Transportation Authority (NFTA) currently outfits its officers with Safety Vision’s Prima Facie. The NFTA oversees public transportation in both Erie and Niagara Counties in New York State as well as a few other subsidiaries. The NFTA found BWCs reduce citizen complaints and can, in many cases, diffuse an escalating situation when the officer indicates the interaction is being recorded. Once more, the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) showed its support of BWCs by releasing the working paper Technical Recommended Practice for Body worn camera systems for Safety Vision’s Prima Facie® use by transit operators and public safety body-worn camera exhibits a officers (2014). In it, best practices 2-inch LCD screen on the back are established for a BWC program, of the device, allowing officers to instantly review captured audio including: ideal system design, and video files while in the field. system and component selection, and deployment and conformance. Conclusion Body-worn cameras are quickly becoming the newest tool in the police officer’s toolkit. Their efficacy has largely been proven in community policing, suggesting transit police officers will encounter the same success. And while transit police are restricted to comparatively smaller jurisdictions than their community policing counterparts, they encounter similar situations requiring equally effective equipment. Several major transit agencies have begun using the devices, including BART, SEPTA and NFTA, and APTA has recognized their potential. However, current adoption rates are low. We began by asking the question – might BWCs produce the same results in transit policing that they have in the community? Considering the evidence, the answer is surprisingly clear – yes. Colin Smith, M.P.A., is the Marketing Manager for Safety Vision, LLC, a pioneer in mobile video surveillance systems. Safety Vision prides itself on its institutional knowledge. Visit Safety Vision at www.safetyvision.com. For a complete set of references please visit: http://bit.ly/1IwdQCu.
busride.com | BUSRIDE
THE INTERNATIONAL REPORT
BIGGEST AND BEST BUSWORLD The biennial Busworld exhibition held in Kortrijk, Belgium, in October included 411 exhibitors spread over 10 halls, and featured nearly 50 vehicle manufacturers. The record attendance of just under 35,000 visitors from more than 100 countries equalled nearly half the population of Kortrijk. By Doug Jack New innovations Irizar — The Spanish OEM launched its i8, a top-of-the-range coach to replace its long running PB, one of the outstanding coach designs of this century. Less than 10 years ago Irizar was a traditional builder of coachwork on a wide variety of chassis in its native Spain and in its factories in Brazil, Mexico and Morocco. The company was aware that some of its chassis partners were more interested in promoting complete integral products and therefore took the brave decision to design and develop its own integral range. The first product was the i6, built to a lower overall height than the i8, but still a very attractive and well-equipped coach with a DAF (Paccar) engine. The company gradually introduced the i6 into select European markets to minimize friction with the chassis manufacturers, especially in the important Spanish market where Irizar held more than 40-percent market share. According to Gotzon Gomes, export sales director, Irizar will launch an i6 model tailored to North American markets at UMA Motorcoach EXPO in January. The standard European design has been extensively modified to meet the requirements, which includes an 8-foot, 6-inch overall width, a full flat interior floor, a floor level washroom, and an all-American drivetrain. Van Hool — Filip Van Hool, CEO of the family-owned Belgium coachbuilder, proudly introduced the EX coach range, built in its facility in Macedonia, where it has already built more than 600 CX models for North America, while producing its TX models in Belgium. Van Hool claims leadership in the U.S. coach market, including further deliveries of TDX25 Astromega double-decker coaches. Volvo — At Volvo’s busy booth, the emphasis was on the latest all-electric full low-floor city bus that relies on overhead gantries at each end of the route for regular fast charging. Different than the previous prototype, this 40-feet model with three double width doors will go into volume production in 2017. Another new product from Volvo is the Volvo Dynamic Steering (VDS) system, which uses an electrically operated motor mounted on the steering column and works in conjunction with the hydraulic power steering. Those who test drove the system said it substantially improved directional stability and made the coach very easy to steer at low speeds. TEMSA — The Turkish caochbuilder offers an extensive range of medium and full size coaches in Europe. One new model is the MD7, a 25-foot, 4-inch, 33-seat midicoach. At the other end of the range, the Maraton is a high floor model nearly 13 feet in height and powered by a DAF (Paccar) engine. More double deck coaches Following deregulation of the large French and German markets, there is a growing market in Europe for double deck coaches for express services. Van Hool says it will build more than 270 double deck coaches this year and Setra is not far behind. Neoplan launched the latest version of the Skyliner, now built in its large factory in Ankara, Turkey. Attractively styled with its massive one-piece windshield, the Volvo VDL Futura FDD is a totally new double deck model built to an overall length of just over 46 feet. The interior is light 32
BUSRIDE | DECEMBER . 2015
THE INTERNATIONAL REPORT
The new Van Hool EX, built in Macedonia.
TEMSA sprang a surprise with the new Maraton high deck coach.
and airy, with ample headroom on both decks and clever use of every available space for luggage. Karsan — The innovative Turkish manufacturer showed small and medium sized vehicles, and says it would like to enter the US market with its 19-foot Jest. This neat minibus features a front-wheel drive Fiat power train pack with much of the floor only one step above the ground. Karsan sees an opportunity for paratransit and community type services for the Jest because it can easily carry passengers in wheelchairs and other people with disabilities; and small enough to negotiate residential areas and narrow streets. BYD — Its prominent stand included the first all-electric double deck bus, shown in traditional red for one of the London contractors. All the batteries are stored at the rear of the lower deck, giving a range of around 150 miles on normal daily service. The bus is rather heavy at 13.7 tons unladen, but the European Union has said it will increase maximum permitted gross weights for buses and coaches to 19.5 tons on two axles. The other BYD exhibit was an attractively styled 60-foot low floor articulated bus. Busworld Kortrijk coincided with a state visit by President Xi Jinping of China to the United Kingdom. During that visit, BYD and Alexander Dennis signed an agreement to build up to 200 BYD all-electric chassis with Alexander bodywork per annum for ten years, principally for the UK market. This contract was valued at around $1 billion, but there was the potential to extend it to double deck buses, taking the value to around $3 billion. The growing interest in all-electric buses — This is likely to accelerate when the World Climate Change Conference convenes in Paris in November. Several other all-electric buses were in the exhibition, including Chinese and European models.
Scania and MAN — There was some interesting speculation during Busworld concerning Scania and MAN, both members of the Volkswagen Truck and Bus Group. Following the admission by Volkswagen that it fitted defeat devices on around 12 million cars, there will not only be heavy rectification costs, but almost certainly substantial penalties and probably class actions from owners who feel that their vehicles have been devalued. That in turn led to speculation that if Volkswagen needs to raise more funds in a hurry it might be forced to divest either the Porsche luxury car division, or Scania, whose previous Swedish investors have already expressed interest in buying back the company if it became available. Both companies showed new interurban models with the main floor about 2-feet, 9-inches above ground. Scania offered the Interlink, fuelled by compressed natural gas, while MAN introduced its Intercity. Iveco Bus — CNH Industrial, won the coveted International Coach of the Year 2016 trophy with its Iveco Magelys after extensive trials of six competing vehicles by leading trade journalists from 22 European countries. While not the most expensive vehicle, the Iveco Magelys impressed the judges with its overall comfort and potential for a long operating life, as the total Cost of Ownership is a very popular measurement of buses and coaches over here. The coach has a number of attractive features, The world premiere of the gas-fueled including glass panelling Mercedes-Benz Citaro. let into each side of the roof, giving increased visibility, especially for passengers sitting adjacent to the gangway. It also has a wheelchair lift that enabled the passenger to ride in a space normally occupied by a table. Mercedes-Benz — As usual at Busworld, a wide variety of small buses and coaches were on exhibit, many converted from popular Mercedes-Benz and Iveco panel vans. One of the most interesting was a converted Mercedes-Benz Sprinter by Altas Commercial Transport of Lithuania who to an intelligent plug-in hybrid vehicle with much of the floor only one step above ground. King Long — The Chinese company showed a very advanced low floor bus with plug-in hybrid electric drive that could operate in series or parallel drive or in full electric mode, depending on the operating conditions. King Long said that the system was in use in around 3,000 buses in China. There is some demand, mainly political, for city buses fueled by compressed natural gas (CNG). Mercedes-Benz reckons the Western European market is around 1,000 units per annum. The company’s previous CNG engine was a heavy old 12-liter unit, but Busworld staged the launch of a new lighter 7.7-liter gas engine in the Citaro NGT city bus. The new engine, combined with new lightweight gas tanks at roof level means that the increase in weight is less than half a ton compared with the equivalent diesel model. Compared with the exhibition of two years ago, this Busworld Kortrijk brought a feeling of greater optimism in the industry, which the greater number of visitors and exhibitors reflected. Doug Jack is with Transport Resources in the United Kingdom.
busride.com | BUSRIDE
TransIT From the Office of Performance Analysis – Transit Performance Measurement (TPM) by Mary Sue O’Melia Judging from activity by the Federal Transit Administration (FTA), various State Departments of Transportation and Regional/ Metropolitan Transportation Planning Organizations, as well as individual transit agencies, the focus of the transportation industry is narrowing in on performance measurement. Following the American Public Transportation Association (APTA) Annual Conference, the buzz on Transit Performance Measurement (TPM) continues. APTA Performance Subcommittee In October during APTA’s Annual Conference in San Francisco, CA, a new subcommittee met for the first time to address this topic specifically. Co-chairs Andrea Burnside, chief performance officer, WMATA, and Trish Hendren, principal, Spy Pond Partners, lead discussions on what issues and work this new subcommittee should undertake. The subcommittee members offered comments on issues involved in key performance measurement that included: • Integrating key performance indicators (KPI), targets, business plans and quarterly board reporting • Peer comparisons and establishing reasonable performance targets • Data quality and ease of use – why incidents are happening; causes and conditions • Scalability – use of KPIs for large, medium and small operators • Data definitions and standardization of measures (e.g., on time schedule adherence) • Integration of technology and data from multiple vendors and/or agencies within an area • Use of KPIs and performance measurement to be a voice for transit • Defining performance measures at different levels within an organization • Coaching, training, and skill development for a performancebased organization Following introductions, members broke into small groups to develop a short list of priority topics for the subcommittee to address. With their suggestions posted on the wall, all who attended this subcommittee meeting were given yellow stickers to mark the issues they deemed to be of greatest concern; ones the subcommittee should address. While there was some mention of MAP21, it was not the primary focus of those attending the subcommittee meeting. How to use performance measurement data In light of the discussion and reporting structure surrounding MAP21, new reporting requirements have been proposed that place keener focus on the impact the general condition of assets has on safety. The focus now is on how organizations such transit agencies, MPOs, State DOTs, the FTA and FHWA will interpret and apply this asset information to make more informed decisions on the allocation of grant funds. Knowing the costs involved with keeping public transit systems safe and in a state of good repair is of tremendous value in the lobbying 34
BUSRIDE | DECEMBER . 2015
effort for public funding. For funding agencies to be capable of more precisely documenting measurable impacts of funds spent is an appropriate oversight function. Perhaps MAP21 is as simple as these two objectives. With that said, it seems most of the focus is on new forms and reporting requirements. Complex methods are being devised to help make decisions on the allocation of funds in order to meet MAP21 objectives. It is possible to make the program overly complex in an attempt to entice transportation management and decision-makers to invest in safety and keep their assets in a state of good repair. The APTA subcommittee is not jumping on this bandwagon. Besides, another APTA committee is tasked with all things MAP21. The emphasis from this subcommittee is on Performance Measurement to support operational decisions and service planning — according to most of the comments during the discussion and the yellow stickers on the wall. Within an organization, attention is being given to “actionable” performance measurement – what should the organizational unit be concentrating on for improvement; what it must know to determine if a particular area needs improving. Oversight and funding agencies were particularly interested in determining which agencies require help in defining, collecting and reporting performance statistics before they can begin addressing the key performance issues. The optimum process would be to first identify what comprises good performance and then provide enough information to develop a more sound strategy for improvement. Once an agency or company has taken the proper action the next step is to collect timely information to determine if the actions taken were indeed effective. The transit industry is certainly not interested in achieving measureable performance improvements that result in cost savings only to have their share of grant funds reduced as a result. The agency that capable of producing such cost savings should at least be permitted to share in the results. Office of Performance Analysis – or something like that The concept of an organizational unit that targets performance appears to be gaining popularity (e.g., WMATA, UTA, and NYTA). This makes perfect sense for larger agencies, particularly when the linedepartments do not necessarily have staff with data analysis duties. The idea also appeals to mid-size transit agencies grappling with the issue of data integrity and timeliness for monthly and quarterly reporting of key performance indicators (KPIs). Receiving timely KPI information is only the start. The real challenge is to come up with and then implement and sustain viable action plans that clearly improve performance. Who in any organization has enough extra time, large enough staff, experience and resources for this? Yet, trying to measure performance with the intent to actually influence the outcome is all but impossible without these requisite conditions and resources. An alternative approach is to designate staff within each organizational unit (e.g., department, division, office) to work together as a team to assemble and review monthly KPIs and then work within their assigned group to identify improvement strategies. Performance is reported up the ladder to the executive and board levels), across departments and down to enlist support of line managers. In sports, the team cannot win the game if it doesn’t don’t know the score. This same principal applies to agencies attempting to improve performance. Mary Sue O’Melia is president of TransTrack Systems®, Inc., a business intelligence solution that transforms volumes of data into meaningful information for transportation managers and executives to use in planning, strategizing and ensuring optimal performance. Visit TransTrack Systems® at: www.transtrack.net
OUR REPUTATION FOR SERVICE IS FUELED BY EXPERIENCE. Every Prevost coach is backed by a highly skilled service team that’s committed to keeping you productive and profitable. From our 24-hour emergency assistance to our coast-to-coast network of certified providers, we’re here with uptime support that’s unmatched in the industry. www.prevostcar.com
Finally, a 35-Foot Mid-Size that Looks and Feels Like a 45-Foot Coach
Can You Tell the Difference? Closely modeled after the Van Hool CX45, the new CX35 answers the demand for a smaller mid-size coach in the marketplace without sacrificing comfort, luggage capacity or headroom.