FEBRUARY | 2014
Setra opens new doors
Laughlin says “thank you” p14 Prevost celebrates 90 years p24 FMCSA cracks down p33
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WE’RE THE RIGHT FIT
If there’s one thing that doesn’t sit right with a motorcoach owner, it’s having more bus than you need. That’s why Temsa motorcoaches are such a smart choice. Coach sizes in 30, 35 and 45 feet mean more full buses more often—just what your business needs to turn a comfortable proﬁt. Best-in-class ride and powerful, efﬁcient engines come standard, too. Call CH Bus Sales today and reserve the Temsa motorcoach that’s just the right size for your business. www.chbussales.com
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FEBRUARY 2014 CONTENTS
Cover Story Setra opens new doors
MCI unveils a European second door and the latest hospitality features available on the 2014 Setra TopClass S 417 By David Hubbard
Features Just do it! … one step at a time
A classic book, a sign and persistence set the stage for Sander Kaplan and A. Candies Coachworks By David Hubbard
Prevost celebrates its first 90 years
Innovations and industry firsts span nearly a century from Eugene Prevost to Volvo; wooden church pews to luxurious coaches in the digital age
LoNo makes it easier being green
Filmmakers hop the bus to Marketplace
Tech-savvy bus buffs document their Trailways excursion to Nashville
Orange County’s 21st annual Stuff-A-Bus Event brings in record amount
FMCSA crackdown sends a message
DEPARTMENTS 8 UPDATE 12 Deliveries 12 People in the News 14 Tour Business 22 Transit Authority 34 Marketplace
COLUMNS 6 David Hubbard 27 THE INTERNATIONAL REPORT 4
By Doug Jack
BUSRIDE | FEBRUARY.2014
CARRYING THE INDUSTRY FORWARD FOR 90 YEARS AND COUNTING.
In 1924, Eugene Prevost, a carpenter by trade, built the first wooden motorcoach body. Today, the Prevost name is synonymous with dependability, performance, and craftsmanship. Though much has changed in regard to the materials, designs, and manufacturing processes used to create Prevost motorcoaches, our long-standing commitment to building and servicing quality vehicles remains the same. We are looking forward to many more decades of leading the industry with innovation and providing safe, comfortable, and memorable journeys for all of your passengers.
For more information: USA 336-393-3929 Canada 418-883-3391 www.prevostcar.com
FROM THE EDITOR
Is the U.S. overlooking Canadian spending power? United States Rep. Albio Sires (D-NJ) has introduced HR 3768; the Promoting Tourism to Enhance our Economy Act, which he believes will encourage Canadian travelers to continue coming south and spending money in the U.S. Maybe I have been asleep under a bus, but it never occurred to me that this is an issue in need of Congress. Nonetheless, maybe everyone needs this wakeup call. Sires’ bill actually serves to amend the Immigration and Nationality Act to allow Homeland Security to admit Canadian residents over 55 who own, lease or rent homes in the U.S. for extended stays of up to 240 days. Our guests will not seek employment nor apply for benefits under U.S. law. Their job is simply to show up, relax and boost the economy. Jim Byers, a travel writer for the Toronto Star and star. com, sees merit in this. While it bodes well for Sires’ home state, he thinks it’s a move good for the rest of the country. Byers gives a shout out to New York City for actively pursuing this most obvious travel market, contending that not all American cities are as savvy. “It has often seemed to me that Americans forget about the impact Canadians have on their economy when it comes to tourism and travel,” Byers writes. “We’re easily their biggest market.” On the same hand he is as critical of Canadian tourism “for forgetting about the impact of Americans on our travel and tourism industry.” He adds that he’s not just railing against the U.S. But he does note that Canadian tourists accounted for more than a third of all foreign visits to U.S. destinations in 2013, amounting to just under $24 billion in spending. “All the more reason for Americans not to forget about their neighbors to the north.” Sires and Byers are betting on HR 3768 easing the path for a greater number of Canadians wanting to enjoy tourism in the U.S. for longer periods of time. Unfortunately, given the state of the U.S. Congress these days, the odds stand at 1 percent at getting past committee and zero chance of being enacted.
Publisher / Editor in Chief Steve Kane email@example.com Group Publisher Sali T. Williams firstname.lastname@example.org Executive Editor David Hubbard email@example.com Editor Richard Tackett firstname.lastname@example.org Art Director Stephen Gamble email@example.com Production Coordinator Kevin Dixon firstname.lastname@example.org Accountant Fred Valdez email@example.com Contributing Writers Doug Jack, Matthew A. Daecher, Christopher Ferrone
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BUSRIDE | FEBRUARY.2014
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UPDATE American shops are increasingly burdened by an aging fleet of in-ground piston lifts that simply have exhausted their usable life,” DellAmore said. In response, Stertil-Koni recently introduced Diamond Lift. The new lift’s piston rods are hard-chrome plated for maximum protection against corrosion and wear and Diamond Lift, which has a total lifting capacity of up to 96,000 lbs., utilizes biodegradable oil. Further, the upper portion of the steel containment is hot galvanized, which provides corrosion resistance at floor level and ensures proper interlock with the foundation. In addition, the containments are coated internally and externally with DiamondGuard, safeguarding against corrosion and electrolysis while simultaneously prohibiting hazardous shop fluids from entering the environment.
Rochester-Genesee, NY, exercises option for 19 New Flyer Xcelsior® transit buses
Demand for eco-friendly vehicle lifts to soar in 2014 according to analysis from Stertil-Koni As pressure mounts on fleet maintenance and service shops throughout North America to address new and more stringent environmental requirements, 2014 is shaping up to be the year of the “green lift” according to heavy-duty lift manufacturer Stertil-Koni. “As municipalities, trucking companies and bus lines strive to contain costs, enhance efficiency and address environmental mandates, an increasing number are going “green” – an approach that can benefit both the environment and the bottom line,” said Stertil-Koni President Dr. Jean DellAmore. “What’s more, the opportunity to go green and reduce costs extends beyond the realm of vehicles driven and structures to house them all the way to the equipment used to service them.” Stertil-Koni’s market analysis shows that customers of all types and sizes will increasingly require eco-friendly vehicle lifts in 2014. Further, the demand for green lifts will encompass a broad array of lifting systems. “For example, our research shows that many North 8
BUSRIDE | FEBRUARY.2014
New Flyer Industries Inc., a leading manufacturer of heavy-duty transit buses in the United States and Canada, announced that Rochester-Genesee Regional Transportation Authority (RGRTA) has exercised options for 19 40-foot clean diesel powered Xcelsior® buses. These 19 option buses are exercised options from a 5-year contract. Once these options are exercised, 77 options remain under this contract and are included in New Flyer’s backlog. Since 1999, New Flyer has delivered 126 buses to RGRTA in both 40-foot and 60-foot lengths. RGRTA has 405 active buses in their fleet providing services to various local counties and supporting a ridership of more than 18 million annually. These 19 new buses will be used to replace older buses in RGRTA’s fleet that have reached the end of their lifespan. “New Flyer is pleased to continue building buses for Rochester-Genesee Regional Transportation Authority,” said Paul Soubry, New Flyer’s president and chief executive officer. “We appreciate RGRTA’s dedication to providing their customers with a safe, reliable and comfortable ride and are confident that these commitments will be met with our world class Xcelsior model.” The 19 buses are currently in production and will be delivered in the first quarter of 2014.
Proterra named to Global Cleantech 100 Proterra Inc., a leading provider of zero-emission battery electric transit solutions, was recently named to the Global Cleantech 100 list, which highlights the promise of private clean technology companies from around the world. Proterra is the only bus manufacturer to make the 2013 list. “Being named to the Global Cleantech 100 is indicative of Proterra’s commitment to innovative, clean technology,” said Garrett Mikita, president and chief executive officer at Proterra Inc. “We are honored to be considered among the companies the industry believes will make the most significant market impact over the next 10 years.” Proterra is currently the only battery-electric bus in revenue service anywhere in the United States, with operations in seven cities. Additionally, Proterra has recently announced several new sales, with three recent orders to transit systems coming from repeat customers—a major vote of confidence in the company’s technology and the buses’ performance.
granted GAZ Group and Scania Rus the status of official “Sochi 2014 Games Supplier” for the “Bus” category and GAZ, indeed, already possesses a long heritage as collaborator on the Olympic Games, having first gained earned their reputation as a leading, award-winning and reliable supplier during the 1980 Moscow Olympic Games. Being named as official supplier reinforces the company’s reputation as a leader in the domestic automotive market and attests to its continued excellence in practice and trust earned.
Third generation of the Birnie family joins company
The Sochi 2014 Olympic Organizing Committee has granted GAZ Group and Scania Rus the status of official “Sochi 2014 Games Supplier.”
GAZ Group buses ready for the XXII Olympic Winter Games GAZ Group has produced 709 GOLAZ (including 227 special vehicles for disabled and wheelchair passengers) and 30 LiAZ buses for the transportation of visitors and athletes of the XXII Olympic Winter Games in Sochi. The buses were tested on the Olympic Game routes in Sochi and the test results were taken as a reference point for consumer properties and development of the Olympic routes. In 2011, the Sochi 2014 Olympic Organizing Committee has
Kait Birnie, third generation of the Birnie Family, has joined Birnie Bus Service, Inc., Rome, NY. Kait is the first member of the third generation of Birnies to join the family business. She has nearly four years of experience in corporate America. Having lived in New York City over the past four years, she brings sales Kait Birnie and marketing experience from Madison Square Garden and the retail executive recruiting firm Berglass + Associates. She’ll be working on operational support and business development for the company. In February, Kait will be attending the annual United Motorcoach Association conference in Los Angeles, CA, as well the annual Trailways Conference in Destin, FL.
busride.com | BUSRIDE
Finding transit tokens is easy at www.tokensdirect.com.
New TokensDirect website makes it easy to find transit tokens online TokensDirect recently launched a new, user-friendly website which includes full-color, high-resolution images of custom and stock tokens, and includes 115 new designs. Viewers can sort by token type/usage, size, and materials of construction, making it easier and faster than ever before to find the desired product. This new website, which can be viewed at www.tokensdirect. com, includes a Spanish translation and secure online sales at factory direct pricing. “Every change that was implemented – including the addition of photos of custom and stock tokens rather than line drawings – came directly from customer requests” said TokensDirect Marketing Manager David Blumenfeld. “We’re trying to simplify the process of finding the right token for a particular application. Initial customer response has been very favorable.” TokensDirect, a division of Osborne Coinage Co, offers a full line of tokens through their online store with factory direct pricing, low minimum order quantities and fast turnaround time on all orders. Over 250,000 tokens in a variety of designs and sizes are available for immediate shipment
women and men in the field to be able to look up and see women in leadership roles. Workforce development strategies that advance women help grow a more gender-diverse industry and close the growing gap between the thousands of jobs that will be open in transportation over the next several years and the number of qualified professionals to fill them.” In addition to Trottenberg’s experience in the public sector on both the federal and local levels and her accomplishments as a policy expert, she is also a member Polly Trottenberg at the WTS Transportation Policy Symposium, 2013, of WTS International, where Washington, D.C. she has served in key roles on strategic committees, the WTS Executive Women’s Roundtable, and as a speaker at the organization’s international annual conference. “She’s a role model for transportation professionals both within and outside the field,” Ferranto said.
UMA Motorcoach EXPO 2014 at Travel Exchange takes place this year in Los Angeles, CA, February 16–20.
WTS congratulates Mayor de Blasio on Trottenberg appointment
Travel Exchange numbers are up; travel agents welcome
WTS International, the association for the global advancement of women in transportation, congratulated Bill de Blasio, New York City’s new mayor, on his choice of Polly Trottenberg for DOT Commissioner. Trottenberg replaces another woman leader in transportation, Janette Sadik-Khan. “WTS recognizes Mayor de Blasio’s decision to appoint another woman to NYC’s Transportation Commissioner post,” said Marcia Ferranto, president and CEO of WTS International. “Appointments such as these impact the future of the industry as they help attract more women to the transportation field and leadership roles in the public sector. It’s important for young
The National Tour Association (NTA), Lexington, KY, reports that more buyers will head to its annual Travel Exchange this year in Los Angeles, CA, Feb. 16–20, staged for the second time with the United Motorcoach Association (UMA) Motorcoach EXPO 2014. NTA says by early January, the number of registrations by tour companies had already surpassed that of Travel Exchange 2013. This year, NTA says it also is welcoming travel agents to Travel Exchange for the first time, giving them the opportunity to meet with tour operators and destination representatives. “We know that more buyers attracts more sellers, so the
BUSRIDE | FEBRUARY.2014
addition of travel agents— plus more operators—will make for a more robust business environment in Los Angeles,” said NTA Chairman and CEO Mark Hoffmann, CTP. “We can expect a West Coast windfall for our members at Travel Exchange.” In conjunction with the Travel Exchange business appointments, the educational focus is on niche markets, in which NTA will again host its popular leadership forums with experts and members sharing strategies for specific travel types that include adventure, faith and family travel. From these education seminars, NTA says its members gain insights on working with unique markets that include international travelers, sports travel, the LGBT community and agritourism. Other seminars advise on business strategies for marketing, media and management. NTA says its members can also benefit from the UMA educational sessions available to NTA members during UMA Motorcoach EXPO 2014 at Travel Exchange.
New York MTA’s MetroCard turns 20 Monday, January 6, marked the 20th anniversary of MetroCard’s introduction in two Downtown Manhattan subway stations - Whitehall St and Wall St. “You can’t think of New York City without thinking of the MetroCard,” said Carmen Bianco, president of MTA New York City Transit. “After two decades, it still serves millions of bus and subway riders daily offering a great transportation value. Of course, we are well on our way to developing the next generation of fare payment, part of our effort to upgrade and modernize the City’s mass transit system.” From initial installation, it took a little more than three years to outfit the city’s nearly 6,000 buses (including private lines at that time) and all 468 subway stations with MetroCard turnstiles and fare boxes. Transit ridership soared and commuting costs were virtually cut in half for tens of thousands of riders. The ridership jump was not unexpected and a new policy of free transfers drove NYC Transit to order 205 new buses and hire an additional 250 bus operators to handle the increase.
The total global gross value market for hybrid and pure electric vehicles will reach $334 billion within the decade, from a current value of $69 billion, forecast analysts IDTechEx. This will primarily consist of large or very heavy duty vehicles, neither of which is primarily bought on up-front price. The German long distance inter-city coach market has seen a massive 125 percent growth in services since its deregulation at the end of 2012, surpassing the Smart Move campaign’s target of doubling bus and coach use. The number of services soared from 86, mainly serving airports, to 194, with scheduled services connecting most German cities. The Chicago Transit Board approved a $23 million plan to rehabilitate and improve the accessibility of the Blue Line’s Illinois Medical District CTA station by making all three station entrances accessible to customers with disabilities and additional upgrades. The American Bus Association (ABA) announced the ABA Foundation Live Auction at Marketplace, January 12, in Nashville, TN. All attendees of the live auction will be entered into a special drawing for a $250 Visa Gift Card. A silent auction will end Wednesday, January 15. All proceeds from the auctions benefit the ABA Foundation and help fund their mission to support the group travel industry with research and scholarships. opening. In addition, each region will have the option to include carsharing and ridesharing information, along with any other transit agencies or systems that support open data. “As TransitScreen continues to grow, we are able to expand our service to more cities throughout North America,” said Ryan Croft, vice president, Business Development of TransitScreen. “These three cities were strategically chosen through demand from both the partnering transit agencies and clients. Each of these new regions support multimodal transportation, and the transit agencies provide open transit data. We are currently accepting applications for Regional Managers to handle sales and customer relations in each of the new regions we have expanded to, along with several of our current regions.” TransitScreen is now available in the Greater Washington, D.C. Area, the San Francisco Bay Area, Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, New York City, Portland, Seattle, Toronto and Vancouver.
TransitScreen digital signage now available in Atlanta, Minneapolis and Seattle TransitScreen officially announces the expansion of service to three new regions in North America. The TransitScreen service provides a live, real-time display of all transportation options at a specific location (including rail, subway, bus, train, bikeshare, and carshare). In Atlanta, TransitScreen will display real-time information for MARTA rail and bus services. In the Minneapolis region, Metro Transit bus, light rail and commuter rail and Nice Ride bike share will be displayed. In Seattle, King County Metro Transit bus and rail, Community Transit, Intercity Transit, Pierce Transit, Sound Transit and numerous other local agencies will be displayed, as well as Puget Sound Bike Share upon its 2014 busride.com | BUSRIDE
DELIVERIES Motor Coach Industries (MCI) added
New Flyer Industries added
PROTERRA, INC. added
NJ TRANSIT Newark, NJ
Phoenix Public Transit Dept. Phoenix, AZ
Transit Authority of River City Louisville, KY
NJ TRANSIT has awarded MCI a contract for 84 natural-gas-fueled Commuter Coaches with wheelchair lifts. The new CNG coaches will replace coaches that have each logged more than a half a million miles. Delivery will begin in late 2014. Over the last three decades, MCI has supplied more than 2,350 Commuter Coaches to NJ TRANSIT, which was one of the first agencies to use the coach to extend its reach into outlying cities and suburban areas to better serve the state’s commuter population.
The City of Phoenix Public Transit Department recently added 120 new 40foot New Flyer Xcelsior buses to provide service to Valley transit customers. The new vehicles will replace an equal number of buses that have reached retirement eligibility. The new buses will run on compressed natural gas (CNG) fuel. Older fleet vehicles run on either liquefied natural gas (LNG) or ultra-low sulfur diesel, allowing the department to maintain a mix of clean burning and alternative fuel types.
The Transit Authority of River City (TARC) recently ordered 10 batteryelectric buses and two charging stations from Proterra, Inc. The buses will be built at Proterra’s manufacturing facility in Greenville, S.C. in early 2014, with delivery expected later in the year. TARC’s current fleet of more than 220 buses and trolleys runs 41 routes in five counties in Kentucky and southern Indiana. The new buses will replace the agency’s Toonerville II Trolleys, which operate free of charge in downtown Louisville’s business district.
PEOPLE IN THE NEWS
Dana S. Gilman
Dana S. Gilman has joined J. J. Keller & Associates, Inc. as chief financial officer. She is replacing Roger Porath, who will be retiring in April after 37 years with the company. Gilman brings over 17 years of progressive experience in finance to J. J. Keller, including positions at Kimberly-Clark, Jarden Corp., and Miles Kimball Co. Most recently, she was the chief financial officer at Outlook Corp. Gilman will be the strategic and financial leader of J. J. Keller, accountable for the financial and risk management operations. Charles (Chad) T. Govin III has been promoted to vice president of Field Sales at J. J. Keller & Associates, Inc. During his 17 years of direct sales and management experience at J. J. Keller, he helped create and launch the company’s Driver Management Online™ service, and built its national accounts field sales program. Most recently, Govin served as senior drector of Field Sales.
Further strengthening its position as a leading provider of driving performance solutions that reduce collisions and improve fuel efficiency, SmartDrive Systems has named transit industry veteran Deborah Wathen Finn to its Board of Advisors. Wathen Finn has over 30 years of experience as a transportation industry executive and is the founder and president of The Wathen Group, where she provides strategic advisory services and leadership support for organizations focusing upon market positioning, capacity building and operational improvements. SmartDrive Systems also announced that Adam Kahn has joined its management team as senior director of Product Marketing. Kahn brings more than 20 years of transportation and logistics marketing experience to SmartDrive. Fifteen of those years were at Omnitracs, a Qualcomm company. Prior to Qualcomm, Kahn held positions at AlliedSignal/Bendix and Detroit Diesel. The City of Guelph announced the appointment of Phil Meagher to the position of general manager of Guelph Transit. Meagher has been serving as the acting general manager since early August. During this period, Meagher has demonstrated his skill and ability to lead Guelph Transit in an inclusive, collaborative manner that has been well received by staff at Transit and the organization as a whole.
Chad Govin 12
BUSRIDE | FEBRUARY.2014
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thank you! Motorcoach Appreciation Week welcomed operators by the hundreds
Refining, El Paso, TX; and CH Bus Sales/Temsa, Faribault, MN, stepped up as sponsors of the week of activities. The venue encompassed Laughlin’s major hotel resort casinos and lounges set along the Colorado River. “We want to say thanks for the ride to all of the hardworking motorcoach operators who sometimes feel underappreciated for the great service,” says Laughlin Town Manager Jackie Brady. “This industry, as a whole, routinely brings heaps of new business to the communities they visit.”
Photos by: Brian Jones/Las Vegas News Bureau.
The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA), Las Vegas, NV, put the word out: “Cheer up and come to Laughlin,” the invite read. Hundreds of motorcoach operators and industry leaders showed up. Held December 9-13 in conjunction with VisitLaughlin. com, the inaugural Laughlin Motorcoach Appreciation Week honored its special guests for the important role they have played in making this Colorado River resort community a premier tourist destination. LVCVA says it established this special event to give recognition and say thanks to the entire motorcoach industry for its impact on Laughlin tourism, as well as continued support and commitment. Motor Coach Industries, Des Plaines, IL; Western
BUSRIDE | FEBRUARY.2014
The week began with a presentation at the Inferno Lounge at Edgewater Hotel, where Clark County officially proclaimed and designated Dec. 9-13 as “Laughlin Motorcoach Appreciation Week.” Brady presented the proclamation to Peter Pantuso, president and CEO of the American Bus Association; Tom Giddens, president of the California Bus Association; Bronwyn Wilson, president of International Motorcoach Group; Lisa Simon, former president of the National Tour Association; Elaine Fickett, secretary, California Bus Association; and Victor Parra, president and CEO of the United Motorcoach Association. Following the proclamation, supporters lined Casino Drive for a special cruise that included 14 coaches, while onlookers displayed signs of support and greeted the buses and the drivers as they made their way down the parade route. Other special events during Motorcoach Appreciation Week included a scavenger hunt through the Laughlin Outlet Mall, a Bus Roadeo, live entertainment, a networking section, and outdoor and fitness activities. The Motorcoach Appreciation Awards banquet on Thursday evening honored employees of motorcoach companies in nearly a dozen categories, chosen through industry nominations that recognize achievements of successful motorcoach tour and travel operations. Several of the awards carry the name of an industry leader in that particular category. LVCVA says this is a first of its kind for destination-wide recognition.
Clifford Boyer and Marge Sheldon hold signs of support during the motorcoach cruise.
The venue encompassed Laughlin’s major hotel resort casinos and lounges.
Fourteen motorcoaches cruised down Casino Drive.
busride.com | BUSRIDE
MCI unveils a European second door and the latest hospitality features available on the 2014 Setra TopClass S 417 By David Hubbard
hrough its marketing and distribution of the Setra brand, Motor Coach Industries (MCI), Des Plaines, IL, is bolstering a coach travel concept to North America that European passengers have long taken for granted. The company is unveiling the latest in luxury interiors and hospitality features available as custom options for the 2014 Setra TopClass S 417.
A second door and stairwell mid-cabin allow passengers to board and disembark easily and quickly, and cleverly conceal the lavatory. As a result, the location of this second entrance also creates a separate VIP space in the rear of the cabin. The option of “Club Corner” lounge, hospitality galleys and seat pairs arranged around a center table make a perfect upscale space for on-the-road meetings and private entertaining. “The second stairwell and club corners make this model of the S 417 Setra unlike any other coach in North America today,” says Brent Maitland, MCI vice president, marketing and product planning. “These new options offer a level of luxury that affluent inbound European passengers are accustomed to and give operators new opportunities to set their service apart.” MCI is putting these innovative features front and center to showcase Setra’s long history in the European market as an innovator and leader in premium coaches. Along with the second stairwell and club corner, further choices for the Setra S 417 include the TopSky glass roof and rear window. 16
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Maitland says the ease of customization is among the most visible attributes of the Setra brand. MCI’s goal is to extend the same levels of luxury to operators and passengers in the U.S. and Canada. MCI says it is working closely with Setra, a brand under Daimler’s Evo Bus division based in Neu-Ulm, Germany, to bring much of the design and customization processes to U.S. and Canadian coach operators. Setra engineers and designers work closely with customers on an individual basis to craft configurations and amenities that showcase a company’s particular brand and level of service. “We want to make many of the best amenities Setra provides its European customers available to our clients,” Maitland says. “Whether it is a particular style and color of seat, or a package of features that really set their operation apart, MCI has the capability to make sure all customers get their wish.” Seat selection alone illustrates a unique level of customization for Setra. The company designs and constructs its own proprietary coach seating in a wealth of style options. The story goes that Setra once matched the seat color to a client’s favorite handbag. busride.com
A second door and stairwell mid-cabin allow passengers to board and disembark easily and quickly, and create the separate VIP space in the rear of the cabin.
Engineering and safety features Of course, with an extensive list of safety features, there is more to Setra than style. Innovative engineering is the heart of the brand, beginning with the proven and popular BlueTec engine technology and the signature self-supporting Setra structure. A collision guard behind the front bumper absorbs the force of an impact and helps to prevent collisions. The safety design of the driver platform allows rigid structures, including the steering column, to slide backward during a collision, giving more protection to the driver and allowing more time to gain control of the coach. Drivers encountering mountainous or hilly terrain will appreciate the combined engine and transmission retarder, as well as an integrated Jake brake. Knorr disc brakes come on all six wheels. Setra says these brakes are easier to inspect and service. The display on the driver instrument panel shows brake pad wear and replacement status. Maitland says a driver does not need to be negotiating a hairpin turn to see the value in automatic traction control, antilock braking or Setraâ€™s electric stability program.
The S 417 features front cornering lights that switch on with the turn signal. A light sensor turns on exterior lighting automatically, enabling the drivers to watch the road rather than the switches. Driver-activated automatic tire chains and automatic rain-sensor windshield wipers add additional safety in bad weather. The cockpit is designed to keep other potential distractions to a minimum as well, from the steering wheel-mounted audio-video controls to the handsfree flexible boom microphone. Sensors alert the fire detection and tire-pressure monitoring systems to detect problems before they become serious and compromise safety. The tire-pressure system also helps operators optimize fuel economy through proper tire inflation. Within the passenger cabin, while standard three-point seatbelts are perhaps the most obvious safety feature, the rear-facing lavatory design can also protect the occupant in the event of a collision. Premium service included In its distribution of Setra coaches, MCI says it is boosting its aftermarket support to offer Setra customers the same resources, busride.com | BUSRIDE
The rear-facing lavatory design can protect the occupant in the event of a collision.
talent and strengths that MCI operators have relied on for years. “A premium brand requires premium support,” Maitland says. “We’re very fortunate to be able to tap into the knowledge and experience of former Setra employees who are now with MCI. Our strategy has been to develop a dedicated team focused on Setra, from service to parts support.” In November, the MCI Technician Training division conducted a week-long Setra chassis workshop for MCI technicians at the Des Plaines, IL, Service Center. With Willi Toeller, Setra chassis trainer for Daimler’s EVO Bus, on hand, MCI Technical Trainer Jeff Elliott says this was the most intensive Setra training seminar thus far.
“The idea is to share the knowledge,” Elliott says. “Setra customers can be confident that MCI supports the Setra product through its complete life-cycle, including preventative maintenance, parts and repair.” According to MCI, for the first time since 1984 since Setra launched in the U.S., operators have access to comprehensive service and training, including MCI’s respected Technical Tune-up sessions and Setra-specific webinars. During Busworld 2013, the international equipment trade show in Kortrijk, Belgium, 19 European bus journalists named the Setra ComfortClass as “Coach of the Year 2014.” This jury praised the overall design concept, performance, safety features, handling, ergonomics, passenger-friendliness and economic efficiency. “We think our Setra customers will continue to be impressed both by the improvements they are seeing in service and parts, and by ongoing product innovations that will help set their operations apart,” Maitland says. “MCI is proud of the Setra brand, and part of that pride is in knowing that we are bringing Setra customers new value in service — and exciting new options such as the European second door and club-corner lounge that add value by custom tailoring their coaches to their market and customer base.”
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BUSRIDE | FEBRUARY.2014
While other wheelchair securement stations for transit merely assure compliance with ADA requirements, the right system will deliver a complete solution. Beyond just the need for securement, it is important to consider the big picture when it comes to securing mobility passengers. Transit managers are specifying the Q’POD because it is helping them: Drastically lower securement times by up to 50% Reduce liability either due to deficient equipment or improper use Keep buses on proper route schedules due to reduced dwell times Avoid invasions of their mobility passenger’s personal “space” Increase the ratio of riders requesting securement (when optional) Reduce driver frustration as well as their risk of personal injury
Designed by Q’Straint. Available thru 4One.
Compliance with ADA Requirements So transit operators can meet Federal requirements Stabilizing Bumper Makes it almost impossible to tip a chair or scooter and eliminates the need for a 4th securement point making securement faster and keeping routes on schedule Front Tensioner Drivers can use a single hand in a simple bending motion when attaching or releasing for less intrusion on the rider’s space while assuring maximum stability Scooter Ring Eliminates the need for a fourth belt or quick strap and makes scooter securement as resistant to tipping as a 4 point wheelchair restraint effectively reducing legal and medical costs Integrated Shoulder Belt Assures that the belt is the right height for passengers and simplifies the installation by eliminating the need for wall or window bar retractor attachments
For more information, visit: Qstraint.com/Qpod
Sander Kaplan, founder and president of A. Candies Coachworks, Gainesville, FL.
Just do it! … one step at a time A classic book, a sign and persistence set the stage for Sander Kaplan and A. Candies Coachworks
The sign was free; Kaplan made it fit and the name stuck.
By David Hubbard
n February during UMA Motorcoach EXPO 2014, BUSRide will present its Motorcoach Industry Achievement Award to Sander Kaplan, founder and president of A. Candies Coachworks, Gainesville, FL, for his commitment and persistence to stick to his plan. Like any good entrepreneur, at age 21 Sander Kaplan had no money to spend when the idea struck him to succeed in life. Going to college, working several part time jobs and holding every expense to its bare minimum, his first go at self-employment was a fledgling mobile disc jockey business. Taking it one step at time, working out of his apartment, using borrowed equipment and training his roommates to answer the phone in a professional voice, he vowed this venture would be self-supportive. As Kaplan moved around in Gainesville and the University of Florida, emceeing weddings, fraternity and sorority parties, his services caused a buzz. That’s when a sign came to Kaplan that the doors had opened — a free pink neon sign offered by a friend that read Candies, formerly a women’s boutique. Seeing it as a cool way to attract sorority business, Kaplan adopted the name for his own. He attached the A in front to secure the first listing in the Yellow Pages. A. Candies Productions, Inc. soon grew
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to eight DJ units on Friday and Saturday nights with little overhead. Kaplan had a plan and it was working. It essentially fell out of the book he still keeps by his bedside, “Think and Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill, recommended to him years ago by a successful friend. “I had a burning desire to succeed,” Kaplan says. “I just had no idea of how to make it happen. I was not a good student and this was actually the first book I ever read. It consumed me and has guided me through every phase of my career.” Kaplan sees Hill’s basic lessons as remaining persistent, moving forward, never swaying because of negative opinions and never allowing fear to rule in decision making. Never give up. Push through. “‘Think and Grow Rich’ told me I was not going to fail,” he says. “It helped me believe other people could not convince me I would fail.” Kaplan formed A. Candies Limousine in 1986 at the request of an A. Candies Productions client about to be married. “She mentioned she needed a limousine and none were available,” he says. “I told her I would try to have a limo waiting on her wedding day. I saw this as a simple matter of supply and demand.” As Kaplan recollects, the limo he purchased with the first bank loan busride.com
in his career was an electrical nightmare. Nonetheless, he made the vehicle work to everyone’s satisfaction and then quickly traded it for a newer model. As calls came in from his simple Yellow Pages ad, his newest venture grew quickly to eight vehicles.
Onward and upward Kaplan met his wife and business partner Lynne in 1995 and they married two years later. At this time, Kaplan was dividing his time between a family partnership with his father-in-law managing nine Burger King franchises and overseeing the limousine operation. “In 2006, one of my drivers suggested I consider charter coach service in this area,” Kaplan says. “I hadn’t given a lot of thought to growing A. Candies. Frankly I just didn’t think motorcoaches were very cool compared to my sleek fleet of limos. Boy, was I wrong.” Kaplan decided to give it a shot and purchased his first pre-owned Prevost H3-45, launching A. Candies Coachworks, Inc. Within three months the new company added a second coach, transporting college sports teams thankful for the local service. “I had no idea so much work was out there,” he says. “I should have looked into motorcoaches earlier. I feel like I came to this business a little late.” After one year Kaplan “went all in,” seriously growing the fleet to handle more charters for churches, public schools, weddings and community functions. “This would have never transpired without the help and dedication of our general manager Richard Mount, who has overseen A. Candies Coachworks from the get-go,” he says. “Our success stems from his experience and ability to consistently execute our plan.” Along the way, Kaplan worked hand-in-hand with his close friend and industry associate Ray Land, founder of Fabulous Coaches, Branford, FL, routinely assisting one another borrowing and lending coaches and offering advice when asked. While Land was moving on an aggressive plan to grow his fleet, Kaplan developed his company at a more deliberate pace. “Our plan was to acquire an additional coach as needed for use
as a backup to guard against any interruption of service and keep our customers happy,” he says. “As it turned out, for every coach we purchased as backup, we booked enough new business to put it into regular service.” Once the fleet count reached 10 vehicles, Kaplan struck a deal with Land as he was preparing to sell Fabulous Coaches. Their negotiation to acquire the business and five more Prevost H3-45s took less than a day. Kaplan credits the seamless transition to Land’s concern for the Fabulous Coach customers who might have felt caught in the middle, as well as the care he took in guiding them to their new carrier. “Ray wanted to ensure his clients felt secure in this process,” Kaplan says. “In his past acquisitions, he had dealt with a lot of unhappy customers and knew exactly how we needed to handle this phase of our transaction.” Together they called each of his top clients to introduce A. Candies Coachworks and reassure them they would enjoy a high level of service from a proven, award-winning company. “My associations with Ray and other operators from the Florida Motorcoach Association are something I did not seek as a young man starting out in business,” Kaplan says. “I didn’t think I needed them. However, as I look back today, I owe a lot of thanks for their help and good advice, as well as guidance from the UMA and ABA.”
Above, The A. Candies Coachworks fleet of Prevosts stands at 15. At left, Kaplan has “made it happen” one idea at a time over 25 years.
busride.com | BUSRIDE
THE TRANSIT Authority
Private business launched Emery Go-Round as a public service By David Hubbard
The goal of every commuter is simply to go the distance —from home to the workplace and back. It is that last mile from the bus stop to the final destination that challenges so many city planners. As more cities work to reduce travel in privately owned vehicles, the local business community in Emeryville, CA, 10 miles east of San Francisco, has stepped up with its own solution to the last-mile puzzle. Business owners have pooled their resources to provide free shuttle service on what they call the Emery Go-Round. Pixar Animation Studios, Leap Frog, Jamba Juice, Peet’s Coffee and myriad biotech companies base their operations in Emeryville. This community grew from a small industrial town of paint factories, scrap metal yards and tanneries before it began to decline – that is until the 1980s when John Flores came on as the new city manager. The glass is half-full Charged with redeveloping Emeryville, Flores viewed the 40 percent of vacant land as an opportunity to attract new business. In anticipation of the traffic that comes with new growth, his early plan was to consolidate several private shuttles already in operation. Half of the funding would come from local and federal government, and half from the participating businesses. By 1995 the service had grown and evolved into what is now the Emery Go-Round.
The plan worked The Emery Go-Round began with 300 riders per day. Within six months that number had increased to 3,000 per day. In 2012 the Emery Go-Round had recorded 1.5 million boardings. Still, even with its success, business leaders had to convince a number of naysayers of this service’s value in getting commuters out of their cars. Meanwhile, the Emery Go-Round operation is continuing to grow at a pace consistent with the growth of the Emeryville community and surrounding areas. As of March 2013, three public and private entities joined as partners in the management and operation of the Emery Go-Round. The Emeryville Transportation Management Association (TMA) and its board contracted with Gray-Bowen Consulting, Walnut Creek, CA, to oversee the Emery Go-Round service. Gray-Bowen in turn subcontracted with MV Transportation, Dallas, TX, for the physical operation of the service. MV Transportation runs 19 vehicles on the Emery Go-Round, including 40-passenger IC Bus cutaways, ElDorado Easy Riders and Thomas buses. It employs 23 drivers to provide shuttle service seven days a week. Emeryville expanded weekend service to shopping areas to make the Emery Go-Round a benefit for more than just regular commuters.
MV Transportation runs 19 vehicles on the Emery Go-Round in 40-passenger IC Bus cutaways, ElDorado Easy Riders and Thomas buses, and employs 23 drivers to provide shuttle service seven days a week.
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THE TRANSIT Authority Success means improvement districts City officials credit the Emery GoRound as the essential component for the influx of major corporations. On weekday mornings, the Emery Go-Round buses fill with rush-hour rail commuters from San Francisco and literally drop them off at the doorsteps of their workplaces. The growing ridership is most thankful. With the Emery Go-Round so robust, local business owners moved to form an improvement district for their community by taxing themselves for the funding to operate the shuttle service. The City of Emeryville sees its shuttle service as an especially effective template for smaller municipalities with limited parking and downtown districts in a state of decline. With success comes concern Emeryville officials say further growth is critical to prevent the typical downward spiral that many transit operators experience as demand for services increases. When costs go up, cutbacks begin, all which leads to declines in ridership. The City of Emeryville has initiated discussions as to whether the city may have to eventually supplement current funding to keep its shuttle service in operation. Meanwhile, Emery Go-Round commuters are wishing for similar services for their return trips to their home communities in the San Francisco Bay area. The City of Mountain View, home to Google and Intuit, says it is looking to Emeryville for inspiration. Theyâ€™ve recently announced a similar service.
busride.com | BUSRIDE
Prevost celebrates its first
Innovations and industry firsts span nearly a century from Eugene Prevost to Volvo; wooden church pews to luxurious coaches in the digital age.
I share great pride with the entire Prevost team in celebrating our 90th Anniversary. The values which founded this company in 1924, a commitment to quality and innovation and a desire to see our customers succeed, continue to act as the foundation for all we do, from design to manufacturing to after-sales support. I look forward to continuing the Prevost journey and serving the transportation industry as the leading manufacturer of premium motorcoaches. Gaétan Bolduc, President & CEO Prevost Inc.
Prevost Inc., Sainte-Claire, QC, Canada, tells its entire story through its detailed 90-year timeline: Prevost begins
1924 1924 — Eugene Prevost, a cabinet maker specializing in the production of church pews and school furniture, receives a commission to build his first wooden coach body and mount it on a new REO truck chassis. 1937 — Prevost builds its first bus manufacturing facility. 1945 — Prevost bus design evolves from all-wood construction when Eugene Prevost introduces the first all metal body over an all-metal skeleton. From 1945 to 1957, he gradually phases out cabinet work to concentrate on manufacturing highway motorcoaches. 1947 — The company name changes to Les Ateliers Prevost — Prevost Workshops — and 1940 expands to 40,000 square feet to house metal and 24
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1980 — Prevost builds its 100,000 square-feet plant with conveyor system and in-house research and development (R&D) in SainteClaire, QB, Canada. 1984 — Prevost introduces 102-inch wide Marathon XL and Mirage XL for passenger coaches and conversion coaches. Enter the H-Series 1985 — The company expands twice more to introduce the 60foot articulated Prevost H5-60 bus for 72 passengers — the first in its H-Series.
woodworking shops, die-casting and plating facilities and a foundry. 1951 — Prevost receives 100 orders for highway buses from the Canadian government, 66 for the Department of National Defense. 1957 — Industrialist Paul Normand acquires the company and renames it Prevost Car 1950 Inc. The silver-sided Le Normand with a diesel engine and pneumatic suspension is the first model under the new ownership.
The ‘60s are huge 1961 — The 25-foot Travelair, a gas- or diesel-powered passenger coach, is available for airport shuttles and 1953 short intercity routes. 1962 — The 40-foot Panoramique intercity parlor coach features broad side windows and Prevost’s improved air-ride. 1967 — The Prevost Champion is the first North American coach with an integral structure. It features three axles, split level and air conditioning. Somerset Bus Company, Somerset, NJ is the first American operator to purchase a new Prevost coach. Prevost’s first American sales and service facilities open in Lyndhurst, NJ, Los Angeles, CA. 1968 — The Prevost Prestige comes out with the curved roofwrapping side windows that have become the hallmark of the Prevost Le Mirage XL silhouette. 1969 — Two American businessmen, Thomas B. Harbison and William G. Campbell, form a partnership with André Normand, president of Prevost Car Inc., that lasts until 1996 and become the company’s sole owners. 1970 — The first Champion conversion shell rolls off the assembly line as bus tourism grows in Canada and the United States. 1973 — Prevost introduces the Prestige model; implements a 35,000 square-feet plant expansion. 1976 — Prevost unveils its hallmark Le Mirage, an eye-catching, futuristic passenger coach featuring roof-wrapping side windows, a rust-protected integrated frame, fluted all stainless-steel skirting, and less riveting than other coaches of the time. The Le Mirage is offered to converters without interior finishing for motorhomes and corporate coaches. 1978 — Harbison and Campbell, both longtime motorhome owners, contribute to the engineering of the first Le Mirage conversion shell introduced at the 1978 Family Motor Coach Association (FMCA) meeting.
1989 —Prevost launches a new line of premium touring coaches: the H3-40, H3-41 and H3-45, as well as the H3-40 touring coach and H3-40 bus shells for high-end conversion. 1990 — Le Mirage XL extends to a 45-foot model. 1992 — Prevost introduces the long wheelbase 45-foot XL-45 for traveling entertainers. 1993 — Prevost launches three H-Series models, the H3-41 and H3-45 premium touring coaches and the H3-45 VIP bus shell for high-end conversion. Volvo and Henlys Group acquire Prevost 1995 — Volvo Group of Sweden and Henlys Group of United Kingdom acquire joint ownership of Prevost; expands production, parts and service facilities. 1997 — Prevost befomes the first North American bus manufacturer to earn the ISO 9001 certification. The company introduces frameless windows that allow panoramic viewing for tour and charter passengers. 1998 — Company concern leads to its ISO 14001 certification for environmental management systems related to manufacturing and design operations. 2002 — The H-Series coaches get a facelift. 2003 — Prevost introduces an exclusive, interchangeable wheelchair lift. 2004 — Volvo gains sole ownership of Prevost 2005 — Prevost sets a new standard with its space-saving secondgeneration multiplex system. busride.com | BUSRIDE
2006 — Prevost launches the X3-45 with the longest wheelbase in the industry and the largest overall under-floor surface area for storage. 2009 — Prevost launches the Volvo 9700 in the North American market. 2009 — The next redesign for the H-Series shows clean, sleek lines. 2010 — Prevost announces it will manufacture all vehicles with the Volvo D13 Engine. 2011 — Prevost manufactures its 15,000th vehicle; introduces Aware Adaptive Cruise Braking; gains industry market share lead for first time; introduces X345 Commuter Coach; as well as its first mobile app, the Prevost Service Locator. 2012 — Mobile app technology leads to an entire suite of digital tools. 2013 — Prevost becomes Official Luxury Motorcoach of NASCAR. The company introduces PRIME (Power Recovery by Intelligent Management of Energy). Recent expansion brings the Prevost Service Network to 10 service centers, four mobile service trucks and more than 150 Prevost-trained service providers.
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BUSRIDE | FEBRUARY.2014
THE INTERNATIONAL REPORT
By Doug Jack
The French bus market remains strong The RNTP public transport exhibition took place in Bordeaux, France in November. The weather was warm and the atmosphere very convivial. It seemed far removed from the trouble and strife caused by an inadequate president whose only solution to Franceâ€™s problems is to raise taxes.
Above: Iveco Bus launched the articulated Urbanway city bus.
t is perhaps surprising to report that France is still the largest market for buses and coaches in Western Europe, comfortably ahead of Germany and the United Kingdom. Italy and Spain have fallen away steeply because of their severe financial problems. Part of the reason for the consistent strength of the French market is a law that imposes a maximum age limit of 15 years on vehicles used to carry school children. In a geographically large country, the daily demand for school transport is high so there is regular fleet renewal. Most of these vehicles are to a multi-purpose specification with floors about three feet above the ground, enabling underfloor luggage capacity for rural routes and short distance weekend charter. In France, the cities of Paris and Marseilles own and operate their own transit systems. The Paris system is multi-modal, in which buses, some trams and a very extensive metro system all connect with one another. In towns and cities throughout the rest of France, the public authorities own the transport infrastructure (including the vehicles) and put the operation of services out to competitive tender for a fixed contract period. The two largest contractors are Transdev and Keolis. The cities of Cannes and Nice on the Riviera have opted to end contracts and operate their own services. Iveco Bus has extended its Urbanway city bus range to include an articulated model, an option powered by compress natural gas (CNG), and another using BAE Systems hybrid drive.
It also offers two higher models with customized options. The BHNS can be fitted with customized seating, additional glazing and wood-effect flooring. Targeted for Bus Rapid Transit systems, the toplevel Crealis retains the basic structure of the Urbanway but has new external paneling and glazing at the front and the rear, giving an appearance more like a tram. Heuliez Bus is 99 percent Iveco-owned but has its own factory at Rorthais in central west France. Its full size and articulated city buses use common underframes with Iveco Bus, but it also has its own distinctive and narrower midibuses with full length low-floors. Heuliez Bus builds its structures in stainless steel and its range includes hybrid buses, again using BAE Systems. It has delivered more than 160 vehicles, mainly in France, including 102 to the city of Dijon, one of the largest hybrid fleets in Europe. The latest hybrid drive from BAE Systems has an â€œArrive and Goâ€? facility that enables a bus to arrive at, and depart from, a bus stop in wholly electric mode. Iveco Bus and Heuliez Bus have a very interesting construction system. The underframe is fully prepared not only with all the running units, wiring and piping, but also the floor and floor covering. The two main sides are assembled flat on large tables and are fully completed with all paneling, glazing and interior trim. Similarly, the roof assemblies are built inside and outside on large rotating tables. The same process applies for the front and rear-end structures.
busride.com | BUSRIDE
THE INTERNATIONAL REPORT
Comparatively late in the day the six main sections are bolted together, leaving only a few final operations like fitting seats, doors and hand rails. The benefit of this unusual method of assembly is that employees are normally working in a comfortable position. The result is excellent productivity and quality. There is quite a lot of interest in France in all-electric vehicles. It started in areas with narrow inner city streets but the vehicles have gradually become larger, with some 40-foot all-electric buses entering service in Nice. They receive a fast charge of electricity from an overhead gantry at each end of the route. One of the most interesting exhibits was from Safra, a company best known for repair and refurbishment of buses, trams and rail vehicles. The company is about to go into volume production with the 34.5-foot Businova low-entry midibus, which features a combined diesel, electric and hydraulic power system contained in a separate module beneath a raised rear lounge-type area for passengers, as well as independent front suspension, a ZF drive axle, and a third independently suspended axle for the power module. Safra claimed that this combined hybrid system is more economical than any other diesel or hybrid bus on the market. CNG is popular in some French cities. As the authorities permit up to 13 tons gross weight on the rear axle, CNG buses do not suffer a penalty in passenger capacity. However, they are no longer a benefit in terms of emissions because the latest Euro 6 engines are exceptionally clean. Mercedes-Benz is strong in the French market. One of its factories fits city bus structures from the parent company in Mannheim, Germany, for its French customers. Of the 588 city buses Mercedes Benz built last year, 384 were for customers in France with the balance exported to 17 countries. The multi-purpose sector of the European market is keenly contested. Iveco Bus has a major factory in the Czech Republic that benefits from much lower labor rates. Mercedes-Benz supplies many vehicles from its factory in Turkey into France, but also offered a new model for its loyal Setra customers. During the exhibition, Setra launched the S 415 UL Business built in three overall lengths in the factory in Turkey. It is not the first time that Setra models have been built outside Germany, but the Business version has a simplified specification in order to make the price as attractive as possible. France is rightly famous for its very high-speed TGV trains that can travel at speeds of up to 200 mph. They are frequent, comfortable and the fares are highly competitive. However, much of the rest of the rail network has been sadly neglected. In order to reduce great losses, many unprofitable rural lines are being closed down. Bus manufacturers are filling the gap by offering interurban vehicles with higher levels of comfort and a reasonable amount of luggage space. Many of these have a single-width door at the front and a double-width center exit ahead of the rear axle. As an option, a wheelchair lift can be fitted in this second stairwell. In the last few years, quite a number of tramway systems have opened in France or been extended. Some of the cities have quite compact areas with high-rise buildings, so trams can make sense on the busiest routes. However, the capital cost remains very high and there is also considerable disruption to businesses and residents during the construction period. Although there were no signs of tightening of the transport purse in the exhibition, there is always the risk that more expensive projects will be cut back, and that could be to the benefit of bus sales.
A Heuliez with BAE Systems hybrid drive for RATP, Paris.
The world premiere of the Setra S 415 UL Business, made in Turkey.
The hybrid hydraulic Businova midibus from Safra.
The all-electric BlueBus minibus built by Gruau.
Doug Jack is with Transport Resources in the United Kingdom. 28
BUSRIDE | FEBRUARY.2014
FTA’s LoNo program focuses on commercializing the cleanest and most energy-efficient U.S.-made transit buses.
LoNo being green makes it easier
FTA makes $24.9 million available for the adoption of low or no-emission buses
The U.S. DOT Federal Transit Administration (FTA) has made $24.9 million available through its Low or No Emission Vehicle Deployment Program (LoNo). The intent is to encourage widespread adoption of more reliable green-energy buses in transit fleets in communities nationwide. “The LoNo program will make a real difference in people’s lives by helping them get to work or school while letting them breathe clean air,” says Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx. “We are proud to initiate a new program that reflects the Obama Administration’s commitment to reducing our nation’s dependence on oil while developing more sustainable sources of energy here at home.” Established under the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act (MAP-21), the FTA LoNo program focuses on commercializing the cleanest and most energy-efficient U.S.-made transit buses to help reduce emissions like carbon dioxide and carbon monoxide. “Federal investments in green energy and related technologies have been a tremendous catalyst for America’s innovators and domestic manufacturers as they find new ways to power public transportation for the future,” says FTA Administrator Peter Rogoff. “We are excited to help improve the transit riders’ experience by bringing more of the cleanest and greenest buses available to their cities and towns—and to spur new jobs in a growing industry.” FTA will award LoNo funds on a competitive basis to transit agencies and state transportation departments working either independently or jointly with bus manufacturers already making lowand zero-emission buses.
Priority will be given to proposals that: • Seek to fund the incremental difference between a standard bus and a LoNo vehicle, as a way to further stretch procurement dollars. • Incorporate the highest level of U.S.-made content, exceeding Buy America’s current 60 percent threshold. • Demonstrate a long-term commitment to expanding LoNo fleets beyond what these program funds support, including the use of Federal formula funding. According to FTA, in addition to the environmental benefit, LoNo transit buses will help transit agencies save money in the long run on fuel and maintenance costs. The National Renewable Energy Laboratory says zero-emission buses can achieve more than double the fuel economy of buses running on diesel and other fuels. Of the $24.9 million available in LoNo grant funds, $21.6 million is for buses and $3.3 million is to support facilities and related equipment. Transit agencies may use a portion of their annual FTA formula funds to purchase additional vehicles. The FTA says its LoNo program builds on the success of the National Fuel Cell Bus Program, which invested in the research, development and testing of alternative fuels and related equipment, such as electric charging stations, for the transit industry. This program successfully committed $90 million over seven years to innovative research, demonstration and deployment projects to reduce the cost of fuel cells for transit use. The program received its final funding in FY2013. busride.com | BUSRIDE
Filmmakers hop the bus to Marketplace Tech-savvy bus buffs document their Trailways excursion to Nashville In early January, BUSRide received word from Trailways of its recent collaboration with film producer Nick Catania, a 23-year old entrepreneur managing to capitalize on his love of buses. He says he rides them almost everywhere whenever he can. When Trailways met Catania, he was preparing to travel by coach from his home in the Hudson Bay area of upstate New York to Tennessee to attend the American Bus Association (ABA) Marketplace in Nashville. Intrigued with his mission, Trailways quickly arranged for his travel exclusively on Trailways and Greyhound coaches, as well as for his film assistant, Thomas “TJ” Giannetta. Trailways
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also commissioned them to create a travel journal for social media covering the week-long journey. Catania, 23, resides in the Hudson Valley area of New York. The company says the idea of a travelogue of modern bus travel from the viewpoint of a young, tech-savvy person coincidentally fit perfectly with its current marketing agenda. “It is our goal to promote Trailways to a new generation of young people through social media,” says Trailways Chairman Tony Fiorini. “When we met Nick in December, we were very intrigued with his plan to ride buses to the ABA convention.
Photo courtesy of Nashville Convention & Visitors Corporation
Nick Catania’s bus trip will culminate at the American Bus Association Marketplace in Nashville, TN.
We then learned that Nick is an audio engineer with experience in filmmaking and photography.” Trailways didn’t hesitate putting this project together. On their way to Nashville as this issue of BUSRide was going to press, Catania, an alumnus of Stevens Institute of Technology, Hoboken, NJ, and Giannetta captured their observations about modern bus travel, along with their exploration of American cities and towns en route. The trip began in New York with Adirondack Trailways, transferred to Martz Trailways in Pennsylvania and switched to Burlington Trailways in the Midwest. A few legs of the trip ran on Greyhound coaches. Trailways and Greyhound took care of the travel arrangements, with Historic Hotels of America providing hotel stays that included the Omni Severin, Indianapolis, IN, and the Omni Majestic, St. Louis, MO. Catania and business associate Ralph Mattiaccio have co-founded NickelBus, Inc., with nickelbus.com in beta-test phase where consumers will be able to search bus schedules, routes and station locations all throughout the U.S. Catania, president, and Mattiaccio, CEO, say while they share the same fascination for buses, the business plan for their tech company is to make more people aware of more travel opportunities available by coach. “Yes, we like buses, but what we really aim for is the destination,” Catania says. “We have built NickelBus as a tool to show how easy it can be to travel.” NickelBus says it challenges website visitors to discover just how many miles they can travel so cheaply to so many places. Catania and Gianettas’ social media observations and accounts are available on Twitter, Facebook and blogs for Trailways, Greyhound, American Bus Association and Historic Hotels of America.
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Orange County’s 21st annual Stuff-A-Bus Event brings in record amount Santa Claus rode into town and, with the help of very generous donors, collected a record number of toys in the 21st annual Stuff-A-Bus event on Friday, Dec. 20 at the Honda Center. In all, 17 buses were filled with toys along with one flatbed truck filled with bicycles during the 14-hour event. 2013’s total of 18 bested 2012’s record of 14 buses stuffed. The event, sponsored by the Orange County Transportation Authority, ABC7, Honda Center and the Anaheim Ducks, supports the Spark of Love toy drive. Firefighters from across Southern California joined ABC7 weatherman Garth Kemp to greet the public and help stuff the buses with new, unwrapped toys. OCTA Chairman Greg Winterbottom and Director Gail Eastman, also an Anaheim councilwoman, and OCTA CEO Darrell Johnson stopped by to lend a hand. “It’s truly heartwarming to see the community donate so generously to the Stuff-A-Bus event and to remember those who need a little help to make the holidays more bright,” Winterbottom said. The Spark of Love toy drive has collected more than 7 million toys for children over the past two decades. Firefighters from Orange, Los Angeles, Riverside, San Bernardino and Ventura counties have supported the Spark of Love toy drive for more than 20 years.
BUSRIDE | FEBRUARY.2014
Integrated bus safety promotions engage Orange County riders Recognizing the importance of bus safety, OCTA recently launched a series of videos, contests and social media messaging designed to educate both new and experienced riders about this essential topic. The program encourages riders to “Be a Safety Hero!” by watching four short bus safety videos and taking a quiz. The bus safety promotional campaign is integrated across all bus rider contact points through engaging comic-book style graphics and messaging. Distribution includes promotional advertisements on buses, promotional flyers provided to senior centers, city halls, libraries, employers, schools and transit centers, and digital channels such as the OCTA website, Facebook page, YouTube channel and Twitter accounts. Produced by the OCTA Digital Communications team, the four videos are viewable on the OCTA website, Facebook, YouTube and at the OCTA Store. Topics include bus safety in terms of boarding, riding, riding with special needs, and exiting. Riders can “like” OCTA on Facebook to get weekly safety tips and access to other exciting content.
FMCSA crackdown sends a message Operation Quick Strike shuts down 52 unsafe operators The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) shut down 52 unsafe operations bus and coach companies, involving 340 vehicles, because of Operation Quick Strike, its recent eight-month initiative to protect passengers from non-compliant companies while educating the public on safe coach travel. U.S. Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx has been very emphatic about raising the bar on coach safety. This intensified effort demonstrated that FMCSA strengthened oversight methods in the three-phase motorcoach safety Initiative. The administration dispatched more than 50 specially trained investigators from April through November to conduct in-depth reviews of the patterns and practices of the 250 most at-risk motorcoach companies using roadside inspection and safety data — completing 214 top-to-bottom compliance investigations. By the numbers Operation Quick Strike shut down 20 motorcoach companies immediately for violations deemed an imminent hazard to the public, while 32 companies receiving “unsatisfactory” safety ratings were shut down after failing to remedy critical and acute violations. Twenty-eight companies took corrective action to fix the safety violations investigators uncovered to avoid being shut down. Of the more than 1,300 vehicles inspected, Operation Quick Strike put 340 vehicles out-of-service for safety and maintenance violations. Companies that shut down Arizona Autobuses Rayon Inc. River City Shuttle British Columbia, Canada: FTS Forest Transport Services LTD California Salcido Tours Connecticut New Haven Bus Service People to Places Inc. Florida Ricardo Transportation McRea Transportation, Inc. Fabulous Coach Lines Georgia All Pro Motor Coach Best Limo Service Illinois Across USA Tour & Travel Nealson Coach Inc. Acrosstown Charter Irma J Tours, Inc. Illini Tours Indiana Rotel North American Tours LLC Kansas Midnight Express LLC
According to FMCSA, the chief contributors in the resultant shutdowns involved company-wide failures to maintain their buses properly, inadequate drug and alcohol driver testing programs, as well as widespread hours-of-service violations. Look before you book “This year we evaluated and enhanced our investigation methods to dig deeper than ever before and uncover dangerous patterns of unsafe behavior and business practices,” says FMCSA Administrator Anne S. Ferro. “Now we are training all investigators to utilize the new tactics we employed during Operation Quick Strike, and encourage everyone who travels by bus to look before you book using the safety information on our website.” FMCSA administrator Anne Ferro pointed out the importance of not waiting for the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) to tell her FMCSA had to re-examine the way it was carrying out its investigations. “That’s exactly what we did early this year, which then led to this thorough sweep of 250 of the highest risk companies,” Ferro says. By the states FMCSA says 49 companies operating in multiple U.S. states and Canadian provinces shut down have not reopened. Three have reopened after taking corrective action.
Kentucky MHBS Inc. Massachusetts Furtado Bus Lines Lynette’s Limousine MTZ Tours Sovereign Transportation Mississippi Carbo Limo of Oxford, LLC CC Rider Coach New Jersey Pocono Progressive New York Coach USA Tour Inc., [not affiliated with Coach USA Inc., Paramus, N.J.] Horizon Coach Inc. Gotham Coach Service Inc. Uniworld Tours, Inc. North Carolina Charter Bus Southeastern Tours, Inc. Executive Charters Lines, Inc. Spaulding Charters and Tours, Inc. Ohio Destiny Tours Pennsylvania Bus Go Bus, Inc. Travel Time Transportation, LLC
S & V Tours Inc. Wilcar Tours, Inc. South Carolina Destiny Tours The People’s Choice South Carolina VIP Tours, LLC Tennessee GWC Enterprises Inc. Texas Autobuses Zacatecanos LLC Hotel Mexicano Agape Tours Inc. Utah Salt Lake Shuttles LLC Vermont Advanced Ventures, LLC Washington, D.C. Onboard DC Tours LLC Companies reopened after shut down Georgia Transsouth Motorcoach, LLC Massachusetts Lucky Star North Carolina DAPTCO Motor Coach Services
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BUSRIDE | FEBRUARY.2014
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HOW LOW CAN YOU GO? Van Hool service-friendly coaches are designed to deliver low cost of operation. Featuring interchangeable parts and standardized engine layouts, Van Hool models offer quick access to routine maintenance areas for fast, easy serviceability and parts replacement. Discover how simplified repairs, fast service turnarounds and reduced maintenance dollars add up to low total cost of owning a Van Hool coach.
VAN HOOL MOTORCOACHES AVERAGED < $0.20 PER MILE in cost of operation for preventive and corrective maintenance repair in a recent analysis of operators maintenance records. abc-companies.com