FEBRUARY | 2016
O F F I C I A L
BUSRide Field Test:
helps Elite Coach stay ahead of the curve p14 Why CNG?
Common carrier standards p18 Enterprise risk management p 19
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FEBRUARY 2016 CONTENTS
COVER STORY Official BUSRide Field Test: Prevost helps Elite Coach stay ahead of the curve 14 Business by the book never gets old By David Hubbard
FEATURES BUSRide Safe Driver Hall of Fame
Presented by Prevost, the Hall of Fame honors Russ Lippincott and Lee Roy Weems
Common carriers have their day in court
Arizona rejects strictest standard of care for common carriers: Is this a trend? By Bill Poorten
VTA replenishes the transit ranks
State college system funds the need to create more public transit jobs
DEPARTMENTS 7 UPDATE 25 DELIVERIES
11 SECURITY & SURVEILLANCE
By Steven Winnefeld
13 FOCUS ON: CNG
By George Kalet
17 INSURANCE BASICS By Tim Oâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;Bryan 19 SAFETY SOLUTIONS
By Todd Carrier
20 THE INTERNATIONAL REPORT
By Doug Jack
BUSRIDE | FEBRUARY . 2016
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Paul von Fange writes the book on Scenicruisers Scenicruising: The Greyhound Scenicruiser Story, is a phenomenal research effort by Paul von Fange — particularly for a fellow who, before embarking on this must read, had no bus background of any kind. Confessing vague recollections of Scenicruisers through ads and television, and possibly having ridden on one sometime in the 1970s, Fange says his “a-ha moment” to chronicle this American icon didn’t come until he was face to face with a Greyhound Scenicruiser in 2009, on a trip with his grandson to the Minnesota Transportation Museum, St. Paul, MN. “What an amazing sight,” he writes. “I had to know more…imagine my disappointment after searching far and wide for a book all about Scenicruisers only to find one did not exist.” Scraping together bits and pieces, Fange began his quest for the rest of the story, amassing letters, memos, photos and any sort of document; memories written and told to him; scattered newspaper and magazine articles; as well as recent books. He graciously acknowledges Tom McNally and Fred Raymans’ Greyhound Scenicruiser: Flagship of the Fleet, published in 2013, as the first book dedicated solely to this bus. Fange says his goal for this monumental 500-page tome was to record the history of how the Scenicruiser came to be — down to its last and most minute detail in every operational segment, essentially leaving nothing unturned and inspected. As a result, he has managed to meticulously document or debunk every factoid and story told on the Scenicruiser. BUSRide founder, bus historian and author William (Bill) A. Luke, who probably knows as much as anyone about the Scenicruiser, took honor in providing the foreword, commending Fange for his penchant for detail in providing the most complete and accurate history on one of the most iconic vehicles the industry has ever seen. Luke notes that Fange also spoke with Orville Caesar Smith, a grandson of Orville Caesar, the president of Greyhound who guided the Scenicruiser program. “Scenicruising is a great book,” Luke writes. “It about covers it all. Paul has gone beyond the usual research requirements. To me, the author’s goals have been met… Scenicruisers live on today.” Visit http://www.scenicruising.com to purchase Scenicruising: The Greyhound Scenicruiser story.
David Hubbard Associate Publisher BUSRide Magazine 6
BUSRIDE | FEBRUARY . 2016
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BUSRide Magazine 4742 North 24th Street, STE 340 Phoenix, Arizona 85016 Phone: (602) 265-7600 Fax: (602) 277-7588 www.busride.com BUSRide™ Magazine is published 8 times each year by Power Trade Media, a division of The Producers, Inc., 4742 N. 24th Street, Ste. 340, Phoenix, AZ 85016. Subscription Rates: United States and Mexico $39 (USD) one year, Canada $42 (USD) one year (GST included), all other countries $75 one year, single issue United States $5 (USD), all other countries $6 (USD). All articles in BUSRide™ Magazine 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. Copyright 2016 by Power Trade Media. No advertisement or description or reference to a product or service will be deemed as an endorsement, and no warranty is made or implied by Power Trade Media Information is obtained from sources the editors believe reliable, accurate and timely, but no warranty is made or implied, and Power Trade Media is not responsible for errors or omissions.
UPDATE “The bus is great,” said Anthony Cohen, facility and maintenance manager for GTrans, “The only problem may be convincing the driver to give other operators a turn behind the wheel of the electric bus. The driver won’t give it up, she loves it!” Gardena Municipal Bus Lines may be the only transportation agency in California operating with all gasoline / electric hybrid buses. “Certainly we’re one of the few and we are evaluating if the fleet should go all electric,” Cohen said. The ZEPS conversion is just one of several projects GTrans has collaborated on with CCW. “I’ve always had a great relationship with them,” Cohen said. “I have the highest regard for CCW.” IBP Industries front-end conversion kits for exterior upgrades gave 30 MCI 102 DL3 motorcoaches the look of the D4505.
IBP modernizes Anchor Transportation IBP Industries, Apopka, FL, a manufacturer and distributor of metal and composite bus components parts to the motorcoach industry, provided Anchor Transportation, Nashville, TN with frontend conversion kits for exterior upgrades to give 30 MCI 102 DL3 motorcoaches the look of a D4505. “We wanted to upgrade the look of our fleet as a final step in our corporate branding process,” said Anchor Vice President and General Manager Jared Stancil. “Due to the size of our fleet, we needed an option that would be more affordable and would allow us to upgrade quickly.” IBP says its conversion kit installs directly to the original frame with no frame modification and less than 10 man hours to complete. The complete conversion kit includes the lower cap, headlamp / turn assemblies, mounting brackets, wiring harness and mounting hardware, as well as crystal glass halogen lamps, which increases safety and provides a longer lamp life. The modular design allows the windshield to stay in place throughout the entire conversion process. “Anchor needed a conversion method that could scale to their size, shave many hours off the conversion time and still be significantly more affordable than other options,” said IBP owner Al Runfola. “We found new ways to achieve this goal by avoiding windshield removal for the front end conversions. This conversion process can be easily completed by any motorcoach company looking to modernize their fleet at an affordable price.”
CCW delivers converted electric bus to Gardena; wins contract to convert four more Complete Coach Works (CCW) announced in December the completion of a project to convert a gasoline hybrid bus operated by Gardena Municipal Bus Lines (GTrans) to CCW’s Zero Emission Propulsion System (ZEPS), an all-electric battery-powered engine. After the ZEPS bus was delivered in late September, Gardena received a California Energy Commission grant to upgrade four more of its hybrid buses to electric. Gardena selected CCW, once again, to convert the buses to ZEPS in a project expected to begin early next year, said Kevin O’Brien, project manager for CCW. “Gardena has been very impressed with the new bus,” O’Brien said. “It has been in service every day and they are really happy.” Switching to the ZEPS drive system entails dismantling the bus down to the chassis, then installing all new mechanical parts as well as new flooring, seating, power steering, HVAC and low rolling resistance tires. The ZEPS engines have a range of about 130 miles and require about five hours to recharge the batteries.
Prevost appoints vice president, Prevost Business Line Prevost recently announced the appointment of François Tremblay as vice president for its Prevost Business Line. “I am delighted to welcome François to our organization and I have full François Tremblay confidence that his experience and leadership will benefit significantly to the continued success of our Prevost brand,” said Ralph Acs, senior vice president, Volvo Buses, Business Region Americas. His appointment will be effective in January 2016. However his onboarding has already started to ensure a smooth transition with Gaétan Bolduc, who has been president of Prevost for the past 11 years and will be retiring in a few weeks. “I would like to take the opportunity of this announcement to thank Gaetan Bolduc for his significant contribution to the success of Prevost over the past few years,” Acs said. “The strength of our Prevost brand and its positioning in the industry directly derive from Gaetan’s leadership.” With over 20 years in different leadership positions on an international level, within companies such as Bombardier Recreational Products or Procter and Gamble, François Tremblay brings an extensive wealth of experience to Prevost. François Tremblay will be instrumental in defining the product orientation and key strategies to maintain Prevost and Volvo Buses brand’s leadership on its markets, while representing customers’ interests within the organization.
National Interstate Corporation announces new CEO National Interstate Corporation announced recently that Anthony (Tony) J. Mercurio will succeed David W. Michelson as chief executive officer (CEO), effective as of the 2016 Annual Meeting of Shareholders. It is intended that Mercurio will be nominated to National Interstate’s Board of Directors and, if elected, will serve on the board effective as of the same date. Michelson will continue to serve on National Interstate’s board and as a senior advisor to the company following Mercurio’s assumption of the CEO role. Mercurio is president and chief operating officer of National Interstate. The Board of Directors promoted Mercurio to president on November 12, 2015.
busride.com | BUSRIDE
Indian Trails and Michigan Flyer launch RideHop Indian Trails and Michigan Flyer, Owosso, MI, recently adopted RideHop, a new tracking software application, available for public download, which enables passengers to track their scheduled motorcoaches along the routes to their bus stops in real time. Available for Apple or Android smartphones, RideHop updates tracking data every three seconds, allowing users to see the buses moving in real time. “We’re the first public transportation operation in the United States to roll out the superior RideHop app for customers,” said Chad Cushman, vice president of Indian Trails, parent company of Michigan Flyer. “This is par for the course for our company. We also were the first motorcoach company to install two-way radios, video monitors, stereo sound systems, Wi-Fi and hearing loops on a fleet of buses.” “RideHop was created with a simple goal: to provide accurate and reliable information to improve the ground transportation experience,” said Travis Knepper, RideHop CEO. “Unlike oldschool tracking systems, RideHop functions in areas where GPS traditionally struggles, such as urban cores with large buildings or underground spaces.” Available to Michigan Flyer-AirRide passengers, the RideHop app was customized to meet their needs, as well as those of drivers and dispatchers.
“It was very important to Michigan Flyer and Indian Trails that their drivers not be distracted by the app, and that the software could be easily used off-the-shelf without being hardwired into the motorcoaches,” Knepper said. “We were able to create a solution, eliminating the need for the driver to look at the iPad screen while the vehicle is in motion.” After downloading the RideHop app, passengers can simply type in “miflyer” as the ride code. Green bus icons indicate eastbound coaches, while blue bus icons are westbound. Coffee cup icons indicate buses that are full, taking a break, or not in service.
CCW finalizes installation of ramps on SF Muni buses Complete Coach Works (CCW) announced in December that it has completed the installation of Lift-U Bi-Fold Ramps on 86 buses operated by the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency. The work was done at the CCW North facility in Alameda, with CCW providing transportation of the buses from SF Muni to Alameda to begin their up-fitting. “We outfitted these buses with the latest and greatest technology that will allow for more consistent and safe loading and unloading of ADA passengers,” said Kyle Carson of CCW. The new ramps fold flush with the floor when not in use and have a substructure that can be adjusted when the ramp is deployed to create a smooth and level surface, allowing passengers who use wheelchairs or have difficulty climbing steps to easily and safely board or exit the bus.
busHive Trip / Charter Management
Without the use of this software we would not have been able to keep up with the quotes and requests for confirmed bookings and invoicing. Charter reservations have grown by 128% from 2013-2015, year over year per month. Gilles Beaudin, DanNel Tranportation
where all your operations come together 8
BUSRIDE | FEBRUARY . 2016
busHive.com 518.877.2500 busride.com
Anti-Graffiti Art Contest winning artwork unveiled on 40-foot RTC vehicle The Regional Transportation Commission of Southern Nevada (RTC) recognized local students who won the ninth annual AntiGraffiti Art Contest at two special award ceremonies this week at Bob Miller and Cashman Middle Schools. Seventh graders Sharon Lee and Melanie Galicia Hernandez, of Bob Miller and Cashman Middle Schools respectively, were recognized as the top two winners of the Anti-Graffiti Art Contest. Their artwork will be displayed on the outside of a 40-foot RTC transit vehicle and will travel the Las Vegas Valley streets for up to one year. More than 130 students from 10 schools across the valley
SF Muni’s new ramps fold flush with the floor when not in use and have a substructure that can be adjusted when the ramp is deployed.
“The project was seamless and smooth,” said Gary Chang, the project engineer for San Francisco Municipal. “I have done several projects with CCW. They know our expectations and they have done very well. CCW was very responsive. They know our buses and we know the ramps, so it was a perfect fit.” Including the completion of this project, CCW has successfully rehabbed a large portion of San Francisco Municipal’s fleet.
Cashman Middle School student winner Melanie Galicia Hernandez and Assistant Principal Josh Katz in front of the RTC transit vehicle wrapped in the winners’ artwork.
busride.com | BUSRIDE
participated in this year’s call for entries encouraging Southern Nevadans to respect property by keeping it graffiti free. Nearly 1,600 people voted in an online poll to select the grand prize winners from the top 10 finalists. The art contest runners up include: Brenda Mendoza, Hunter Sylas Solorio, Jeanna Reyes, Jasiel Pajarillo, Jessica Bialas, Kailene Zapanta, Maria Melendrez and Sky Posey from Cashman Middle School. All of the winners’ artwork will be displayed inside RTC transit vehicles and on transit shelters throughout the valley. The annual art contest is sponsored by the RTC, Southern Nevada Graffiti Coalition, Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department Office of Community Engagement, Outdoor Promotions, Vector Media Las Vegas and Clark County School District.
SEFAC, Inc., appoints south eastern regional sales manager SEFAC, Inc., manufacturer of heavyduty mobile lifts, has announced the appointment of Dustin Sweeney as the company’s south eastern regional sales manager. This is a newly created position Dustin Sweeney for the expanding company. Sweeney is located in the central region of Florida and he will be working with both existing users of SEFAC mobile lifts and pursuing new opportunities in his territory. Creating this position opens an opportunity to maintain and establish long-lasting customer relationships. “I am looking forward to working with a team that has a long history of providing great products and service,” Sweeney said. “From the very beginning, everyone has been open and provided a family-type atmosphere which is why I feel joining the SEFAC team is the right choice for me and my family.” SEFAC, Inc. manufactures heavy-duty mobile vehicle lifts. For more information, contact Jamie Pedrick at (443) 730-1023 ext.105.
Wes Barber earns Norm Littler Memorial Safety Award for work with FMCSA The American Bus Association Bus Industry Safety Council (BISC) created the Norm Littler Memorial Safety Award to recognize individuals or organizations that make significant contributions to improving safety in the bus and motorcoach industry. BISC presented the 2016 award on January 9 during the BISC Winter Meeting at ABA Marketplace in Louisville, KY, to Wes Barber, retired as of 2014 after a long and distinguished career with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA). Although part of Barber’s role involved enforcement, his goal was always to make the bus and motorcoach industry safer and better. “Motorcoach industry owners and operators always knew that when they were working with Wes Barber, he was a person of integrity and fairness,” said ABA President/CEO Peter J. Pantuso. “While sometimes they might have been unhappy about his decisions, it was never personal. His goal was to make sure the company and FMCSA were in agreement about how to improve 10
the safety culture of the company and ultimately for the employees and passengers,” BISC Chairman Stephen Evans of Pacific Western Transportation noted Barber as a consummate professional in his relationships with motorcoach owners and operators. “Wes is smart, fair and worked very hard to find common sense solutions that improved the overall safety of the industry,” Evans said. “For many years, he’s taken a leading role in BISC and we’ve always appreciated his insight and candor on the important safety issues in our industry and explaining FMCSA’s perspective. About Norm Littler and the Bus Industry Safety Council The late Norm Littler was ABA’s longtime vice president of regulatory affairs and the executive director of the Bus Industry Safety Council. During his 41-year career, he was an industry safety / regulatory expert in Washington, D.C. and his hometown of Winnipeg, Manitoba. Littler was one of the founders of the Bus Industry Safety Council. BISC holds two annual meetings, the first at ABA’s Marketplace in January and the second in June in the Washington, D.C. area.
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SECURITY & SURVEILLANCE
MOBILE VIDEO SURVEILLANCE:
MORE THAN JUST HARDWARE By Steven Winnefeld
s technology development continues to progress, more transit agencies are closely evaluating their new choices in hardware. The more perceptive agencies have come to realize software has become just as important to their overall surveillance solution. An efficient and properly operating digital video recorder (DVR) sits safely tucked away in a buses’ radio closet or under a seat. Meanwhile this system generates video and data that must be reviewed and organized using software the agency may have to use every day. For this reason, it is critical that an agency’s surveillance system software be useful, intuitive and perfectly complement the hardware that records the video it plays and organizes. endure. Health reports present all of The number one criteria that a new this information in an easy-to-read system must be judged by is its ability to format that can be customized for get video from the vehicle to the desktop. different departments or teams. While While events of interest may occur on maintenance personnel will have a keen the bus, it is on an agency’s desktop PC interest in camera failures, IT personnel that the recorded video is reviewed. will want to monitor storage space. While previously it was necessary to Reports can be individualized to each walk out to the vehicle and retrieve person reading them and configured to the DVR’s storage media, new wireless display information to their preference. central management systems (CMSs) While all important events need to be have made video retrieval effortless. A recorded, some critical events benefit bus pulls into a maintenance facility from immediate review. Combined with and the DVR, using a wireless bridge, cellular network, new video surveillance automatically connects with a wireless systems can provide the ability to access point on the agency’s network. review camera feeds in real time. Often Using Safety Vision’s SafetyNet CMS called “live look-in,” this feature allows for example, the DVR can be configured authorized users, including agency to automatically download important It’s critical that an agency’s surveillance system software be personnel, law enforcement and other video such as tagged events to the CMS useful, intuitive and perfectly complement its hardware. first responders to see events on a bus as database. Then, from the comfort of your desktop, without having valuable evidence pass through multiple they are happening. Emergencies can be seen live and immediately physical hands, the video can be retrieved from the CMS database accessed. Another benefit is realized as this feature can be used to and reviewed. To complete this seamless transition, the DVR monitor driver behavior. Poor habits can be observed and drivers can and software must work together in unison with a professionally be coached on safer driving practices, reducing risk and promoting the agency’s image to the public. analyzed, developed and installed wireless infrastructure. All of these incredible new features emerging on the transit scene Transit agencies face additional challenges above other vehicle fleets. Transit vehicles often operate at all hours of the day, with each simplify complicated tasks for agency personnel, reduce risk, and vehicle having a different schedule. Organizing vehicle maintenance promote a more efficient and effective security solution. But they are is a difficult and time-consuming task considering the fleet is seldom useless unless the users know how to use them. The software must be all in the same place for any reasonable amount of time. Software properly and effectively utilized; otherwise no return on investment that is designed to accommodate the operations of an active transit will be realized. Start with software that is intuitive and easy to fleet is critical. Safety Vision’s Observer Management System (OMS) understand. Carefully review the documentation to fully understand PRO™ includes the ability to “push” DVR firmware updates and all of the new bells and whistles that are available. To ensure the best configuration files to DVRs automatically when the vehicles connect understanding, enquire with your mobile surveillance provider about to the wireless network. Instead of personnel walking on each vehicle training lessons from the experts. Safety Vision can accommodate while it is parked, updating DVRs with flash drives or laptops, whole classes at its headquarters, or provide specialists to work with updates and changes can be coordinated and progress monitored key personnel on-site. The utility of the software is truly maximized once it is completely understood and fully integrated with your from the desktop using the advanced CMS software. Health management reporting is another critical feature for agency’s existing infrastructure. transit fleets provided by advanced CMS software such as SafetyNet and OMS PRO. As the DVRs connect to the CMS, valuable data is Steven Winnefeld is the documentation specialist for Safety Vision, LLC, a recorded, such as the DVR’s operational status, any kind of video pioneer in mobile video surveillance systems. Safety Vision prides itself on its institutional knowledge. Visit Safety Vision at www.safetyvision.com. For a loss due to camera failure, and the percentage of storage space complete set of references please visit: http://bit.ly/1IwdQCu. both used and available. Monitoring this data physically is nearly impossible, considering the daily operations most transit vehicles busride.com | BUSRIDE
Russ Lippincott and Lee Roy Weems were chasing 3 million miles when they retired from Village Charters and Tours
etired coach drivers and 2012 inductees Russ Lippincott and Lee Roy Weems recap their careers as friends and colleagues in this installment of the BUSRide Safe Driver Hall of Fame, presented by Prevost. Both started out with Continental Trailways and Greyhound Bus Lines in the mid 1970s before finding their true calling: driving motorcoaches for Village Charters and Tours, Wichita, KS. In their 30-plus year careers, Lippincott and Weems each logged approximately 2.7 million miles without a chargeable accident, and earned Greyhound and Trailways Safe Driver Awards every year they served with those companies. Weems began with Continental Trailways in 1974 and eventually moved to Greyhound. By 1985, after he had seen “the writing on the wall,” he stepped away and formed a small partnership to found Prestige Charters, Wichita, KS, with three coaches, as well as his own travel agency. Five years later he sold his share of Prestige to join Village Charters & Tours. Lippincott joined Continental Trailways in 1976 and drove 10 months for Greyhound after it bought Trailways. During that time, Weems called on him to drive part-time as needed for Prestige. Lippincott moved over to Village Charters and Tours, driving alongside Weems until they retired around the same time; Weems in late 2013, Lippincott in early 2014. What did you enjoy most about driving motorcoaches? Lippincott: Driving charter tours, I had the chance to go to so many different places rather than covering the same line runs. I thoroughly enjoyed running all over the country and seeing all I could. I still do that, only by driving my car. Weems: When we started Prestige, it was nice to operate new equipment for a change. As far as driving, it was the same for me. I enjoyed the many places I got to visit with Village Tours and the people I took there. I also enjoyed the work we did with the military, transporting soldiers. As you both retired with no chargeable accidents, what helped you maintain sterling safety records? Weems: Luck probably had as much to with it as skill and training. But at Trailways, we were taught to not exceed our physical limits in terms of hours of service, and to do all we could to keep ourselves in good health. Toward the end I had a medical condition I could no longer control, and my doctor and I concluded that the time had come. Lippincott: I was always well aware of what was happening around me, using the mirrors and looking far out ahead to see what
BUSRIDE | FEBRUARY . 2016
Lee Roy Weems
was happening in traffic. That allowed me enough time to react. I was confident in my abilities, but I had to always be watching out for what those other drivers were going to do – especially when I was making a turn.
“I always took a lot of care with my pre-trip inspections.” Weems: I always took a lot of care with my pre-trip inspections, just to be certain everything was in place and nothing needed fixing before starting out. During the trip, I would re-check and keep watch between stops. I also think we were fortunate at Village Tours to drive the same coach the majority of the time. It helped that I could just get the feel of that one vehicle, to know all of its ins and outs. Lippincott: Working with the passengers was another safety concern. Of all the groups I carried, most were great to work with. But occasionally, there was one that could get under my skin in some way, and it was a matter of remaining calm and not allowing the group to distract me from concentrating on my driving. It wasn’t always easy, but I learned to stay calm and let it pass, and to not take out any of my anger on the road. busride.com
CNG presents cost, fuel and operational savings for transit
BUSRide met with George Kalet, CNG applications and key account manager for Atlas Copco, Gas and Process Group, to discuss compressed natural gas (CNG) for transit buses. We compare CNG to diesel fuel and discuss the environmental benefits of natural gas. Furthermore, Kalet provides methods for overcoming the barriers to CNG conversion. Why is CNG a better alternative to diesel fuel? George Kalet: The overriding factor right now is still the cost of CNG compared to diesel fuel. I would characterize that as price stability when compared to the roller coaster ride that we’ve been on with diesel fuel prices. Over the next two decades, all estimates and forecasts indicate that the price for natural gas is going to be very stable and, if anything, decrease – simply because of the new supplies that have been discovered in North America. Horizontal drilling allows us to recover natural gas from shale fields and other locations that were previously inaccessible. It has essentially turned the U.S. into the Saudi Arabia of natural gas. What are the environmental benefits of CNG? Kalet: The biggest advantage is that natural gas is a pure gas and does not leave any carbon particulate matter behind when it is burned. The other big thing about CNG is the NOx . Natural gas is a lower NOx fuel so it reduces NOx emissions quite a bit. What are some of the barriers to converting to CNG? How can agencies and operators overcome those barriers? Kalet: The barriers are, of course, the additional costs of the fuel storage system onboard the vehicle. There are additional costs for both the natural gas engine and the fuel storage containers. Historically,
agencies switching premium from diesel.in Photo: Atlas Copco. there has always been a fairly significant the neighborhood of $20,000 to $25,000 for a heavy-duty vehicle. Two things have happened to change that. First, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has continually lowered the emissions standards for diesel engines. That’s resulted in the engine manufacturers having to add components like after treatment and catalytic converters onto their engines, thus increasing the costs. CNG engines did not require these additional systems in order to comply. The cost for diesel engines is going up while the cost for natural gas engines is going down. Secondly, significant developments were made on the fuel storage side when manufacturers released heavy-duty, lightweight CNG storage cylinders that are much more competitive. They’re still significantly more expensive than the standard space-conforming steel diesel tank, but the overall weight of the fuel system has decreased dramatically in the last five years. The range of CNG vehicles 10 years ago was approximately 50 percent of the range of similar diesel vehicles. That turned out to be a huge barrier to entry that has been overcome by technology developments in the fuel storage systems. So much of the initial capital expenditure for transit fleets and infrastructure is funded by the Federal Transit Administration (FTA), and that funding is enhanced if it’s for an alternative fuel vehicle. That helps agencies recover their costs and provide a better service to the community. Because gasoline and diesel prices are being artificially held down this year, CNG is currently cost neutral. However, CNG is a very clean burning fuel that doesn’t leave any particulate deposits in the engine. Operators get much longer life out of the engine oil. Agencies can extend engine oil change intervals for longer periods of time and that can be a very significant cost saving. Visit www.atlascopco.us for more information.
busride.com | BUSRIDE
O F F I C I A L
BUSRide Field Test:
Prevost helps Elite Coach stay ahead of the curve By David Hubbard
Business by the book never gets old The story of Elite Coach, Ephrata, PA, and its success has to do with its owners’ reliance on sound business basics that eased their path into the motorcoach industry, and their remarkable undertaking to continually maintain and operate every new coach they purchased.
With the exception of one, Elite Coach still runs every Prevost coach it has ever owned. 14
BUSRIDE | FEBRUARY . 2016
In 1991, the three partners running Ritter Tour and Travel elected to buy their own coaches. Subsequently, they renamed their operation to reflect the upgrade. At the same time, Paul Kurtz, a successful entrepreneur in the area, was busy with his own mix of companies that ranged from farm and home supply to grain hauling. By 1997, Kurtz had sold all his companies. However, not wanting to retire altogether, Kurtz began driving charters for Elite Coach. The federal deregulation of motorcoach transportation had just been enacted, bringing great changes to every facet of the industry. True to his entrepreneurial spirit, Kurtz bought out one of the Elite Coach owners within six months of starting his new job. A short time later, he bought out the second owner. Kurtz was back in business for himself. Paul’s son Brian was fresh out of college and had moved to Texas to help a friend set up a small business. Kurtz’s son-in-law David Dickson was working in hotel maintenance and management, and recalls the day he asked his father-in-law for advice on an inviting job offer he received to manage a retirement center. “Paul threw me the biggest curve ball I have ever had in my life,” Dickson says. “Without mincing words, he said, ‘Look, I am thinking about buying this motorcoach company, so rather than take that job, why don’t you just come over and work for me at Elite Coach?’ That’s how it all started.” A short time later, Brian received his summons. “My dad called saying, ‘Brian, I just bought a bus company, you should come work here for a while,’” he says. “So I thought to myself, well, it isn’t going particularly well here so we’ll just see where this goes.” busride.com
Brian and Dickson agree that as new partners trudging into unfamiliar territory, each came to the table with knowledge and experience in business and finance. However, it’s fair to say they essentially knew nothing about buses. The new owners inherited the original owner’s six 40-foot coaches ranging in model years from 1983 to 1996. “Paul made it my job to oversee the fleet and get the coaches up and running,” Dickson says. “They were in really bad shape when we started, which I found quite intimidating. But my background in A/C and electrical components turned out to be a big plus. The system basics and components are about the same, whether for a vehicle or a building, so that was a good start.” Dickson says in the beginning as the only man in the shop, his trial by fire required long hours. He recalls one “26-hour” day after a few weeks on the job, all to get a coach ready for an upcoming tour. “Fortunately for me, one of the mechanics who worked for the former owners took me under his wing,” he says. “He became my mentor, and my first six weeks were a real crash course.” Shortly after Paul Kurtz arranged to sell the charter tour component to another travel company, Brian actually took a job handling its marketing for the next year-and-a-half. He returned to Elite and worked dispatch before moving into finance and sales. “I delved into the books and began tracking each phase of the operation for what was and what was not working,” he says. “Unfortunately, I found that everything was not as it had seemed. We needed some basic metrics and benchmarks to find our way in areas areas such as vehicle utilization, mileage and maintenance.”
He says, by relying on solid fundamentals, Elite Coach was soon turning a profit in a small way. At this time, the motorcoach business was experiencing a sea change that was redirecting operator focus from fleet size to efficient, measurable financial practices. “From our perspective, this did not affect what we had been doing,” Kurtz says. “We were new to this industry, but we came in already knowing how to run a business by the books. From that standpoint, we really didn’t have to relearn anything.” Work with what you have Looking to enhance the company image, Paul Kurtz entered into a discussion with Prevost. Finding the Canadian bus-builder friendly and willing to answer all his questions, he was satisfied. Elite Coach took delivery on its first new coach in 1997, a 45-foot demo the company test drove for a week. “Except for one unit that we sold along the way, we are still running every Prevost coach we have ever owned,” Kurtz says. “Our two 1998 coaches have now reached 1.2 million miles.” This is where Kurtz and Dickson believe Elite Coach separates itself from the competition. They actually preceded the wave of attention that the refurbishment and reconditioning of older coaches drew from the industry about five years ago — right on the heels of the 2008 recession. “We feel we were clearly on the leading edge of the concept of refinishing and upgrading older coaches,” Dickson says. “We were already working with Prevost to fully refurbish a number of our oldest vehicles.”
Elite Coach owners Brian Kurtz, Paul Kurtz and David Dickson came to the table with knowledge and experience in business and finance, and enjoy a long and successful partnership with Prevost.
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The Elite Coach maintenance facility has grown into a fully equipped, fully-staffed shop and parts department.
With the price of new motorcoaches on the increase, especially with EGR and the fuel emission mandates, the owners agreed that refurbishment was the most sensible direction. “Given the state of the industry, the traditional business model of rotating new buses every five to seven years no longer works for us,” Kurtz says. “We started viewing it like 15 years or more, with our only alternative being to aggressively upgrade and maintain our existing fleet and grow cautiously.” Dickson says that by 2008, the maintenance facility had grown into a fully-equipped shop and parts department. Today six full-time technicians handle much of the refurbishment work. “We started with flooring, steps and grab rails in the entry stairwell,” he says. “This is the first area customers see as they board our coaches, and we moved through the coaches from there, replacing and refitting. Because we travel so much in the Northeast, corrosion is by far our biggest challenge. As long as we can minimize corrosion on the undersides, we are able to realize success with upgrading and keeping to our buses.” Prevost on board As a major motorcoach OEM in North America whose primary objective is new coach sales, Prevost did not hesitate to take a proactive role in Elite Coach’s new initiative, taking in six of the oldest Elite coaches in 2011 to outfit with front and end caps and new bumpers to give them greater curb appeal. “Prevost stands by its customers,” says Prevost Director of Marketing Michael Power. “Our mindset is to do everything we need to do to be their best business partner.” “The investments operators make in buying our products are perhaps the largest capital outlay they will face,” he adds. “To realize the best return on their investment, they have to be able to capitalize off their vehicles — not only for their first three to five years, but long term as well.” For that reason, Power says Prevost has dedicated itself to creating solutions that are in sync with each customer’s unique mode of operation. 16
BUSRIDE | FEBRUARY . 2016
“Prevost always tries to be responsive to our customers’ needs,” Powers says. ”As we demonstrated with Elite Coach, we are experienced in refurbishing and refinishing, and we can offer an array of upgrades — such as rear caps, front caps and interior fixtures, that bring older coaches remarkably close to newer models, resulting in a more unified looking fleet.” Kurtz says Prevost has stood by Elite Coach steadfastly for nearly 20 years. “They understand our business plan right down to the last detail,” he says. “They have never had a single reservation about accommodating our unique business model. Without this assistance and guidance from Prevost, we would not be able to maintain our fleet at the level we do.” With Prevost’s carefully customized upgrades, Elite Coach says its customers appear not to notice any differences between any of the coaches in the fleet. “If they do, we have not heard any comments to that effect,” Dickson says. “Our improvements and consistent paint and graphics give the fleet a cohesive, unified and updated appearance.” Elite Coach does not shy away from the expense involved, noting that it planned on spending $40,000 to $60,000 on each coach. The company invested more than $300,000 in renovations and upgrades for the first six coaches. Elite Coach has effectively carved out its niche as a charter coach operation that works primarily with tour operators and student travel groups. In addition, the company continues to run a limited number of traditional tours that have been longtime favorite getaways for customers in the Lancaster area. Elite’s predominantly Prevost fleet now stands at 33. As a testament to its continuing successful partnership with Prevost, Elite Coach has now grown to the point where purchasing new coaches has finally become an option. In fact, the company will be taking delivery of two 2016 Prevost H345s early this year.
General Liability: Does your current policy cover what you think it does? By Tim O’Bryan
BUSRide recently sat down with Tim O’Bryan, president of Service Insurance Agency, Richmond, VA, to discuss General Liability and how it affects safety and efficiency at motorcoach operations and public transit agencies. General Liability insurance (GL) protects businesses against property damage, bodily injury and other claims.
What circumstances does commercial General Liability cover? Motorcoach operators want to make sure that, whenever possible, they have Auto Liability and General Liability coverage from the same insurance company. The reason is that most people have property coverage for the physical premises of their building. If I slip and fall on their premises, that’s a claim against General Liability / premise coverage. Motorcoach operators should always make sure their lot is secure for this reason, thus reducing the risk of injury for the general public. If operators only have General Liability in conjunction with their property policy and someone slips and falls while getting off a stationary bus away from your business location, then the property / premise coverage may not apply. Many operators can save premium dollars by eliminating the General Liability coverage from their property policy if they have a General Liability policy with same insurance company as the Auto Liability policy. Transit agencies have multiple pick-ups at all of their bus stops. Those are extensions of their property, so they must obviously be maintained, well-lit and generally safe. For a bus company, there’s a lot of grey area between General Liability and Auto Liability. It’s recommended to have your General
Bodily injuries from slips and falls may be protected by your General Liability policy, but grey areas arise depending on where the injury occurs.
“Operators should always make sure their lot is secure.” Liability and Auto Liability policies through the same carrier, to reduce confusion about which company is covering a claim.
What more can agencies and operators do to make the most of their General Liability coverage? It’s not a very expensive coverage. What we’re seeing is that certain motorcoach customers and destinations – airports, school districts, casinos and other groups – want higher limits on General Liability coverage because they think it’s necessary. In the bus business, operators want to make sure they’re meeting these limits and understand the extra expense associated with higher limits.
What other factors should operators stay mindful of? At a transit agency with big facilities, make sure security is up to par. Lot securement is key so that members of the public don’t just walk on to your yard. People do things from time to time that do not make sense, and, if something does happen on your premise and people are injured, they will likely look to you for payment of any injuries they may have sustained. If the yard’s not secure, there could be vandalism or damage to your vehicles as well. This series will continue next month! Tim O’Bryan serves as president of Service Insurance Agency. Since 1952, the company has been committed to the transportation industry. Service Insurance Company strives to provide the most knowledgeable advice and personal service to all of its valued customers. Visit them online at www.serviceins.com.
busride.com | BUSRIDE
Common carriers have their day in court Arizona rejects strictest standard of care for common carriers: Is this a trend? By Bill Poorten
In 2011, I argued the case, Nunez v. PTMTI, to the Arizona Supreme Court which considered whether the law should hold common carriers to a heightened standard of care; something more than reasonable under the circumstances. As common carriers include transit buses, shuttle buses, paratransit vans, streetcars, light rail, trolleys, taxis and even elevators the issue had broad implications. A heightened standard of care for common carriers is and remains prevalent throughout the United States and is expressed in various language including “highest duty of care,” “highest practical duty of care,” and “strictest duty.” In a unanimous decision, the Arizona Supreme Court rejected the heightened duty of care standard and held that the general rule of reasonable care under the circumstances applies to common carriers just as it applies to most everyone else. The court reasoned that in 1987, Arizona had adopted statutes that created a pure comparative fault scheme. Serving as the fact-finder, a jury or judge considers the alleged fault of all parties and non-parties and is able to allocate percentages of fault to each party or non-party found to have caused or contributed in some way to the incident, claimant’s injuries and damages based upon the evidence. This pure comparative fault scheme requires the fact-finder to compare the alleged relative fault of each party and non-party. Such a comparison is inherently unfair to a common carrier if it measures its conduct using a heightened standard of care as compared to others’ actions considered against a less demanding reasonable care standard. It appears that the court was persuaded to think the heightened standard of care might mislead a jury into believing a common carrier is something akin to an insurer of the safety of its passengers and the public, and tend to cause a jury to find responsibility even in the absence of proof of negligence. The court’s opinion also indicates it was unconvinced that a rejection of the heightened standard of care would translate into a “lowering” of the standard of care which would promote less care and result in reduced safety and more accidents. Rather, it seems that the court accepted my arguments. “Reasonable
care under the circumstances” did not equate to less care and would not encourage less prudent common carrier practices. As I argued to allow a claimant to argue that in the determination of “reasonable care under the circumstances,” a jury should consider: 1. A common carrier driver or operator is specially trained 2. A common carrier driver or operator is a paid professional 3. A common carrier driver or operator is entrusted with greater responsibilities because of the size and weight of the vehicle, number of occupants, potential for greater risk of injury and damage. 4. Passengers entrust themselves to the care of the common carrier to whom they pay a fare. As noted in Nunez, the obligation required by the law of torts is typically the duty to use reasonable care. Before Nunez, common carriers were seen as one of a group for whom the law prescribed a duty requiring a higher degree of care. This group includes innkeepers, employers, the owners or possessor of land, and power companies. This higher standard was justified by a special relationship between persons or a belief that there was a greater risk associated with certain activities. The Nunez Court may be foretelling a trend that rejects this notion of special relationships and heightened degrees of care, and toward the application of the principle of reasonable care in all circumstances regardless of the nature of any particular relationship. What does Nunez mean beyond the borders of Arizona? Should the view of the Nunez decision be as merely an anomaly or outlier? Or, does Nunez foretell a broader trend in the evolution of American tort law? Since Nunez, no other state has followed Arizona and adopted a reasonable care under the circumstances standard for common carriers. However, 11 other states have adopted a pure comparative fault scheme similar to Arizona. In my opinion, those states are likely candidates to join Arizona because the comparison of the proportionate degrees of fault is fairer and simplified if the same standard of care (i.e. reasonable care under the circumstances) is applicable to all. This decision preserves the important feature of a pure comparative scheme that allows a claimant to recover damages despite some fault allocation to the claimant. Eliminating the unfairness of measuring a common carrier’s conduct by a higher standard of care actually improves the system.
“What does Nunez mean beyond the borders of Arizona?”
BUSRIDE | FEBRUARY . 2016
SAFETY S N SOLUTIO
Enterprise risk management and the safety planning process By Todd Carrier A company is comprised of a complex web of systems and processes. The duty of safety and risk management is to keep these systems operating safely and efficiently. Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) is a concept that enables organizations to centralize risk management functions across all departments and company operations. To understand the link between ERM and safety, let’s begin by exploring basic risk management. Risk by definition is a vulnerability that, when triggered, may cause an undesired event or outcome. A first order risk consists of immediate property damage or bodily injury. A second order risk consists of consequential losses such as production or profits. Third and fourth order risks consist of indirect losses such as reduced market share or public outrage. In 2009, the International Organization for Standardization (ISO) published ISO 31000: Risk Management Principles and Guidelines, a document designed to help companies improve the identification, documentation and mitigation of risks. At a high level, the guideline summarizes four categories of risk: • Strategic risks are the choices your company makes to enter new markets, produce new products or services, merge with or acquire other companies and protect your intellectual property or brand reputation. • Operational risks relate to your day-to-day activities and include the impact related to your people, machines, materials and methods, such as the cost of accidents or business interruptions. • Legal and compliance risks are the exposures your company has to lawsuits, fines and penalties from private, public or governmental agencies. • Financial risks include any adverse effects to your stock price, liquidity, balance sheet or insurance, or currency / commodity price fluctuations. Companies tend to focus most on operational risk because it’s tangible and quantifiable. However, reports suggest that companies are not spending enough time on strategic risks, even though these risks often pose the biggest negative financial threat. According to a resource from CEB, failure to properly address strategic risks leads to significant market decline 86 percent of the time, but companies spend only 6 percent of their time addressing these risks. What is the role of safety within ERM? The Safety Department should strive to reduce the total cost of risk for the company beginning at the enterprise level. The department should contribute not only to operational and compliance risk management, but more importantly, to addressing strategic risks. Everything you do with regard to safety should directly correlate to an overall business objective. Follow these key steps to successfully incorporate the ERM perspective into your department:
1. Develop a safety plan. Your safety plan should directly support the corporate strategic plan. Ask your president or CEO for the company’s mission statement and objectives. The Safety Department should be mindful of how its activities will support goals such as overall company growth, profitability, expense control, market share, customer service and efficiency, to name a few. In your plan, set three to five high level improvement goals. Remember, your safety goals should be Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Timely (SMART). An example of a safety goal might be: Safety goal #1: Reduce DOT collisions per million miles by 10 percent in the next 12 months. Activities to achieve: Focus on the majority of collisions, which involve distracted driving during rush hour. Implement and enforce a distracted driving policy, reroute vehicles during peak traffic hours if possible and provide training on safe following distance and speed. Measured by: • Primary = Percent reduction in collisions • Secondary = Number of policy violations, number of trainings completed, number of training attendees, customer service scores, etc. Contributes to: Profitability, expense control, customer service and brand image 2. Create a safety dashboard. After your safety plan is drafted and you have agreement on your goals, create a dashboard or spreadsheet displaying baseline measurements and target improvements. Set targets to be attained in the next year as well as more ambitious goals to be attained over the next two to three years. Remember that your desired results need to be attainable yet challenging. 3. Develop a safety communication process. The safety message in your organization should come from the top. Ask your president or CEO to ensure that safety is specifically mentioned in all corporate mission statements and materials. Issue regular safety communications such as company-wide addresses, monthly or quarterly newsletters, payroll stuffers or posters at each terminal. Focus on activities that will produce results. Give employees feedback on their safety performance, and involve them in decision-making by establishing a safety committee, surveying drivers on training content, or even asking veteran employees to present safety training. In conclusion, effective safety leadership is not just about conducting training or making sure employees are simply being “safe.” It entails supporting the organization to help reach strategic corporate goals. Educate yourself on your organization’s goals and ask yourself how safety can contribute to achieving them. Todd Carrier serves as director of risk management for Protective Insurance Company, Carmel, IN. For more information, please email lossprevention@ protectiveinsurance.com.
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THE INTERNATIONAL REPORT
DAIMLER REVEALS E-MOBILITY By Doug Jack
The latest NGT Citaro was launched last year with the new CNG engine.
The current generation of Citaro Euro VI buses was launched in May 2011 but did not go into volume production immediately. 20
BUSRIDE | FEBRUARY . 2016
Alternative fuels were recurring topics in the recent major Busworld exhibition in Kortrijk, Belgium. There is now an unprecedented situation where not only traditional bus manufacturers are offering options to their well-established diesel ranges, but there is a new challenge from specialist battery manufacturers who are developing buses to use their products. The latter are on a very steep learning curve, but they are helped by the availability of proven construction and drive systems. Two examples are Alcan’s aluminium-framed bodywork and ZF’s electric drive axles. When I talk to friends in Daimler Buses, they sometimes lament that their company appears to be slower than others to develop new alternative technologies. While some competitors have been developing and promoting hybrid and electric buses, Daimler has been satisfying current transit bus demand with typical efficiency and success. The company has already sold more than 5,000 Mercedes-Benz Citaro buses with the latest Euro VI diesel engines. Their tailpipe emissions are remarkably clean, and fuel economy is up to 7-8 percent better than on previous models. However, the company is not resting on its laurels. In a high-level debate for manufacturers at Busworld Kortrijk, Thomas Tonger, Product Planning and Management, Daimler Buses, lifted the lid on his company’s proposed future developments. He described the latest Citaro with either diesel or CNG engines as nearly emission free. The full size plug-in hybrid bus is only partly emission free. Daimler’s preferred route was to go to zero emission driving for city traffic using E-CELL and F-CELL vehicles. He predicted that, in 2030, 70 percent of city buses sold in Western Europe will have a zero-emission drivetrain. It might surprise you to learn that Daimler Buses has been active in electro-mobility for more than 40 years. The first electric test bus was built in 1969 and the first electric hybrid bus in 1978. The first fuel cell bus, known as the NeBus, was running by 1997 using an early Ballard fuel cell pack. To the best of my knowledge, these were used internally for research and development. Fuel cell development has progressed rapidly, especially in downsizing of the stacks without any loss of power. NeBus was followed by a fleet of 36 fuel cell buses which entered service in 2003 and 2004, three in each of 12 cities, mainly in Europe.
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Bozankaya is a German-Turkish builder offering electric buses.
They accumulated more than 2.15 million km. They ran in a variety of climates, from very hot to very cold, and in different terrains. Safety was paramount, so that if a serious fault occurred in one bus in one city, all the others were taken out of service as a precaution until a remedy was found. The fuel cell buses were popular with drivers and passengers and produced a large amount of valuable data. This included various methods of producing hydrogen. The third generation followed in 2009 and the 23 buses of this type have accumulated more than 1 million km in service, in Germany, Italy and Switzerland. There has been considerable development in fuel cells, so that they are now smaller but just as powerful as the earlier generations. They use less hydrogen, therefore fewer storage tanks are required on the roof of the vehicle.
The most important difference between the second and third generations was that the former were not hybrid. This made it easier for engineers to assess how the fuel cells and generator were working and to identify any fault. The third generation buses are hybrid and that helps with fuel economy. The fourth generation of Citaro F-CELL buses is currently predicted for 2019-2021. One of the advantages of the current generation is that they have sufficient range for a full day’s operation. Furthermore, Daimler can collaborate with its colleagues in other divisions to share costs of research, development and manufacturing of fuel cells. Tom Tonger’s presentation gave a clear indication that the E-CELL bus would require opportunity charging during the course of each day, and that it might be launched around 2019. This timing might well be inspired, because the development of all-electric buses is moving fast and much of the technology is at a pre-production stage. Furthermore, other divisions in Daimler are working on electric vehicles. While regular top-up charging greatly reduces the weight and size of batteries, it adds to the time spent at each end of a route and that can be a problem if a bus has been delayed in traffic. There have been reports of two or three buses waiting to use a charging system. That kind of delay can potentially lead to the requirement for an additional vehicle or two, and additional drivers, on a route. On the other hand, if a vehicle is to have sufficient range for a full day’s operation, then the weight of batteries can be a penalty in terms of the total number of passengers that can be carried. BYD has demonstrated that its latest batteries are now two thirds of the weight of the previous generation, but still offer the same daily range. If that kind of development can continue, it looks very promising. It might mean that buses do not have to be recharged every time
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THE INTERNATIONAL REPORT
Ziehl Abegg, an old established German company, makes this rear axle with wheel hub motors.
they reach a terminus, but only a few times each day, using batteries with more storage capacity but without a weight penalty. There is also the option of opportunity, inductive charging from beneath the bus and that system can be used easily by other electrically powered vehicles, like taxis and municipal vans and trucks. RATP, Paris, plans that 80 percent of its 4,500 buses will be allelectric by 2025. They have ruled out the possibility of opportunity charging, saying that it would be impractical and very expensive over such a large route network with so many vehicles. Paris has a significant number of bus routes which terminate at metro or heavy -rail stations, also dense traffic that can delay buses on route. There are quite a number of other reasons why the timing of
the introduction of the E-CELL and F-CELL models might be well calculated. Towards the end of 2015, the third SAENA (Saechsische Energieagentur) Conference was held in the German city of Dresden. This was largely a domestic event, where 26 speakers gave various accounts of the operation of all-electric buses in their cities. In many cases, there has been political pressure to use zeroemission buses and transit authorities will only learn about them if they have practical experience on the streets. Reports were quite mixed, with electrical consumption being considerably higher in winter conditions, where heating is required. On the relatively small scale of trials in Germany and other European countries, the electricity grid is capable of recharging battery buses overnight, and where necessary during the day. It will be a challenge when whole depots are converted to the operation of battery buses, with demand for large supplies of electricity overnight. Currently, the manufacturing and transit industries are banking on the higher purchase price of electric buses being recuperated over a five to six year period by the much lower costs of electricity. There is a risk, probably quite remote at this stage, that governments will seek to recover the loss of taxes on fossil fuels by raising taxes on electricity for vehicles. Major companies with vast electrical engineering experience, such as ABB and Siemens, are also becoming active in electric bus projects. One of the challenges for the industry is to ensure compatibility of systems between different makes of vehicles, so that recharging becomes as simple and universal as refueling with diesel. The development engineers at Daimler will be following progress on all these issues with keen interest. The E-CELL and F-CELL models will have to be ready for volume production and sales, which makes introduction in 2019 an interesting challenge. Doug Jack is with Transport Resources in the United Kingdom.
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.
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FOR COVERAGE THAT REVOLVES AROUND YOU, CONTACT STACY RENZ: (800) 644-5501 x2570
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FLEET TRUCKING | PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION |
BUSRIDE | FEBRUARY . 2016
WORKERS’ COMPENSATION | INDEPENDENT CONTRACTORS busride.com
State college system funds the need to REPLENISHES THE create more public transit jobs TRANSIT RANKS
“GROW YOUR OWN”
The Transit Apprenticeships for Professional Career Advancement initiative is unique system of apprenticeship programs to recruit and train 100 apprentices during the two-year grant period.
A program to train much needed transit operations and maintenance workers is taking shape thanks to a $1 million dollar grant from the California Community College Chancellor’s Office. The Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA), Mission College of Santa Clara, and the Amalgamated Transit Workers Union (ATU) Local 265 are launching the Transit Apprenticeships for Professional Career Advancement initiative to build a unique system of apprenticeship programs to recruit and train 100 apprentices during the two-year grant period. The initiative was developed to address increasing demand for public transit in Santa Clara Valley and the Bay Area; and an impending personnel crisis in the public transit industry nationally, with a high percentage of transit employees retiring soon or currently eligible to retire. New Department of Transportation studies show that over the next 10 years the public transit industry will need to hire and train new workers equivalent to 126 percent of today’s total workforce. VTA’s workforce development strategy, “Grow Your Own,” offers current VTA workers the opportunity to learn new skills and move into new careers using this apprenticeship approach. These opportunities begin with the entry-level position of a professional coach operator and lead to the highest paid ATU, and hardest to fill, position of overhead line worker.
“It’s very gratifying to provide our most important resource – our employees – the opportunity for career growth and advancement,” says VTA General Manager Nuria Fernandez. VTA and its largest union, ATU Local 265, have created several industry-leading training programs through their Joint Workforce Investment initiative, a nationally acclaimed labor / management partnership. “Our ongoing partnership with Mission College will help deliver this critical apprenticeship training which will build our bench of employees and fill these increasingly technical job classifications that require specialized knowledge,” Fernandez says The new funding will allow VTA to construct a new light-rail training classroom and hands-on laboratory at VTA’s Guadalupe Division, to give light-rail apprentices the most effective and complete training experience. One hundred apprentices will receive full salary and benefits during their training programs. By the end of the two-year grant period, apprentices will receive college credit through Mission College upon successful completion of their apprenticeship. Anyone interested in the apprenticeship programs should check for postings at: http://agency.governmentjobs.com/vtasantaclara/default.cfm.
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RELIABLE COACH RELIABLE SERVICE
With top quality manufacturing, fully stainless steel exterior, and luxurious comfortable interior, your customers are sure to be satisﬁed. We offer coaches of 30, 35, and 45 feet to accommodate a group of any size and help you best utilize your ﬂeet. Reliability that’s affordable. For more information, contact CH Bus Sales at:
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DELIVERIES MOTOR COACH INDUSTRIES (MCI)
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Arrow Stage Lines Kansas City, MO
Arrow Stage Lines Norfolk, NE
Arrow Stage Lines received 10 new MCI J 4500 motorcoaches in December. This closes the year of deliveries for Arrow Stage Lines and brings the total to 40 new pieces of equipment in 2015. The new MCI Js come equipped with new Kiel seats, a new customer and passenger favorite. The plush interior is a direct reflection of the latest MCIs added to the company’s fleet, two months ago. The 54-seat motorcoaches come standard with increased legroom, Arrow Connect, sleek wood floors, LED lighting and reclining seats. Aside from a robust interior, the graphics packages and colors for the new deliveries remains consistent with the pervious orders. All new MCI deliveries come off the line in charcoal grey, dark blue, rich red or black.
The recent arrival of the Arrow Stage Lines TEMSA brings a new look to the fleet. The 40-passenger coach is designed with the smaller traveling group in mind while, also delivering all the amenities and features of a large luxury coach. The company has been providing the TEMSA product to customers for years; however, the interior of this model really sets it apart from the crowd. The new delivery will be the first TEMSA coach in the fleet to offer a full version of Arrow Connect, the company’s connectivity solution. This dark blue TEMSA will be moved and based out of the Kansas City location. The interior features robust lighting, full motorcoach style amenities including reclining seats, climate-controlled atmosphere, plush seating, hardwood floors and more.
ABC COMPANIES / VAN HOOL
COMPLETE COACH WORKS
Cavalier Coaches Owatonna, MN Cavalier Coaches has expanded substantially since the early 1960’s when it operated four school buses in Leroy, MN. Over the years the coach business has steadily grown to 17 motorcoaches serving charter customers in southern Minnesota and northern Iowa. The new 56 passenger CX45 boasts leather trimmed seats, woodgrain flooring, enclosed parcel racks, Alcoa Dura Bright aluminum wheels, an REI Elite entertainment system with six 15.4-inch monitors, 110-volt and USB power outlets, in addition to Van Hool’s standard safety features including three-point seatbelts, backup camera, lane departure warning, antilock brakes, Smartwave Tire Pressure Monitoring and Kidde Fire Suppression Systems.
TransIT Services Frederick County, MD Complete Coach Works (CCW) announced that it is providing TransIT Services of Frederick County, MD, with five buses that have been completely refurbished and equipped with CCW’s Zero Emission Propulsion System (ZEPS), an all-electric batterypowered motor. The first electric bus is expected to be delivered in February with the other four following closely behind in the proceeding months. The cost of the five ZEPS buses and charging stations is being covered by a combination of federal (FTA), state (MTA) and local grant funding. A Maryland Energy Administration grant is providing the local match for one bus and also helping with the cost of installing 10 charging stations at the transit agency’s yard. As an indication of TransIT’s commitment to the ZEPS-powered buses, the construction project will include laying conduit for future construction of 10 more charging stations. busride.com | BUSRIDE
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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
BIG COACH LUXURY ON A SMALLER SCALE
Roof-Mounted A/C Up Top
More Luggage Space Below!
Offering many exclusive features unique to the smaller coach segment, the CX35 presents a true user-friendly design. With full-size coach height and a 102â&#x20AC;? width, the CX35 features a front-to-rear flat passenger floor design that provides for a spacious interior. The CX35 brings Van Hoolâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s quality design and engineering, plus rugged reliability and the perfect flexibility to your fleet.
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